Travel Where to stay and what to do in Shanghai?

Mediana

~Travelista~
O.G.
May 7, 2007
14,244
79
Sweden
Hi,

I'm gonna visit Shanghai in early March. I haven't booked any hotel yet because I'm not sure what the best area is to stay. I want to get around the city by subway and walking and skip taxi if its possible. Do you have any recommendations? It will only be me. I've been to China before but never Shanghai so I have really not a clue what I shouldn't miss.

TIA
 

slyyls

Member
Jan 15, 2011
638
210
I know this may seem unbelievable; but the Howard Johnson Plaza hotel near the Bund, is an amazing value. I was so surprised, and actually had the best omelette I've ever had, at the inclusive breakfast. I was shaking my head the whole time I stayed there, thinking this couldn't possibly be a Howard Johnson's.
The old Chinatown is fascinating to tour, and although rather seedy, I find it so charming.
There is a market in Shanghai where you can get (not that you would want to) super replica bags, that are shockingly well made. They are illegal to sell, and anyone caught selling can get a prison term of 10 years, so what you will see out in the open are very bad looking replica bags.

You may like to experience the super fast train, and just shop in the Bund.
 

Mediana

~Travelista~
O.G.
May 7, 2007
14,244
79
Sweden
Thanks, I actually looked at that one yesterday. Does it have a good location? I can't figure out in what area one is suppose to stay. I read some reviews regarding this hotel. Some say it has great location, while others say its far from shopping and subway. I don't really have anything to shop, or well I do. I need some DIY supply but I'm not looking to buy any clothes, bags or jewelry.
I want to do the touristy stuff and eat great food.

I know this may seem unbelievable; but the Howard Johnson Plaza hotel near the Bund, is an amazing value. I was so surprised, and actually had the best omelette I've ever had, at the inclusive breakfast. I was shaking my head the whole time I stayed there, thinking this couldn't possibly be a Howard Johnson's.
The old Chinatown is fascinating to tour, and although rather seedy, I find it so charming.
There is a market in Shanghai where you can get (not that you would want to) super replica bags, that are shockingly well made. They are illegal to sell, and anyone caught selling can get a prison term of 10 years, so what you will see out in the open are very bad looking replica bags.

You may like to experience the super fast train, and just shop in the Bund.
 

beggarbaby

why not?
Jul 28, 2010
1,732
17
The Bund is walkable but definitely the subway isn't close if one of the stations there is closed like the last time I was there. You might want to check that somewhere else online. I'd call it one of the nicer areas. French quarter is nice too but I always stay with family do not sure about subways and hotels there.

Good thing is cabs are dirt cheap if you need them and they drive in a less scary way these days!

As for sights, Nanjing rd is a big neon Fest at night if you like that. There's a Confucian temple nearby, but honestly it looks to me like many of the other temples in the rest of the country. I've always liked just walking around and seeing what the city's like. That old part of town is pretty distinctive though if you go into the streets of the residential area, just be sure you're comfortable with not having an obvious quick exit as the roads are not really any sensible grid. It's very different than the rest of the city though and cool to see.

I've been into history lately and have been meaning to check out the synagogues and mosques at some point. I never reposed the city was so cosmopolitan even back in the day.

What type of sights are you into generally?
 
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slyyls

Member
Jan 15, 2011
638
210
I advise you to look into some city tours, and visit the old Chinatown area.
Shanghai was once known as the Paris Of The East, and was full of glamour and sophistication.
It is a fascinating city, and the architectural styles are so diverse, it's a feast for the eyes, just touring around in a taxi.
 

Mediana

~Travelista~
O.G.
May 7, 2007
14,244
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Sweden
OK, I think I'll find a hotel that seams nice. Grand Central Hotel Shanghai. What do you think about it? Good neighborhood?

I try to find some tours, I've never done a hope on hop off bus so I might try that. Also, I'm thinking of taking the train and to a day trip or two.

beggarbaby I like architecture but since I've never been to Shanghai before I like to do all the touristy things. Any sites I shouldn't miss?
 

redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
13,767
3,472
I wouldn't stay in Pudong, it's more of the businessy area. There are a lot of nice hotels near the Bund or along Nanjing Road. I don't know the proximity of Metro stations though.

There are a few thread here on Shanghai, here's one with some information on what to do/see there: http://forum.purseblog.com/bon-voyage/going-to-shanghai-in-september-any-tips-311578.html

Designer goods are very expensive there. There are many malls to browse along Huaihai Road in the French Concession, and check out the recently built Xintiandi complex - shops and restaurants. One of my very favorite streets in Shanghai is Changle Road, also in the French Concession. This tree-lined street has many small boutiques by local designers, some designer consignment stores and other outlets. Google for more information, here's just one site on it: http://live.shanghaidaily.com/column_detail.asp?type=column&id=720

Here are some other things to see/do in Shanghai: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Guide-g308272-l146-Shanghai.html Yu Yuan Garden is touristy but worth a visit to browse in the shops. Of course there's shopping on Nanjing Road and walking along the Bund. The Bund under-river sightseeing tunnel is a little cheesy but an interesting way to cross to Pudong and see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower up close, and view back to the Bund and city.

I love Shanghai! Have fun!
 
Jan 10, 2011
4,520
1,708
Given that this is your first time in Shanghai, i would recommend Sofitel on Nanjing east road. Check out the reviews on trip advisor; hubby and I were extremely pleased with the location! Nanjing east road is such a vibrant street, lots of shops and eateries. The hotel lobby and main restaurant is outstanding, I find the room to be on the small side, but totally bearable.
 

beggarbaby

why not?
Jul 28, 2010
1,732
17
If your consider a day trip out of city limits there's Su Zhou, which is fairly well known. There's a gardens there that is old and sits right by a neighborhood that's built by canals.

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/jiangsu/suzhou/tiger_hill.htm

In the city, you could go see a matinee acrobatic variety show at the Chinese opera house... Just make sure it's more acrobatic than singing if you don't like the sound of Chinese opera! (Bring earplugs though)

There are lots of museums in People's Square. You may as well take a look there since its the central spot and easy to get to by subway.

It's nice sometimes just to go to a neighborhood park in the morning and sit somewhere watching the locals. They all congregate in parks to chat and do weird east-west fusion semi-jazzed use and Taichi and the older folks sing.

There's a huge shopping area out at Xiu Jia Hui but there's also an old historic library and cathedral nearby. It's weird, I've been to Shanghai a few times but it's hard to think of tourist attractions. Half the time I feel like you are just looking at the sheer spectacle of the thing.

There's the 2010 expo grounds but that might be boring if you're not into architecture and I don't think any of the pavilions are actually open except the China one, if that.
 

Mediana

~Travelista~
O.G.
May 7, 2007
14,244
79
Sweden
Thanks everyone for the help. I'm really exited about going now! I think I'm gonna stay at Sofitel. It's my favorite chain of hotels anyway.

Do you have any tips on restaurants in the area?
 

Mediana

~Travelista~
O.G.
May 7, 2007
14,244
79
Sweden
Given that this is your first time in Shanghai, i would recommend Sofitel on Nanjing east road. Check out the reviews on trip advisor; hubby and I were extremely pleased with the location! Nanjing east road is such a vibrant street, lots of shops and eateries. The hotel lobby and main restaurant is outstanding, I find the room to be on the small side, but totally bearable.
Hi, I booked Sofitel now. Can you please tell me how the breakfast was?
 
Jan 10, 2011
4,520
1,708
Hi! I was very pleased with the buffet, both hot n cold dishes were available. A local breakfast station was also placed, if u wanna try a typical Chinese breakfast.