There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Shanghai each year.
The main ones are listed below.
As China is still largely a rural country, Chinese New Year celebrations are exceedingly important, emphasizing rebirth and renewal. Coinciding with the new moon on the first day of the first lunar month, in ancient times the start of the festival marked the beginning of the new season for planting crops, the ideal moment to pray for a good harvest. For three days, celebrations involve merrymaking and entertainment of many kinds, both at home with family members and outside in the streets: firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and demons, fireworks, etc.February/March – Fifteenth day of the first lunar month : Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Jie, celebrated nationwide)
Colourful paper lanterns line the streets of Shanghai and throughout China on this day. According to tradition, they are lit to see celestial spirits flying in the light of the first full moon of the lunar calendar. Children and adults parade through the city carrying long bamboo poles hung with smaller lanterns. This festival officially ends Chinese New Year celebrations.May 1 : Labour Day (national holiday) August – Seventh day of the seventh lunar month : Double Seventh Festival (Qixi, celebrated nationwide)
Also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day, this romantic festival has been celebrated in China for centuries. Traditionally, this was the day when young, single women prayed for skill in needlework in order to attract a husband and bear children. The name of the festival refers to the seventh daughter of the Jade Emperor, a weaving maid, who was only allowed by her father to see her beloved, a lowly cowherd, once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Gifts of bouquets of flowers or chocolates, special dates, romantic dinners, and dance parties are among the celebrations during this day, highly anticipated by all single people in Shanghai.September/October – Fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month : Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiu Jie, national holiday)
Also known as the Moon Festival, this is the day in the year when the moon is particularly round and bright, a symbol of unity and familial happiness. The main feature of this traditional festival is the sharing of cakes with family and friends.October 1 : National Day (Guoqing Jie, national holiday)
Commemorates the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, proclaimed by Mao Zedong. Celebrations held throughout the city include fireworks, military parades, concerts and dance parties.Mid-October–mid-November : Shanghai International Arts Festival (local event)
Lasting a full month, this programme of cultural events includes the Shanghai Art Fair and the exhibitions of the Shanghai Biennale (every two years) as well as an array of dance, music and theatre events at various venues across the city, featuring leading artists and troupes from around the world.December 25 : Christmas (national)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||2/36||8/46||74/2.9||Not the best period to go|
|February||4/39||10/50||59/2.3||Not the best period to go|
|March||7/45||14/57||94/3.7||Not the best period to go|
|April||12/54||20/68||74/2.9||Not the best period to go|
|May||17/63||25/77||84/3.3||Good period to go|
|June||22/72||28/82||182/7.2||Good period to go|
|July||26/79||32/90||146/5.7||Not the best period to go|
|August||26/79||31/88||214/8.4||Not the best period to go|
|September||22/72||28/82||87/3.4||Not the best period to go|
|October||17/63||23/73||56/2.2||Good period to go|
|November||11/52||17/63||52/2.0||Good period to go|
|December||5/41||11/52||44/1.7||Not the best period to go|
Shanghai Pudong International Airport is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, 30 kilometres (19 miles) south-east of the city centre.
Shanghai covers an area of more than 7,000 square kilometres (2,700 square miles), which means that getting around requires a bit of advance planning! Although it might be easy to lose your way in this huge labyrinth, Shanghai has an excellent public transport system serving all points of the city.
For covering long distances, the Shanghai Metro is the ideal solution. There are 14 lines, four of which serve the centre of the city (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4). The basic fare is CNY 3 for any trip of no more than 6 kilometres, plus CNY 1 for each additional 10 kilometres.
Despite the extensive coverage offered by Shanghai's bus network (over 1,000 lines), buses are often crowded. But they are still the least expensive way to get around the city. Tickets costs between CNY 1 and CNY 3, depending on the distance travelled.
Note: Air-conditioned buses are indicated with a snowflake motif next to the bus number.
Taxis are the mode of transport most used by visitors to Shanghai. Fares start at CNY 10.00 for the first 3 kilometres (2 miles), plus CNY 2.00 for each additional kilometre (0.6 miles). Night fares are CNY 13.00 for the first 3 kilometres, then CNY 2.60 for each additional kilometre.
Shanghai may also be explored by boat. There are more than 20 ferry lines, offering a fixed fare of CNY 1 per person.
Upon your arrival in Shanghai, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration
Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
At various locations throughout the city, the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration operates centres where you can obtain information and recommendations for your stay in Shanghai and its surrounding area. Listed below are the main addresses for the Tourist Information Service Centres in Shanghai:
The official website of the China National Tourist Office (CNTO), maintained by its New York office, provides a wealth of information on Shanghai.
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to China.
However, obtaining a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine plus a polio vaccine is strongly recommended before leaving for Shanghai if it has been more than ten years since your last booster dose.
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
Drinking tap water should be avoided in Shanghai, even in hotels and trains. However, all hotel rooms are equipped with electric kettles. You should always boil the water from the tap before drinking it. While sightseeing and in restaurants, you should drink only bottled water provided in sealed, tamper-proof containers.
Citizens or nationals of all but a handful of countries must be in possession of a visa to enter China, regardless of the length of their stay.
For further information on visa requirements, contact the Chinese consulate general closest to your place of residence.
Here are a few basic Chinese phrases that will make your stay in Shanghai a little easier:
Hello / Good morning: Nĭ hăo
Good afternoon / Good evening: Wănshang hăo
Goodbye / See you soon: Zàijiàn
No, thank you: Bù le xièxie
Thank you very much: Fēicháng xièxie
I don't understand: Wǒ bù dǒng.
Could you repeat that: Qǐng zài shuō yíbiàn?
What time is it: Xiàn zài jĭ diăn le?
Excuse me: Duìbuqĭ
Train station: Huǒ chē zhàn
I'm (…): Wǒ shì (…).
I'm looking for (…): Wǒ zhăo (…).
How much is this: Zhè duōshăo qián?
Do you have (…): Yǒu méiyǒu (…)?
Where can I find (…): Wǒ zài nǎ li kě yǐ zhǎo dào (…)?
Where can I buy (…): Wǒ zài na li kě yǐ mǎi dào (…)?
I'd like (…): Wǒ xiǎng (…).
And what about tipping?
Tipping is not expected in Shanghai's restaurants and cafés. On the other hand, it is quite common to thank tour guides and drivers by offering a small gratuity. Of course, the amount you choose to give is entirely up to you.