If you're looking for a taste of old Taipei, then head for the Wan Hua district. Located on the Dan Shui River, Wan Hua was an important Chinese trading post and the prosperity of the period is reflected in its ornate temples, one of which is the Lungshan temple. Another historic part of the city is the Da Tong (Tatung) district. Among the winding alleys you will find European style colonial buildings standing beside intricate Chinese temples.

Take a stroll down Di Hua Street, which is lined with traditional shops selling all manner of potions and cure-alls! The Shi Lin (Shihlin) district is renowned for its bustling night market, whilst Taipei's vibrant night scene bumps and grinds until the early hours in nearby Da An (Ta An). In the bustle of modern Taipei, Zhong Shan (Chungshan) the former commercial centre is now known for its shops, bars and cultural sights, which include the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The current hub of commercial activities, Song Shan (Sungshan) is also one of the most cosmopolitan districts and packed with foreign restaurants. Zhong Zheng (Chungcheng), the political centre, is home to municipal parks and museums, of which the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is the most renowned.


Population 23.8 million
Electricity 220 Volt
Emergency numbers Ambulance: 120 Fire: 119 Police: 110
Telephone Area code: (0)21


1. The Bund

Shanghai's best-known street is impressive at any time of day, but it's at its most glam in the evening when floodlighting illuminates the colonial piles and the neon across the river in Pudong gaudily glitters. Take a stroll along the waterfront walkway and watch Shanghai go by.

Address: The Bund, Shanghai

2. Urban Planning Museum

It may sound a little weird, but this place is fascinating. There are photographic exhibitions of Shanghai old and new, but the pièce de résistance is a huge, fantastically detailed model of the way Shanghai will look in the decades to come.

Address: 100 Renmin Dadao, Shanghai

3. Shanghai Museum 

The Urban Planning Museum features the future, while the Shanghai Museum provides a glimpse into the past. Outstanding displays of 120,000 pieces including ancient Chinese ceramics, bronzes and paintings fill this five-storey space.

Address: 201 Renmin Avenue, Shanghai

4. Fuxing Park

Anyone of Shanghai's parks is worthy of a visit, but this one has the advantage of being central. The best time to visit is around 7 am when hundreds, perhaps thousands, of locals gather for their daily exercise. Solitary old men practice t'ai chi formations of well-coiffed women dance with fans or spin through a waltz or three. The energy pulses through aerobic routines or the flying leaps of a sword dance - while others simply sit around and watch their caged birds sing.

Address: Chongqing Road, Shanghai

5. Old City

Step back in time as you wander these rickety old lanes. Particularly vibrant is the wet market at Dajing Road where stallholders sit behind colourful piles of vegetables, knead dough for pastries and chop meat with mighty cleavers.

Address: Dajing Road, Shanghai


The Chinese like to eat, and Shanghai considers the tastebuds to be a body part of the utmost importance. From chic and elegant international restaurants to local dumpling joints, in this city you can eat your way around the globe. Whether you like your portions tiny but exquisitely arranged, or you prefer a tangled mountain of noodles, you'll find it here. A note on tipping: it's officially prohibited in China. While it has become usual to tip tour guides on organized outings, it is not common to tip taxi drivers or the staff of bars and restaurants.

1. Crystal Jade

Scrumptious dumplings and much else, this place serves some of the best Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisine. This chain restaurant offers a unique dining experience with exceptional food quality and good service.

Address: 2F-12A, Lane 123, Xinye Lu, South Block Xintiandi Plaza, Shanghai

2. Di Shui Dong

Popular for its good-value, casual dining, it serves robust Hunanese flavours in rustic surroundings. The chef prepares the food with fresh ingredients and serves good portions. The ribs are recommended!

Address: 56 Mao Ming South Road, Shanghai

3. South Beauty

Since the company was founded in 2000, this restaurant chain has enjoyed tremendous success and popularity. It now has 19 branches serving fabulous, spicy Sichuan food in stylish surroundings.

Address: 829 Middle Yan An Road, Shanghai

4. Char Grill and Bar

This delicious restaurant is located at Hotel Indigo and offers a great view and an even better menu. They serve steak, sea food and delicious deserts.

Address: 585 Zhongshan Dong Er Road, Shanghai

5. M On The Bund

Created by Australian restaurateur Michelle Garnaut. M on the Bund serves high-end Western food in classy surroundings. With its terrace overlooking the Bund, it has one of the best locations in town.

Address: 7F, 5 The Bund, Shanghai


If you like things made to measure, Shanghai is a shopping Mecca. The Fabric Market has recently been pulled up from its down-at-the-heel roots and relocated to 399 Lujiabang Road. Cashmere coats, silk dresses, work suits and shirts - all can be created just the way you like them. Some items are also sold off the peg if you're going for custom-made, it's a good idea to bring a garment for copying.

For knick-knacks and so-called antiques, head to Dongtai Road where several streets of stalls sell everything from Chairman Mao memorabilia to Buddhas, 1920s gramophones and Tibetan painted sideboards. For 'antique' furniture and other things decorative, head to Hongqiao Road in the west of the city.

Meanwhile, Tai Kang Road features more upscale boutiques selling jewellery, pottery and leatherwear, while Xintiandi has everything from clothes to cushions to cocktails. Shanghai's main shopping streets are the pedestrianized and neon-decorated Nanjing Road at the high-street end of the market (check out the wonderful chopsticks shop at number 387 if you need gifts to take home) and Huaihai Road where the designer labels hang out. And then, of course, there's the Bund. Try Three on the Bund for seven floors of glamour (including the Shanghai Gallery of Art).


As one of the most important business cities in China, finding a hotel is far from a problem. You will find everything from budget hotels to luxury hotels with five stars. It is recommended to do your booking in advance if you are on a budget.

1. Grand Hyatt

Grand Hyatt is located in the prestigious Jin Mao Tower in Pudong, this hotel doesn't start till the 53rd floor. With its outlook over the river and the Bund, these are probably the best bedroom views in the city. Service is impeccable too.

Address: Jin Mao Tower, 88 Century Boulevard, Shanghai

2. 88 Xintiandi

In a central location on the Puxi side of the river, 88 is chic boutique hotel with Chinese tones. There's a pool, gym, squash court and so on, and the rooms have kitchen facilities.

Address: 380 Huangpi Road South, Shanghai

3. Ruijin Guesthouse

Surrounded by seven hectares of gardens, colonial-style villas and a number of good bars and restaurants, you can't beat the location. The estate was once home to the Morriss Family, who owned China's first English-language newspaper. The rooms are huge and it's in a good French Concession position. There are several buildings and their style differs: ask to take a look before you choose.

Address: 118 Ruijin No. 2 Road, Shanghai

4. Shanghai Captain Youth Hostel

It's backpacker basic and the location is unbeatable. Most of the rooms are dorms (with an intriguing maritime theme to the bunk beds), but there are also doubles and singles. Captain Hostel is affiliated to Youth Hostels International.

Address: 37 Fuzhou Road, Shanghai

5. Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao

Holiday Inn offers great service and a comfortable stay to a valuable price. They have a nice pool and is well recommended both for families and for business.

Address: 1088 Xiuyan Road, Shanghai