Shanghai, China

 out of 23  reviews

** SHANGHAI TOURS, CHINA **

Read travel tips for Shanghai from our amazing community of BLACK AND BROWN TRAVELERS that will help you find some of the best places to visit in Shanghai.Our variety of travel tips will definitely help you plan your next trip. Our tips range from best places to visit in Shanghai, affordability, nightlife, local food, where to stay and even what it is like Traveling While Black. Lastly, we are working diligently to create a comprehensive city guide for Shanghai Tours. Stay tuned! But in the meantime, scroll down to read tips below!

 

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 out of 23 reviews
Things To Do
Adventure
History
Affordability
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Local Food
Romance
Nightlife
Traveling While Black

23 Reviews

  1. author
    DnAGlobaltakeover
    07 Apr 2021
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    We lived in Shanghai, China for 7 years so there is so much we can write about this incredible city. There are different experiences if you live here are if you’re traveling like any country.

    Here are some of our favorite places to stay in the magnificent City of Shanghai:

    – Mandarin Oriental in Pudong- incredible service and views.
    – Banyan Tree on the Bund- Impeccable Service, the turndown service and spa is second to none.
    – The W on the Bund- one of the most lively places to stay. The weekend brunches are where it’s at! The Spa is also a nice touch to unwind.
    – The Middle House- is the best-kept secret located in the middle of the city.
    -The Naked Castle- is an escape from the city and the hustle and bustle.

    There are many more but these are our top stays.

  2. author
    VxMeech
    19 Jun 2020
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    Im so happy I was only there for 24 hrs. Stayed at Sheraton Shanghai Hotel. The airport, hotel and the mall we experienced nothing but stares. Try to stop someone for directions or questions just looked at us rolled their eyes. Went into the store to buy a water we got followed around horrible experience. It was about 5 people on hand that actually didn’t helping us.

  3. theAfroTraveller
    04 Jun 2020
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    When in Shanghai, make sure you travel down to the ‘Venice of China’, Zhujiajiao

    Directions:
    Uber: Take an approximately 45 minute uber ride from Shanghai central to Zhujiajiao water city. The cab fare should roughly be about £20 ($25USD). There is a public transport route via the ‘line 2 and line 17 subway’ which should cost you just under £5 ($6). You may have to also take a bus or taxi on arrival via the subway. The subway route may take a little longer than catching a cab however, this is the most cost effective option.
    On arrival to the water city you may have to pay a small entrance fee (I can’t remember exact cost). The water city literally is like Venice with everything up on water, from restaurants, to shops and cafes.

    If you are black then prepare to be a tourist attraction lol. Do not be surprised or alarmed if locals take photographs of you, they’re just fascinated I guess.

    In regards to money….most of the shops and restaurants take cards but I felt more comfortable using cash.

    It’s a shame I cannot upload or attach photos to this review. However, if you want to see a glimpse of the photos browse for my instagram @theAfroTraveller

  4. author
    TeboTravels
    14 May 2020
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    My experience in Shanghai was a very bittersweet one. Travelling there was quick and cheap (from South Korea), and finding activities to do was easy. The architecture, nature and food, were so amazing and honestly, a lot of the views were breathtaking.
    The people though? not so much– and this was very disappointing as it took away a lot from the whole experience.

    I’d heard a few fellow black travelers/expats experiences, but was being hosted by a very good friend of mine who is Chinese, so I did expect the experience to be easier; but it was not.

    I don’t doubt that people have had different experiences there, but for me, it wasn’t the best.

  5. author
    chobumba
    18 Apr 2020
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    If you don’t like attention, mainland China is not the place to visit. Shanghai is a huge huge city and is one of the more exposed, but you will still attract attention. I recommend using the metro as much as possible to get around. Download the Shanghai metro map before you go. Also, you will need a VPN if you want to access social media at all or Google. If you will stay for a few days or longer, downloading Wechat may also be a good idea. It is their social media app that is used for paying for things and so much more. There is a HUGE black community and this is the best way to tap into it. There are lots of groups, including a black life travel group, that can help you with ideas as well as have meetups and parties etc. There are also travel companies that organise really cool short trips that make your life much easier, such as OKDeal and WannaTravel. There are many Africans from all over the continent, which I found really cool, and actually my first time going to an AfroBeatz party was in Shanghai. People will stare and take photos, and they have no shame about this. If it makes you uncomfortable, my trick was to take photos of them taking photos of me, and it usually worked. Some are nice about it and friendly, and others are just rude and mean. Use your judgment about who you allow to take your photos, but also remember that they are a monoculture and are severely underexposed. There is A LOT to do in Shanghai, and everything is cheap. If you want to buy high quality fake name-brand things, including shoes, the secret mall is at line 2, which comes from the airport, stop at Science and Technology Museum. This will be an all day thing as you can literally find ANYTHING here, for cheap. It’s easy to get lost! But usually someone will help take you around if you tell them what you’re looking for. Remember to bargain! Start by going at most half of whatever price they give, and make sure to ask for high quality. Enjoy!

  6. author
    JChrissy
    09 Jan 2020
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    I will start with saying yes I did get some stares. I figured I would get stares for being black but if you’re going to countries that are monocultural then it is to be expected.
    Places To Visit:
    The Bund 外滩 (best view is on the west side)
    Order Peking duck 北京烤鸭
    Yu garden 豫园
    Xintiandi 新天地 is great shopping and night life district
    Tianzifang 田子坊 for cultural old school Chinese things

    There’s also no Google, YouTube, Instagram, or Snapchat in China so…… plan accordingly. Never be afraid to haggle and the metro will be cheaper and faster than taxi.

  7. letsglobetrot35
    letsglobetrot35
    11 Nov 2019
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    Visited Shanghai and Beijing last year & hear are a few thoughts. Shanghai is very clean for a big city but quite polluted like most Chinese cities. It wasn’t crowded during the day, but almost quadrupled in population at night. Easily the densest place I’ve been at night. Make sure to visit the Venice of China. About 1hr from Shanghai. It’s a town on a river. Overall the food was amazing but you get lots of stares while walking down the street. Remember there isn’t much diversity. We took a trip to the Great Wall when we went to Beijing; and I counted 20 people who wanted to take pictures with me. I’m glad I went but it was a different experience.

  8. author
    jfrink1
    01 Nov 2019
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    I didn’t spend a lot of time in Shanghai when I lived in China, because it gives me touristy. However I will say it is worth a visit. To get away with touristy things it is best to research and plan ahead. I got on two double decker buses, a ferry to see The Bund, a mini train, the fast train and metro during a 9 hour layover. If you are at the airport take the fast/bullet train to get to the city. It takes 8 mins vs the hour with just the metro. Definitely get on a ferry to see the Bund. Indulge is local foods. All food in China isn’t the same. Look up what that city is known for and order that. It’s always made the best. Shop locally and not at large retailers. This city is international and is used to foreigners. You will get less stares. However still be aware of your surroundings for creepers and pickpockets. This city is worth a weekend visit.

  9. author
    Neilsa_Mark
    13 Sep 2019
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    We took the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai. We booked tickets well in advance of our trip to secure seats on the faster train and in business class. The ride was scenic and beautiful. We made cards with the address of out hotel to give to taxi drivers just in case they didn’t speak english. We paid $5 for the hop on hop off bus and used that to take us around to most of the sites. We visited the Yu Wan tea house and the gardens this should be on your list of sites. We also went to Xiantiandi pronounced shin-t-n-d. There are some nice restaurants and bars, it is also close to to designer stores. Shanghai had a much more European and modern feel to it. I did not use as much public transportation here so I’m not sure what it’s like. The nightlife was pretty good. We went to a few clubs and rooftop spots were you can see the Bund lit up at night.

  10. author
    kat.theo
    03 Jun 2019
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    If you like the attention , you will love China. If not.. It can become very overwhelming at times haah. The pictures never stop for a second and people stare and stare for days out of curiosity but not because they don’t want you there but because they are curious. You should learn some Chinese to survive haha .

  11. Beverly_Jones
    16 May 2019
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    Out of all the categories to describe Shanghai id say Adventurous is the last word id use. Though this place is filled with amazing places to visit like The Bund i don’t see how one can find anything adventurous to do in Shanghai. Its Its mostly for exploring and being seen. People kept taking pictures of us an i can only assume its because they never seen black people in person before. Hardly anyone spoke English here. Google is also banned in China. They don’t believe in turning up. The environment jus seems very chill and easy going. I think Shanghai can be explored thoroughly in less than 5 days and thats pushing it. Beautiful places to see here.

  12. ShervanWyllie
    28 Apr 2019
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    Travelling while black in China!! so i’ll start with this quote !!
    “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
    Shanghai is one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Asia, It is now a very attractive city for travelers from all over the world, and a major destination for foodies like myself, historical adventurers and most importantly!! shoppers, like most of us. While you’re sight seeing, anywhere in china, most Chinese natives are also sight seeing you as a black traveler. Its as if they’ve never seen such beautiful melanin in all their life. It can be uncomfortable being stared at, or being asked to take pictures with but embrace it. The Chinese locals are very friendly and are always willing to help in anyway that they can. I learned how to use chop sticks from a local and was given advice on great night life places as well as great local food shops around the city!

  13. elle_kepra
    elle_kepra
    15 Apr 2019
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    Shanghai is a very beautiful cosmopolitan city that will make you live first hand, the modernity of China. It has nothing to envy to Western cities such as Paris or New York, with its streets dedicated to shopping, the culinary alleys, its skyscrapers, and the magnificent night panorama that you have on the Bund. You can also wander through the hutongs to get a glimpse of old Shanghai.
    A great city for young, solo travelers

  14. author
    Romie Williams
    09 Apr 2019
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    I visited Shanghai in March 2019. I’ve been to countries in different parts of the world and was excited to see what “traveling while Black experience” I would have in China. I heard all kinds of rumors prior to visiting – rumors about invasiveness, staring, hair-touching – and was actually mentally preparing for the worst. I ended up being overly-prepared because my experience while Black in Shanghai was nothing like I’d expected. *Disclaimer: This is not to be confused with my experience while Black in China in general. In certain tourist areas and in other parts of the country, I was definitely a spectacle. But that is for a separate review.*

    During my time in Shanghai, I was surprised at how much I was left alone. It was actually like I was invisible. Shanghai is a humongous, modern city and like in most big cities, people just don’t pay that much attention to you. So as I walked around, ate, lived, and minded my business, I wasn’t the subject of stares, pointed fingers, or laughs. No one even looked my way as I stood in the middle of a packed subway train. And I liked that.

    In regards to the other categories: food is BOMB.COM, your dollars go a long way, there’s SO much to see and do (probably more than you can do during one trip), and the Shanghai skyline is literally something out of a dream.

  15. author
    Ke_ali
    08 Apr 2019
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    Shanghai, was not my favorite place traveling. If you are black and do not like attention this is the wrong place to visit. My friends and I were constantly being asked to take pictures and everyone tried to touch our hair. The food was decent and I think the city overall is great for emerging into a different culture.

  16. author
    Iamjstaggs
    04 Mar 2019
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    This city is like time square on steroids. My wife and I stayed at the Regal Plaza. It’s a beautiful hotel, breakfast is free in the morning and it starts at 06:30. We visit Disney Land, it was a cool experience. We visit the Shanghai Museam to see Chinese art, furniture and jade. We visit the emerald exhibit center, the city god temple is a must see! The night life here is AMAZING! The best club to visit is Bar Rouge!

  17. author
    WorldWideWhitehurst
    07 Dec 2018
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    I really don’t like big cities. I enjoy the nature more than “buisness buildings,” but after Shanghai I know what a city should look like. This city dwarfs New York. The construction of these building is breathtaking and masterful. This is my favorite big city now and I can’t wait to return. The Shanghai Tower is a must visit. I am afraid of heights and my knees are still shaking thinking about the towering skyscraper. But the view of the Bund from on top and the rest of the Ciry is a memory that lasts a lifetime. The Bund from the ground is also a must see. I stress walking to view the lights shining off the river to start your weight loss goals. When you get home you will be motivated to continue hoping to return to the Bund with a new body. I love this city and need to return to get more tailored suits??

  18. author
    Miss_Prii
    04 Oct 2018
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    Having moved to China only 2 months ago, Shanghai is a city that I am still discovering every day, but there is more than enough things to do in this city to keep you exploring for a while. With a population of 24 million people, it gets quite overwhelming sometimes ,and it is important to plan your travels well. National Chinese holidays are absolute chaos and you will spend most of your sightseeing time in lines just to purchase ticket and enter the place. Also, it becomes almost impossible to get good photos when it is this busy as there are just far too many people.
    There are a few tips I have BEFORE coming to Shanghai (or China in general) ;
    – Download a VPN as most social networking sites such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Twitter are blocked, as well as all google products
    – Download Didi from an App store, it is basically the chinese version of Uber and there is a function for you to pay via cash . The app is in English and the message function allows you to communicate with the driver as the messages are all translated.
    -If you’re planning to stay for a while, Shanghai Metroman or Metro App is quite usefull. most tourist attractions are walking distance from any metro stop and thus you can travel the entire city by metro. I would recommend buying a metro card which you can always load money on if needs be
    – Bon App is great if you’re big on bars, nightlife and restaurants in general. This app will tell you about different deals for each day of the week and you can also see the business hours and reviews from other users.
    – Mobike App is particularly useful if you like exploring the city . ‘The app requires your personal details including passport number and picture of your passport. You basically scan the barcode on the bike and go. You can pay for this using electronic transactions.

    *Things to do*

    1. SHANGHAI DISNEY !!!! The resort is a bit far out from central shanghai and I would recommend allocating 2 days to this park just so that you can truly enjoy everything. You can access the park using metro line 11. It is absolutely amazing. Just a warning, in peak season, ticket prices are increased by RMB 200 and the waiting time for rides could be up to 1.5h. However, it’s definitely something you should do.

    2. SHANGHAI TOWER. The tower is the second tallest building in the world , second to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. I visited the tower at night and the views are absolutely spectacular. The tower overlooks pretty much all of Shanghai and the beautiful Bund river. The city lights made the night views even better for me, however, I am sure it is equally amazing by day.

    3. THE BUND. The bund is one of Shanghais most famous tourist attractions and can be seen from either side. It is particularly beautiful as sunset as the lights come on , and the sunsets behind the buildings. One side of the bund is doted with European style buildings owing to the history fo Shanghai and this makes it all the more special.

    4. JING’AN TEMPLE. This huge temple is right in he middle of all the hustle and bustle of Shanghais Jing’An district. Entrance is free and you get lost in all of it’s beauty forgetting that you are in a huge city.

    5. ORIENTAL PEARL TOWER is Shanghais television and radio broadcasting tower. You are able to enter the tower and go up to one of it’s many observatory decks . There is even a revolving restaurant which gives you 360 degree views of Shanghai.

    6. M50 ART DISTRICT , if art is your thing and you are looking to enjoy a bit of tranquility in this big city then this is definitely the place to go. There is a collection of small art galleries and quaint shops in this location. Everything closes at 5:30pm so it’s best to try to visit around lunch time to enjoy the tranquility.

    7. SHOPPING – there isn’t any specific place that I would recommend for shopping in Shanghai as the whole city has enormous malls which are any shopping lovers paradise. You are able to get pretty much everything you would need here. You just have to keep a look out.

    Overall, China is really great. The densely packed city does take some getting used to and the pollution can really get to you. However, the people are friendly and always willing to assist. NEVER drink the tap water,and I wouldn’t recommend eating street food if you’ve just arrived. Give your body some time to adjust. Being ‘black’ in this city is most certainly something – the locals are usually amazed to see someone of colour and may even ask for a picture. Don’t get offended, it’s just a thing here.

  19. author
    Elana_Wof
    20 Aug 2018
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    ITS LIT. I was there for a month and living on $50 a week. The pollution is BAD. But the people are so sweet, the food is amazing and there’s things to do everywhere. I ate things like chicken heart, chicken feet etc. I also shopped my little butt off. Had to leave tons of clothes behind because of the amount of stuff I brought. I didn’t mind because the people there are pretty poor and appreciate anything American. Definetly take the subway, visit the Pearl Market, the Silk Garden and on Yangchang Rd, there is a “cafeteria” that has the best soup dumplings Shanghai has to offer. It’s located right by Shanghai university which is where I stayed. The clubs are poppin and you can wear whatever you want. From Ugg’s to stilettos. You don’t need to know the language because the Chinese speak money (just always have a calculator handy and maybe a note pad). All in all China is dope. Definetly go visit and watch your world views change!

  20. Forever_Saint_Travels
    05 Aug 2018
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    On my way to Thailand I had a 12 hr layover in Shanghai Because our connecting flight was the next day China will grant you a 24 hr visa that allows you to leave the airport and return. ( That’s important to know) The city it self is stunning and the food is authentic and rich with flavor. The taxi drivers at the airport can be a bit much and overwhelming at first but once you get past that it pretty much down hill. I will strongly suggest downloading a Translator it saved me valuable time and ensured what I communicated was understood in their native language from mine. I was able to get a decent priced taxi … hotel near by and great food just by getting over that language barrier. The sky was the limit after that.

  21. author
    domenique
    23 Jul 2018
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    Shanghai was AMAZING!!! Everything from food, shopping, site seeing, entertainment, transportation and money it was all worked the out well. I highly recommend traveling to Shanghai! My wife and I went for our honeymoon and it was a good time. We stayed in an Airbnb located right in the bund so we have a benefit of seeing the Oriental Pearl Tower light up every night we were there.

    Activities I recommend is Shanghai Disney, Cruise around The Bund, Nanjing Road, People’s Park, Acrobatics Show, and Malls.

  22. Christian-Nicole_Griffin
    05 Jun 2018
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    On my way to Thailand I had a 12 hr layover in Shanghai (with 10 of my friends btw) . Because our connecting flight was the next day China will grant you a 24 hr visa that allows you to leave the airport and return. If the flight is not technically the next day they will make you stay in the airport ( We had this issue on the return trip) Anyhow it took us like 3 hours for us to get through customs so we didnt get to our hotel until very late. Our hotel accommodations for the night (Shanghai Huadong Business Hotel) was complimentary of Chine Eastern Airlines but I would give it like 3 stars. It was tolerable but some of the rooms had a weird smell. We wanted to go out since we only had one night in Shanghai but unfortunately because it was during Chinese New Year ( mid Feb) most places were actually closed by 10pm. During this holiday people, spend a lot of time with their families so the city is pretty dead. However, the hotel staff did manage to find one place for us to go. We went to a place called Phebe Club. This was a legit club/ with lights/ DJ and tables. We didn’t have to pay to enter but we had food while we were there. We paid about $20 USD per person and they brought out several plates of fried rice/ fried chicken and some sort of soup with noodles. Although it was hard to communicate the staff was extremely nice and helpful. So not too bad of a night :)

  23. author
    Capt.
    10 May 2018
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    Shanghai is an amazing city. It’s the second largest city in China. I would consider it the best city in China. The city is a lot more cleaner compared to the other cities in China. The streets are written in both English and Chinese which makes it easier to travel. Compared to Beijing where the addresses of buildings and streets are not clear. I was in Shanghai for a weekend and I fell in love with the city. I stayed at Shanghai City Central Hostel. It’s a great hostel. I stayed in a standard twin room, it was clean, the staff was friendly and it was inexpensive. During the day I would tour the city and walk The Bund. The Bund is a major tourist attraction and it is beautiful. The Bund is a long platform that follows and overlooks the Huangpu River. From there you will see Shanghai Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai Financial Tower and other unique architecture. At night the buildings near The Bund have a light show. It finishes at 10 pm. There are many nightclubs to visit while your in Shanghai. The nightlife there is amazing. Another spot I visited was Nanjing Lu which is a shopping district. It’s a long street with many restaurants, arcades, clothing stores etc. Its always live and vibrant at night and during the day. The best way to get around the city is by train. All of the train systems in China are very similar. All their lines are numbered and all stations are written in English. Obtaining a train pass is the best way to travel. You will be able to load  money on to the pass. I would start with 100 rmb ($20) and that should last a week. In China you need a VPN to access websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The government has those sites blocked. The Chinese have their own social platform called Wechat. Download it before you get to China. It’s Facebook, Twitter, Android Pay, Instagram all combined into one. The most fun I had was late at night around 2 am. The city shuts down and the streets are empty. It’s a great way to see the city. How I got around at night was by bicycle. Riding in the streets with no traffic was amazing. In China there are many bicycle sharing apps. The one I used was called Bike Share. It is on WeChat. My best advice when travelling to China is to become friends with a Chinese person. It is very important to have a Chinese friend no matter where you go in China. Things become a lot easier. Everything I know now is because of what a Chinese person taught me.

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