Shanghai’s heady mix of historical and hypermodern landmarks, tree-lined backstreets of the former French Concession, scattered parks and squares and traditional Chinese culture juxtaposed against breakneck economic development, makes this a city that begs to be explored camera in hand. Here photographer Oscar Tarneberg presents 25 top spots from which to capture Shanghai and its surrounds with 40+ images to inspire your visit.
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Wake up early to sample Shanghai at its best, and also at its quietest. Old habits die hard among the older residents, and the parks and open spaces will be full of people practicing tai chi and water calligraphy, or flying ornate kites. The Bund or the Xiangyang and Fuxing parks in the Former French Concession area are both great for this, and are highly atmospheric in the mornings. Watching a hazy sunrise over the skyscrapers from the Bund is a must-do while in Shanghai. Generally the city is in full pelt by 8am, so early mornings make for a pleasant change of pace.
The best times of year are spring and autumn. Winters are damp and cold, and the pollution is often much worse, leaving the city in a dull, colourless haze – particularly since the trees lack foliage. July and August are unbearably hot – sometimes hitting 40 degrees – and also humid. Always make sure to avoid public holidays: 1.3 billion people holidaying simultaneously puts a real strain on infrastructure and accommodation availability. During Chinese New Year in winter the largest human migration in the world takes place, and as much as 40% of Shanghai’s population leaves the city.
There are occasional discrepancies between co-ordinates provided and location on maps in this guide. This is a map provider issue over which SNAPP Guides has no control. Co-ordinates are accurate and using Google maps in Terrain mode works for most spots. See FAQ’s for more details.