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East really does meet West in this unique location. Fly to Shanghai with Qatar Airways and you’ll encounter a city that is the beating heart of traditional China, yet has fully embraced the modern world. Towering skyscrapers sit alongside ancient pagodas, a juxtaposition of old and new. Flights to Shanghai are now available from most international departure points, making it easier than ever to try a taste of the Orient.
Your trip to Shanghai can alternate between the ancient and the ultra-modern, all within a few steps. For a glimpse of ‘Old China’, Yuyuan Gardens is full of traditional architecture and open spaces. Slightly more unusual is the Zhujiajiao Water Town, a 400-year old water village reached by a five-arch bridge spanning the Cao Gang River. Its maze of narrow streets and alleys are lined with traditional traders and stores, making this an authentic Chinese experience that’s a world away from the usual tourist trappings.
The Shanghai Museum charts the history of the country with some of the most breathtaking examples of Chinese porcelain and art. If you have a head for heights, take a ride a quarter of a mile up the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong Park, in the Lujiazui district of the city. The People’s Square is also featured on almost every tour itinerary – a guided tour of the Square gives you a more complete perspective on its importance throughout the centuries, right up to recent events.
No trip to Shanghai is complete without a stroll down the Bund, the waterfront district of Shanghai, finished off with refreshments on the rooftop terrace of the ‘M on the Bund’ restaurant.
Travel to Shanghai and you’ll encounter a city that combines modern and ancient relaxation techniques. For the ultimate tech experience, go for a ride on the ultra-modern Maglev train, which reaches speeds of up to 430km/h (the trip from the airport to the city centre takes just eight minutes!). If you want to find out more about ancient Chinese meditative techniques then head to any of the parks and experience Tai Chi. Plenty of schools throughout the city also offer one-day courses in Chinese cooking, while the Chinese passion for massage and wellness techniques means that there are plenty of spas for visitors to relax in.
Personal guided tours are available throughout the city, and are probably one of the best ways to discover gems that are a little off the tourist trails.
Chinese food is renowned for its variety and quality. Shanghai’s food is primarily influenced the cuisine of the surrounding Jiangnan region and is typified by the ‘sweet and sour’ combination that is common in Chinese cooking around the world. Seafood is a big influence in Shanghai cooking, and local specialities include boiled eel and fried shrimp. Vegetarians are well catered for, with plenty of soy-based dishes available.
During your trip to Shanghai you’ll also be able to snack on street food that’s hot, spicy and delicious.
The ultimate Chinese retail experience has to be Nanjing Road, a padestrianised area that runs from the Bund to Hongqiao, with the People’s Square right in the middle. The underground AP Xīnyáng Fashion & Gifts Market is the city’s largest collection of stalls and a perfect place to buy authentic Chinese goods, crafts and cloth. There’s even an entire section of the market devoted to pearls. For antiques and collectibles head to Dongtai Road Antiques market. For high-end luxury goods the best location are the malls of Nanjing Road West.
Flights to Shanghai with Qatar Airways arrive at Terminal 2, Pudong International Airport.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Shanghai please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Renminbi (CNY)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type A / I
International dialing code: +86