Shanghai Travel Tips

Shanghai Travel Tips


Passport holders of 53 countries and regions including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand enjoy a 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit when taking an international transfer via Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Hongqiao International Airport (SHA), all railway stations and cruise ports in Shanghai.

Visitors from other countries still have to obtain a visa before entering the city. You can apply for the visa in the Consulate of P. R. China in your country. Alternatively, you can obtain the visa through a travel agency. Special fast applications can be generally completed with 24 hours.

Cruise passengers from all foreign countries can enjoy a 15-day Visa-Free Policy for Cruise Tour Groups to Shanghai if they meet all the requirements.

Further information:   China Embassies Abroad  

Road Sign in Shanghai
Road Sign

Health and Hygiene

Before entry and departure, all visitors need to fill in the Health Declaration Card. Upon entry, all  visitors need to accept the body temperature scanning.


Currency and Banks

Currency in mainland China is RMB (Ren Min Bi), namely CNY. So is in Shanghai.

Bank: Shanghai Branch of Bank of China is located in Zhongyin Building, No. 200, Yincheng Middle Road, Pudong New Distrit. It has dozens of sub-branches. Foreign exchange service is provided in these branches.
Most banks in the city open from Monday to Saturday.
Office Hours: 9:00 - 17:00, From Monday to Friday
9:00 - 13:00, Saturday



Dialing Code:

International long-distance telephone: Please dial 00 + country code + city code + telephone number
More on Shanghai Area Code & Zip Code


Phone booth is easily found in the street. CNY 0.5 every three minutes and CNY 1 every five minutes at coin call.
Time Zone: GMT + 8
Voltage: 220 V, 50Hz alternating current
Tip: 0 - 15% in restaurants and hotels
Dining: Reservation is necessary. Make a reservation 24 hours beforehand when planning to dine in a well known restaurant. KFC, McDonald's, Yonghe Soybean Milk and Xinya Da Bao provide food delivery.
Toilet facilities: big shopping malls, fast food restaurants, subway station and main scenic spots have clean and sanitary toilets. Some have to be paid. The price is no more than CNY 1.

Postal Savings Bank of China
Postal Savings Bank of China
Telephone Booth
A Telephone Booth

Useful Numbers

Fire: 119
Police: 110
Ambulance: 120
Consumer Complaint: 12315
Tourists Complaint: 64393615
Telephone Trouble: 122
Local Telephone Number and Long-distance City Code Inquiry: 114
International City Code Inquiry: 116
Weather Forecast: 121, 221
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Customer Service Center of Post Office: 185
Train Ticket Reservation: 63171880, 8008207890
Coach Ticket Reservation: 56630230
Hongqiao International Airport Consultation: 62688918
Pudong International Airport Consultation: 38484500


Yuyuan Bazaar during Spring Festival
Yuyuan Tourist Mart during Spring Festival
with other cities throughout the country, Shanghai celebrates all Chinese public holidays, like Chinese New Year, International Labor Day, Children's Day and National Day, etc. In addition to the national holidays, local regional folk festivals add their own touch of traditional jubilation to city life. On every Spring Festival Eve, local people swarm to Longhua Temple to toll the bell to celebrate the coming New Year. The Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival is held during April. In May there is the International Dragon Boat Race in the Qingpu District. Established in 1993, there is the Shanghai International Film Festival. This is the only international film festival to be held in mainland China. The Shanghai Tourism Festival is held during September and October; this includes a wide variety of celebrations and activities.

In September, 2004, the Shanghai Formula One World Championship was held for the first time in China. This prestigious event which is the world's fastest, most expensive motoring competition with the highest of technical standards helps to promote the image of the city's economic development and tourism industry and brings commercial opportunity to the city. It also hosts many other international competitions and conventions, such as the APEC Convention, International Ballet Competitions, etc.


Getting to know more tips for visiting China, please visit China Travel Advice.

 Top 10 Things to Do in Shanghai

- Last modified on Nov. 26, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Shanghai Travel Tips
Asked by Smith from INDONESIA | Nov. 25, 2018 12:15Reply
Need directions to nearest post office in Shanghai near World Union Cosmo Service Apartments.
Answers (1)
Answered by Gloria from USA | Nov. 26, 2018 01:06

China Post, located at No.311 Yuyuan Road, about 4 minutes from the hotel. You can set out to west to North Urumqi Road, then walk about 140 meters and then turn right into Yuyuan Road. And go on walk about 70 meters to the China Post.
Asked by NK Wang from VIETNAM | Nov. 21, 2018 06:24Reply
Is transit visa required for Vietnam nationals to layover (14hrs) in Shanghai Pudong airport (PVG)?
We are Vietnam nationals and we will have a 14 hour layover in PVG to enroute to Osaka, Japan. We will be flying with Japan Airlines. We would like to ask if we require a transit visa for our overnight layover. We do not intend to leave the airport by the way.

Answers (1)
Answered by Charles from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 22, 2018 22:03

No, you can enjoy the 24-hour free visa.
Asked by June Matthews from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 16, 2018 17:04Reply
Fly UK to Shanghai join cruise 48hrs later. Do I need to apply in UK for visa stay for 48hrs or not?
Answers (1)
Answered by Radin from USA | Nov. 18, 2018 22:30

If you stay in SH for 48 hours and then leave China from SH to the third country, you are eligible for 144 hours free visa and you don't need to apply for the visa in UK.
Asked by Loraine from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 04, 2018 00:32Reply
Am flying into Shanghai and joining cruise ship 2 days later
do am I ok with the visa free 72 hours?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ivey from USA | Nov. 06, 2018 18:07

If you leave Shanghai by ship from the ferry port, you cannot qualify for 72 hours free visa because you can only allowed exit and entry China through Pudong or Hongqiang Airport.

But you are eligible for 144 hours free visa policy if your itinerary was A country - Shanghai - C country.
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