See Shanghai on the Cheap – Budget Travel Tips for Chinese Tourist City

in China

With Shanghai’s luxury hotels and bustling shopping districts, it’s pretty easy to spend a small fortune staying in this popular Chinese city.

But bargains can certainly be found in this busy Asian port if you know where to look.

The first key to saving cash is choosing the right time of year to visit. It’s a balancing act though. Accommodation is at its cheapest in winter, but the chilly temperatures and frequent rain can make visiting then unpleasant. Summer is the most expensive season to stay in Shanghai, but fall and spring provide the perfect balance between conditions and cost.

Luxury hotels similar to those you’d find in Europe or the United States have recently become common in Shanghai, but these options are very pricey. You’ll find more affordable rooms at university lodgings and on Nanjing Road. This is Shanghai’s most famous shopping district though, so avoid the temptation to spend up on the nearby stores!

Western style restaurants have filtered into Shanghai, but they’re often expensive. Instead eat as the locals do. Fast food restaurants serving regional treats like scallion pancakes and rice dumplings represent good value, as do the eateries on Yunnan Lu Gourmet Street. The street’s name makes it sound expensive, but with so many restaurants in direct competition the prices there are refreshingly reasonable. Also remember that like other Chinese cities, tipping is not expected in Shanghai.  

Shanghai has an affordable public transport system, with extensive bus and subway systems all designed to affordable get you where you want to be. But why not save your yuan and walk? The city is one of the easiest to navigate on foot in China.

By following these travel tips you should have a bit more yuan in your pocket than the average Shanghai tourist. With all that cash freed up, you might even be able to treat yourself to a meal of the city’s famous hairy crab, or a little shopping spree!

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