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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Shanghai

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Shanghai each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

January/February : Spring Festival (Chinese New Year, national)

As China is still largely a rural country, Chinese New Year celebrations are exceedingly important, emphasizing rebirth and renewal. Coinciding with the new moon on the first day of the first lunar month, in ancient times the start of the festival marked the beginning of the new season for planting crops, the ideal moment to pray for a good harvest. For three days, celebrations involve merrymaking and entertainment of many kinds, both at home with family members and outside in the streets: firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and demons, fireworks, etc.

February/March – Fifteenth day of the first lunar month: Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Jie, national)

Colourful paper lanterns line the streets of Shanghai and throughout China on this day. Children and adults parade through the city carrying long bamboo poles hung with smaller lanterns. This festival officially ends Chinese New Year celebrations.

May 1 : Labour Day (national)

August – Seventh day of the seventh lunar month : Double Seventh Festival (Qixi, national)

Also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day, this romantic festival has been celebrated in China for centuries. Traditionally, this was the day when young, single women prayed for skill in needlework in order to attract a husband and bear children. The name of the festival refers to the seventh daughter of the Jade Emperor, a weaving maid, who was only allowed by her father to see her beloved, a lowly cowherd, once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Gifts of bouquets of flowers or chocolates, special dates, romantic dinners, and dance parties are among the celebrations during this day, highly anticipated by all single people in Shanghai.

September/October – Fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month : Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiu Jie, national)

Also known as the Moon Festival, this is the day in the year when the moon is particularly round and bright, a symbol of unity and familial happiness. The main feature of this traditional festival is the sharing of cakes with family and friends.

October 1 : National Day (Guoqing Jie, national)

Commemorates the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, proclaimed by Mao Zedong. Celebrations held throughout the city include fireworks, military parades, concerts and dance parties.

December 25 : Christmas (national)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Shanghai

Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate, with four distinct seasons. Summers tend to be hot and very humid. Heavy rains are common. Winters are usually mild with very little snow, but can be bitterly cold at times.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 2/36 8/46 74/2.9 Not the best period to go
February 4/39 10/50 59/2.3 Not the best period to go
March 7/45 14/57 94/3.7 Not the best period to go
April 12/54 20/68 74/2.9 Not the best period to go
May 17/63 25/77 84/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
June 22/72 28/82 182/7.2 Good period to go Good period to go
July 26/79 32/90 146/5.7 Not the best period to go
August 26/79 31/88 214/8.4 Not the best period to go
September 22/72 28/82 87/3.4 Not the best period to go
October 17/63 23/73 56/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
November 11/52 17/63 52/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
December 5/41 11/52 44/1.7 Not the best period to go
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Shanghai Pudong International Airport

The Shanghai Pudong International Airport is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, 30 kilometres (19 miles) east of the city centre.

  • Three terminals:
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2
    • Terminal 3

Getting from the airport to Shanghai and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the S1 Yingbin Expressway and the Huaxia Elevated Road.
    • Short-term parking facilities are available near each terminal (CNY 10 per hour, CNY 80 for 24 hours).
    • Several rental car companies have counters at the airport. Although a local driver's licence is required to drive in Shanghai, cars with drivers may be hired outside each terminal.
  • By bus
    • Eight airport bus routes to central Shanghai are operated by Pudong International Airport, leaving every 15 to 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Travel time is between 60 and 90 minutes, with fares from about CNY 16 to CNY 22 (according to your destination).
  • By rail
    • Line 2 of the Shanghai Metro connects the airport with the Longyang Road, Lujiazui and People's Square stations. Ticket prices range from CNY 3 to CNY 10.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the airport and the fare to the city centre is about CNY 160.

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GETTING AROUND Shanghai

Shanghai covers an area of more than 7,000 square kilometres (2,700 square miles), which means that getting around requires a bit of advance planning! Although it might be easy to lose your way in this huge labyrinth, Shanghai has an excellent public transport system serving all points of the city.

By metro

For covering long distances, the Shanghai Metro is the ideal solution. There are 14 lines, four of which serve the centre of the city (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4). The basic fare is CNY 3 for any trip of no more than 6 kilometres, plus CNY 1 for each additional 10 kilometres.

By bus

Despite the extensive coverage offered by Shanghai's bus network (over 1,000 lines), buses are often crowded. But they are still the least expensive way to get around the city. Tickets costs between CNY 1 and CNY 3, depending on the distance travelled.

Note: Air-conditioned buses are indicated with a snowflake motif next to the bus number.

By taxis

Taxis are the mode of transport most used by visitors to Shanghai. Fares start at CNY 10.00 for the first 3 kilometres (2 miles), plus CNY 2.00 for each additional kilometre (0.6 miles). Night fares are CNY 13.00 for the first 3 kilometres, then CNY 2.60 for each additional kilometre.

By boat

Shanghai may also be explored by boat. There are more than 20 ferry lines, offering a fixed fare of CNY 1 per person.

By car

The international driver's license is not valid in China. Foreigners who wish to drive in China must hold a valid Chinese driver's license.

By bike

In Shanghai, riding is quite a feat! Traffic is dense and chaotic; cars and motorbikes do not follow the rules and cyclists are therefore vulnerable.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Shanghai, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address:
    • 561 Nanjing Donglu Shanghai
    • 149 Jiujiaochang Lu Shanghai
  • Telephone:+86 (0)21 5353 1117 / +86 (0)21 6355 5032
  • Website: www.meet-in-shanghai.net

Tourist Information Service Centres

At various locations throughout the city, the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration operates centres where you can obtain information and recommendations for your stay in Shanghai and its surrounding area. Listed below are the main addresses for the Tourist Information Service Centres in Shanghai:

  • CITS Shanghai Zonghuo Guoji Luxingshe: 240 Guangxi Bei Lu
  • CITS Huangpu: 561 Nanjing Dong Lu
  • CITS Luwan: 127 Chengdu Nan Lu
  • CITS New Area District: 1st Floor, Zhengda Square

China National Tourist Office

The official website of the China National Tourist Office (CNTO), provides a wealth of information on Shanghai.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in China is the Renminbi, usually known as Yuan (CNY).

JPY1 = ¥0.07

¥1 = JPY14.29

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Shanghai counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to China. However, obtaining a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine plus a polio vaccine is strongly recommended before leaving for Shanghai if it has been more than ten years since your last booster dose.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no food safety risks in Shanghai.

Water

As a general rule, it is recommended to drink sealed bottled water.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for China

A valid visa is mandatory to enter China, except for residents of certain countries.

For further information on visa requirements, contact the Chinese consulate general closest to your place of residence.

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Shanghai, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Chinese phrases that will make your stay in Shanghai a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Nǐ hǎo Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Nǐ hǎo</em>

Good evening: Wǎnshàng hǎo Good evening: <em>Wǎnshàng hǎo</em>

Goodbye: Zàijiàn Goodbye: <em>Zàijiàn</em>

Yes: Shì Yes: <em>Shì</em>

No: Bùshì No: <em> Bùshì</em>

No, thank you: Bù, xièxiè No, thank you: <em>Bù, xièxiè</em>

Thank you very much: Fēicháng gǎnxiè Thank you very much: <em>Fēicháng gǎnxiè</em>

Please: Qǐng Please: <em>Qǐng</em>

I don't understand: Wǒ bù míngbái I don't understand: <em>Wǒ bù míngbái</em>

Could you repeat ?: Máfan nín zài chóngfù yībiàn Could you repeat ?: <em>Máfan nín zài chóngfù yībiàn</em>

What time is it ?: Qǐngwèn xiànzài jǐ diǎn ? What time is it ?: <em>Qǐngwèn xiànzài jǐ diǎn ?</em>

Sorry / Excuse me: Bù hǎoyìsi Sorry  / Excuse me: <em>Bù hǎoyìsi</em>

Airport: Jīchǎng Airport: <em>Jīchǎng</em>

Train station: Huǒchē zhàn Train station: <em>Huǒchē zhàn</em>

Taxi: Jìchéngchē Taxi: <em>Jìchéngchē</em>

Hotel: Jiǔdiàn Hotel: <em>Jiǔdiàn</em>

Hospital: Yīyuàn Hospital: <em>Yīyuàn</em>

Bank: Yínháng Bank: <em>Yínháng</em>

Telephone: Diànhuà Telephone: <em>Diànhuà</em>

I'm (…): Wǒ shì (…). I'm (…): <em>Wǒ shì (…).</em>

I'm looking for (…): Wǒ zhǎo (…). I'm looking for (…): <em>Wǒ zhǎo (…).</em>

How much is (…)?: Qǐngwèn duōshǎo qián (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn duōshǎo qián (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Qǐngwèn nín yǒu ma (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn nín yǒu ma (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ zhǎodào (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ zhǎodào (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ mǎi dào (...) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Qǐngwèn nǎlǐ kěyǐ mǎi dào (...) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Wǒ xīwàng (…). I'd like (…): <em>Wǒ xīwàng (…).</em>

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Good to know

+86
+ phone number (without 0)
-1 : 00
of time difference with
Tokyo
No daylight savings time in China

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
Tipping is not expected in Shanghai's restaurants and cafés. On the other hand, it is quite common to thank tour guides and drivers by offering a small gratuity. Of course, the amount you choose to give is entirely up to you.

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