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Where to stay in Shanghai: best areas and recommended hotels

Shanghai is one of China’s most dynamic and exciting cities to visit. It hums with energy and is packed with enough things to keep visitors busy for weeks. Accommodation options run the full range from homely hostels and heritage hotels, to towering suites with staggering urban views. Skyscanner brings you our top hotels to help you figure out where to stay in Shanghai holiday.

Head to one of the beautiful and most fascinating cities in Asia. You can enjoy history, architecture, traditional customs, high-end shopping, and fancy nightlife all in one Chinese city: Shanghai! But in order to find just the right spot for you as a tourist, you’ll want to find out where to stay in Shanghai. We’ve compiled a list of wonderful accommodation ideas for you in a range of prices organized by areas! Make your hotel selection from these five areas: Jing’an, People’s Square, French Concession, the Bund, and Old Town.

Where to stay in Shanghai

1. Jing’an

Jing’an is a very central location in Shanghai, so you’ll have easy access to move around. It’s also where you’ll find a more Western experience if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s filled with good restaurants and pubs and has a great nightlife scene. If you want to do a little sightseeing, then you can check out the Jing’an Temple or the Shanghai Natural History Museum. Or have a traditional massage in one of the many massage parlours in the area!

Hotels in Jing’an

Le Tour Traveler’s Rest – a quality hostel for budget travellers

Le Tour’s is a great place for backpackers to settle into their Shanghai experience. Photo credit: Le Tour Traveler’s Rest

Le Tour Traveler’s Rest is housed in a former factory built in the 1930s. The towels produced here were once among the most used and best-known household items in China. Things have changed since then and the most recent incarnation of the building sees it is as a youth hostel with a variety of rooms from single-sex dorms to apartment rooms. There is a pleasant garden area for catching rays during the day, and bike hire, café and bar as well as a reliable travel agency that can help with those tricky train ticket bookings to far-flung parts of the country. The owners of the hostel have kept many of the factory’s original features and fittings with much of the timber being re-purposed for the floors and furniture seen throughout the hostel.

Address: No. 36 Lane 319, Jiaozhou Road
Rooms start at: SGD 70
Getting there: 12-minute walk from Jing’an Temple Station

URBN Boutique Hotel – an environmentally-conscious accommodation

Green values and gorgeous design marry beautifully at URBN. Photo credit: URBN

This award-winning place gets double plaudits for being China’s first carbon-neutral hotel and has an ethos geared towards maintaining the smallest carbon footprint possible. The hotel is situated in a former warehouse and much of the furniture comes from locally sourced and recycled materials. With only 26 rooms, a stay here has intimate warmth and promises to offer a sanctuary from our busy contemporary lives. Wood features prominently in the rooms and the warmth of the material is brought out by the soothing natural tones of the décor and furnishings. Jing’an Temple a short walk away is a good place for a bit of spiritual nourishment during the day and at night, while Tongren Lu is renowned for its raucous nightlife. The hip French Concession and historical People’s Square are also close by.

Address: 183 Jiaozhou Lu
Rooms start at: SGD 296
Getting there: 8-minute walk from Jing’an Temple Station

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2. The Bund

The Bund is a must for first-time visitors to Shanghai. For architecture lovers, this is probably the most beautiful – architecturally speaking – area of the city. This is a place for a good night out, especially if you enjoy a rooftop bar with a beautiful view! This area is a little ritzier, so keep that in mind when you book your hotel!

Hotels in the Bund

The EIGHT Art Hotel on the Bund – for the artistically-inclined

Sleek room at The Eight Art Hotel. Photo credit: The Eight Art Hotel

Those with an artsy disposition will enjoy a stay in this modernist industrial-styled hotel with its beautifully designed rooms which are minimal and calming and a roof terrace offering a soothing respite from the streets below. Walls are adorned with art prints and the hotel features a number of quirky designs to keep your mind ticking. There are frequent artistic happenings here including movie screenings on the roof, talks, wine tastings and dining events in the attached restaurant. The hotel is located a short walk from the Bund and the shopping delights of the central Puxi and offers good value in a great location.

Address: 7A Yan’an Dong Lu
Rooms from: SGD 92
Getting there: 12-minute walk from Yuyuan Garden Station

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai – amazing views of the Bund

The view from a room at the Ritz-Carlton is staggering. Photo credit: The Ritz-Carlton

Shanghai is all about vertiginous views and for those who want to gaze down at the twinkling city lights from the calm of your bed, head to the Ritz-Carlton. Located in the International Finance Centre in Pudong, the hotel features an abundance of 1930’s Shanghai style including shoeshine boys in specially designed uniforms and sleek Art Deco-inspired rooms. For night owls with a penchant for glam, the hotel’s rooftop bar, Flair, is the highest bar in the city with stunning views of Puxi and is without a doubt the most exclusive place in the city to be on Friday and Saturday nights. Pop over to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower or hop on the charming ferry over to the Bund and the shopping delights of Nanjing Road for daytime diversions.

Address: IFC, 8 Century Avenue, Lujiazui
Rooms start at: SGD 513
Getting there: 20-minute walk from South Pudong Road Station

The Peninsula Shanghai – luxury just minutes from the Bund

Eccentric and opulent Art Deco glamour can be found in abundance at the Peninsula. Photo credit: The Peninsula

The multi-award winning Peninsula offers its guests opulence and elegance on an unrivalled scale along the Bund with stunning views over the Huangpu River to Pudong. In keeping with the 1920’s Bund ambience, the 235 rooms are heavily accented with sensual Art Deco touches such as gorgeous curved glass features and materials used in the twenties including lacquered wood and polished chrome. If you can bear to drag yourself out of your room, you won’t need to step too far for champagne and chandeliers at Salon De Ning, a 1930’s speakeasy-style bar named after a famed Shanghainese socialite. For something more contemporary, head to the rooftop terrace bar to drink in the amazing evening views. During the day, have a wander around the Bund and don’t forget to take a peek into the old HSBC Bank to check out the beautiful interior design.

Address: 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
Rooms start at: SGD 580
Getting there: 9-minute walk from Nanjing East Road Station

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3. People’s Square

If you like to keep moving as a tourist, then book a hotel in People’s Square. It’s at the intersection of major subway lines, so you can easily access the other parts of the city. Also, you will find more student life here as the prices are cheap for housing. So, if you’re on a bit of a budget, then you’re in luck. Here, you can experience street food and cheap restaurants.

Hotels in People’s Square

New Harbour Service Apartments – perfect for family holidays

Enjoy tremendous city views from New Harbour. Photo credit: Nils and Araceli Jonsson Flickr

Finding accommodation suitable for the whole family can be a bit painful so look no further than New Harbour Service Apartments. The Apartments are within walking distance of Yu Yuan Gardens and People’s Square, have an indoor pool and staff with excellent language skills that can get their heads around the utterances of your four-year-old. Families here can choose between 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments which are generously sized and have a kitchenette and TV with English channels to keep the little ones occupied. Don’t expect super sleek contemporary décor but do expect a stress-free family holiday in the heart of the city at very reasonable prices.

Address: 88 Yongshou Lu
Rooms start at: SGD 129
Getting there: 4-minute walk from Dashijie Station

Andaz Xintiandi – high-tech comfort in the upmarket part of town

The Andaz is a technophile’s delight. Photo credit: The Andaz Xintiandi

Xintiandi means “New Heaven and Earth” and the area certainly lives up to its new moniker as this upmarket part of town is made up of modern versions of traditional Shanghainese 19th century shikumen (stone gate) houses which are now used as trendy cafes, bookstores and places to lounge with the beautiful people on weekends. If that floats your boat then check into Andaz Xintiandi, a new and intimate offering from the Hyatt group with stylish rooms featuring LED lighting that can be customised to suit your mood and an iPad guest solution system where you can control most functions in your room. You can even order room service with a finger prod or two to the provided iPad Mini! Rooms on higher floors have great views, and all guests are entitled to complimentary soft drinks and snacks all day. If you are a glamorous type with a thing for technology, then this is the place for you.

Address: 88 Songshan Lu
Rooms start at: SGD 275
Getting there: 10-minute walk from Xintiandi Station

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4. French Concession

An area was under French control until 1949, the French Concession still bears remnants of its past, visible through its colonial architecture. If you enjoy history and love the idea of travelling back in time, then this is the spot for you. You will love the old historic buildings such as the former residence of Sun Yat-sen. And, you can enjoy the nightlife and grab a fancy cocktail at one of the many cocktail bars in the area.

Hotels in French Concession

The Mansion Hotel – charm within the French Concession

Take a walk through Shanghai’s glitzy and edgy past at the Mansion Hotel. Photo credit: The Mansion Hotel

Nestled in the heart of the atmospheric French Concession, the Mansion Hotel is one of the city’s most charming accommodation options. This villa was built in 1932 and beautifully restored to its former glory in 2007 as a 40-room boutique hotel. The rooms feature monogrammed pillows, stunning floor tiles and pieces of authentic heritage furniture alongside modern touches such as flat-screen TVs, and bathrooms with tub and power shower. The villa was the former base of renowned Shanghai gangster, Du Yuesheng. Nicknamed “Big-eared Du”, he ran Shanghai’s opium and vice operations from this villa, which was home to some seriously swinging parties, as the many photos on the wall testify. After soaking up the roguish charms here, enjoy a bike ride around the shady streets of the French Concession and enjoy shopping in the many quirky boutiques or relaxing with a latte in a cosy cafe.

Address: 82 Xinle Road
Rooms start at: SGD 204
Getting there: 6-minute walk from South Shaanxi Road Station

Shanghai Garden Homestay- perfect for the hostel lovers

If you want to slow it down and bit and aren’t interested in those big fancy hotels, then book your Shanghai stay in Shanghai Garden Homestay! It has more of a hostel style feel. You can book a housing unit which also includes Wifi, a sofa, kitchen, and dining area. There are also laundry facilities, and the opportunity to hire a bike to catch a glimpse of the surrounding area. The Xihui Art Museum is not a far ride to the south, and if you’re looking to head out on the town the Shanghai way, then ride up north to Partyworld Karaoke Bar!

Address: Rm 101 No.3 Lane 270 Middle Urumqi Road
Rooms start at: SGD 134
Getting there: 7-minute walk from Changshu Road Station

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5. Old Town

Old Town is the section that’s inside the formerly walled in area of Shanghai. It’s a wonderful place for history lovers and photographers. Back during the concessions, this area remained more traditional, and foreigners didn’t really go here. But, now, it’s very different. If you choose to book your hotel here, you can enjoy the City God Temple in the centre of the commercial area. And, you can also view a part of history and visit the Old City Wall to see a remaining piece of the Old City.

Hotels in Old Town

Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel – perfect for history lovers

Stay in historic Old Town at the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel. This is a wonderful location as you’re close to the Bund and other tourist locations. It’s a little home away from home, and the trouble will be remembering to leave! You will find a swimming pool, a fitness room, and a bar and lounge. Plus, if you’re looking for a night out and don’t want to go too far, then head upstairs to the hotel’s own nightclub and DJ! By staying in the Old Town, you will be close to Yu Garden and Yuyuan Old Street.

Address: No.159 Henan South Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200010
Rooms start at: SGD 181
Getting there: Across the street from Yuyuan Garden Station (Exit 3)

Ibis Shanghai Yu Garden – great for families or those on a budget

If you’re travelling with a family or need to save a bit of extra cash for the sites and nightlife, then check yourself into Ibis Shanghai Yu Garden. But don’t worry, you won’t be sacrificing cleanliness or service by not paying as much. For the price you pay, you receive Wifi, baggage storage, and a coffeeshop/restaurant! This hotel has been very well-reviewed, so you can depend on its quality. But what most people love about this hotel is its incredible location. It’s just within walking distance to the Bund, Yu Garden, and Shanghai Tower!

Address: No 85 Zhoujin Road
Rooms start at: SGD 52
Getting there: 11-minute walk from Yuyuan Garden Station

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Ready to decide where to stay in Shanghai? Book cheap flights, hotels and car rental via Skyscanner or check out and download our free mobile app for easy browsing and booking on the go.

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Updated in June 2019. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.