Shanghai’s strengths lie in its variety of top-notch restaurants, vibrant nightlife spots and range of shopping opportunities. The city boasts world-class sporting facilities, highly anticipated annual events, and a selection of luxurious spas and saunas.
Of course, every city has its downsides- Shanghai’s natural green spaces are smaller than in other cities and it lacks the easy weekend getaways of many other Asian powerhouses. As dynamic and exciting Shanghai can be, the pace and density of the crowd can become exhausting.
While the city does have a few museums and renowned artists do occasionally come to Shanghai, for a city this influential, there could be more cultural attractions on offer.
Overall, Shanghai is a very pleasant place to live for expats and there is so much to see and do. Welcoming locals, foreign supermarkets, international restaurants, and English and French bookstores all work together to make life easy.
Shanghai boasts a wide variety of international brands that will be familiar to many people. Most of the biggest brands of West are represented in the city, although prices for goods such as clothing are known to be higher than in cities like London and New York. The city is also home to many exciting designers, both local and from abroad, with an increasing number of retail designer stores in areas such as the former French Concession Area, offering a great alternative to chain store retailers.
Shopping in Shanghai has become a tourist attraction in its own right. Entire streets have become sites for shopping pilgrimages from all over the world, with Nanjing street enjoying the status of being the best commercial street in the country.
People also have access to discount and bargains at stores and markets across the city. North Shanxi Road, for instance, is especially known for its footwear retailers and shoppers are almost guaranteed to find a good deal.
The strength of Shanghai’s nightlife lies in its variety. Expats can choose anything from hole in the wall Chinese restaurants and dive bars to Michelin-starred dining spots and upscale clubs on the Bund area.
Running along the western shore of the Huangpu river, the Bund is the waterfront area and one of the most popular tourist destinations of Shanghai. The area’s most prominent venues are sure to make for many memorable nights out.
While Shanghai lacks the number of green spaces on offer in other cities, it does have a few attractions of its own. There are a handful of forest parks in the city where residents can surround themselves with natural beauty, go for a run, fly a kite or enjoy a family picnic. Prominent among these is Gongqing National Forest Park to the northeast of the city center, which offers a variety of entertainment options in a scenic atmosphere.
The city also offers a variety of sports facilities, including football, American Football, Yoga, Tennis as well as more local activities and cultural events such as dragon boat racing and martial arts classes.