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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 holiday)

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

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, celebrated nationwide)

Colourful paper lanterns line the streets of Shanghai and throughout China on this day. According to tradition, they are lit to see celestial spirits flying in the light of the first full moon of the lunar calendar. 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 holiday)

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

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 holiday)

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 holiday)

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.

Mid-October–mid-November : Shanghai International Arts Festival (local event)

Lasting a full month, this programme of cultural events includes the Shanghai Art Fair and the exhibitions of the Shanghai Biennale (every two years) as well as an array of dance, music and theatre events at various venues across the city, featuring leading artists and troupes from around the world.

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, sometimes bringing the heat index as high as 45°C (113°F) or more. Typhoons and sudden, 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

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, 30 kilometres (19 miles) south-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 for the first two hours, CNY 5 each hour thereafter, with a maximum of CNY 60 for 24 hours). Two long-term parking areas are also available (CNY 40 per day).
    • 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.
  • 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 110.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +86 (0)21 6834 7575
  • Website : http://www.shanghaiairport.com

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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 rail

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.

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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.).

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:

  • Changning District: Zhongshan Xi Lu 2525, room 410
  • Huangpu District: Nanjing Dong Lu 561 and Jiu Jiao Chang Lu 149 (Yu Garden)
  • Jing An District: Nanjing Xi Lu 1699
  • Luwan District: Chengdu Nan Lu 127
  • Pudong: Lujiazui Xi Lu 168, Zhengda Guangchang, first floor

Further information available online for visitors to China

The official website of the China National Tourist Office (CNTO), maintained by its New York office, provides a wealth of information on Shanghai.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in China is the renminbi yuan (¥).

1 € = 7,77 ¥

1 ¥ = 0,13 €

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

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Medical information

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:

Water

Drinking tap water should be avoided in Shanghai, even in hotels and trains. However, all hotel rooms are equipped with electric kettles. You should always boil the water from the tap before drinking it. While sightseeing and in restaurants, you should drink only bottled water provided in sealed, tamper-proof containers.

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Administrative formalities

Citizens or nationals of all but a handful of countries must be in possession of a visa to enter China, regardless of the length of their stay.

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

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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: Nĭ hăo

Good afternoon / Good evening: Wănshang hăo

Goodbye / See you soon: Zàijiàn

Yes: Shì

No:

No, thank you: Bù le xièxie

Thank you very much: Fēicháng xièxie

I don't understand: Wǒ bù dǒng.

Could you repeat that: Qǐng zài shuō yíbiàn?

Please: Qǐng

What time is it: Xiàn zài jĭ diăn le?

Excuse me: Duìbuqĭ

Airport: Jīchăng

Train station: Huǒ chē zhàn

Taxi: Chūzūchē

Hotel: Bīnguăn

Hospital: Yīyuàn

Bank: Yínháng

Telephone: Diànhuà

I'm (…): Wǒ shì (…).

I'm looking for (…): Wǒ zhăo (…).

How much is this: Zhè duōshăo qián?

Do you have (…): Yǒu méiyǒu (…)?

Where can I find (…): Wǒ zài nǎ li kě yǐ zhǎo dào (…)?

Where can I buy (…): Wǒ zài na li kě yǐ mǎi dào (…)?

I'd like (…): Wǒ xiǎng (…).

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Good to know

00 86
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Shanghai)
6 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg

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

And what about 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.