Where to Stay in Shanghai in 2024 – 7 TOP Areas (& Hotels!)

The Shanghai skyline with iconic Oriental Pearl Tower and skyscrapers along the Huangpu River on a clear day

Hiya traveler, getting ready to visit Shanghai? Exciting! I hope you are going to love this crazy city of 26 (!!) millln people!

And I’m here to make your trip planning easier! If you’re wondering where to stay in Shanghai, I compared ALL the best areas and hotels in the city! I did all the research and cherry-picked the best options, so you don’t have to!

People’s Square is where to set sail if this is your first visit or you want to stay close to the central attractions!

Further below, I’ll share more details about this location but also reveal my insights and recommendations for 6 more areas, including hotels sorted by budget!

All that’s left for you to do is to book your stay as soon as possible to ensure you’ve spent your money on the most valuable option!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Here are the best hotels in People’s Square and The Bund, two prime and neighboring areas to stay in Shanghai:

Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:

Which area should you choose?

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Shanghai, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation

Shanghai is an enormous city! Its 26 million residents live in 16 districts, each divided into smaller neighborhoods – it is definitely not an easy task to understand what is going on for a first timer. 

I have selected the 7 best Shanghai districts for all types of tourists. I also made a quick list of my personalized recommendations for you:

Also, to secure uninterrupted internet access, I recommend you get an eSim data plan (like this one) with a VPN! You’ll need reliable VPN software to access Gmail, Instagram, WhatsApp and other popular platforms that are banned in China.

1. People’s Square – where to stay in Shanghai for the first time

Nanjing Road in Shanghai at night, illuminated by bright neon signs and crowded with shoppers

If you want to be close to all the main attractions and famous places in Shanghai, then People’s Square is the place for you!

The area is well-connected with the rest of the city (especially via People’s Square Metro Station). So, what can you do here? 

Top attractions include the Shanghai Museum, People’s Park (map), and Shanghai Grand Theatre made almost completely from glass. I highly recommend you visit the Shanghai Museum (free entrance!) or at least capture its unique design that resembles a Chinese cooking pot!

People’s Square sits in the center between West Nanjing Road and East Nanjing Road, with the latter offering great shopping opportunities for all tastes! I highly recommend you walk along the Nanjing Pedestrian Road to experience the buzz

There are also countless restaurants and street food stalls, meaning you can always explore new local foods! Jia Jia Tang Bao is a great place to try the most delicious homemade dumplings!

For the best experience, I recommend visiting People’s Square in the early morning! This is when the square is the least crowded by tourists! 

TIP: If you have time for a day trip, make it to the Zhujiajiao Water Town. This ancient city known as the Venice of China is only a 50-minute drive from Shanghai, but it will make you travel 1700 years back in time.

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in People’s Square Shanghai: a modern bedroom with a city view and vibrant bedding, an expansive building facade with reflective glass windows, and a cozy living space with a chic interior and large windows overlooking the city

Luxury (US$150 and up)

  • The Langham Hotel – This superb 5-star hotel is located near People’s Square and offers best-in-class amenities, including a full-service spa and a pool!
  • JW Marriott Shanghai at Tomorrow Square – Decadent 5-star hotel with 6 on-site restaurants, 2 gorgeous pools, and delicious international breakfast. Rooms are modernly furnished and have city views.

Mid-range (from US$80 – US$150)

  • Central Hotel Shanghai – This hotel is just 9 minutes on foot from People’s Square metro station. It has cozy, non-smoking rooms with single or double beds. You can try delicious Shanghai food in the on-site restaurant or use the hotel’s parking if you visit Shanghai by car.
  • Grand Central Hotel – This hotel is ideal for tourists because it is just next to The Bund. The nearest subway station is a 3-minute walk away. The hotel serves traditional Cantonese breakfast and has rooms perfect for couples!

Budget (up to US$80)

  • Campanile Shanghai Bund Hotel – A fabulous budget option with a central location near People’s Square and Shanghai Railway Station. Rooms have a city view, AC, and free Wi-Fi. They also have daily housekeeping.
  • Campanile Shanghai Huaihai – Another Campanile hotel with a more central location, rooms with private bathrooms, and a restaurant on-site. Rooms here have a cute décor that reminds me of beautiful student dorms.

2. The Bund – where to stay in Shanghai for nightlife

The bustling Bund waterfront promenade in Shanghai at night, with historic buildings lit up against the dark sky

The Bund (also known as Waitan) is a symbol of Shanghai and one of its most well-known attractions!

The Bund is a beautiful waterfront area near Huangpu River where you can walk and enjoy panoramic views over the city. It’s made of superb colonial architecture facing the modern skyscrapers of Pudong, truly encompassing Shanghai’s charm.

Besides being an excellent base for first-timers in Shanghai, this is also the perfect place for partygoers. You’ll find many bars here! The Captain Bar is open until early morning every day. The area also has some of the most highly-rated restaurants, like The Roof!

Did you know that Shanghai Metro (opened in 1993) is the largest metro network in the world by route length? It is 499 mi (or 803 km)!!

Here, you’ll find the Huangpu River Cruise agency (map) so you can experience Shanghai from another perspective!

From The Bund, you can easily reach Jade Buddha Temple in the Putuo District, just 15 minutes by car. This is one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Shanghai! 

The Bund also has a convenient location if you want to explore North Shanghai or Hongkou, a quiet district known for its Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in The Bund Shanghai: a towering building with a reflective exterior, a classic bedroom with elegant furnishings, and a rooftop pool with an exceptional view of the Shanghai skyline

Luxury (US$150 and up)

  • Fairmont Peace Hotel On the Bund – Here’s one of THE best hotels in Shanghai! It has a very convenient location, within walking distance of the Shanghai History Museum and the metro station. Lavishly decorated rooms and royal bathrooms are only some of the highlights.
  • The Peninsula Hotel – This gorgeous boutique hotel in Shanghai offers top-notch amenities. Guests can access the fitness center and stay close to dining options and popular attractions such as the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium.
  • W Hotel – Shanghai The Bund – A place where you can admire a view of the Huangpu River all day long! Other advantages of staying here include access to their on-site outdoor pool, train station pick-up service, delicious breakfast, and more!

Mid-range (US$70 to US$150)

  • Metropolo Classiq Shanghai The Bund Circle – A fabulous Art Deco hotel with a fitness room, daily breakfast, and double rooms and suites. A metro station is nearby, so getting to other parts of Shanghai will be easy.
  • Sofitel Shanghai Hyland – Enjoy spacious rooms and an early morning spa, then head for a delicious breakfast before hitting Shanghai streets! It’s all doable in Sofitel Shanghai Hyland.

Budget (up to US$70)

NOTE: Although I found cheap motels in Shanghai’s Bund, I decided not to include them in the list because they had poor ratings. I’ll share 2 other budget-friendly options instead!

  • Jinjiang Inn Nanjing Road – A budget-friendly option with free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service, luggage storage, and a coffee shop on board. The nearest public transportation stop is just a few steps away.
  • Fish Inn Nanjing East Road – A conveniently located hotel with clean rooms, attentive staff, and a bar and restaurant on-site. It’s also a great place to stay if you’re coming with a car, as they have their own parking.

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3. Shanghai Old Town – for an authentic Chinese experience

Traditional Chinese architecture along the waterways of Shanghai Old Town, with a boat and tourists in view

If you’re looking for a more authentic experience in the middle of the metropolis, head to Shanghai Old Town. You’ll be charmed!

The Old Town (called “Nanshi”) was the city center before the 1900s. You can see traditional houses, temples, teahouses, and modern buildings here. Although it’s not as authentic as before, it’s the closest area where you can taste Shanghai’s roots.

Popular attractions in this area include Yu Garden (or Yuyuan Garden) and Shanghai Old Street, both of which are some of the most beautiful places in Shanghai! The buildings in Old Street (also known as Miaoqian Dajie) date from the 1900s, and this area is a perfect spot to shop for souvenirs and try local snacks!

While you’re in the Old Town, check out the Huxinting Teahouse (map), a pagoda-like building constructed on a pond! (the prices may be high, but worth it if you are looking for the atmosphere).

The 17th-century Chenxiangge Monastery and the Futianjing Temple are other notable attractions worth visiting in this area.

TIP: If you like Shanghai Old Town, I also recommend you visit the Sijing Ancient Town, which is 45 minutes away by car! Here, you’ll find the Anfang Pagoda Tower and the super curvy Fulian §.

Here are the best hotels where you can stay in Shanghai Old Town:

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Shanghai Old Town: a simplistic bedroom with a golden hue, a comfortable living area with contemporary decor, and the facade of a Hotel Indigo with a classic design

Luxury (US$150 and up)

  • Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai – A 4-star hotel located inside a shopping center. It offers luxury amenities like a spa and a pool. You’ll also enjoy scenic city views from the rooms and a delicious breakfast.
  • Hotel Indigo Shanghai – An excellent luxurious hotel with spectacular views of Pudong! Located along the Huangpu River, Hotel Indigo offers welcome drinks upon arrival, an indoor pool, and modern air-conditioned spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi.

Mid-range (US$70 – US$150)

  • Riverdale Residence Xintiandi – Beautifully decorated apartments in a central location, offering a city view, a balcony, and an on-site bar. The suites are super spacious and bright!
  • SSAW Boutique Hotel – One of Shanghai’s best boutique hotels, perfect for a 2-person trip! They also have a wellness center on-site. You can get Italian coffee in the lobby or borrow books in English or Chinese from the hotel library.

Budget (up to US$70)

  • Jinjiang Inn Shanghai – If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Shanghai Old Town, this is the perfect option! It is located near tourist attractions and has super clean and compact rooms.
  • Ji Hotel Shanghai Yuyuan – A top budget place with contactless check-in and check-out services, free Wi-Fi, and a convenient location near The Bund. The Yu Garden is less than 10 minutes on foot!

4. Former French Concession – the coolest place in Shanghai

Quaint street in the Former French Concession of Shanghai, lined with shops and laundry hanging outside the buildings

The Former French Concession is one of the coolest and up-and-coming places to stay in Shanghai!

But what is the relation between Shanghai and France, you may wonder? The French Concession dates back to the middle of the 1800s, when the city was divided into smaller areas and conceded to the French government.

Since the neighborhood was a French colonial area, it has European and Colonial architecture and a feel. 

Popular smaller areas inside the Former French Concession include the pedestrian-friendly Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang districts. 

Tian Zi Fang’s narrow alleys, dating from the 19th century, are perfect for a romantic walk after sunset! Xintiandi, on the other hand, boasts stunning Shikumen Residences made of stone, as well as upscale restaurants and shops. Both districts are quite touristy!

Other attractions in the Former French Concession area include the Fuxing Park, once the largest park in Shanghai built by the French in 1909, and the impressive Shanghai Library. The Library features a Friendship section with more than 20,000 books in English and many other languages! All you need to enter the library is your passport.

I also recommend the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre featuring posters from the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.

Nearby, you can visit the unique Shanghai Museum of Public Security to learn about the history and inner workings of Chinese police.

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Former French Concession Shanghai: a sleek high-rise building, an inviting bedroom with modern amenities, and a spacious indoor pool under an arched ceiling

Luxury (US$120 and up)

  • InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin – Offering amazing 5-star service, the InterContinental in Shanghai also has a very convenient location. It’s near the metro station, street food places, and shopping opportunities.
  • Pullman Shanghai Skyway – Another excellent 5-star hotel in the heart of the French Concession area. The rooms have modern furnishings and are super clean. You can also swim in the indoor pool or visit the rejuvenating wellness center during your stay!

Mid-range (from US$70 – US$120)

  • Okura Garden Hotel – A lovely hotel with a huge garden, rooms with city views, and a well-equipped gym. You can also enjoy the indoor swimming pool and an on-site bar.
  • Mia Hotel – A very nice and clean hotel in the heart of the district. They have a restaurant on board as well as a daily breakfast. You can use their parking and luggage storage services for free.

Budget (up to US$70)

  • Magnotel Hotel – This highly-rated budget stay is centrally located and offers basic amenities like room service, free Wi-Fi, and laundry service. All rooms have air conditioning, too!
  • Tulu Apartment – This budget-friendly, recently renovated apartment features key card access, private bathrooms, and a balcony. It also offers non-smoking rooms and a relaxing in-house lounge.

5. Xujiahui – the best area in Shanghai for shopping

Shanghai's busy cityscape at twilight, with the spherical structure of the Pearl of the Orient glowing amidst traffic

Continuing to West Shanghai is Xijuahui, an “extension” of the French Concession neighborhood, and it’s known as the city’s catholic district. Xijuahui is considered another Downtown of Shanghai and is a great place to stay during your trip! 

Shanghai’s Catholic district is where you can find the St. Ignatius Cathedral (Xujiahui Catholic Church)! Nearby is the Hengshan Leisure Street, which connects the area with the Former French Concession district and is a perfect spot to explore Shanghai’s vibrant nightlife.

Xijuahui is a shopping paradise, perfect for anyone searching for souvenirs or electronics. Grand Gateway Shanghai, Xujiahui Business Circle and the Metro City Plaza are only some of its shopping hotspots. Btw, I love how Shanghai malls have tons of restaurants. The foodie in you will have the best time! 

Other unmissable sights in the area are Xujiahui Park (designed as a mini-Shanghai), the Shanghai Film Museum, and the Shanghai Botanical Gardens with 200+ acres of plants from China and the rest of the world!

Not far from here (a 13-minute ride), in South Shanghai, you can visit the 3rd-century Longhua Temple and the Longhua Martyrs’ Memorial Hall, commemorating those fallen under the Chinese Nationalist Party regime. 

And if you want to visit popular places in North or West Shanghai, no worries. This area is very well-connected to the rest of the city!

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Xujiahui Shanghai: an elegant lounge space with a sectional sofa and modern art pieces, a warm-toned bedroom with rich wood accents, and a contemporary hotel exterior with a streamlined design

Luxury (US$130 and up)

  • Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Xujiahui – One of the best 4-star hotels in Shanghai, featuring a bar, an on-site restaurant, a Roman-style indoor pool, and a fitness center. Plus, it is super close to Metro City, another popular shopping mall!
  • Crowne Plaza Shanghai – Crowne Plaza Shanghai offers modern, spacious rooms near the Shanghai Arts Film Center. It boasts a day spa, an indoor heated swimming pool, and an outdoor terrace and bar to relax with a drink after a long day.

Mid-range (US$70 – US$130)

  • Shanghai Soho Garden – A great option in Central Shanghai, close to Hongqiao Road and all the important attractions. Soho Garden has an excellent value-to-money ratio and even has a cute game room where you can relax.
  • Lee Gardens Hotel – This is a nice hotel conveniently located near downtown. It offers an airport shuttle, an on-site restaurant, and super clean rooms!

Budget (up to US$70)

  • Hanting Hotel Shanghai – If you are searching for a beautiful, clean, and cozy budget stay in this neighborhood, this is my recommendation! It’s close to Yongxin Square, and the nearest metro station is a short walk away.
  • Ji Hotel Shanghai Xujiahui – A budget option in the city center close to city landmarks. This hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms and an excellent on-site restaurant where you can get a tasty dinner.

6. Jing’an – where to stay in Shanghai on a budget

Jing'an Temple in Shanghai, contrasting ancient golden-roofed pavilions with the modern skyscrapers behind

If you’re on a short budget but still want to stay in an easily accessible area, search for budget accommodation in Shanghai’s Jing’an area! The best discount hotels Shanghai offers are here!

Jing’an revolves around the Jing’an Temple, an ancient Buddhist Temple nestled between high-rise buildings and bustling shops. Jing’an is a cool neighborhood within walking distance of the main spots of interest. 

Remember the Nanjing Pedestrian Street I talked about in the People’s Square section? Well, this 5.5km (3.4 miles) long street ends near Jing’an Temple! This means you can walk its whole length and explore Shanghai’s popular attractions on your way!

Popular attractions in Jing’an include the Natural History Museum and the Jing’an Sculpture Park, the only specialized park in Shanghai with large-scale sculptures. Here, you can also walk around Yanzhong Greenbelt, the city’s largest green zone with bamboo, ponds, and waterfalls.

Jing’an is packed with ex-pats and has a unique feel. If you stay here, you’ll always have a cool place nearby to eat, drink a coffee, or shop! You can even find Western shops and supermarkets in the Kerry Center complex!

Here are my hand-picked hotels in Jing’an for all budgets:

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Jing’an Shanghai: a bright and airy bedroom with plush bedding, a living room with full-length windows and tasteful furnishings, and a grand hotel entrance with a distinctive architectural style

Luxury (US$150 and up)

  • The Puli Hotel And Spa – Experience ultimate luxury and relaxation during your stay at Puli Hotel and Spa. The hotel is located near the city center and has a charming interior. Guests can use the on-site spa and indoor swimming pool.
  • The Portman Ritz-Carlton – This Ritz-Carlton hotel probably has every amenity you can think of: a swimming pool, a fitness room, a wellness center, a bar… And don’t get me started on the fabulous room décor!

Mid-range (US$60 – US$150)

  • Metropolo Classiq Dahua Hotel – A neat hotel with clean rooms, a convenient location, and friendly staff. Some amenities include daily housekeeping, a 24-hour check-in, a bar, and a fitness center.
  • Fairfield by Marriott – A 3-star hotel with free parking, private bathrooms, and selected rooms with a patio. They also have family rooms and an on-site restaurant.

Budget (up to US$60)

  • Campanile Shanghai – If you’re looking for a beautiful and cozy budget place near Jing’an Temple, you just found it! This property offers small but clean rooms and room service for your comfort.
  • Hi Inn Shanghai – A 2-star hotel with a cozy, modern decor that I just love! They have family rooms and super friendly staff. You can even book tours here!

7. Pudong – where to stay in Shanghai with family

Crowds walking along the Shanghai Bund, with a view of the modern Pudong skyline across the Huangpu River during daytime.

The Pudong District is the new, modern face of beautiful Shanghai! It’s a free economic zone with giant skyscrapers that form an unforgettable skyline! 

Area attractions include the Shanghai Tower (the tallest building in Shanghai with 127 floors!) and the Oriental Pearl Tower. You can climb the Shanghai Tower’s Observation Deck on a super-fast elevator and admire the Shanghai landscape. The ticket price is US$25!

As for the Oriental Pearl Tower, this is the 2nd tallest TV tower in China, and there are double-decker elevators that can take you to the top! The price for this attraction starts from US$27 and rises depending on the package type you choose.

But the beautiful skyline and towers aren’t the reason why I recommend this area for families. Possibly the most iconic attraction for kids, Shanghai Disney Resort (Disneyland!) is located here!

Also, in Pudong, you’ll find Century Park, Shanghai’s biggest park. The area spreads across 140 hectares and is a brilliant mix of Chinese, English, and Japanese botanical influences!

Did you know that Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze River, can also be seen in Shanghai? The river flows into the East China Sea just north of the Pudong district.

NOTE: Pudong is a huge area that stretches from the Huangpu River to the International Airport. However, its best parts are Lujiazui and Tangqiao, which are near the Huangpu River. This is where I recommend you to stay!

Lujiazui (Wall Street of China) is built as Shanghai’s new financial district (the old being The Bund), and here you can find offices of more than 400 banks and 5,000 companies! 

Tangqiao is a convenient residential district with plenty of hotels. Here, you’ll find Nanpu Square Park, where you can witness locals taking early morning and evening walks.

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Pudong Shanghai: a luxurious lobby with bold red accents and high ceilings, a serene bedroom with a comfortable setting, and an indoor pool with a tranquil ambiance and elegant design

Luxury (US$150 and up)

  • Mandarin Oriental Pudong – Splurge out with style in one of the best Shanghai family resorts with 5 on-site dining options, an indoor pool, and a spa center! You can enjoy the scenic views of the Huangpu River from the comfort of your room.
  • J Hotel – A 5-star hotel inside Shanghai Tower with a stunning décor. Romantic, enchanting, and perfect for couples. The restaurants have the most amazing views of the Shanghai skyline!

Mid-range (US$80 – US$150)

  • The Eton Hotel – This one’s located on a quiet pedestrian street, and the rooms have a great view of the city. It’s an excellent base for exploring Pudong! If you fancy glass wall bathrooms, this is a hotel for you!
  • Shanghai Haodu Grand Hotel Laoshan – A 3-star aparthotel with parking, daily breakfast, and everything you need for a casual stay. Rooms are compact and simple.

Budget (up to US$100)

  • iFamily Apart Hotel Hongfeng Branch – A cute apartment near a sports park featuring family rooms, private bathrooms, and parking. The manager is super attentive and will make sure you never miss a thing!
  • Holiday Inn Express – This Holiday Inn Express offers cozy and modern rooms, daily continental breakfast, and free on-site parking. You can choose from a range of smoking or non-smoking rooms accessible with key cards.

Best apartments in Central Shanghai, China

Twilight view of Shanghai's bustling city center with glowing skyscrapers and busy streets reflecting the vibrant city life.

Choosing an apartment stay in Shanghai makes sense if you want more freedom and comfort. Here are my top choices of Shanghai apartments sorted by budget. All of them are very central, close to everything you might need.

Luxury (US$120 and up)

  • Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund – This gorgeous apartment is located near The Bund in one of the city’s best and most central areas. It’s an elegant and luxurious place with top-notch amenities like an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a superb breakfast.
  • Kempinski The One Suites – This Jing’an apartment is located inside a hotel and is the perfect choice for a business traveler! The suites have 2 bedrooms, while the studios are compact but fully furnished and modern!

Mid-range (US$70 – US$120)

  • Riverdale Residence Xintiandi Shanghai – A super clean and cute apartment that offers everything you may need for a pleasant mid-range experience: a kitchen, a dryer, free Wi-Fi, and more. Perfect for a peaceful retreat in the center of the city.
  • Green Court Serviced Apartment – Be located near People’s Square and enjoy this lovely apartment with family rooms, a fitness center, and a 24-hour front desk. Parking is available on-site!

Budget (up to US$70)

  • iFamily Apart Hotel – A clean and compact apartment in Pudong featuring air-conditioning, a private kitchen and bathroom, and a flat-screen TV. There’s a nice view from the balcony, but the nearest metro station is 15 minutes on foot.
  • Ladoll Service Apartments – This budget apartment for couples has a private kitchen and bathroom. It is centrally located, just a 5-minute walk from the nearest metro station.
👑 Luxury price:$200
💵 Mid-range:$120
🛏️ Budget:$70
📍 Best area:People’s Square
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:The Peninsula Hotel
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Central Hotel Shanghai
👛 Best budget hotel:Campanile Shanghai Bund Hotel

BONUS 1: Best hotels near Shanghai Airports

Whether you want to avoid city traffic, catch an early or late flight, or have a short layover, you may want to book a stay near an airport.

Shanghai has 2 airports: Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA). I’ll share the best hotels near these 2 airports if you want to stay nearby. 

Let’s start with the best hotels near PVG Shanghai:

PVG Airport Hotels

A view of the tarmac at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, with various airline planes docked at the gates under a modern glass terminal
  • Luxury: Primus Hotel Sanjiagang – This hotel offers 5-star service, and it awaits a cool indoor pool, a conference center, and free airport drop-off!
  • Mid-range: Moonlo Hotel – Moonlo offers daily breakfast, concierge services, and free Wi-Fi. It’s a great hotel for families, as it even has a free children’s club.
  • Budget: Shanghai Joyful Star Hotel – A 2-star hotel near the airport with a shuttle service. They also have 2 restaurants on-site, so you’re never hungry!

SHA Airport Hotels

The entrance to Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, featuring a modern glass facade and a landscaped front area with bright flowers
  • Luxury: Cordis Shanghai Hongqiao – A luxury 5-star stay suitable for business travelers and everyone who wants to make the most out of their short stay in Shanghai! There’s an indoor pool, a fitness room, and a buffet breakfast every day.
  • Mid-range: Novotel Suites – Novotel rooms are modern, clean, and perfect for a good night’s sleep before your flight. Non-smoking rooms and free Wi-Fi are only some of the amenities.
  • Budget: Holiday Inn Express – This budget hotel is situated in a residential area near the Shanghai Zoo and the airport. It’s surrounded by shops, and it serves excellent daily breakfast.

BONUS 2: Best hotels near Disneyland

The fairytale-inspired castle at Disneyland Shanghai against a backdrop of blue skies, with flags and turrets reaching upwards

Visiting Shanghai Disneyland? I HIGHLY recommend you choose your accommodation near the Disney Resort to save you precious time on the commute! Here’s my pick of the best hotels for all price categories:

Melia Shanghai Parkside – A luxury hotel just 10 minutes on foot from the Disney Resort. They have family rooms, an on-site restaurant, and a stylish interior. The rooms have super comfortable bedding and a hot tub for ultimate comfort!

  • If your kid or you are fans of Toy Story, you can stay in a Toy Story-themed hotel right inside Disneyland! You can find more information here.
  • Another Disney on-site luxury hotel where you can stay is Shanghai Disneyland Hotel!
  • Hyakumangoku Onsen Hotel is a fabulous Japanese-style hotel 3 miles (5 km) from Disney. You can use their free shuttle or even see the evening Disney fireworks from the higher points of the hotel!

Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai – Not only is this hotel near Disneyland, but it also offers free shuttle service to it! You can enjoy the on-site gym, and your kids can have a blast at the children’s playground, too!

Novotel Shanghai Clover – The best value-for-money hotel near Disneyland for the whole family! They also offer a free bus shuttle to Disney (and the airport) and have a good complimentary breakfast.

FAQs about where to stay in Shanghai

A lively street scene at night in Shanghai with vibrant neon signs and a crowd of people, capturing the city's dynamic atmosphere

🇨🇳 What is the best area to stay in Shanghai?

The best area to stay in Shanghai is People’s Square! You’ll be centrally located and can easily explore everything from incredible shops, attractions, and museums to delicious, mouth-watering food stalls!

📆 How many days should I spend in Shanghai?

4 days is optimal to discover and explore the city’s top attractions without rushing through them all!

🚇 How to move around Shanghai?

Shanghai’s public transportation system is super efficient and will quickly get you anywhere in the city. But if you want a little more freedom, I always recommend renting a car.

🍂 What is the best time of year to visit Shanghai?

The best time to visit Shanghai is from October to November when the temperature is perfect for exploring the city.

🏰 Where is the best area to stay in Shanghai for Disneyland?

Pudong! Shanghai’s financial district is also home to Disneyland, making it a popular tourist destination for families and travelers heading to the enchanting theme park.

✅ Is Shanghai worth visiting?

Absolutely! Cool places in China like Shanghai are certainly worth visiting! Shanghai hides the mesmerizing mixture of the new and the old, has a dazzling skyline, and tons of attractions waiting to be explored.

🌃 Is Shanghai safe at night?

Yes! Shanghai is safe at night for everyone, including solo female travelers. The city has an excellent safety record and its streets are jammed with visitors even late at night.

🛏️ Can you sleep in Shanghai Airport?

Yes! Both Pudong and Hongqiao airports have hotels on-site. Holiday Inn Express Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Hotel are good options.


Sunset over the Shanghai skyline with the Oriental Pearl Tower and surrounding skyscrapers reflected in the Huangpu River under a fiery sky

Phew! You have reached the end of my ultimate guide on where to stay in Shanghai! 

In this post, I have discussed the 7 best Shanghai neighborhoods and provided hand-picked hotel recommendations for each, all with fabulous reviews and amazing facilities.

I’ll share with you my top 2 hotel picks in case you still can’t decide where to stay in Shanghai:

  • The Peninsula Hotel – my luxury hotel recommendation for the most amazing service, facilities, and river views
  • Central Hotel Shanghai – great value for money and spacious rooms at a central location near all things cool

Remember to book your stay as soon as you find the perfect option so you can secure the best deals!

If you have any questions about your upcoming trip, do not hesitate to write them below! I’ll be happy to help!

Happy travels,


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