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When to Travel Shanghai - Shanghai Seasonal Travel

Where to visit in spring/summer/autumn/winter?

  • When planning your trip to Shanghai, you must have asked yourself the question: When is the best time to go? Different seasons have different features and as a travel agency based in China, we know that every season has its appeal and its pitfall.
  • We provide you Shanghai seasonal travel tips, which give you a general idea of where you can go and what you can do in Shanghai according to the different seasons. With the information that we share with you, you can find the perfect tour based on your budget, your interests, and your tolerance towards crowds.
  • If you would like to get our suggestions of traveling in Shanghai in different seasons; If you are interested in taking a private tour and have an English speaking tour guide to show you around Shanghai; China Odyssey Tours is here and ready to help.

Travel Shanghai in Spring - From March to May

Shanghai Spring

  • Generally, in China spring starts in late February or early March, and ends in May, making this season a lovely time for travelling; less people and less costs, except from May 1st to May 4th, which is known as the Chinese citizens’ travel season.
  • For Shanghai, spring is a perfect time to smell the spring flowers and get the feeling of being touched by the warm spring breeze to refresh your day. 

Where to go and things to do

Spring Temperature

  • As a general rule, early sping in Shanghai remains somewhat chilly.
  • Average temperature:14.5~16.2℃ degrees.

Travel Tips & Packing Guide

  • After the 2010 World EXPO opening ceremony, air fares and hotel prices will go up. So you may need to book a hotel months in advance. (looking for a flexible china travel package with hotels and air ticket?)
  • Allergy-prone or asthmatic visitors may be affected by the high airborne pollen level in the Shanghai parks, in the Springtime.
  • As a general rule, early sping in Shanghai remains somewhat chilly. It's a good idea to pack clothes that you can layer in case an unusually cool or warm day sneaks up on you. You can bring light cotton shirts and pants in hopes of sun, but also pack a few sweaters, warm socks, a scarf and a spring coat.
  • Make sure to pack an umbrella or plan on buying an inexpensive one for the light rain.
  • Also be sure to bring along a pair of shoes that are comfortable to walk in-- Shanghai has many cute roads where going by foot is often the best option.

Travel Shanghai in Summer - From June to August

Shanghai Summer 

  • In the summer time, you will experience Shanghai with a relaxed, carefree, and warm atmosphere. Summer tends to bring on a stimulating mood in Shanghai. People are out and about, roaming the picturesque streets and parks. During these months, tourist season is at its peak and the city's tourist attractions are swarming with people. And if you want to avoid paying exorbitant prices for plane tickets or hotels, steer away from the peak season.

Where to go and things to do

  • Huangpu River night cruise: enjoy colorful night city view, with the cool wind at summer night
  • Hengshan Road: for night club.
  • Nanjing Road: for shopping. This is the ideal time to go deal-hunting in Shanghai.
  • a few highlights during the summer time: 
    - June: Shanghai Movie and Television Festival
    - August: Shanghai International Ballet Competition
    - September to October: Shanghai Osmanthus Festival, Shanghai International Music Fireworks Festival, Shanghai Tour Festival

Summer Temperature

  • Summer in Shanghai is generally cool to pleasantly balmy, with average temperatures at around 27.0℃~28.5℃ degrees.
  • In recent years, major heat waves have occasionally struck, particularly in late July and August, and temperatures have sometimes climbed to 40 degrees C.

Travel Tips & Packing Guide 

  • Reserving flight tickets and hotels well ahead is a must. 
  • Attractions and public transport are often overcrowded during the summer time.
  • Visitors with medical conditions should be alert to possible spikes in temperature. Please take necessary precautions. Reserving a hotel room with air conditioning is one of them.
  • Pack a hat or visor and other sun gear for sunny days when you wish to spend time lounging in this big city.
  • Pack a reliable umbrella in case the rainy season surprises you during a stroll.
  • On hot days you'll appreciate the open-toed pair of shoes, but you'll need a good, comfortable pair of walking shoes too, especially since shopping in Shanghai usually involves lots of strolling.

Travel Shanghai in Fall - From September to December

Shanghai Fall 

  • With the peak tourist season winding down, air and hotel fares take a small dip, and the weather is nice during the fall months. Those wishing to avoid the cramped conditions of the peak season may find Fall to be the best season to visit. Early November is probably the better choice for avoiding the tail-end of the peak tourist season.

Where to go and things to do

  • Fall outdoor activities are also pleasant in Shanghai.
  • Huangpu river cruise and Zhujiaojiao: Late September and early October in Shanghai can also be an ideal time for experiencing a cruise on Huangpu River or on Zhujiajiao waterway. 
  • The Bund: Having a relaxed meal in the famous old buildings on the Bund can be a memorable event.
  • Nanjing Road: It is also the ideal time to go deal-hunting in Shanghai.
  • A Few Highlights: 
    - October: Shanghai International Art Festival; Shanghai Oranges Festival; Shanghai International Magic Festival; Shanghai International Ttourism Trade Fair.
    - November: Shanghai Television Festival; Shanghai Asian Music Festival; Shanghai Arts Fair.

Fall Temperature

  • Fall in Shanghai is generally warm to pleasantly dry, with average temperatures at around 19.3~20.8℃.

Travel Tips & Packing Guide

  • Booking a hotel and air tickets at reasonable rates are less of a challenge
  • Make sure to bring a few sweaters, warm socks, and a coat suitable for autumn conditions.
  • Make sure to keep plenty of water on hand and drinking regularly, even when there is no sensation of thirst.
  • Since September is the tail-end of summer in Shanghai and still warm, sunny days are likely, pack clothes for both cool and sunny conditions.

Travel Shanghai in Winter - From November to February

Shanghai Winter 

  • The winter months in Shanghai have a bad rap for being gloomy and low-key, but with Christmas and Chinese New Year holiday festivities on for a good part of the season, the city literally lights up more than ever.
  • And if you enjoy indoor activities such as visiting museums, art galleries and cathedrals/churches or spending a few hours watching Acrobatics Shows, winter in Shanghai may be ideal for you.

Where to go and things to do

  • Yuyuan Market: Christmas, Chinese New Year festivities and decorations bring a surreal magic to Yuyuan Market..
  • Nanjing Road: Winter is considered as one of the best times to shop with the best rates. Nanjing Road shopping street is a good place to go.
  • Shanghai Museum: Shanghai Museum: Visiting Museums are much more comfortable in the winter, while outdoor activities are less pleasant.
  • Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall: It exhibits the overall layout of Shanghai, especially the great changes that have taken place since the reform and opening to the outside world in 1978.
  • A Few Highlights:
    - January or February: Chinese New Year
    - March: Longhua Temple Fair 

Winter Temperature

  • Winter in Shanghai is generally cold and sometimes rainy or icy. In late December and January days can be cold and dark with temperatures approaching zero. Snow is rare, but wind chill can make the cold seem more biting.
  • Average temperature: 4.7~6.0℃

Travel Tips & Packing Guide

  • In the winter you will have more of the city to yourself. Booking a hotel and flights at the lowest rates are less of a challenge. Attractions and restaurants are not closed for the winter season in Shanghai.
  • Making sure to reserve a hotel room with heating is a must.
  • If your feet get cold easily, a pair of comfortable waterproof boots in case of icy weather.
  • Toting around a small thermos for hot drinks can be a good way to keep motivated in the Shanghai winter.
  • Bring a pair of good gloves to make sure you don't let cold hands distract you from the sights. They may not be necessary in the end, but they're good to have on hand.

China tour including Shanghai: 11-Day Classic China Tour

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