Shanghai is the financial capital of China and one its main ports facing the East China Sea. The city has grown on both the east and west banks of the Huang Pu River. The two sides, called Puxi and Pudong, provide a striking contrast that mirrors China's past and present – its 5,000 year old history and the modern China hurtling at warp speed into the 22nd century. Look at Puxi and you will see the historic Bund with its dated architecture. Look at Pudong and you see monoliths like the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers looming over the skyline. If this was not enough, Shanghai hosted the 2010 World Expo, which created a fresh array of attractions and landmarks. Get a car for hire in Shanghai to see all this and take day trips to destinations nearby.
It is just about impossible to see all of Shanghai as a tourist on a city tour. But you can try to stick to the half dozen or so attractions that you simply cannot miss. Get a car for rent in Shanghai and make up your own itinerary. Start with a visit to Nanjing Road, which is as big a market street as you will ever visit anywhere in the world – the 600 odd shops get over 1.7 million shoppers every day. The Bund is a beautiful throwback to China's dalliance with the European powers, with grand old buildings and Victorian architecture along the riverfront. Do not miss the Jade Buddha Temple and the Yuyuan Garden. Head for Xin Tian Di if you want to take a break and enjoy some of the city's urban pleasures.
The World Expo was Shanghai's rebuttal to Beijing's Olympic glory. The Expo produced some stunning new attractions on the Pudong side of the Huang Pu River. It is perhaps the most convenient place to visit and stay in Shanghai, a few minutes from the train station at Pudong International Airport. The main attraction is still the iconic China Pavilion. Also worth a visit are the Mercades-Benz Arena and the Expo Park.
Alongside the well-known five-star luxury of the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, the Grand Hyatt and the Hyatt on the Bund, there are some sparkling new luxury hotels in Shanghai, built for the World Expo. Your options include the Portman Ritz-Carlton at 1376 Nanjing West Rd Jing'an, the Peninsula Shanghai at 32 Zhongshan East 1st Road and the Fairmont Peace Hotel at 20 Nanjing Road East.
If you can tear yourself away from the urban decadence of Shanghai, there is more to see in the surroundings. Book your car rental in Shanghai right now and plan for day trips nearby. You can enjoy an island holiday on Chongming Island or a mountain getaway in Sheshan. Also recommended are visits to Songjiang, Nanxiang and Tongli. If you want to visit another major city, Hangzhou is just a couple of hours away.
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