I love living in Shanghai because of how culturally diverse it is. You can get any type of food at any time of day, and you can speak English most everywhere you go.
Shanghai has a myriad of attractions; of course, there’s the Bund and the lines of bars down those streets, but there’s also galleries and shows everywhere you go. One of my favorite places to visit is a street that has six or seven coffee shops on it, sampling a new one each day.
If you’ve never been to Shanghai, you should know that most people are willing to communicate in English to the best of their ability. I’ve always felt comfortable getting around. Even if they don’t speak English, a translator app quickly solves almost any problem.
Shanghai is an incredible city. It has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment: everything from art exhibits to nightlife, it’s impossible to get bored in Shanghai. There’s a ton of great restaurants and you can find pretty much any type of cuisine. There’s a huge expat community, so it’s fairly easy to meet people. It’s not hard to find the things you’re accustomed to, with all of the businesses that cater to expats, like import grocery stores, foreign language bookstores, etc. For a big city, it’s very easy to get around with public transportation.
Shanghai is a great place to visit for many reasons. It has a lot of interesting historical and cultural sites, like temples and small water towns on the outskirts, as well as more modern attractions, like the Bund and Shanghai Tower. The city has a palpable energy that you can feel when you are here. It is very welcoming to foreigners and tourists, and it’s pretty easy to get by if you don’t speak Chinese well.
Traffic is crazy and it can get very crowded, so be prepared for that. The best way to get around is the metro system, which is pretty easy to master. You can use Apple Maps/google maps for public transportation routes. The best way to pay for things is with the Alipay app (which can be used by foreigners now) or cash (not hard to find international ATMs); notcredit cards. Finally, there’s a ton of resources you can use for information on specific events/places/attractions: SmartShanghai.com and Reddit/Shanghai are two that I use.