Is Shanghai Safe for Travel in 2024?

Shanghai, China
Safety Score

Shanghai, with a population of more than 23 million (with over 9 million migrants), is the largest and traditionally the most developed metropolis in Mainland China. Shanghai is split in two by the Huangpu River. The most basic division of the area is Puxi West of the river, versus Pudong, East of the river. Both terms can be used in a general sense for everything on their side of the river, but are often used in a much narrower sense where Puxi is the older (since the 19th century) central part of the city and Pudong the mass of new high-rise development across the river since the 1980s.

Warnings & Dangers in Shanghai

Overall Risk


Shanghai is generally a fairly safe city. Possible petty theft and fraud. Keep track of your belongings and store valuable documents in the hotel's safe.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Public transport is quite safe and well developed. However, pickpocketing can occur during rush hour. Use only licensed taxi services - in illegal taxis, the fare can deceive you.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets are common in Shanghai. Take care of your pockets, and don't leave your personal belongings unattended. Be especially vigilant on public transport and in crowded places—double check your money transactions.

Natural Disasters Risk


This region is at risk of earthquakes and snow blockages. However, this does not happen very often. Explore the natural environment in Shanghai before your trip here.

Mugging Risk


The risk of serious robbery and armed attacks is shallow in Shanghai. There is little danger of these attacks in the suburbs. However, the likelihood that you will be attacked is minimal.

Terrorism Risk


The risk of terrorism is low in Shanghai. The global risk of terrorist attacks in public areas exists worldwide, so tourists should be vigilant.

Scams Risk


Counterfeit money scams are widespread, and tourists often fall prey to this scam. Keep track of the money you are given for change and double-check everything.

Women Travelers Risk


Women traveling alone can feel quite safe in Shanghai. The main thing is to adhere to the usual precautions and monitor your surroundings.

How Safe Is Shanghai for Tourists?

Shanghai is generally a fairly safe city to travel to.

The main problems are associated with petty theft and high levels of corruption.

Violent crimes are rare in this city, and it is safe to walk the streets at night while maintaining common sense.

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bicycle thefts are common.

During major holidays such as the Chinese New Year, thieves can be more active due to many tourists.

Watch out for groups of pickpockets on the main shopping streets.

They hunt for things unattended and wallets.

If you use a taxi, take a licensed service and make sure that there is a car’s taximeter.

Keep your passport and important documents in the hotel safe.

Carry a copy of your documents with you; sometimes, policemen on Shanghai’s streets ask passers-by for documents.

Beware of fake money scams.

After paying at a restaurant or store with a legitimate note, the seller will return you a fake note and claim that you just paid with it.

Always write down the serial number of the banknote you pay, especially for larger banknotes.

This can also happen in hotels.

People will knock on your door and try to sell you something, but the seller will tell you that you paid with a fake as soon as you pay.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Shanghai?

Visitors to the mainland of the People’s Republic of China must obtain a visa from one of the Chinese diplomatic missions unless they come from visa-exempt countries. The two Special Administrative Regions – Hong Kong and Macau – maintain their own independent border control policies and thus have their own separate visa requirements.

Which Currency Is Used in Shanghai?

The renminbi is the official currency of China and one of the world’s reserve currencies.

How's the Weather like in Shanghai?

In Shanghai, the summers are hot, oppressive, wet, and mostly cloudy, and the winters are very cold, windy, and partly cloudy. The best time to visit it is during the spring or autumn when the temperatures are pleasant.

What Do I Need to Know about Airports in Shanghai?

There are two major and busiest airports in Shanghai, both of which are important for China’s tourism. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport serves domestic and regional flights and is located 13 kilometers from the city center. It is closer than the other one, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai’s main international airport, which is 30 kilometers away.

Should I Get Travel Insurance for My Travels?

A travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country or city. Make sure you got it before starting your journey; the customs officer may ask for it.

What Are Some Things to Do in Shanghai?

On China’s central coast, Shanghai is the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. Sprawling Yu Garden has traditional pavilions, towers, and ponds.

Is the Water in Shanghai Safe to Drink?

Tap water is not drinkable in Shanghai. You should buy bottled water or boil tap water.

Is Uber Safe in Shanghai?

There is an Uber taxi in Shanghai. You can call a taxi from the app on your phone. The cost of the trip will depend on the distance and time of day.

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