When is the best time to visit Shanghai? Well, it depends on what you expect to experience. Shanghai has clearly defined weather.
Winter, it is crisp cold after the New Year, temperature can tank to zero with icy road and short day light. Usually this is the moment when the Chinese New Year is approaching, either in Jan or the early Feb, the atmosphere is relaxed and cheerful. The Whole place can be quiet with lots of migrate workers back home towns for the annual leave. Traffic is flowing. This can help your planned activities go easily. You can visit Lantern Show at Yu Yuan, or Cherry Blossoms at Gu Cun, north of Shanghai (via metro line 7).
Spring, Shanghai is wonderfully colourful with plants and flowers bouncing back to life, people practise dancing at parks or Tai Chi at the Bund. This is the excellent time to take excursions to the Gong Qing National Forest Park in Yang Pu District (North of the city). It is almost 2000 acres, with a feast of trees, walking pathways, boating on the lake, mini train lines and horse riding tracks, plenty of fun to make a day out, it can be reached by Metro line 4, followed by a short journey on the public bus. This is also the season when lots of exhibitions are on in Shanghai. If you are a fan of formula 1, you are there just in time.
Summer can be blister hot, over 30 degree is norm. You can have an early start then take the coach to Dian Shan Lake at Qing Pu, only 50 km away from downtown. With its majestic pagoda, willow tree lined river bank and flagstone paved street, it is a soothing get-away from the busy city. In the town, you still can visit galleries and museums before dusk or heading to your favourite bar.
Autumn is a poetic season in Shanghai. Heat has gone, air is cooler with the hint of jasmine fragrance. Walking and exploring the town can be so interesting and pleasant. It may be a very good time to walk in the old French concession, where the architecture is kept with European flair, some of the historic figures and celebrities in the past lived there, most of these places are remained as they were.
Different times of the year in Shanghai give different impressions, it depends your preference. However, one thing does not let you down for sure is the food. You can taste the hot pot in the winter or fresh crab in the autumn.
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