Holiday Accommodation Options in Shanghai

Information on finding the right kind of accommodation in Shanghai: hotel, serviced apartments or youth hostels...

Shanghai has a huge variety of accommodation options to suit every traveller's needs - from backpacking hostels to luxury five-star hotels. Accommodation can be found to match most budgets, and is generally good value for money and cheaper than most big cities. Accommodation can be cheaper in December and January; summer and autumn are the most expensive and busiest times. Hotels are often booked up quickly during public holidays and important festivals.


Hotels are plentiful in Shanghai and can be found in every district. Downtown Shanghai and Pudong are the two most popular areas. Most four- and five-star hotels belong to foreign chains. Boutique hotels with spas and uniquely decorated rooms can be found throughout the city.

Shanghai has many Chinese-owned budget hotels. These are usually three stars and are good for budget travellers or business people. They are generally clean and air-conditioned with the basic services expected in a western hotel, but the facilities are basic. Breakfast is often included in the price of the room.

Star ratings

Five-star hotels are to international standards, but the quality varies from hotel to hotel. Four-star hotels are not far behind five-stars; they are usually just missing a required facility such as a spa. Three-star hotels are suitable for budget business travel. It should be noted that once a star has been given, it is never lost, so a hotel that has deteriorated keeps its star rating that may not correspond in any way with its western counterparts.

Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are common in Shanghai. They have basic business facilities and small rooms. These hotels are generally Chinese-owned. Prices vary depending on the season and the location.

Youth Hostels

Shanghai has many options for young travellers and those on a tight budget. The selection of hostels is equivalent to any international city, with rooms available at a range of prices. They can be booked by contacting them directly and membership is not generally required. Usually, visitors have to pay hostels in cash. Meals are not included. Hostels with attached bars or restaurants are generally run to a higher standard. Hostels tend to be concentrated near the Bund and People's Square, which are much closer to Shanghai's nightlife.