Filled with history Shanghai is also the most modern of cities, highly populated, this Eastern Chinese city never sleeps, keeping its finger firmly on the pulse of the global financial and business worlds. Exciting and vibrant, the skyline is dominated by the most modern of skyscrapers yet a small scratch below the surfaces reveals a heart made entirely of the traditional.

Live the traditional culture, spend the days visiting sacred shrines, beautiful temples and ancient architecture, take in the cities museums and try the street food, it is all there just waiting to be discovered. Even in the most modern of the cities districts old Shanghai is never far away.

To make Shanghai a once in a lifetime break why not stay at one of the luxury hotels that offer timeless elegance amid a sense of calm and serenity. The Peninsula Hotel is perhaps the most luxurious of them all, perfectly located to appreciate the views of this bustling and vibrant city with an opulence that is not so much understated as proud of itself. This hotel is all about the wealth of the city and showcases it perfectly, making this hotel the number one choice for those that demand a little bit more.

Shanghai has always prided itself on the huge luxurious hotels that dominate the skyline and these are still often the number one choice for unrivalled elegance without compromise but recently a new type of hotel has emerged as the accommodation of choice for the traveller in the know. Historic buildings have been sympathetically refurbished to create smaller hotels that not only have designer style stamped all over them but have the personal touch often lacking in the larger establishments.

The Lapis Casa Boutique Hotel is a fine example of old and new eclectic style mixing in perfect harmony to create something wonderful. Whitewashed walls flooded with colour from stained glass windows perfectly compliment the dark wooden furniture and crisp white materials that adorn each room. This is a superbly simple hotel that shows how good chic can look.

Shanghai cuisine makes the most of local meats and vegetables but the close proximity to the sea means that much of the menu is generally seafood based, fresh and with subtle spicing, the food is rarely overbearingly hot or heavy. The regions signature dishes may be slightly alarming to non Chinese palates but are always worth trying,the most famous of all, dried sea cucumber stew is said to contain medicinal properties and is much loved by the locals.

To appreciate the local specialities you need to visit a well established traditional restaurant and Lu Bo Lang in the old town fits the bill perfectly, serving a great selection of Dim Sum (small appetiser type dishes)and great regional specialities this is the ideal place to sample much of the cuisine on offer.

One of the most usual ways to eat in Shanghai is to try the ever popular street food, this is one way to sample the great range of foods without paying for a fine dining experience, but it always pays to ensure that you eat from the best of the vendors – follow the lead of the locals, they know all the best places and choose busy vendors with a fast turnover of food to ensure maximum freshness.

The first place for most visitors to head to in Shanghai is Nanjing Road shopping district, crowds bustle through the pedestrian streets no matter what time of day, lit up at night like the most garish of resorts this is the area where you can buy almost anything that you desire. Always busy, always loud and always the place in Shanghai to eat, drink, shop and experience the extreme vibrancy of the city.

You really must visit at least one Buddhist temple during your Shanghai stay and the most famous of all is the Jade Buddha Temple, the precious carvings contained within are beyond priceless. Carved from a single piece of Jade the Buddha’s take pride of place amongst all the other glittering jewels. The Temple is home to one of the best Buddhist collections in the world and really should not be missed.

For a completely different perspective of the city take a Huangpu River Cruise, see all the cultural landmarks from a new angle, the buildings dominating the river banks, the old and the new architectural styles existing side by side in perfect harmony. A river cruise is the perfect way to relax away from the busy streets and witness Shanghai in all its glory.

Shanghai has quite distinct seasons with hot humid summers and cold harsh winters, the proximity to the River Yangtze and the China sea leads to rainfall for much of the year.

Although a lively destination during most of the year, the pleasant conditions during the spring and autumn months make these the most popular times for tourist travel.