Lean on the brain trust of English-language websites City Weekend Shanghai, SmartShanghai, Shanghai Expat, and That’s Shanghai for what you need to know to get you through living in Shanghai successfully. Expert tip: The taxi card apps from City Weekend Shanghai (available on Android and iOS) and SmartShanghai (only available on iOS) are lifesavers in helping to communicate with drivers in Chinese by offering Mandarin address listings.
We opted for the Former French Concession area, as we wanted to live centrally and our language school was located near Jing ‘An Temple. Because our American Club Singapore membership has a reciprocal membership with the Ambassy Club Shanghai (ranked with one of Shanghai’s Best Pools 2015 and highly sought after for their for summer activities), we stayed on site at Ambassy Court Apartments on Huaihai Middle Road (Huai Hai Zhong Lu). Here are other options for serviced apartments, short-term rentals, and housing in Shanghai: AirBnb Shanghai – AirBnb China is incredibly easy to use, and I’ve never had a bad experience! Our 3-bedroom flat on Huaihai Middle Road came equipped with balcony and barbeque, modern appliances throughout, oven (not so easy to find in Shanghai), thrice weekly cleaner, Apple TV (we could toggle this to our laptop as well), super fast WiFi, dishwasher, central air conditioning, doorman and was decked out in Scandinavian decor. The location was perfect for Metro access (Shanghai Library-Line 10; Changshu Road-Line 1 and Line 7) and the buses to our Mandarin school (Bus 93 and 830).
It was truly the best AirBnb experience we’ve ever had! Ascott Huai Hai Road Shanghai – A luxury serviced residence, the Ascott also comes with a coveted Huai Hai Zhong Lu address. Serving breakfast daily, other perks include an in-room safe, WiFi Zones throughout the building, an indoor pool, and more. If you book early in advance, you can take advantage of their 20% savings offer. Shama Shanghai – With four locations throughout Shanghai including Xintiandi, Huashan Road, Century Park and Xujiahui, Shama’s luxury appointment will suit most tastes for those with a larger wallet.
Quite simply, there’s absolutely NO REASON to go to a grocery store in Shanghai on your own unless you want to inspect the products and produce before buying. Hauling sacks in the summer humidity wasn’t really my thing, so I got keen very quickly to the magic of online shopping for groceries in Shanghai. Here are just a few options for expats who require high food standards and quality: Fields China – offering same day delivery for orders placed before 5pm and loads of organic food options. In fact, Fields may have the largest range of Western products that I’ve seen in Shanghai. Best perk: Fields carries a range of goodies from Spread the Bagel, my absolute favourite breakfast in Shanghai!
Epermarket – Their Easy Buy option makes shopping a breeze! Epermarket uses fully climate-controlled vans for delivery, ensuring that your food arrives fresh. Payment for your goods is also convenient: Epermarket accepts both cash on delivery as well as international credit cards processed via PayPal. Kate & Kimi – If it’s locally sourced, organic food that you are looking for, your shop is Kate & Kimi. With the feel-good factor of supporting the local community, this online grocery began with the need of two expats who wanted to change the way food is sourced in China. Psst: Free delivery offered for orders over RMB 200.