Home to one of the most ambitiously modern city skylines on the planet, Shanghai embodies China's hungry drive for progress.
It's a global metropolis with a rich colonial past and a fiercely confident present, growing as rapidly horizontally as it is vertically. Banks, multinationals and neon-hung chain stores stand shoulder to shoulder.
For visitors, the appeal is twofold. On the one hand there's the pulse of contemporary Shanghai, with its on-trend hotels, heaving restaurants, late-night entertainment and buzzy shopping districts. On the other, meanwhile, there's a layered history to explore.
The riverside embankment known as the Bund harks back to the days when the port city welcomed a jumble of different cultures, drawing European speculators in their droves. The area is still heavy with colonial architecture - let your mind wander and you can imagine yourself back in the heady, opium-tinged days of the late 1800s.
In travel terms there's nowhere else quite like Shanghai, particularly in China.
Where is it?
In eastern China, situated on the coast.
What is it?
The largest city in China, marrying ultra-modern skyscrapers with temples, gardens and a colonial history.
Best time to visit?
It's essentially a year-round destination, but May to October are the most popular months. Winter can be chilly and blustery.
Take a stroll along the Bund, then walk Nanjing Lu, China's most famous shopping mile.