Shanghai is in East China and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the Yangtze River Delta – the name Shanghai means “on the sea”. The city’s nicknames are the Pearl of the Orient and the Paris of the East. The city is one of the world’s largest and most populated and it is home to some incredible feats of engineering including the tallest twisted tower in the world and the largest indoor ski resort in the world. As for getting around, you can ride the world’s fastest train and the world’s longest metro system. So, whether you are planning a visit or just want to learn more, here are some of the most interesting facts about Shanghai.
7 Interesting Facts about Shanghai
1. Shanghai is one of the world’s largest cities
Shanghai is the most populous city in China. It has a population of 28,516,904 (as of 2022). It is the third most populous city in the world. Tokyo is the most populous and Delhi is in second place. Shanghai is also the largest city in the entire world when measured by population within the city limits. With an average population density of 2,059 people per square kilometre, it ranks as the fifth most densely populated city in the world. Population density swells to 3,854 people per square kilometre in its urban areas.
2. Shanghai has the longest metro system in the world
Totalling 802 kilometres (498 miles), the Shanghai Metro system is the world’s biggest metro system by route length. With 396 stations, it is also the world’s second-biggest metro system by the number of stations. Not only that, but it also has the highest annual ridership at 2.83 billion trips.
3. Shanghai has the world’s fastest train
Shanghai boasts the world’s fastest train, the Shanghai Maglev, which connects Pudong International Airport to downtown Shanghai. The Shanghai Maglev Train, also known as the Transrapid, is the fastest commercial train in the world with a top speed of 430 kilometres per hour. It covers a distance of 30.5 kilometres in just 8 minutes. When it launched in 2003, Shanghai’s system was the only commercial maglev in operation in the world.
4. Shanghai is home to the tallest building in China
Soaring 632 metres in height, with 128 storeys, the Shanghai Tower is the tallest building in China. The construction of the super skyscraper started in 2008 and was completed in 2013. Shanghai Tower is the world’s third-tallest building by height to the architectural top – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest followed by the Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur. The Shanghai Tower also shares the record of having the world’s highest observation deck within a building or structure. The observation deck is some 562 metres high. The tower also holds the record of being the tallest twisted building in the world.
5. Shanghai Disneyland is the second-largest theme park in the world
Covering almost 390 hectares, Shanghai Disneyland is more than 11 times the size of the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California. In fact, Shanghai Disneyland is the second-largest theme park in the world. Just Magic Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World Resort is bigger. However, the Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai is the biggest castle out of all the Disneyland parks.
6. Shanghai is the world’s busiest container port
Shanghai Port is the largest port in China and also the busiest port in the world. With a central location along the Chinese coastline and the Yangtze River Delta, this bustling harbour posted a container volume of over 47m teu in 2021. Singapore is the world’s second-busiest port in the world in terms of container shipping.
7. WintaStar Shanghai is the world’s largest indoor ski resort
WintaStar Shanghai is due to open by the end of 2022. When it does, it will be the world’s largest indoor snow centre. It is currently billed as “the world’s largest integrated indoor ski resort” and it will feature the world’s longest indoor ski trail. It will cover a massive 227,000 square meters with 90,000 square meters of slopes. Fun fact: the three largest indoor ski areas in the world by snow are all located in China.