5 Incredible Facts About Shanghai, China


Nestled prominently along the east coast of China, Shanghai is the country’s largest city, not only by population but also by area. First settled as early as 4000 B.C.E. the city began its history as a modest fishing village. Shanghai’s strategic location at the mouth of the Yangtze river ensured it grew and prospered through the eras, into the years of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and continuing to the present day as part of the Republic of China. Today it’s a world-class metropolis known for its history, tourism, and thriving economy fueled by numerous industries. Read on for some of our favorite facts about Shanghai.

5 Shanghai Facts

  1. Shanghai is the third most populous city in the world. (source) At over 26 million people, the city is only eclipsed by Delhi, India (over 29 million people) and Toyko, Japan (over 37 million people).
  1. Shanghai is home to the largest port in the world by traffic. (source) Nine of the top 30 ports in the world are in China, but the Port of Shanghai welcomes the most container ship traffic by far.
  1. The city boasts the longest metro system in the world at 516 miles or 831 kilometers. (source) The 508 station metro secured its title even further in 2021 by adding two additional metro lines. The second longest metro system in the world is also in China. Beijing’s metro system stretches 485 miles or 780 kilometers.
  1. Speaking of trains: Shanghai also has the fastest commercial train in the world at 267.8 mph or about 431 kilometers per hour. (source) The “maglev” (short for magnetic levitation) train travels a short 18 mile route in just 8 minutes. Even faster maglev trains are in testing phases around the world that can travel up to 373 mph or 600 kph. Shanghai is one of the cities looking to implement the new train and retain its title.
  1. Another record held by Shanghai is that it hosts the tallest building in China and the third tallest building in the world. (source) The breathtaking tower was completed in 2015 after 7 years of construction and a total cost of $2.4 billion.

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