Shanghai has gone from a sleepy swamp town to a bustling metropolis visibly vying for the title of “one of the world’s great cities” in almost no time at all – less than two decades ago, most of the biggest buildings in the city did not exist, and neither did the land they are built on. On the other side of the water, there are historic neighborhoods that have a distinctive European feel, so this is a city with a fascinating mix of old and new, and is becoming a major tourist stop in China. Unfortunately, the number of cheap hotels in Shanghai may disappoint the truly budget travelers among you.

Most of the larger hotels which travelers from outside Asia would look at first are quite high-end, catering mainly to Western business travelers rather than tourists on a budget. On the other end of the spectrum, there are more traditional local hotels which are principally used by Chinese travelers. But if you are not willing to fork over the huge prices at those luxury hotels and still want something a little more on the Western end of things, there are some cheap hotels in Shanghai that will suit your taste and your budget.

The modern part of Shanghai, known as the Pudong, is where you will find perhaps the highest concentration of business traveler (and more expensive) hotels, although there are a few hotels in this area which are on the more budget end of things. The more historic areas of the city, the Bund and the French Concession, will have more interesting cheap hotels in Shanghai as well as more of the tourist attractions. Getting around Shanghai is getting easier with the rapidly expanding metro system, so check for the closest metro stop when looking for your hotel.

Some of the cheap hotels in Shanghai worth looking into for your visit are Astor House Hotel (historic property in the Bund, 130 rooms, all air conditioned, on-site restaurant & bar, airport shuttle service available), Shanghai Yinbo Hotel (in the Bund, 116 rooms, all air conditioned, internet access available, laundry service available, on-site restaurant), Mansion Hotel (in Pudong, 30 rooms, 2 on-site restaurants, WiFi & internet access available, airport shuttle service, rooftop lounge overlooking the city), and Broadway Mansions (in Pudong, 253 rooms, internet access available, on-site restaurant).

Map of Shanghai Hotels