Where to live in Shanghai if you care about your social life

Many people will choose their location in order to be close to their office or university. However other people prefer to live in downtown so they can have a better social life (remember that Shanghai is huge).

First of all, you should look for an apartment close to a subway station. Shanghai subway system is massive (the longest in the world) so you can go pretty much everywhere with it (here you find an interactive map). Also, it’s quite cheap.

In particular, I advise you to live along the subway line 2 (the green one), which crosses all Shanghai from East to West. This will usually allow you to reach any part of the city with only one of two changes (and often without changes at all) and easy access to the airport and train station.

The best places to live are, in my opinion, between Nanjing East Station and Zhong Shan Park Station. Most of the bars & clubs are located on the old French concession, which is on the South of these stations. But it’s not only about nightlife, I like this zone because it remembers me of a European town, with a lot of tiny alleys, small restaurants and old cafés.

Be aware that the apartments inside the French concession are either bloody expensive or pretty old. If you still want to live downtown and get a modern flat but, at the same time, you have a small budget, then I suggest you look at the Northside of line 2 , also we call it Jingan, Actually near Jingan temple or west Nanjing road, there is no too much residence building near there , there are all office building , you can find more options near Changping road of line 7 (the next station of Jinan temple ).

In general Zhong Shan Park and Jangsu Road are cheaper than Jing An, Nanjing West or People Square (check the map of line 2 if you feel a bit lost). so if you don’t want to live in the old house in Old Xuhui, I think Jingan is your first choice, there are a lot of new compound high rise buildings with garden.

Why you need a regular contract (Winfat provide Regular Contract with Chinese and English langue and will support you to do the police temporary residence registration )

There are two reasons.

First of all, as soon as you arrive in China you are required to go to the police station and register your address.

If you are a tourist or you are living in a students’ dorm you don’t need to worry about it because the hotel’s or the dorm’s manager will register you at the nearest police station.

However, if you rent an apartment, you need to do it yourself. It only takes five minutes and you don’t need to speak any Chinese. However, you need to bring the original copy of your house contract and your passport (you also need to bring a copy of the contract, of the passport’s first page and of passport’s Visa page).

In the past years, this wasn’t that important. However, since this year the police are putting a lot of attention to address registration. If you don’t register your address, they will call the number that you gave at the customs the day you entered China. If you don’t answer, they will just start to look for you.

Again, it just takes five minutes. But you do need a regular house contract. Also, you should ask your agent or landlord where is the police station because you only can register at the station that is responsible for your zone.

The second reason for which you need a contract is that you can’t fully trust your landlord. What are you going to do if, after three months that you rented the apartment, your landlord decides to rise the price of your flat?

If you have a regular contract, you just tell him to shut up or you will go to talk with the police. But if you don’t have any contract you don’t own any right to stay there.

Also, how are you going to get back your security deposit? This isn’t your country. So just play it safe and ask for a contract.

How should the contract look like?

  • First, at all, the house contract should be in English or both in English and Chinese languages. Don’t sign any contract in Chinese if you don’t speak the language.
  • The name of the landlord should be in the contract. I would also ask to see his ID card and get a copy of it.
  • The address of the apartment should be on the contract.
  • The monthly rent fee, the deposit fee and the rent scheduling (every month or every two months) should be on the contract.
  • The duration of the contract should be specified. And by the way, the duration is also something that you can bargain with.
  • The contract should states that the landlord is responsible to fix major damages (like a broken fridge or air-con).
  • The contract should state that, in the case, the landlord asks you to live before the end of the contract, he should pay a penalty (at least one month rent).
  • you can ask our agent if you want to see the draft contract, we will send it to you by email or wechat .