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A primer on where to live in Shanghai

Shanghai is a very populous, yet geographically spread out city. Current estimates put the offical city size at over 6300 square kilometers, or approximately 5 times the size of New York City.

For relocation purposes, one of the first decisions that should be made is whether or not to live West of the river, in Puxi, or East of the river, in Pudong.

Each offers their own advantages and disadvantages, and which side of the river you live on may be heavily influenced by your office and school locations.

There are currently excellent schooling options for the American and British curriculums on both sides of the river, however some grades are only offered on one side or the other. Most of the other European or Asian curriculums are offered only in Puxi. For more information on schools, please click here.


Our clients who move to Pudong tend to be North American and European families with children who prefer to live in large homes with housing budgets of $5,000 to $15,000 USD per month. Typically they appreciate the calmer, quieter and slightly cleaner aspects of Pudong. Many enjoy golfing activities at Shanghai Links or Tomson Golf, the onsite facilities at their villa complexes or at the world's 3rd largest city park - Century Park.
Since Pudong is a relatively new area, the development has been done with the future in mind. The roads tend to be wider and straighter, the buildings are all newer and generally the area is cleaner. Most of Pudong is well designed for convenient grocery shopping.
Pudong also attracts business people and couples without kids who prefer to live in apartments that are easily commutable from their office. These clients tend to be people who prefer not to live in the middle of the city, but perhaps consider travelling to downtown restaurants, bars and cultural events less then twice a week.
For more information on Pudong properties, please click here.
For more in depth information on where families tend to live , please click here.

Puxi itself is comprised of several distinctive communities, which we address later. In general our clients who move to Puxi's western suburbs tend to be North American and European families with children who prefer to live in large homes, large apartments or townhouses and have housing budgets of $3,500 to $15,000 USD per month. Unlike Pudong, Puxi's suburbs have expat appropriate houses which were built in the late 1980's and early 1990's, as well as houses built within the past years. The families we help move to Puxi's suburbs tend to have offices in the Puxi area and have children enrolled in Puxi's numerous International schools.
Western Puxi's industrial areas are slightly closer to the residential areas then they are in Pudong. Some people find that Puxi's suburbs are noisier then Pudong's, however this strongly depends upon which housing development you are in. The western suburbs of Puxi tend to be convenient for grocery shopping, after school activities and expatriate organizations. There are more housing choices and more expatriates in the western suburbs of Puxi then there are in Pudong,
The overwhelming majority of our client's who move to Puxi's downtown areas are business people or families without children. 95% of these clients rent private or serviced apartments, and typically tend to remain in the same apartment for their entire relocation period. We do help some clients rent old renovated properties within Shanghai, however client's experiences vary considerably in these sorts of properties. Living in downtown Shanghai is very convenient for people who like to sample Shanghai's wonderful restaurants, cultural events and nightlife. For many people these experiences are worth the trade off of living in more dense neighborhoods that are noisier and possibly dirtier. In newer buildings, double paned windows and high floors offer quiet refuge from noise, as well as breathtaking views.
For more information on western suburb properties, please click here. For downtown properties, please click here.
For more specific information on downtown Shanghai's neighborhoods, please click here.
For more in depth information on where families tend to live , please click here.


We are committed to helping you find a home, a school, or supply a Shanghai orientation that is specific to your needs. Our entire staff are courteous professionals who are experienced Shanghai residents that can understand your concerns and questions.Our referrals speak for themselves, but we'll be delighted to prove our excellent service first hand, as we search for your new home together.

-Michael Vrielink (Canadian)
Information Express
We understand how busy you are, and how time consuming it can be to research properties and schools in Shanghai. Feel free to simply contact us and ask any questions you may have and our expatriate agents will respond as soon as possible:

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