Is Shanghai Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Shanghai, China
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 76 / 100 based on 9 user reviews.

Shanghai, as one of the most populous cities in China, as well as in the whole world, with more than 24 million inhabitants, is located in the Yangtze River Delta.

It is a city that connects the modern and the traditional way of life which tends to be extremely attractive to all fascinated travelers around the globe.

Its nickname is “Paris of the East” and it is a metropolis that offers the experience of the past, present, and future.

The most famous sights in Shanghai are Shanghai Museum, Classic and Modern buildings, the Jade Buddha Temple, Jing’an Temple, Chenghuang and Longhua Temple among many others.

Warnings & Dangers in Shanghai

Overall Risk


In terms of violent risks, Shanghai is not considered dangerous, unlike many other cosmopolitan cities. Police use modern technology and the city is under constant surveillance to stop criminal acts. Petty crimes are common, and the minimum attention is enough to prevent tourists to become victims of thieves.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Unlicensed taxis without a taximeter are frequent and some of the drivers might get away with your luggage if you do not ask him to take it out of the trunk before you pay. The road conditions are good but the huge amount of traffic results in traffic jams. Traffic accidents are common, and most injuries involve motorbikes and bicycle riders being struck by cars. In case the foreigner is involved in the accident, he/she is often declared responsible for that.

Pickpockets Risk


The areas of the city, where a lot of tourists gather, are the hubs of pickpockets. In the public transport and shopping zones, pickpocketing groups work and they are interested in cash, as well as credit cards. Travelers should be watchful and keep their belongings close to themselves.

Natural Disasters Risk


Of all the possible natural disasters, China is prone to earthquakes and storms. The typhoon season in China is from May to November. Snowstorms are rare, but they can cause many delays in the city, regarding the traffic.

Mugging Risk


Because the violent crime rate is low in Shanghai, the risk of being mugged or kidnapped is very rare, especially for tourists. Violent crimes do occur, but they are usually against Shanghai’s citizens, and that does not affect any tourist while in the city.

Terrorism Risk


When terrorist attacks are in question, there is a risk, but still, there is no need for panic. Even though travelers are not the target, the previous reports say that public places are the hubs of the attacks and they are frequently visited by foreigners. Thus, tourists can become affected. The best advice is to be careful and take care of themselves.

Scams Risk


The most common scam is fake money, so tourists should pay attention when taking the change or exchanging their money. You should not take a taxi which does not have a taximeter and a taxi license. Avoid speaking with strangers, because, lawbreakers tend to get familiar with you, particularly at tourist areas around People's Square and East Nanjing Road. Always bear in mind that even though people from Shanghai are very friendly, they do not approach a foreigner first.

Women Travelers Risk


As for female travelers, Shanghai is an ideal destination. There have been some reports of solo travelers being killed, but the reason was that they had gone to the isolated areas. China is a very safe country and a female can feel secure while visiting it.

So... How Safe Is Shanghai Really?

Shanghai is the city that is densely populated with thousands of travelers.

To make tourists feel secure while in the city, police investigate crimes against foreigners more closely than those against locals, thus leading to more severe consequences.

This makes a tourist, especially female, feel protected.

Scamming, purse snatching and pickpocketing are petty crimes that are considered normal in such a huge city.

Prostitution in China is also booming, but serious crimes are not often reported.

The useful tips to follow while in Shangai are to stay close to families, especially with small children, when in buses and restaurants, since it makes you more difficult to pray for criminals.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and do not look disoriented because that attracts lawbreakers.

How Does Shanghai Compare?

CitySafety Index
Hong Kong70
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80

Useful Information



China made the transit flows easily by the introduction of the 72-hour visa-free transit policy for the people from 53 countries and they are aiming to include more cities in the future. Direct Transit within 24 hours is available for any nationality passenger. The necessary documentation for entering the country is a visa and a valid passport.



China’s official currency is called yuan or renminbi. The best way to exchange your money is in the bank or official exchange offices because fake money is extremely common in China. ATMs can be found in big cities and it is advisable to have money on you all the time since many services still do not accept credit cards.



The heat of summer and the cold of winter are the weather characteristics of Shanghai. So, the best time to visit it is during the spring or autumn when the temperatures are pleasant and the peak tourism season is finished. The hottest month is July and the coldest month is January. People who come during winter would not be able to explore the city to the maximum extent due to the chilly weather.



There are two major and busiest airports in Shanghai, both of which are important for China’s tourism. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport serves domestic and regional flights and is located 13 kilometers from the city center. It is closer than the other one, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai's main international airport, which is 30 kilometers away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

No matter what is your final destination or the reason for traveling, travel insurance is advisable in case of unpredictable accidents or illnesses, which can ruin your trip. The baggage loss or thefts should also be covered by the insurance policy.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Shanghai Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 7° C
Mar 10° C
Apr 16° C
May 21° C
Jun 25° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 29° C
Sep 25° C
Oct 20° C
Nov 13° C
Dec 7° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

China - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Hong Kong70

Where to Next?

9 Reviews on Shanghai

  1. J
    Jason Bright says:

    Misleading ratings

    This rating is ridiculously naive and misleading…if you ever lived in those cities in China for just a couple of months, you’ll find it’s the safest place in the world.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Absolutely agree, safest place in the World.

    2. A
      Anonymous says:


      I’m sure about what you said.

  2. A
    Adam Brown says:

    Lived in China for many years. It certainly is not he safest place in the world. It can be dangerous.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Well Because of the CCP

    2. Ehh.. If Winnie the pooh will be gone it will be a safer place in my opinion

  3. Safety

    It’s definitely one of the safest places in the world, and maybe the safest CITY in the world. I’m a female and I can walk alone safely at midnight. One of the reasons is that many restaurants open at midnight, so there are also many people in the street like during the day, just fewer people and more chill. When you are in Shanghai, just bring your phone and your passport if necessary. No need of wallet since nearly all payments can be made via phone(Alipay, apple pay, etc), some farmer market even do not accept cash😂

  4. A huge city filled with good and bad

    Keep this in mind and you will be golden:
    “Always bear in mind that even though people from Shanghai are very friendly, they do not approach a foreigner first.” people here will almost never approach you first. If you ask them something they will gladly assist you. If someone approaches you, be very vigilant. Other than this, it is a huge city with many inhabitants, many places to visit, have fun at and enjoy. You’ll spend weeks here and not even scratch the surface.

  5. Very biased and outdated. I haven’t used cash in Shanghai for years so where comes the problem of fake money?

Shanghai Rated 3.78 / 5 based on 9 user reviews.

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