Cheap Place to Stay in Shanghai

Living in a city does cause some disadvantage for a city guide like me. It is, I have almost no idea about which hotel is the best place to stay – I can tell you something about Bejiing and Guangzhou, but I never stayed in a hotel in Shanghai.

Last time, when my friends came to Shanghai, I HAD to find a place for them. Since they are traveling on their own money (v.s. business trip), I arranged them to Home Inns (如家) in Pudong. There are three major chain motel companies in Shanghai: Motel168 (my recommendation), Jin Jiang Inn (Chinese website), and Home Inns. All of them offer single room at price as low as 168 RMB (20 USD), 158 (less than 20 USD), and standard room around 268 RMB (30 USD). It is not bad for budget traveler. Although it is not as good as a star hotel, but they also offer convenient transportation, and clean room. I would highly recommend them.

My friends invited another famous journalist to join them in the hotel for one night. The other day, the poor journalist complained about the hotel he stayed – his expectation is a 5 star hotel paid by his employer. So make it clear whether low price or decent place what you want.

Hope this information is helpful.

19 thoughts on “Cheap Place to Stay in Shanghai

  1. Firstly, why are Chinese hotels so expensive relative to local wages, cost of living, land prices etc?

    Also, I’ve stayed at 2, 3 and 4 star places in Shanghai/Hangzhou/Beijing and I think it’s fair to say they don’t measure up to their repsective star-rated equivalents in Western countries. One 3 star I stayed at had plasterboard (dry-wall) construction on all walls but the outer one! Lucky I carry earplugs!

  2. Hi, i come to this site in the hope to find IT partners for joint web projects in Europe, but soon we’ll need also a branch in China. Can you suggest to me some IT people working with Open Source, with a reasonable level of English? We need both people live and work in China as well as travelling to Europe. Thanks YC Zhang

  3. Hi,

    I think this is a great site. I have seen your recommendation for motel168. The thing is – there are a number of them. Which one do you think is in the best location? The best location for me would be as central as possible I guess – where there is the most “life” – shopping, nightlife, lots places to eat etc.

    Motel 168 of zhoujiazui Road

    Motel 168 of aomen Road

    Motel 168 of huoshan Road

    Motel 168 of Anyuan Road

    Motel 168 of Liuzhou Road

    Motel 168 of Wuzhong Road

    Motel 168 of New Jinqiao Road

    The motel 168’s in the different locations are different prices of course. When I know more about their relative merit of location, I can calculate where I want to stay, pricing in these cost differentials.

    This might be a nice idea for a related future article – “what is the best district to stay in Shanghai”. For the perspective of a tourist and an expatriate. I may be staying for quite an extended period (few months) so I am in a twilight between these two.

    On another note – I need to work whilst I am in Shanghai. I will be bringing my laptop and am very interested in anything re: wireless in shanghai. Motel168 say that they have wireless provision in their rooms. BUT is this free? Or at extra cost? Would be very interested to hear on this point.

  4. Sorry, to bother the community again. Just wondering if anyone has an email address for motel168 (the whole chain or an individual branch). Cannot find one on their site. thanks ever so much.

  5. I stayed in a HomeInn last September and was very happy with my room. It was simple, clean, and inexpensive. There were two twins beds, a color tv, a water cooler with cool and warm water for tea, a nice remote controlled air conditioner, and a very clean, pleasant bath. A Chinese friend booked the room for me and I’m not even sure of the address. It was in the middle of the block about a mile north of NanJing Lu just west of Shanxi Bei Lu. There was nothing touristy about the surrounding neighborhood which may be why I loved it so much.

  6. On August 4th I will arive in Shanghai, I am very excited as it will be my first time in China.

    I am very glad to have found this site and the information about cheap accomodation, specially because I may stay for a few weeks.

    The Hotels listed however do not have any working online reservation in English. I wonder, or rather ask, could anybody please be so kind and moiake a reservation for me?

    It could be either a Motel 168 or the HomeInn, whichever you find more convenient, easier to book, and best located for a fist time Shanghai tourist.

    thank you very much for your kind attention,


  7. Hi Andreas

    Try and email to this one :

    Haodu Hotel

    41 Guangxi nan lu (“South Guangxi Road”)

    email :

    230-260 RMB/night.

    Not far from People’s Square, and not THAT noisy at night.

    For your good night sleep, take your precautions.

    China is noisy, and the windows are only there to keep the rain from coming in, not for keeping the sounds out :-)

  8. thank you very much carsten.

    in the meantime I had successfully contacted some other hotels, let’z see which one it will be.

    any chance – that anybody reading this could be interested to meet me, show me around Shanghai, go for a tea with me?

  9. Hello Jian Shuo,

    I´m going to Shanghai next week and I will go to Beijing the 3th of Sep.

    Could you recommend me a good hotel in Beijing? Which area do you thing is it the best to stay?

    In reference to the domestic flights from Shanghai to Beijing, do you think is better if I buy the ticket before travelling to China or will I get a better price if I buy it in a chinese travel agency?

    thank you in advance


  10. hello everybody

    welcome to china

    enjoy you have a good time.i am chinaeastern airline staff,if you want to book ticket.domestice or international,you can attatch me


  11. Hello

    I am leading a group of family members for the October Special OLympics World Games. I am looking for the cheapest of cheap accommodations. Anyone with an idea?

    +256 772 458922

  12. hi everybody,of course if you are searching for the cheapest accomodation ever in shanghai I advise to live in chinese family..

    I know the website homestayglobal, yes it’s one of the cheapest for this.

    Have a look

    good search

  13. hi everybody,

    like henry said, if you are really searching for cheap accommodation go right away to homestayglobal>>

  14. living in a Chinese family has a big inbred problem – language. most Chinese people, even trained for years in the school, can’t communicate in spoken English quite well. the other problem is space. with the second bedroom, the maximum number of people that a Chinese family can accommodate is about 2 or 3.

    a very good alternative is “short-term apartment”. these are fully furnished apartment suites that nly costs a fraction (ranging from 15% to 80%) of what you have to pay for a hotel or a serviced apartment room. just google “shanghai short-term apartment” to get some ideas of what it is.

  15. – i am married from chiness girl

    – i need one room ,living room, bath room and kitchen

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