So I applied for a semester abroad in China and received confirmation that I can study in Shanghai. Problem is that I also have the opportunity to study in Beijing so I wanted to ask you guys what you would choose.
Which city is better?
Which city has more options for travelling?
Which city has more interesting sights?
Anybody with experience here that could tell me about both places?
Bong here who visited both during summer - Beijing is only worthwhile for the tourist attractions; the city is a barren industrial shithole with MUCH worse pollution and humidity than Shanghai.
Shanghai is easily the more vibrant city in terms of commerce and culture with much more efficient transport links.
You can get a variety of trains between the two, varying between 6 to 12 hours. Would recommend staying in Shanghai and heading up to Beijing for a few days to do the Wall, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Sq and whatever else you want
Beijing is culturally underrated. Even if you remove the political influence, the city is still dynamic. The people there feel a bit more ordinary and grounded than they do in other parts of China.
Shanghai is posh. Being cosmopolitan is actually a detriment in my opinion, because the city is heavily influenced by western materialism. Problem is that a lot of the luxuries and amenities are still second rate.
I'd rather live in Shanghai, but Beijing is better to visit.