Shanghai is a fairly safe city.  Areas of greatest concern are the foreigner targetted nightclub areas such as Mao Ming Road and Ju Le Road.  These areas can be a bit more risky late at night when the establishments close around 2AM.  Right around closing, police cars can be seen guarding the end of the street, so being aware of the surroundings should be enough to stay safe. Keeping to well lit areas late at night is a great way to stay in safe areas.

The bigger issue in Shanghai is pickpocketing.  When walking around pedestrian boulevards and outdoor shopping areas no pocket and no bag is safe.  Again, being aware of the surroundings is the best policy.  Police and security are fairly present in the city in navy uniforms, and the police can be reached by dialing 110.  The pedestrian area of Nanjing Road is the area where travellers should exercise the most caution, especially on the edges by the intersection with Henan Road, and the intersection with Xizang (Tibet) Road.

 When crossing streets, be aware that motorists, bicyclists, and motorcyclists will most likely not stop for you, but try to find the shortest way around you.  Avoid making direct eye contact with motorists, because if you do, he assumes you will stop for him.  Bus drivers are also quite aggressive and make wide turns, watch out for the mirrors which project quite far out -- these are very dangerous for pedestrians. Even walking on the sidewalk is a challenge when bikes, motorcycles and the scary silent motorized bikes whiz from behind by without warning -- it's best to walk on a straight, predictable path to avoid being hit.  Always remember that the pedestrian is the lowest in the food chain in China!

In rainy weather, many public places become extremely slippery as the surfaces are covered in highly polished marble which offer no traction for most types of footwear.

Unsuspecting tourists can also become the victim of scams. See the Scams Traveler Article for descriptions of several types of these scams.

Beware of hot humid days - the pollution can become so heavy that it can cause respiratory problems. To avoid this try sight seeing in the morning and evening and stay indoors on very hot days.

And do not forget, beware of spitballs!!