Women in Shanghai practising a traditional Chinese dance, against a backdrop of the city's skyline

Where to stay

  • Fairmont Peace Hotel, 20 Nanjing Rd East; +86 21 6138 6888; This luxe hotel, with its lavish Art Deco aesthetic, is a favorite with local and international celebrities.
  • Holiday Inn Express Putuo Hotel Shanghai, 843 Guangfu Xi Rd; Ideal for budget travelers, with easy access to the train station and a supermarket.
  • Hyatt on the Bund Hotel, 199 Huangpu Rd; +86 21 6393 1234; This upscale hotel boasts what are arguably the city’s best views of The Bund.
  • Marvel Hotel Shanghai, 123 South Xizang Rd, Huangpu District; +86 21 3305 9999; For value-for-money lodgings in close proximity to Huaihai Road, Nanjing Road and People’s Square.
  • Shanghai Fish Inn Bund, 639 Middle Henan Rd, Huangpu District; +86 21 3330 1399; A centrally-located boutique hotel with traditional décor but modern amenities.
  • The Bund Hotel Shanghai, 525 Guangdong Rd, Huangpu District; +86 21 6352 2000; Snap the perfect travel selfie outside The Bund Hotel Shanghai, with the vivid skyline and vast waterfront as your backdrop. Inside, find respite from the city’s bustle with the smartly furnished Superior Rooms (only RMB670 a night, including breakfast).

Where to eat

  • Bao Luo, 271 Fumin Rd, Jingan District. Also known as Paul (its English nickname), this popular restaurant attracts long queues of people with its chaotic buzz and authentic Chinese cuisine.
  • Cha’s, 1/F 30 Sinan Rd, Huangpu District; +86 21 6093 2062. A classic Cantonese diner plucked out of the 1950s (right down to the old-school music and floor tiles) that’s popular among locals and foreigners alike.
  • Fu 1088, 375 Zhenning Rd; +86 21 5239 7878. Enjoy elegant Shanghainese dishes with a modern twist, such as smoked cod, slow-cooked pork belly and crab roe on toast. Bookings are essential.
  • Jia Jia Tang Bao, 90 Huanghe Rd; +86 21 6327 6878. Serves up some of the best xiao long bao (soup dumplings) in the city.
  • Lang Yi Fang Restaurant, Super Brand Plaza, Pudong District; +86 21 5047 1266. Feast on authentic Shanghainese dishes while enjoying great views of the Bund.
  • Lao Beijing, 1 Henan South Rd, Huangpu District; +86 21 6373 4515. Head here for Northern Chinese fare, including Peking duck.
  • Lost Heaven, 17 Yan’an Dong Rd, near Sichuan Nan Rd; +86 21 6330 0967; A highly-acclaimed restaurant with gorgeous decor and delicious Yunnan fare, including roasted pork and fried pork ribs.
  • Mercato by Jean Georges, 6/F, Three on the Bund, No. 3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Rd; +86 21 6321 9922; A handsome, upscale restaurant specializing in Italian fare, such as wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bund, 6/F Bund 18, 18 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Rd; +86 21 6323 9898; This contemporary French bistro – a mainstay on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list – offers a varied, creative menu with more than 200 options, such as long short beef ribs, and foie gras crumble.
  • Munchies, various locations. For wallet-friendly American comfort food. Order the Nate’s Phatty Back Burger or the Beef Burrito.
  • The Rooster, 51 Yongkang Rd, Xuhui District; A favorite nightcap venue for expats, The Rooster features appetizing snacks like pulled pork and barbecue sliders that are certified crowd-pleasers. Wash these down with the bar’s selection of draft beer, wine and cocktails. Cash payments only.
  • Tono Palace 131 Cat Café, Luwan District; +86 21 5465 0813. Cuddle with cats (that are dressed in cute outfits to boot) while enjoying a slice of cake or two.
  • VUE Bar, 199 Huangpu Rd; +86 21 6393 1234; Resident DJs spin for the champagne-swilling crowd in this two-story lounge decorated with wine barrels and plate-glass panels.
  • Ye Shanghai, 338 Huang Pi Nan Rd; +86 21 6311 2323. Enjoy a wide variety of Shanghainese and Cantonese dim sum.

What to do

  • 1933 Old Millfun, 10 Shajing Rd, Hongkou District. A former slaughterhouse that has since been converted into an arts and retail space, with a mix of cafes, high-end restaurants and art galleries.
  • Anhui. For a pleasant day trip, visit the province of Anhui, which is only six hours away by bus. You can trek the beautiful Huangshan mountains for stunning views of the surrounding country.
  • Museum of the First National Congress of the Communist Party, 76 Xingye Rd. This former residence witnessed the birth of China’s governing party in July 1921. Today, the exhibition space contains period furniture, relics, photographs and lifelike wax figures.
  • Oriental Pearl Tower, Century Ave, Pudong District; +86 21 5879 1888; Enjoy panoramic views of the city from this famous Shanghai landmark. The tower also lights up in different LED sequences at night.
  • Shanghai Botanical Garden, 997 Longwu Rd, Xuhui District; +86 21 5435 2845. The largest municipal botanical garden in the country is home to a colorful array of gardens and greenhouses. Check out the bonsai garden, the orchid garden, and the bamboo grove.
  • Shanghai French Concession, Puxi Central, Huangpu District. The tree-lined avenues of this district (quarters that were once designated for the French) is home to some of the best restaurants, cafes and boutiques in the city.
  • Shanghai Museum, 201 Renmin Ave, Huangpu District; +86 21 6372 3500; Take a few hours to wander through this cavernous museum, which is widely considered to be one of the best museums in China. Breathtaking bronzes, ancient ceramics and calligraphy are just some of the treasures on display here.
  • Shanghai Old Street (Yuyuan Bazaar), No. 269 Fangbang Middle Rd, Huangpu District. Spend an hour or two exploring this outdoor bazaar, where you’ll find everything from silks to street food.
  • Shanghai World Financial Center, 100 Century Ave, Pudong District; The main draw at this gleaming tower is its cloud-high, glass-floor viewing platform. Begin at the observation deck on the 94th floor before proceeding to the 97th and — once you’ve steeled your nerves — check out the view from 100 stories up, poised a vertigo-inducing 474m above the street.
  • ShanghART Gallery, 50 Moganshan Rd, Putuo District; +86 21 6359 3923; Admire the works of local artists at this gallery, which was one of the first Chinese galleries to participate in international art fairs like Art Basel.
  • South Bund Fabric Market, 299 Lujiabang Rd, Huangpu District. Every fabric in every color imaginable can be found here and then tailored to your needs for next to nothing. Bring along some bargaining skills and walk away with a brand new wardrobe.
  • Suzhou. Take a 35-minute high-speed G-type train from Shanghai Hongqiao railway station to Suzhou, known for its gardens and waterside architecture. Visit the Lingering Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Bund, Zhongshan East 1st Rd, Huangpu District. Take a stroll along the famous waterfront, where you’ll find colonial-style architecture on one side of the river, and modern skyscrapers on the other.
  • Tianzifang, Huangpu District. Spend an entire day in this hip and wonderfully disheveled arts and crafts enclave. Twists and turns lead to nice surprises, including artsy cafes, vintage stores, studios and design galleries.
  • Yu Garden, 218 Anren St; +86 21 6326 0830; Take a calming stroll through this five-acre oasis of ornate Ming dynasty pavilions, fish-filled ponds and rock sculptures.
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