Overnight Shanghai: 36 Hours in the City

Get rid of those negative preconceived notions of China. Shanghai is a wonderful blend of traditional and modern, and chaos and peace. This may be your best adventure yet.

China doesn’t usually find itself at the top of the list of travel destinations for most Filipinos, especially with the barrage of news about disputes in international waters and government censorship, and viral videos of rude tourists. But I believe that a country isn’t defined by its government, and while there’s no doubt that bad apples exist, they shouldn’t be the reason for leaving a wonderful city like Shanghai out of your travel bucket list.

General Areas

Pudong

The financial and modern center of the city. Take the Maglev train to reach downtown in 8 minutes for approximately 8 USD.

Huangpu or Downtown

Old city center where you can find the Bund, People’s Square, Nanshi, the Old Town Bazaar, and the popular Yu Yuan Garden.

Hongkou

Original American concession and the area that holds the old Jewish Quarter. There are interesting sights here and some good eats.

Luwan or the French Quarter

The domain of the French colonial community until 1949, and walking down the tree-lined avenues makes you think you were in Paris. Contains some of the best restaurants and most creative developments.

Jing An

A mix of some colonial buildings and the modern center of Shanghai, with everything from large glitzy shopping malls to soviet style blocks and some temples.

Xuhui

An eclectic mix of cafes, bars, restaurants, the Longhua Pagoda, and the Botanical Gardens.

Where to Stay

If you’re only in Shanghai for a couple of days, stay in one of the hotels around the French Quarter, the Bund, or Nanjing West Road.

Art, Culture, and Museums

Power Station of Art
200 Huayuangang Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
Open 11 am – 7 pm

The Shanghai Museum
201 Renmin Ave, RenMin GuangChang, Huangpu Qu, China, 200000
Open 9 am – 5 pm

China Art Palace
161 Shangnan Road, Pudong New District (浦东新区上南路161号)
Open 9 am – 5 pm, closed on Mondays

M50 Creative Park
50 Moganshan Rd, Putuo Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

LWH Gallery
50 Moganshan Rd, Putuo Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

Museum of Contemporary Art
Nanjing Xi Lu, 1515 Nanjing W Rd, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200040

Shopping

Xu Jia Hui, Nanjing, Hai Hai Road: commercial shopping areas

Dongtai Road Market: antiques, traditional wares

Tianshan Market: tea

South Bund Fabric Market or Lujiabang Fabric Market: suits, dresses, etc.

Where to Eat

Local Favorites

Old Jesse
41 Tianping Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200030

Jian Guo 328
309, 11 Jianguo E Rd, HaiNing Lu, Shanghai, China

Fuchun
650 Yuyuan Rd, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China

Yang’s
Huangpuhui, 269 Wujiang Rd, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200041

Jia Jia Tang Bao
90 Huanghe Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

Wuyuan Bingjia
255 Yanping Rd, Jingan Qu, China, 200042

A Da Cong You Bing
159 Mao Ming South Road, Unit 2 (near Nanchang Road), Shanghai

La Rou Si Mian Guan
106 Zhaozhou Rd, Lu Wan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

Qibao Old Street
Xiangyanh Road corner Changle Road

Rui Fu Yuan
132 Maoming Nan Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu

Bao Luo
271 Fumin Rd, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

Lost Heaven
38 Gaoyou Rd, Xuhui Qu, China

Cafés and Dessert

House of Flour
635 Bibo Rd, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, 201203

Whisk Choco Café
1250 Huaihai Middle Rd, HuaiHai Lu XiDuan, Xuhui Qu, China

Lilian Bakery
Wujiang Road, Shanghai, China

High End/Reservation Needed

Fu 1088
375 Zhenning Rd, Changning Qu, China, 200040

T’ang Court
740 Hankou Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

Mr. and Mrs. Bund
18号 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200001

Unico
3 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

Chinoise Story
Jinjiang Hotel, No.59 Maoming South Rd., Huangpu, Shanghai, China

Ginger
91 Xingguo Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China

Otto e Mezzo
China, Shanghai Shi, Huangpu Qu, WaiTan, Yuanmingyuan Rd, Xiejin Building, 协进大楼 邮政编码: 200002

Ultraviolet
Waitan, Huangpu, Shanghai, China, 200001

Madam Goose
Shop 422, Zhong Sheng World Shopping Mall, 5001 Dushi Road, Xinzhuang, Minhang, Shanghai

Sir Elly’s
China, Shanghai Shi, Huangpu Qu, WaiTan, Zhongshan East 1st Rd, 32号, The Peninsula Shanghai 邮政编码: 200002

The Highline
6/F, 282 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu

Tony’s Farm
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China

Commune Social
511 Jiangning Rd, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China

Xin Da Lu
Hyatt on the Bund

Bars and Clubs

Speak Low
579 Fuxing Middle Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

The Union Trading Company
64号 Fenyang Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200031

Bar Rouge
18 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200001

M1nt
China, Shanghai Shi, Huangpu Qu, Fuzhou Rd, 318号高腾大厦 邮政编码: 200000

Le Baron
7F, 20 Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Lu

Dada
115 Xingfu Rd, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200052

C’s
685号 Dingxi Rd, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200052

The Mansion
B-18 Dynasty Villa, No. 851 Hong Jing Rd. near Hong Qiao Rd. Changning, Shanghai, China

Elevator
4/F, 218 Xinle Lu, near Donghu Lu

Cotton Club
China, Shanghai, Xuhui, 淮海中路1416号

Arkham
China, Shanghai, Xuhui, Wulumuqi S Rd, 1号-5

M2
China, 淮海中路282号香港广场南座4楼

Barbarossa
Inside People’s Park, 231 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu (Entrance between Starbucks and Shanghai Art Museum)

Bar Constellation
86号 Xinle Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

Senator Saloon
98 Wuyuan Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200031

Vue Bar
199 Huangpu Rd, Hongkou Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200080

 

Having a guide who can speak Chinese is incredibly advantageous. Many thanks to Chelsea from UnTour Food Tours for showing me around the best food spots in the city. To have an awesome food tour of Shanghai, check out UnTour Food Tours here: https://untourfoodtours.com/ and also on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch the full episode here!

Note: as of posting, The Shelter and El Coctel are now closed.

Erwan Heussaff
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