From a trading port to now thriving Chinese metropolitan hub, the transformation of Shanghai has been nothing short of breathtaking. Add awe-inspiring architecture old and new, world-renowned chefs, heaving nightlife, and a burgeoning art and design scene, and you can get ready to be totally Shanghaied.
Reserve Now (日本語) Reserve Now
Begin your day with a stroll or run along The Bund when the sun rises over Pudong’s futuristic architecture, and lights up the historic buildings on the western banks of the Huangpu River. Do yourself a favour and book the Shanghai Street Eats breakfast tour with Untour and eat your way through the Xuhui district, snacking on jianbing (Chinese crepe), dumplings, handpulled noodles and more.
take a stroll
When you’re full as an egg, get some retail under your belt at Garden Books with a selection of heritage architecture and coffee table books and English translations of fine Chinese literature. Studio 5 is a co-working space that houses two cool local brands Loop Swim eco-friendly swim togs, and Fernanda Sung Jewelry Shanghai-inspired jewelry, but make an appointment to see both.
Hungry? Zip to Kin Urban Thai Kitchen for Northern Thai-inspired fare with zing, including khao soi curry noodles and larb minced pork salad, or boost your caffeine quota at hip hang Café del Volcan both on the same street. Hit the museum and gallery trail along the West Bund Culture Corridor an 8km-long emerging arts district by the river.
Art out and chill
Don’t miss the West Bund Museum, a striking 20,000 sqm waterfront landmark designed by British architect David Chipperfield. Look out for big-ticket exhibitions curated in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, an ongoing partnership that sees the regular loan of works from the French cultural powerhouse. Also worthwhile is the Long Museum, with its marvellous collection of Chinese art and cultural relics courtesy of hubby and wife collectors Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei. Once you’re arted out, taxi to Subconscious Day Spa with its focus on natural and organic treatments, and gussy up with a mani or facial.
Kick off your evening at Cellar to Table a smart wine bar in a heritage villa, with an extensive list of wines by the glass and bottle, with something for nearly everyone. Grab a table on the patio in fine weather. Upstairs in the same villa is Hundo a crazy-popular Japanese izakaya that you will need to book ahead – insist on dining at the bar if you are in pairs. You’ll also need to book a table for afters at Mahjong Social Club a lush neon-lit games parlour and cocktail lounge hidden within M Glam bar, with twinkly views of the Bund. It’s supposed to be members only, but message them nicely on WeChat and say LUXE sent you. Should you need to cut loose on the dance floor, hot and happening Master has incredible lighting by digital artists of the moment Team Lab.