Shanghai teems with high-rise buildings and towers but the city doesn’t boast must-see sights and attractions like London or New York. The delights of Shanghai are located rather on the street where everyday life unravels with astounding variety. Pick up a pair of chopsticks and dig in this booming metropolis.
When you travel from the airport to the centre, take the world’s very first magnetic levitation train. Shanghai Maglev Train ride is a lifetime experience, although you might feel a bit whiplashed and bewildered at first.
Shanghai is made for walking. You can start your stroll in Fuxing Park and wander the streets past sycamore trees and elegant mansions. Sun Yat-sen was the founding father of modern China and his former residence now houses an elegant museum full of original furnishings.
China’s museums are, in general, badly lighted, with jumbled English information and in pathetic state. The Shanghai Museum is the very opposite and showcases the best of Chinese history and culture. Don’t try to digest it all in one go as the range of artefacts and memorabilia is amazing.
Dongtai Road is the best place to go antique hunting. Amongst all the tourist tat and fakes can be found real treasures and rare goods.
Chinese contemporary art is in its heyday and if you want to visit its centre, head to the buzzing M50 which is full of galleries, cultural venues and ateliers.
Touristy and overcrowded but still the major landmark of Shanghai. The Bund is perfect for a nice stroll along the marvellous historical buildings. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of this riverfront boardwalk.
The soup dumpling, or xiaolong bao, is Shanghai’s greatest culinary joy and you get the very best dumplings at Din Tai Fung. But be warned: the restaurant is to be found in a rather sterile mall.
Sometimes you want China to be a place of narrow lanes and arched bridges as in the ancient ink paintings. The canal town of Nanxun, just a couple hours’ drive from Shanghai, still well preserves its historical houses and laid-back feel. Hire a boat or take a gondola ride and the lifetime experience is guaranteed.