Living in Shanghai – What to do and where to go if your here for 4 days

Having been absent for a while due to various factors (laziness mainly but also planning and taking trips overseas) I haven’t had time to sit down and put my ramblings onto the computer for people I don’t know to read and judge!

So from today onwards don’t be surprised if there is suddenly a flourish of activity on this blog (sniggering sarcastically)

We have a few friends coming over in the next few months so to ensure they get the most out of their visits to Shanghai, I thought I would compile a snapshot for what one can do on a quick 4 day visit to Shanghai (touristy stuff to do around Shanghai and places to eat and drink)…

Now remember these are by no means the only places we have been to in Shanghai, (its has an est. 23million people, so you can imagine what it has to offer)  this is just a snapshot of the places as the list would be far longer and go on and on and on etc……and we don’t want to be seen as proper wankers!!

Note: some facts have been extracted from various sources, the rest is just our opinion/findings/experiences.

Place What is it for Area Notes
Tian Zi Fang Shopping Dapuqiao A good place to take photos. It’s full of tradition ,characteristic Shanghai style building, there are a lot of small but very cute shops and galleries a great little café inside called Kommune (owned by an aussie) and also a poo café… as in toilets and food shaped like poo.
Citizen Café Bar/Restaurant Former French Concession Expat bar but really subtle about it, in a really nice area to wander around in. Great martinis and bar food and reasonably priced. These guys also own Senator salon too which is great
Pudong Fake Market Markets Pudong Better fake market then West Nanjing and they are a lot more fun to haggle with and not so aggressive!
Glamour Bar Bar The Bund Great cocktails bit of a sausage fest but a nice indoor view of the bund at night. Great music and fantastic staff.
Dakota Bar Bar/Restaurant Former French Concession One of my fave places. Great little French/American fusion restaurant with a sexy little bar out the back, reasonably priced for what you get and the atmosphere is great. Good old school house music too. Great Bartenders in the restaurant and really good service for Shanghai.
Senator Saloon Bar/Restaurant Former French Concession We went there the 2nd day it was opened and it had a really lovely bar manager and good service. A bit exy but it’s worth heading in for the whiskey drinks. Very sexy little bar though owned by the same people that own Citizen Café.
The Alchemist Bar/Restaurant Sinan Mansions/Former French Concession (Sinan mansions is a renovated Mansion complex with lots of little shops, bars and restaurants) Really interesting cocktails in a nice little area, within walking distance to other bars which are interesting to see.
Café Brioche café Sinan Mansions/Former French Concession Great little café, little sterile (white décor all over) food is simple a little pricey as catering for expats.
Jingan Temple Temple Jingan Main area for expats to shop for food (City shop, freshmart etc. all there) also the temple (surprisingly) is there which I have yet to enter. Beware of the hagglers there though!
Former French Concession Area/Bars Former French Concession Great place to just stroll around and see the cafes, bars and other little shops to look at. I really like it in Spring time when the trees and blossoms come out as it makes you feel like you are somewhere other than smoggy Shanghai.
Cool Docks Area/Bars The Bund Lots of great bars opened in Summer time, South Bund Fake beach is there and other nice little restaurants, a little pricey for the locals but still a nice place to see and some wonderful little treasures there too
The Bund Promenade Sightseeing The Bund A great piece of land to stroll along to head to some bars mentioned, also to capture a view of the amazing skyline on the Pudong side (Citi located there) and old communist buildings on the Puxi Side. Best viewed around 6pm when its dusk. Stroll along there while heading to find food or to get a drink. The scenery at night is very beautiful, especially in holidays, when all the lights on over the HuangPu river. Down further you can buy a boat ticket to enjoy a 90 minutes trip around the river, if you like. The Bund is where the port and dock area of shanghai originally took place. It’s got amazing colonial architecture and some of the most fancy and expensive restaurants/bars in Shanghai. Best night views and amazing to head too on a nice day to see the light shows. Also recommend heading to a fancy pants bar there to drink and look t the view.
Pudong Skyline area Sightseeing Pudong Paulaner Bauhaus (German Beer house) is great for a hearty meal at decent prices, not to mention the beer. Afterwards you can wander along looking at the Puxi skyline. There are also some nice touristy things to see and visit there too.
Yu Yuan Garden Sightseeing/Knick knack shopping Yu Yuan Some nice little shops, really touristy and haven’t really shopped here because of that but still very nice pretty sights. Prob the most touristy place in Shanghai other then the Bund. Yuyuan Garden is a traditional Chinese Ming style private garden, originally built in 1559 but ransacked and restored several times since. It has Chinese pavilions, lots of paths and gardens. When we went they were doing a lot of refurbishment but its worth seeing as near the garden, the zigzag bridge and its teahouse can be visited.
Jin Mao tower Sightseeing Pudong The oriental peal TV tower (building looks like a stick with three balls on it) It is located at Pudong LuJiaZui.The 468 meters high tower is the third highest TV tower in the world. In sunny days, you can have a very good view of Shanghai. The first floor or the TV tower, there’s a Museum. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is located at the tip of Lujiazui in Shanghai’s Pudong district, opposite The Bund. The design of the building is based on a verse of the Tang Dynasty poem, Pipa Song by Bai Juyi; it describes the wonderful sprinkling sound of a pipa instrument, falling like pearls on a jade plate.
Cantina Agave Food Former French Concession Nice little Mexican place, pitchers of margaritas was closed when we went there recently but think it will reopen as was only redecorating and right around the corner from Dakota bar and other bars around Donghu Lu hotel.
Dong Tai Lu antiques Sightseeing Xintiandi Good little place to wander around in and see “antique” stuff, also across the road is a nice little live pet market full of interesting things to look at
Xin Tian Di Sightseeing/Knick knack shopping Puxi Side It was rebuilt on the on the basis of “ShiKuMen”, typical Shanghai architecture. There are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, bars. Here, modernist and tradition are mixed. (The prices here are very expensive.)  (The ShiKuMen building within Shanghai Xintiandi retains the antique walls, tiles and exterior of the old Shanghai housing, while the internal spaces have been designed and decorated to a thoroughly modern standard.)
Shanghai Museum It possesses a collection of 120,000 precious works of art. Museum, with a construction space of 39,200 square metres, houses 11 galleries and three exhibition halls in total.
Rooftop Bar/Table No 1 Restaurant/Bar The Bund Great little place with views of the bund and also of the beach at south Bund, only open in the summer months but worth heading to for the Passionfruit Mojitos, it’s on top of the restaurant called table No 1 and is very cool indeed. Laid back and great staff, good tapas and its own herb garden. Wish it was open all year round.
Sinan Mansions Restaurant/Bar Former French Concession Nice little place with some good bars around the area, Café Brioche, The Alchemist, Boxing cat Brewery. Handy meeting spot if you don’t know places or the city too well. As mentioned the Alchemist is well worth having a cocktail at.
The Grand Hyatt/Cloud 9 Bar Restaurant/Bar Pudong Really expensive but considering you are there for the views worth a drink. Filled with bankers (its near Financial district in Shanghai) it can be a bit wanky but worth going too early for the view and a good table.  …..”Located on the 87th floor in the apex of the Jin Mao Tower, guests at Cloud 9 Bar enjoy a 360-degree view of Shanghai from one of the highest points in the city.   To reach Cloud 9, take the guest elevators from the hotel Lobby on Level 54 to Level 85.  From there, two dedicated lifts will transport you to the “sky lounge”….” (per their website)
Hangzhou, Suzhou, zhujiajiao ancient town Sightseeing Shanghai If you can spare a day in between shopping, eating and exploring then it’s worth heading to the surrounding places which are 30-2 hours outside of Shanghai. Make sure you have comfy shoes, a backpack and a fully belly to explore the sights (and your camera). You can catch a glimpse of zhujiajiao water village in an earlier blog entry of mine.
 Worth a mention

note: due to how delicious the food was Mr & Mrs Bund will get its own blog post to follow.

The Camel Bar

Expat bar. Good eats and you can watch all sports games there…Worth heading to see.
The Shanghai Fabric Market Floors of fabric. Overrated and they are a pain to haggle with and exaggerate prices and turnaround times for items made
Boxing Cat Brewery Standard Beer bar. Easy place to choose if you don’t want to think
Bar Rouge We were taken here by a friend who didn’t want to leave and we couldn’t leave him and I found this place a bit wanky/douchey there is a cover charge which is interesting as you get nothing for it asides from local girls looking at you like you are competition, expat men looking at you like you’re a piece of raw meat at a safari game reserve, bottled water worth 100RMB (exy for here and I think the bar tender was ripping me off as there were no “menus”) and you have to queue to get in and queue to go to the loo (WTF, I’m too old for that). It’s filled with expats and ladies wanting an expat, so it has a kind of grimy feel to it.  Good house music though and interesting people watching.  Bad Décor and could really do with a new fit out and better staff. You leave here feeling really grimy and wishing you had a nuclear suit to wear to protect yourself. (Personally, I had to drink copious amounts of alcohol to get through the night)
O’Malley’s Irish bar where Kea Kiwi Expat drinks are held every 3rd Friday of the month. Easy bar to relax at.
Shanghai Brewery same as Boxing cat easy place to choose if you don’t want to think
Paulaner Brauhaus Amazing meaty, hearty meals with great beer and atmosphere reasonably priced and scattered all around Shanghai!
M1NT Think the Ivy and Zeta and all other fancy bars in Sydney rolled into this one bar without the pool. Good thing about this place the Sommelier is a Kiwi boy,the cocktails and beverage selection are great (used with quality products) and they now deliver via their own M1NT Cellars. Bad thing about it is, it’s where you go to be noticed and photographed….ergo it’s a bit of a douche-fest! Amazing parties there, great cocktails, and pricey but worth going to once in a while to feel fancy. You will end up openmouthed in amazement every now & then (not just because of the prices either)

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