Think of this as part A of a grand scavenger hunt. Shanghai’s Bund – its Wall Street – ought to suck you in and overwhelm you, and when it does, use this guide to navigate the bustle and craft an organic adventure.
Contemporary Chinese art
Clue: three is the magic number
What happens when an inspired collective of art enthusiasts pool their wealth and create a permanent display for contemporary Chinese artists? This mystery gallery has your answer, and it’s a fascinating testament to what China will do to preserve its rich history and modern culture. Exhibitions, exchange programs, guided tours – this highlight is open 11am to 7pm.
Round, colourful candy with attitude
Clue: twice as nice
Nanjing Road has its fair share of quirky boutiques, but this one, themed after an iconic western confectionery, stands out. Here you can buy toys, clothes, and (of course) sweets bearing the product’s double-lettered logo and lovably smug mascots. You can spend a day here.
The trendiest of the trendy
Clue: you put this on your cheeks
When Shanghai’s nightlife calls, you must respond by heading to the #1 rated bar (TripAdvisor) in the city. The rooftop is positioned to offer a perfect panorama of the entire skyline, in all its futuristic glory, and the cocktails are marvellously innovative. Locals go here, tourists go here; cultures mesh; good times are had.
Find the gap in the market
Clue: riverside bargain-hunting
Start where the Yan’an East Road Tunnel meets Zhongshan East 2nd Road, west of the Huangpu River, and find this local institution by its sound and energy. Street food, trinkets and odd sundries are on sale here – perfect if you need a gift – but it’s the chance to connect with city-dwelling Chinese that makes this spot a must-find.
Good food, good friends
Clue: inspired by a Scorsese film of the same name
Shanghai has at least 15,975 restaurants, and according to the enamoured guests on TripAdvisor, this Italian pizza-pasta emporium is its third best. In the whole city. Seek it out by its immortally chummy name. When you get there, revel in the stunningly crafted ambience and indulge in a hearty plate of bolognese. It’s how Tommy DeVito (hint) would’ve wanted it.