Jamie Sinz shows you around

Shanghai City Guide

July 3, 2009

Pudong, Shanghai, China

Pudong, Shanghai, China

Here is my short list of Shanghai places that I would recommend to anyone visiting the city. I compiled the list while living in Shanghai from February – November 2009. These are simply the places I like, and think you might want to know about. It is by no means a comprehensive guide to everything in the city…but I think I’ve covered the best!!

[Jamie] links to blog posts where I have mentioned the place
[Nik] links to blog posts where Nik has mentioned the place
[smartS] links to the SmartShanghai restaurant review with map, directions and taxi printouts
[cityweekend] links to the City Weekend article because there isn’t a review at SmartShanghai

Sights

1. Lupu Bridge

Luban Rd near Longhua Rd
Metro Line 4, Luban Rd
Admission: 60rmb

[Jamie] [Nik]

Nik climbing the Lupu Bridge

Nik climbing the Lupu Bridge

The Lupu Bridge is one of many that crosses the Huangpu River, but as far as I know, it’s the only one that you can climb to the top of. The entrance fee is 60rmb, and that gives you an elevator ride half way to the top, and then you have to take a series of stairs the rest of the way. It is really amazing to go up on a clear day and see all of the development in Pudong, the construction along the river for the World Expo and the vast sea of high rise buildings in Puxi. I think it’s the best 360˚ view in the city.

2-3. World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower Bars and Restaurants

Century Avenue, Pudong
Metro Line 2, Lujiazui
Admission: 0rmb (you pay for the view with the price of beverages)

[Nik]

HSBC Jin Mao and WFC Towers

HSBC Jin Mao and WFC Towers

The World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Tower are the two tallest buildings in Shanghai right now, and each has its own observation decks (100-150rmb/person). But I don’t recommend going that route. Both buildings also house hotels, which means they have restaurants and bars in their upper stories. The hotels also have lobbies with a view, and if you’re short on time, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind you wandering in and snapping a few photos. But if you have more time, find a nice window seat and have a drink. In the WFC, we had 60rmb martinis at their trendy bar/restaurant ‘100 Century Avenue’ around 4pm on a Thursday in December, and we were the only ones there. Much more relaxing than the observation deck I presume. In the Jin Mao Tower, we opted to sit in the Grand Hyatt hotel lobby late one Sunday morning and drink 60rmb coffee. It was busy with hotel guests, and the adjacent restaurant had a nice spread for brunch that we might have to try sometime. Again, probably more relaxing than the observation deck and we didn’t feel like we were in a tourist trap.

4. Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

Renmin Da Dao 100, Northeast of the Shanghai Museum
Metro Lines 1, 2 & 8, People’s Square
Admission: 30rmb

[Nik]

The Danish Pavillion for the World Expo 2010

The Danish Pavillion for the World Expo 2010

The only reason I recommend visiting this “museum” is that they have an amazing architectural model of Shanghai as it is dreamed to be in 20 years and they have an impressive exhibit on the World Expo 2010 right now. When I visited last December, I hadn’t even heard about the Shanghai World Expo 2010 so seeing models for all of the international pavillions and the master plan for the entire event was impressive. Other than that, they do have some pretty cool old maps and photos on the second level and a moderately interesting room dedicated to urban housing. But that’s it.

5. Shanghai Museum

No. 201 Renmin Avenue
Metro Lines 1, 2 & 8, People’s Square
Admission: Free (limited to 5000 visitors/day but I doubt they reach that)

The Shanghai Museum is a typical city museum focusing on the art and history of China. It is a great place to linger for a few hours, but expect to be joined by hundreds of tourists chatting and taking photos of everything. My favorite exhibit is the pottery collection which shows the entire history of “china” in China. It isn’t the most calm and reflective space, but it is worth it.

6. The Bund

Zhongshan Rd along the river near Suzhou Creek
Metro Line 2, Nanjing Rd E
Admission: Free

[Jamie]

The Bund at night

The Bund at night

The Bund is a street with historic French Colonial buildings on one side and the Huangpu River on the other. It is also one of the most popular tourist spots in Shanghai and is filled with people offering to take your photo, hawking light-up roller skates, and selling “fresh” fruit on a stick. Regardless, there are tons of photo opportunities and benches to sit and people watch. I have heard that hordes of people practice Tai Chi early in the morning in the park, but I have not seen it. I will before I leave! My favorite time to go is at night. The Pudong skyline combined with the continuous stream of riverboats put on a pretty impressive light show, and the buildings are lit to emphasize their best features. Unfortunately, the entire area has been taken over by construction crews moving the highway so that for the time being, you cannot enjoy the view of Pudong AND the historic buildings at the same time. They should be gone by July 2010.

7. Bund Sightseeing Tunnel

The Bund (roughly opposite Bund 18, cross the street (pedestrian tunnel)
Metro Line 2, Nanjing Rd E
Admission: 40rmb one way, 50rmb return

[Jamie] [Nik]

The tunnel lights

The tunnel lights

Once you’ve experienced the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, there’s no need to experience it again. But I think it is a must especially if you need to get from the Bund to Pudong near the Pearl Tower/Super Brand Mall/Jin Mao Tower area. The tunnel is basically a psycadelic amusement park ride with hilarious English translations and horendous lighting. You will never have to wait more than five minutes because it doesn’t attract very many visitors, but I assure that you will be laughing throughout your journey under the Huangpu River!!

8. M50 Art Space

Moganshan Rd near West Suzhou Rd
Admission: Free

Where the first gallery was by far my favorite.

The Shun Art Gallery in M50

The M50 Galleries are a little farther out of downtown, but easily accessible by taxi or bike. It is a collection of old houses and warehouses that have been converted into art spaces and galleries. I went during the middle of the week and was able to see dozens of artists painting, sculpting and working in their studios as well as a few galleries that had impressive pieces. The entire neighborhood is a little different than downtown Shanghai, so while you’re up there take a stroll along the Suzhou Creek.

Sleeping

1. The Quintet Bed & Breakfast

808 Changle Rd, near Changshu Rd (French Concession)
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Room Rate: 900-1100 rmb/night

[Jamie][Nik]

The Gallery Room at Quintet B&B

The Grand Cathay at Quintet B&B*

We typically stay at budget hotels and guest houses, but for some reason decided to splurge the first time we visited Shanghai. I am so glad we did!! The Quintet is owned and run by Fay, who might be my favorite inn keeper ever. We felt as though we were staying at a friends house who happened to have five beautiful guest rooms, a rooftop terrace and a cook who made delicious french toast and coffee for us every morning (see the notes on the Closed Door breakfast below). Staying here is what clenched my desire to open my own Bed & Breakfast one day. In fact, once we came to Shanghai to live, I sat down with Fay to talk about just that. In her case, it was a dream that just happened one day. She casually mentioned that she’d like to open a B&B to a friend who casually mentioned that they knew of a great old lane house that she should look at. And the rest is history. The Quintet is located in the heart of the French Concession and has every benefit staying in a small inn could have.

2. URBN Eco Hotel

183 Jiao Zhou Rd near Xinzha Rd (Jing An)
Metro Line 2, Jing An Temple
Room Rate: 1300-2600rmb

Parks

1. Zhongshan Park

Changning Rd near Dingxi Rd (Changning)
Metro Line 2, 3&4, Zhongshan Park
Admission: Free
[Jamie]

Newspaper at Zhongshan Park

Newspaper at Zhongshan Park

2. Guilin Park

Guilin Rd near CaoBao Rd (Xuhui)
Metro Line 9, Guilin Rd
Admission: 2rmb
[Jamie]

Guilin Park Tea House

Guilin Park Tea House

3. Fuxing Park

Fuxing Rd near Chongquing Rd (French Concession)
Metro Line 1, Huangpi Rd
Admission: Free
[Jamie][Nik]

Shanghai Plane Trees at Fuxing Park

Shanghai Plane Trees at Fuxing Park

4. Century Park

Century Avenue (Pudong)
Metro Line 2, Science & Technology Center
Admission: 20rmb
[Jamie][Nik]

Dad and daughter having fun in the bumper cars at Century Park

Dad and daughter having fun in the bumper cars at Century Park

5. Riverside Promenade

Huangpu River between Dongchang Rd & Zhongyang Rd (Pudong)
Metro Line 2, Dongchang Rd
North of the Yangfu Line River Taxi terminal, South of the Dongjin/Dongdong Line terminal
Admission: Free

[Jamie]

20090510_shanghai_pan-sm

Riverside Promenade

Chinese Restaurants

1. Yunan: Southern Barbarian

Area E, 2/F Ju’Roshine Life Arts Space
56 Maoming Nan Lu or 169 Jinxian Lu (after 9pm use Jinxian Lu entrance)
Metro Line 1, Shaanxi Rd
Dinner for two: 200rmb

[Nik][smartS]

Chicken Wings at Southern Barbarian

Chicken Wings at Southern Barbarian*

2. Vegetarian: Jujubetree Vegetarian Lifestyle

Jiangning Branch
258 Fengxian Rd near Nanhui Rd
Metro Line 2, Nanjing Rd (W)
Dinner for two: 100-150rmb
[Nik]

Vegetables and fried tofu from Jujube Tree

Vegetables and fried tofu from Jujube Tree*

3. Hand Pulled Noodles: Noodle Bull

No. 291 Fumin Lu near Changle Lu (actual store front is on Changle Lu)
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Basic Bull Noodle: 25rmb

[Nik][smartS]

Bull Noodle Soup from Noodle Bull

Bull Noodle Soup from Noodle Bull*

4. Chinese Diner: Bi Feng Tang

Changshu Rd near Changle Rd
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Dinner for two: 80-120rmb

[smartS]

5. Taiwanese: Charmant

1414 Huaihai Zhong Rd at Fuxing Rd
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Dinner for two: 150-200rmb
[smartS]

Black Sesame Smoothie from Charmant*

Black Sesame Smoothie from Charmant*

6. Sichuan: Sichuan Citizen

30 Donghu Rd near Huaihai Rd
Metro Line 1, Shaanxi Rd
Dinner for two: 120-200rmb
[smartS]

Spicy Tofu from Sichuan Citizen

Spicy Tofu from Sichuan Citizen

International Restaurants

1. Breakfast: Closed Door

808 Changle Rd near Changshu Rd
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Brunch Menu: 160rmb (includes antipasti buffet, entree, beverage and coffee)
Entrees: 40-60rmb
**Reservations preferred but sometimes not required. t. 62480098

[cityweekend][Nik]

French Toast and eggs from Closed Door*

French Toast and eggs from Closed Door*

2. Italian Dinner: Closed Door

808 Changle Rd near Changshu Rd
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Dinner for two: 300-400rmb
**Reservations required. Call at least 6 hours ahead for a table. t. 62480098

[cityweekend]

3. Clam Chowder & Sandwiches: Pier 39

172 Jinxian Rd near Maoming Lu
Metro Line 1, Shaanxi Rd
Clam Chowder in bread bowl: 50rmb
Sandwich: 40rmb

[Jamie][smartS]

Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl at Pier 39

Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl at Pier 39

4. Brunch: Azul

18 Dongping Rd near Hengshan Rd
Metro Line 1, Hengshan Rd
Brunch Menu: 160rmb (scones, smoothie, two entrees and coffee)

[smartS]

Mexican Eggs and Blueberry Pancakes at Azul

Mexican Eggs and Blueberry Pancakes at Azul

5. Pizza: New York Style Pizza

Lane 248, Taikang Lu near Rujin Lu
Metro Line 9 will have a stop close by (Aug 2010). In the mean time, taxi or walking is the best.
16″ Pizza: 108rmb
Pizza by the slice: 15rmb

[smartS]

6. Japanese Teppanyaki: Itsuki Yakiniku

2/F Donghu Hotel,
7 Donghu Lu near Huaihai Zhong Lu
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
All you can eat and drink: 180rmb/person

[Nik][smartS]

Meat from Isuri tlkajsdlkfj*

Meat from Itsuki Yakiniku*

7. Tapas: El Willy

20 Donghu Rd near Huaihai Rd
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Dinner for two: 400-600rmb

8. Sandwiches: Wagas

Over 13 locations in Shanghai, these are the ones I’ve been to
155 Chang Shou Lu Room L120 near Shan Xi Bei Lu (close to the M50 Galleries)
1F 265 Jiaozhou Lu near Xinzha Lu (across the street from Urbn Hotel)
Lunch: 35-50rmb

Coffee/Tea/Sweets

1. A:Mokka

201 Anfu Rd near Wulumuqi Rd
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Coffee: 20-40rmb

[Jamie][smartS]

Coffee at A:Mokka

Coffee at A:Mokka

2. 25 Tao Jiang

25 Tao Jiang Rd near Wulumuqi Rd
Metro Line 1, Hengshan Rd
Coffee: 25-40rmb

3. Cafe 85˚C

Several locations in town, these are the ones I’ve been to
Off Huaihai Rd east of Sinan Rd
Wujiang Rd near Maoming Rd (Metro Line 2, Nanjing Rd W)
Milk Tea: 15rmb
Pastries: 2-8rmb

4. Lillian Cake Shop

988 Nanjing Xi Lu
Zhaojiabang Rd near Huashan Rd (Metro line 1, Xujiahui…it’s a food stall on the sidewalk behind Dairy Queen…follow the steady stream of people)
Egg Tart: 2rmb

[Jamie][cityweekend]

5. Awfully Chocolate

There are four locations in town, but this is the only one I’ve been to
Xiangyang Nan Rd near Fuxing Rd
Metro Line 1, Shaanxi Rd
Single Scoop of Ice Cream: 25rmb

Awfully Chocolate

Awfully Chocolate

The interior of Awfully Chocolate is extremely sparse and the menu even more so. They have chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream, and that’s it. But let me tell you. Their chocolate ice cream is the best chocolate ice cream I have EVER tasted. Who needs 31 flavors when 1 is perfect?

6. Shanghai Cupcake Cafe & Chocobar

***Update: This location of Shanghai Cupcake has closed. It is very sad because it could have been great!! Last I heard, they had a small little space in Taikang Lu across from Origin Cafe in Lane 248.

Lane 210 Taikang Rd
No. 10 near Jianguo Rd

t. 021-64741279
Metro Line 9 will have a stop close by (Aug 2010)
. In the mean time, taxi or walking is the best.
Cupcake & Coffee: 38rmb

Shanghai Cupcake

Shanghai Cupcake

Shanghai Cupcake Cafe & Chocobar is tucked in a back alley of Taikang Lu and was opened on May 15, 2009 by an American named Li who has been living in Shanghai for four years and recently finished culinary school. He said he wanted to focus on one thing, and he choose cupcakes. They have a selection of flavors that change daily based on Lee’s whim, so you’re guaranteed to have something new to try each time you go. I tasted the Belgium Chocolate and Mango. The chocolate was silky smooth and the icing and cake blended together perfectly. The Mango was a bit milder and not quite as sweet, so the pair was perfect. As far as I know, this is the first cupcake shop in Shanghai and is similar to many that have opened up in America recently. I really hope they do well.

Non-Food Markets

1. Dongtai Lu Antique Street Market

Dongtai Rd near Fang Bang Rd
Metro Line 8, Laoximen
Market Specialty: Outdoor street market selling “antique” wares and memorabilia.
[Jamie]

"Old" Caligraphy Brushes at Dongtai Lu

“Old” Caligraphy Brushes at Dongtai Lu

2. Paper Goods Market

Fuyou Lu near Lishui Lu across from Gucheng Park
Close to the Yu Yuan Gardens Tourist area in Old Town
Metro Line 8, Laoximen
Soon, Metro Line 9 will have a stop closer by (Aug 2010)
Market specialty: Stationary and random school/party supplies on the 2nd level

3. South Bund Soft Spinning Cloth Market

Jiangyin St near Nancang St (just north of the Nanpu Bridge overpass)
Metro Line 4, Nanpu Bridge
Market Specialty: 4 levels of tailors that will make anything you ask. They also sell fabric by the meter.

4. Electronics Market

Fuxing Lu near Jiashan Lu
Metro Line 1, Shaanxi Rd
Market Specialty: 4 levels of stalls selling new/used/legit/questionable electronic merchandise.

5. Flower Market

Changshou Lu near Jiaozhou
This market is a little hard to find. It’s just east of the bridge going over Suzhou Creek, and behind a couple random buildings.
Metro Line 3/4, Zhenping Rd.
Market Specialty: Flowers, plants and small animals.
[Jamie]

Selling hundreds of flowers.

Selling hundreds of flowers.

Interesting Shops

1. Lomography

No.126, Jin Xian Road
Metro Line 1, Shaanxi Rd
Shop Specialty: Toy cameras (Holga is the main brand), photography supplies (film, camera bags, books, etc).

2. Big Movie

158 Xin Le Rd near Xiangyag Rd
Metro Line 1, Shaanxi Rd
Shop Specialty: Good selection of old and new DVD’s for 9-12rmb. Be sure to check disk for imperfections.

3. Taikang Lu

Lanes between Taikang Lu/ Jianguo Lu and Ruijin Lu/Sinan Lu
Metro Line 9 will have a stop close by (Aug 2010). In the mean time, taxi or walking is the best.
Specialty: Converted lane houses into boutique shops, galleries, restaurants and bars at ground level while original residents still live upstairs.

4. Spin Ceramics

Bld. 3, 758 Julu Lu near Fumin Lu
Metro Line 1, Changshu Rd
Shop Specialty: Handcrafted porcelain ceramics from Jingdezhen

Classes

1. Ceramics: The Pottery Workshop

2/F 220 Taikang Lu near Ruijin Lu
Metro Line 9 will have a stop close by (Aug 2010). In the mean time, taxi or walking is the best.
Classes offered: Pottery basics (hand building and wheel throwing) 800rmb/4 classes + 5hrs open studio/week. *First class is free.*

[Jamie]

Ceramics studio at The Pottery Workshop

Ceramics studio at The Pottery Workshop

Miscellaneous

1. Shanghai Bike Polo

Lingling Rd and Caoxi Rd near the Shanghai Indoor Stadium
Metro Lines 1 & 4, Shanghai Indoor Stadium, but it’s best to ride your bike so you can play.
When: Most Saturdays at 5pm, and some Tuesdays (check the website for details)

[Jamie][Nik]

Shanghai Bike Polo

Shanghai Bike Polo

Shanghai Resources

Smart Shanghai
City Weekend Shanghai
Shanghai Expat
Shanghaiist

Other Useful Shanghai Blog Posts

Annamatic: Shanghai, Shanghai Eats Part I & Part II

If you have blogged about Shanghai, let me know, and I’ll add you to the list!

*Photos by Nik

8 comments ↓

  • christie
    February 20, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Hey just came across your guide when I searched about the Cupcake Cafe. I went there last summer and it was amazing – missing it! When did they close down? It was such a shame, probably cupcakes are not prevalent in Shanghai and they were located at a quiet corner.

  • Jamie
    February 20, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Hey Christie. I’m sad that the Cupcake Cafe is gone too, and the reason they closed is pretty interesting. Apparently, the Chinese government randomly decided to change the zoning of that lane so that only retail stores could occupy the space, and no food shops. Kind of ridiculous considering it was only open for a couple months!

  • hoda
    July 30, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Hi.I m going to china next week,and i want to stay inbeijing and shanghai,i m there for just a week.
    i m searching for places to go.what s ur suggestion for me?
    where to go and what to buy?
    u know any hotel near expo?
    pleas send me and e mail to hoda778@yahoo.com.
    thanks

  • Gio
    September 7, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Hey Jamie, amazing Shanghai Guide! Am already 1 year in Shanghai and almost visit all the tips that you gave! What a good eyes….perfect selection!
    I also have a blog/site http://www.tofunachina.com talking about my experience in China, good addresses, what to see and etc…
    But, its in Portuguese… =( For Brazilians that are lost at this amazing city!
    Congratulations! xxx Gio.

  • Fan
    December 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks for the all the tips! Nice photos too. But just to let you know, Awfully Chocolate is actually a Singaporean company. While I’m sure everything there is delicious, I would rather go somewhere Chinese.

  • Jamie
    December 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Fan – I am aware that Awfully Chocolate is from Singapore, and to me, that doesn’t make a difference…Good chocolate ice cream is good chocolate ice cream! And since I have never been to Singapore, or had Singaporean ice cream, experiencing it in Shanghai is as close as I have ever been.

    Thanks for the comment, and I hope some of these tips led you in great directions!

  • Fan
    December 9, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Hi Jamie, thanks for your reply. If you get a chance, you should definitely visit Singapore. I think you’ll enjoy it there too. Of course, I enjoyed your website very much. Your photos are beautiful and you provide lots of tips and recommendations useful we plan our trip. I’m glad I ran into your site. Please continue to add more details of your future travels!

  • Erin
    January 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Jujubetree is AMAZING. When I was in Shanghai I went there every single day – their xiaolongbao are to die for; I still have cravings for them three years later!

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