Destination Guide


Shanghai is the face of China's future.

Destination Guide Shanghai

When in Shanghai, You Must

Know Before You Go

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Talk Like a Local

Learn the slang from the streets.


Zhen de ma?!
-Luis, I've missed you so much!
-Aw, zhen de ma?!

Neighborhoods to Explore

Beyond the architectural grandeur of The Bund and the ultra-modern Pudong skyline, Shanghai recedes to a more intimate scale. From the French Concession’s leafy streets to the timeless restaurants and storefronts in Xintiandi, this city has it all.

1. Xuhui, Luwan, and Huangpu Districts

With their tree-lined streets and beautifully preserved European architecture, a visit to Shanghai’s areas of former foreign influence are an absolute must. A plethora of restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutiques adorn the streets and distinguished homes and lush gardens add to the area’s charm. Get your walking shoes on. There’s discovery around every corner.

2. Jing’an

Named after a Buddhist temple that sits in the middle of one of its busiest streets, Jing’an feels a bit more like a shrine to commerce and luxury goods than a historical or cultural site. This hip, young neighborhood is known for its high-end shopping, stellar restaurants, and superb bars. The temple itself, which dates back to 247 AD, is an active place of worship and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is where culture and couture meet.

3. Xintiandi

Xintiandi is famous for its shikumen style housing that sheltered residents during the 19th century. Modernization lead to the near extinction of this architectural style, but the city rebuilt an entire cluster of them in Xintiandi, turning the area into a lifestyle and entertainment complex, complete with swanky restaurants and luxury boutiques that cater to tourists and upper-crest locals. Don’t let the crowds scare you away. There’s a reason why this is one of Shanghai’s hot spots.

4. The Bund

Located on the west bank of the Huangpu River, the Bund is one of Shanghai’s most upscale districts. Its grand, Neo-Classical buildings, once home to international banks and trading houses, have been replaced with gourmet restaurants, high-end bars, snazzy clubs, and five-star hotels. The promenade extends for a mile along Puxi and is the ultimate place to snap photos of the famous Pudong skyline. Those yearning for a glimpse of the past can head inland, to the Old Town, which preserves an essence of what Shanghai used to be.

W Shanghai - The Bund
No.66 Lvshun Road Shanghai

Ultimate Access to Shanghai

West Bund Museum Project x Centre Pompidou

West Bund Museum Project x Centre Pompidou

2600 Longteng Ave

Shanghai’s West Bund has become the new destination for those looking for art and design. Their new collaboration with Paris’s Centre Pompidou will attract even more art-lovers, with three semi-permanent exhibitions and ten feature exhibitions, including some that focus exclusively on Chinese contemporary art.

Luis Reynaldo Peña

Luis Reynaldo Peña / Insider

West Bund is not just for art and design. This year, 7.2 kilometers of additional track will be laid along the Huangpu River and stations will be set up every kilometer where walkers and joggers can rest, change their clothes, or even take a free shower.


Madame Mao’s Dowry

207 Fumin Rd

Treasures like authentic propaganda posters and news photographs fill Madame Mao’s Dowry. In addition to their own label design wares, the shop has a curated selection of works by contemporary designers living and working in China.

Luis Reynaldo Peña

Luis Reynaldo Peña / Insider

From books to tea towels to enamelware—this is a great place to grab souvenirs before heading back home.

Heritage by Madison

Heritage by Madison

600 Zhongshan Dong Er Rd

Chef Austin Hu is a local celebrity within the F&B scene in Shanghai. Heritage by Madison is his newest project honoring his roots in China and time spent in Taiwan, Paris, Japan, and New York. I had the best octopus of my life here and if you’ve never had a Banana Old Fashioned, you’re in for a treat!

Luis Reynaldo Peña

Luis Reynaldo Peña / Insider

Ask to sit at the bar, where you can see directly into Austin’s playground, and get ready for an awesome playlist. The music playing overhead comes direct from the chef himself.



46 Maoming South Rd

Shanghai’s house of funk and soul, SHAKE is an intimate supper club and nightspot with live music six nights a week, soulful fusion by award-winning chef Danyi Gao, and bold cocktails by veteran bar manager Colin Tait. Here you’ll find inventive cuisine, nostalgic design, warm acoustics, and friendly regulars.

Luis Reynaldo Peña

Luis Reynaldo Peña / Insider

Plan ahead and reserve a table. They aren’t many and surround the dance floor, offering you a seat to collapse to after dancing the night away.

Either / Or

ZnB Fitness


ZnB Fitness

Various locations

Z&B Fitness is a boutique fitness studio offering the best and most up to date group and private classes. They offer a wide variety of fitness classes for all tastes, including MYbarre, Zumba®, ZCycle, TRX, Body Pump, Body Combat, and Yoga.




291 Fumin Rd.

I’m sure you’ve had an Aperol Spritz, but have you ever had a Funkaspritz? It’s a spritz (Aperol or Campari) with a shot of vodka and gin for a guaranteed marvelous time. Insider tested, guest approved.

Packing List

shanghai packing list

1. Date night outfit

Date or no date, Shanghai is a city of 27 million. You never know who you might meet, so dress to impress.

2. The right accessories

The Shanghainese are never without the right accessories. Go local with a pair of Feiyue sneakers.

3. Personal products

You can find most things in Shanghai, but if you’re partial to a particular brand of daily necessities, make sure you bring it along.

4. Portable power bank

Your mobile device is your best friend in Shanghai, with map, translation, photo, and payment apps sucking up a lot of juice.

Spotted in Shanghai