Shanghai is such an electric, buzzing city. Population-wise it completely blows New York City out of the water, with TRIPLE the amount of residents (24 million)! It was our first stop on our Asia trip and a perfect entry point for my first time in China. The first week of our trip was spent in China, and had a work component to it, so unfortunately we were on a bit of a timeline. We did, however, get to spend 24 hectic, thrilling, eye-opening hours in Shanghai before taking the high speed train to Hangzhou for the work portion of our trip. Although our time there was short, I think we were able to do A LOT and really get a feel for the city. If you're pressed for time in Shanghai, here are my recommendations for must-dos in a 24-hour time frame. 


Try an egg pancake (jian bing) for breakfast. Jian bing is a savory crepe with different fillings, most frequently cilantro, scallions and a variety of sauces. They're a very popular Shanghai street vendor breakfast food and you're sure to find someone selling them along your way to our first stop.

Start your day in Shanghai with a walk along The Bund an iconic waterfront area that's regarded as the symbol of the city. This area is known for its diversity in architectural styles and you can see various buildings designed in Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque and Renaissance styling. I suggest starting your day here to get a quick walk in as well as some photographs of the well known vistas before it gets overrun with tourists!


Visit the Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar. Yuyuan Garden, known as "Yu Garden" is a classic Chinese garden built in the 1500's by a rich family of Ming Dynasty officials. The architecture is gorgeous and serene, with numerous ponds, pavilions, rockeries and hidden pathways. Spend a couple hours getting lost in the gardens, soaking up the classical design and admiring the foliage. Next, walk around the neighboring Yuyuan Bazaar, a touristy area with shops, restaurants and teahouses. The bazaar's narrow streets can get quite packed, but is worth a walkthrough. Pop into different shops and make lunch out of sampling food from the variety of vendor stalls. Don't miss the delicious crab xiao long bao (soup dumplings).


Grab a cocktail before dinner. If you're in Shanghai in the warmer months visit Sir Elly's Terrace bar on the roof of the Peninsula Hotel for delicious cocktails and amazing views of The Bund skyline at night. If beer is more your speed, a visit to Boxing Cat Brewery is a must. It's not exactly Chinese, but it's one of the first microbreweries in China producing quality craft beer.


Of course there's no shortage of amazing and diverse restaurants in Shanghai. Din Tai Fung is a highly regarded xiao long bao chain that's sure to provide some of the best dumplings you've ever had. Fu 1088 is a great dinner option if you only have one night in Shanghai. It serves traditional Shanghainese cuisine set in a charming 1930's colonial villa chock full with antiques.

We stayed at the Fairmont Peace Hotel and loved it. It's a very historic Art-Deco hotel right across from The Bund. Its central location makes it easy to fit in all your sightseeing in a short amount of time!

*photo one via


Post a Comment