Ideas of What to Do in Shanghai

August 1, 2016
I've lived in Shanghai for over a year now, so last year was the time that I went to many of the main tourist attractions like Yu Gardens, the South Bund Fabric Market, and Qibao, to name a few places. The ideas on this list are going to be a little more quirky/specific as I delve deeper into Shanghai and try to explore it more.


* Have an ice cream cocktail at CHAR Bar and Grill on the Bund and take in exquisite views of Pudong all lit up at night. I read about these ice cream cocktails in a magazine, and one of them is topped with an actual scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone. I love fancy, over the top cocktails!

* Find some fresh flowers and plants to spruce up your place at Caojiadu Flower Market, the largest of its kind in Shanghai. If you're just traveling through Shanghai and can't buy any plants, it still might be fun to go just for the experience.

* Go to The Friends Cafe. It's modeled after Central Perk, like the one featured on the show. Apparently, Friends plays on flat screen tvs and you can eat cupcakes named after the characters! Sold!

* Take classes offered by Craft'd Shanghai. Rachael and I took a stamp making class here and used our creations to produce some handmade Christmas cards for our friends. Craft'd Shanghai offers other classes that I'm interested in such as flower arranging or making your own dream catcher. There are also classes on sewing, memo boards, calligraphy, and bath bombs! Classes for kids are available as well.

* Sip some tea at Tianshan Tea City. There are more than 150 shops in which you can try out all different kinds of loose leaf tea. The famous types of tea here are: pu'er, green, black, and oolong. You can make an afternoon out of sampling tea in order to find your favorites.

* Socialize over a few drinks at a pub crawl. Pub Crawl Shanghai takes place every Saturday night at 9:30, and you get to try out three bars. You're transported from bar to bar in a bus, and there are deals on drinks all night. This seems like a good opportunity to branch out and meet new people!

* Embrace your inner child at Shanghai Disney. The park just recently opened this past June, and there has been a lot of hype. I heard from friends that The Lion King show is amazing, but just to warn you, everything will be in Chinese. My friend Rachael has already been and wrote up a nice guide on her blog, which I recommend reading if you decide to visit.

* Stroll around in Jing'an. One of my best days in Shanghai was when my pal Scott and I walked around Jing'an aimlessly and discovered some of the cutest boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. I recommend starting on Julu Lu and then exploring whatever side streets catch your eye.


* Customize your own Magnum ice cream bar at the Magnum Pleasure Store. You can select the ice cream flavor, choose what kind of chocolate you want your ice cream coated in, and then pick from over twenty four kinds of toppings to sprinkle on top.

* Soak in colored pools at Shanghai's best bathhouses. Xio Nan Guo is supposed to be a good one, according to this article on Time Out Shanghai. For around $14, you can spend all day relaxing in hot and cold pools, visiting the sauna, or going swimming.

* Stop for a drink at a Speakeasy. These hidden bars are sprinkled over the city. For some of them, I heard you need a password, but for others you have to try to figure out the secret way in. This video is worth a watch, and it shows some of the coolest speakeasy entrances in Shanghai! One of them has a phone you have to dial before the door opens, and another one has a fake bookshelf that slides open.

* Have a late night meal and try your luck at Bingo at Mr. & Mrs. Bund. One Thursday night a month, you can get a Bingo card at this restaurant and have fun playing with your dinner companion. (Two people share one card.) There may also be some drink specials that come with Bingo cards. Plenty of prizes are given out, but it sounds fun regardless or whether you win or lose.

* Dine at Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet for arguably one of the most intense and special dining experiences in the world. This is incredibly pricey, so for me it would be something I'd do once in a lifetime. It's a 20 course meal that intends to "unite food with multi-sensorial technologies," according to the official website.

What appeals to you on this list, or what's your favorite place in Shanghai?
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