Not a normal topic that I write on, but on my recent trip to Shanghai I was actually surprised that there weren’t a significant amount of online resources so after doing some of my own research and asking around in Mandarin (my second language), I built my own list. Here are a few spots I recommend visiting which are slightly off the beaten path, and hopefully will give you some depth into Shanghai as a city.
1. M50 Art Spaces: This is a unique area in Shanghai with a collection of art galleries and graffiti murals. Its worth at least a few hours and reminds me of some of the repurposed spaces you find in berlin. There’s also random activities anyone can participate in, like cooking classes, music exploration, and pretty much anything you’d associate with a utopian art society. https://goo.gl/maps/AkckhzU6E8R2. 1933 LaoYangFang: This was a prison once, now its yet another art space. Shanghai isn’t quite up to where Beijing is with its art scene, but the oblique architecture, concrete space, and awe-inspiring stairwells resemble something out of an Orwellian book. This is definitely a must visit. https://goo.gl/maps/hoA41fFtohD23. Xinhua Bookstore in Aegean Place: Xinhua is a famous bookstore and publishing company, but their crown jewel is this incredible piece of architecture on the top floor of the new Aegean Place (Greek themed) shopping center. This bookstore is jawdropping, and while you’re there check out the numerous hot pot restaurants in the Aegean Place mall. You can’t go wrong in here, as its a true locals spot. https://goo.gl/maps/VjTouFT3fZu4.Shanghai Old Town: Yes, it might look like a tourist trap, and it sort of is, but in all the best possible ways. There’s a few must do’s here, the famous Ningbo Dumpling Soup restaurant, and Nanxiang steamed dumplings are must eats, while Shiliupu fabric market in this 1000 year old walled part of Shanghai has some of the town’s best tailors at some remarkable prices. https://goo.gl/maps/weBRD4udfg92
5. The Bund: I couldn’t write this list without putting the Bund on here. Great photos on both sides but, where you want to get the best views is at the East end of Nanjing Road and at nighttime when the buildings are lit up in yellow flourescence and you forget that you’re in Asia, not France or England. https://goo.gl/maps/nuakH97AumD2