Tour Shanghai in 1 Day
Nihao! This greeting phrase is common and frequently heard around the city amongst the Shanghainese. Shanghai is meant to be explored on foot in the hopes of stumbling upon a “hole in the wall café” or a boutique with edgy fashion that only a Shanghainese can carry off. This is a city that you can get lost in or even find yourself!
Shanghai has been my home since 2011 and I am often asked, “What is there to do in Shanghai?” Well there are endless options of adventures around Shanghai. Here is my version of a perfect Saturday of Shanghai Sightseeing:
Ideally, every morning should start with a Shanghainese breakfast pancake of a thin crepe stuffed with egg, secret sauces, fresh herbs and youtiao, just like a bread stick but so much better! This is a perfect breakfast on the go!
Head out to People Square to check out the Singles Market. Many visitors are shocked by this so called “marriage market” but it is an important part of Shanghainese culture and a site to be seen!
Since there are so many fantastic food options in the city, a mid-morning snack sounds like a great idea! Shanghai Xiolongbao, also known as soup dumplings, are an absolute must and worth the wait in line! Be sure to grab your spot in line at Jia Jia as it is always crowded! It’s important to note that the Chinese will always line up for good food—no exceptions. So if there is a line, this is a good indicator that the food is worth it!
To walk off your mid-morning snack, head to the Nanjing East Pedestrian to experience first-hand one of the busiest shopping streets in the world! You can easily spend several hours here just watching and observing all the avid shoppers and tourists.
A must do in Shanghai is The Bund Historical Walk. This is a waterfront area of Shanghai that holds rich history and meaning and it is Shanghai’s signature sight. You can book a tour or just wing it yourself. I suggest exploring yourself which allows you to poke your head into stores and feast your eyes on some of the delectable merchandises that will feed your vanity but not your wallet.
If your hunger starts to kick in, there are plenty of street vendors, as well restaurants and cafes along the way to grab a Shanghainese treat!
All your walking and observing deserves a late afternoon drink! Head into the Long Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai. The bar will be quiet at this time which gives you the opportunity to chat up the team in there and get some juicy details about the history of the bar and the hotel, and maybe even a celebrity sighting!
My favorite dinner experience is at Three on the Bund (TOTB), which houses some of the best restaurants in town from the famous Jean Georges to my favorite and simple spot, Unico, which offers Latin tapas style and has a delicious bloody mary!
After dinner, take in the view of the Pudong Skyline that will take your breath away! Be sure to end your night back at the Long Bar in the Waldorf Astoria. Here you will be serenaded by some jazz tunes by their in-house band while you enjoy a cocktail. A perfect way to end the night in Shanghai!