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Top 5 Things to Do in Shanghai

Home > Shanghai > Shopping | Exhibitions | Bars | Art
by SophiesNotinKansas (subscribe)
I'm a London-dwelling northern lass who swapped the East End for Far East on the trip of a lifetime. I blog about food, travel, yoga and spirituality.
Published January 29th 2013
Picking through the options in the world's biggest city
Brunching at M on the Bund

1. Have Brunch on the Bund
Home to nearly 145,000 foreign nationals, Shanghai is a haven for Westerners and these people have created a few traditions of their own. Sunday brunch is an ex pat institution in Shanghai with only one rule - the more ostentatious the better. Try sipping champagne as you overlook the Huangpu river and the Pudong skyline at M On The Bund for the ultimate in Shanghai white linen sophistication.
China,Shanghai,French Concession, Xintiandi,Tian Zi Fang
Funky art in a cafe in the French Concession

2. Shop and Eat in the French Concession
Known as the 'Paris of the East', this part of Shanghai was the concession designated for the French between 1849 to 1946. Today, its tree lined streets and beautiful colonial-style Tudor architecture represents a little piece of Europe within the modern Chinese madness. After a hectic day travelling the city on the metro or the faster-than-a-bullet Maglev, redress the balance by strolling the bijou boutique shops on its leafy streets. Round it all off with top notch cuisine in one of the many excellent restaurants around Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang.
Singing our hearts out

3. Sing Karaoke at KTV
Karaoke is one of China's much loved pastimes, so much so that chain karaoke bar KTV can be found all over the place. It would be rude not to take to the stage whilst you're here and with so many KTVs sprinkled about the place it isn't hard to find a spot in a booth although - be warned - it is popular and waiting for a place is common. Once inside you have your own personal room and can select a number of tunes to sing along to on an LCD screen. You can ring a doorbell for waiters to bring you drinks. It is heaps of fun, although a little heavy on the 'golden oldies' and bands such as The Carpenters features heavily!
China,Shanghai,Propaganda Poster centre,art
Propaganda Poster Centre

4. Propaganda Poster Centre
This little gem of a museum is one of Shanghai's best kept secrets. It is an experience that necessitates a taxi ride to a nondescript suburban block, navigating around the back of several residential buildings and taking an elevator down to a gloomy basement. Within this incongruous location is an Aladdin's Cave of original twentieth century posters, paintings, Mao maquettes, Maoist woodcuts and original 'Shanghai lady' prints - those glamorous and iconic cigarette adverts. Well worth the trip.
The M50 art community

5. M50 Art Collective
And if that wasn't culture enough, how about spending the morning rambling around M50. This is a sprawling community comprising over 120 galleries and studios in a post industrial creative space in a former textile mill. Exhibitions change frequently and there is a variety of commercial galleries, shops and bars to keep you occupied for a good few hours. If money isn't an object you might also be able to pick up a piece of contemporary Chinese art to take home with you.
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Where: Shanghai
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