Must do in Pudong: See the city from a tall building. Scope out the weather situation for the time you’re in SH and try and pick the clearest day for the best views. Although SH isn’t as notorious for air quality issues as Beijing, the views from up high still benefit from the cleansing properties of a heavy rain. You have a few choices:
1. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower: will be crowded, but may be well worth it for the 360 degree view. You pay more the higher up you go, I would suggest getting to the sightseeing level and skip the overpriced rotating restaurant level (Space Module level). The sightseeing level has a glass floor so you can test your faith in Chinese construction by looking down through your feet to the ground 260 meters below. If you do go to the sightseeing level, don’t forget to stop at the observation level below on your way down, although not as high, it is open to the air and much less crowded.
2. The Shanghai World Financial Center (The Bottle Opener): If only the highest will do for you, either wait for the SH Tower to be completed (under construction next door) or visit the Bottle Opener. Seriously, that’s what people call it. I had to look up what the real name of the building was. And I went to it just so I could buy an actual bottle opener shaped like the building (over priced, but I had to have one!) Also I had done the Pearl Tower already with other visitors, so it seemed like a good idea. I was actually kind of impressed. By paying to get to the observation deck on the 100th floor, 1550 feet above the ground, you get a little bit of a tour with information on the building’s construction and fun facts. Crowd control is also much better than the Pearl. There is a really cool scale model of SH that goes through a complete 24 hr cycle in fast time, so you can see the lights come on in a miniature Shanghai. I’ll admit it, I stayed and watched it do the whole cycle twice!
3. Jin Mao Building: Ok, so this one I have not actually done myself, but I’ve heard about it from friends that have (Thanks Regula!) If you don’t want to pay the money, or if the lines are long at the Bottle Opener, or whatever, another option is to go to the restaurant bar in the Jin Mao tower on the 87th floor. Still pretty high up, and right next door to the Bottle opener. Plus there’s drinks!
Shanghai aquarium: is a world class aquarium. They have huge displays, lots of species from all over the world represented, and clear glass tunnels so you can watch sharks and rays zoom right over your head. It’s also a good thing to keep on your list in case it it’s raining. Allow yourself a couple hours to get through it. It is located right next to the Orient Pearl tower, so you can do both easily on one trip.
Super Brand Mall: I’m not much of a shopaholic, but the mall is worth mentioning since it’s right across a huge traffic circle from the Pearl Tower. You can walk on an elevated pedestrian walkway from the tower to the mall (also a huge circle), and it’s worth doing just to take in more of the city, and the walkway is an excellent spot for pictures (you will be hawked at by people trying to sell you your picture taken there) Also, on the outside edge of the mall facing towards the river, there is a Xin Ba Ca (Starbucks!) some ice cream and sweets shops and a bistro or two, so you can recharge your caffeine levels, get a sugar fix, or just plain ‘ole have a refreshing drink after having done the Tower &/or the Aquarium.
Science and Technology Museum: You may have noticed I’m not much into museums, as I haven’t mentioned any so far. Well museum buffs prepare to be disappointed, I’m only mentioning this one because there is a crazy shopping thing underneath it. Underneath, for real. If you’re using the metro, the Science and Technology museum has it’s own stop. I’m not sure if the shopping has it’s own name or not, I’ve always pointed to the museum written in Chinese and said mai dong xi (‘My Dong Shee’: shopping), and they know what I want. Here you can find knock off everything, gadgets, bags, luggage, clothes, accessories, some electronics, there’s even a shop that specializes in NFL, NHL, and MLB jerseys for way cheaper than you can get them in the US.
Tai Kang Lu (Also Tianzifang): Sorry about this one, it’s actually on the Puxi side of SH, but I forgot to add it. Tai Kang Lu (‘Lu’ means road in Chinese) is the name of a road where there is a cluster of fun shops, boutiques, cafes and such that has been described as having an artsy alternative feel. I haven’t actually been there yet, but it was recommended to us by a friend, and it’s on my list to do next time I’m in SH.
Some other random restaurant stuff:
M on the Bund: has a Sunday brunch.
Kathleen 5: (325 Nanjing Xi Lu) is a chic-y restaurant on top of an old building/museum with rooftop seating. Pretty at night!
Shasha’s (11 Dong Ping Rd): Very much happening restaurant and bar, the beer garden is nice in the summertime. The old building it’s in has an interesting history, go eat there and you can read all about it on the menu.
O’Malleys (42 Taojiang Rd near Hengshan Rd): Fun pub atmosphere, if you want to just kick back and have a pint!
Blue Frog: They have several locations across SH. Really good, big, sloppy, get-it-all-over-your-face burgers.
If you’re on your way to Shanghai, I hope these two posts have been helpful! Have fun!
-Wanderlust Wondering by christystarfish