7 Things You Must Do in Shanghai Before You Leave

7 Things You Must Do in Shanghai Before You Leave
By Andrea Scarlatelli , eChinacities.com


So your time in Shanghai is coming to a close. Whether it's because you're changing jobs, changing significant others, or just tired of playing the China game, leaving this place can be harder than you expect. While you've had plenty of experiences – both good and bad – in this crazy city, there are some things you should make sure to accomplish before you head out for good. Read on for seven Shanghai highlights that shouldn't be missed – and feel free to post your own “Shanghai Bucket List” in the comments section below!

1) Explore Shanghai by bicycle
Sure, you've ridden in taxis, metros, and buses – but Shanghai can be downright magical when explored by bicycle. Whether you own your own (Giant stores abound here) or want to try out those rent-a-bike machines around town, find a ride and just… ride. You'll discover twisty little alleys you never knew existed, cute new shops, and perhaps just a little bit of quiet. If you're not feeling up to doing it on your own, bike groups like Factory Five regularly schedule group rides during the evening or whole biking weekends.

Giant (branch)View In Map
Add: 743 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Hengshan Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市建国西路743号, 近衡山路
Tel: 021 6437 5041
Opening hours: Daily, 9:00-19:30

Factory FiveView In Map
Add: 1/F, Bdlg 2, 876 Jiangsu Lu , Shanghai
Opening hours: Wed-Fri, 10:30-19:00; Tue, 10:30-21:00; Sat, 13:00-19:00

2) Stroll the SWFC's 100th floor glass walkway
Yes, it's a tourist attraction – but it's hands down the best one in the city. Offering amazing views of just about everything, it will make even the most jaded Shanghai expat remember exactly why this place is so freaking cool. It costs more than 100 RMB to get in, but this is one of those rare times when it's actually worth it. Just be sure to go when the weather's (relatively) clear - clouds are the bane of this building's existence. Other than that, it's up to you whether day or night provides the best view.

Shanghai World Financial CenterView In Map
Add: 100 Century Avenue, near Dongtai Lu, Shangha
地址:上海市世纪大道100号, 上海环球金融中心,近东泰路
Opening hours: 8:00-23:00 (last admittance 22:00)

3) Watch a Shanghai sunrise
This list is all about seeing Shanghai in ways you may have never seen it before – and what better way to do that than by watching the sun's slow ascent over the majestic skyscrapers during a refreshingly quiet time in the city's evolution? The “fog” hasn't had time to settle in yet, the traffic is at a bare minimum, and the most people you'll see are groups of senior citizens practicing their tai chi moves in the park. It's the most peaceful time to catch a glimpse of a city just waking up.

4) Cross the Lupu Bridge on foot
If you're a frequent traveler to Pudong, or just happen to like Bund view bars a lot, chances are you've seen the Lupu Bridge many, many times. But you haven't really experienced it until you've climbed it – all 367 steps of it. Supposedly the second longest arch bridge in the world, tickets are 80 RMB and basically just include the quick lift up to the road. From there, you're on your own to snap pictures, taunt traffic, or whatever else you feel inspired to do from one of the best vantage points in all of Shanghai.

Lupu BridgeView In Map
Add: 909 Luban Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Opening hours: 8:30-17:30

5) Eat something that scares you
Chances are you've already done this by now, but just in case you haven't… The food in China can range from the thrillingly exotic (starfish, anyone?) to the painfully mundane (microwavable ramen noodles again?). It's the former category that deserves your attention before leaving Shanghai and all its wacky culinary offerings for good. Whether it's pig brains at your local hot pot joint or fried honeybees at a late night snack shack, go out of your way to eat something that makes your taste buds do a double take – it's likely you won't get such a chance again!

Hot Pot King (branch)View In Map
Add: 2/F, 1416 Huaihai Lu, near Fuxing Lu
地址:上海市淮海路1416号楼, 近复兴路
Tel: 021 6473 6380
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-16:00

Southern Barbarian (branch)View In Map
Add: 2/F, Ju'Roshine Life Arts Space,169 JinxianLu,nearMaoming Nan Lu
地址:上海市进贤路169号2楼, 近茂名南路
Tel: 021 5157 5510
Opening hours: Daily, Lunch, 11:00-14:00; Dinner, 17:00-23:00

6) KTV with your friends
Let's get one thing straight – KTV is not like karaoke in the West. The only thing they have in common is a microphone and a chance for people with absolutely zero talent to sing their hearts out. Luckily with KTV, though, you can do this in the privacy of your own room with only your friends surrounding you (ie: people who probably already have a good grasp of your marginal singing ability). It's is an experience unto itself, with liquor stores located inside the building, where Chinese girls scurry after you with a cart and hurriedly throw your chosen items into the basket. Getting drunk is helpful, though not a requirement, and trays of unordered food arrive to complete the feeling that you're absolute royalty – at least for the night. A uniquely China experience…

Haoledi (Nandong branch) 好乐迪(南东店)View In Map
Add: 6/F, 479 Nanjing Dong Lu
Tel: 021 6311 5858
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 8:00-2:00

7) Take an overnight train ride
Shanghai has got three train stations to choose from and all of them offer overnight trips somewhere. The important thing is that you get on it and go somewhere that requires you buying a sleeper. Now I'm not necessarily saying this is going to be a great experience, but it will certainly be… an experience - and one that is wonderfully and spectacularly Chinese. Between the views of the countryside as you pass, the inevitable snoring of your car mates, and the exhilarating feeling of waking up somewhere new, an overnight train ride is the quintessential Shanghai adventure.

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Keywords: Things to do before leaving Shanghai must do things in Shanghai


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