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UR Shanghai
by LUXE City Guides

  • Bespoke Travel Shanghai
    Private Tours & Guides

    The cats PJ's for personal experiences, ace custom crawls and unique outings across the city, plus signature thematic tours and neighbourhood jaunts by local experts. Unearth the city's secrets, dive into Deco Shanghai or customise your own. Foodies will also love the xiaolongbao (soup dumpling) classes and bespoke cocktail making. Book.

  • China Art Palace
    Museums & Art

    Pudong pavilion with the world's largest cache of mod Chinese art and int'l works, laid out over five expansive floors. Start at the top and work your way down through time, and you'll be treated to an artful journey of kitsch propaganda posters and animated short films.

    205 World Expo Park, Shangnan Lu
  • Chinese Cooking Workshop

    You'll not only taste China's myriad provinces while prepping dishes from noodles to dim sum, but also learn much more than just cooking techniques along the way. Watch the tightly-knit sleeve of Middle Kingdom cuisine unravel before your very eyes.

  • Era: Intersection of Time

    Ooh and aah at China's take on Cirque du Soleil, where acrobatics, theatre, martial arts, dance, live music and high-flying daredevilism are aided by technical wizardry and colourful costumes in an intimate circular theatre. Schmick.

  • Fosun Foundation Art Center
    Museums & Art

    Dazzling bronze-hued bamboo veiled arts centre conceived by Brit starchitect duo Norman Foster and Thomas Heatherwick. While the shimmering triple-layered edifice will wow, the rotating contempo art exhibs and vast performance spaces inside are as equally impressive.

  • Grand Theatre

    Sink into the red seats of French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier's futuristic centrepiece, housing regular world-class performances from whistles and bells musicals to intimate chamber music concerts. By night the crystal box, home base to the Shanghai Opera House Company, glows from within.

  • Historic Shanghai

    Time travel via these expert jaunts with city buffs, historians and shutterbugs. A throughtful range of immersive tours will have you discovering 80s Shanghai (all Mao suits, bicycles and western architecture) women's experiences in Republican China or what it was like to take the last boat out. Co-founders Patrick Cranley and Tina Kanagaratnam, who’ve been in Shanghai for 22 years, know their onions. Private and bespoke available.

  • Imperial Tours
    Private Tours & Guides

    US-run, Beijing-based and the smartest outfit for tours in Shanghai and all around China.

  • MoCA Shanghai
    Museums & Art

    Pint-sized crystal cabin packing quite the art punch, from Li Lei's abstracts to Gaudi archi and Ferragamo shoe-oohs. Afterwards, take a perch in the 3/F cafe, overlooking the pretty park greenery.

  • People’s Square

    This former horse racecourse is now a one-stop cultural park to get your fab art fill. Archi-symbolic Shanghai Museum houses dynastic relics and rarities, while the glass-paned beauty MoCA draws international contempo heavyweights. The Urban Planning Exhibition Hall sounds like a boring old crud, but on the 4/F is a fascinating scale model of the shape of Shanghai to come. All cultured out? Plant your bot in the red seats of French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier's futuristic centrepiece the Grand Theatre for regular world-class performances. Ta-da!

  • Power Station of Art
    Museums & Art

    Is that a giant smokestack or is China's first state-run contemporary art museum just excited to be the host of the Shanghai Biennale? Once a power station, now a giant exhibition hall for oversized works, plus vista-tastic terrace.

  • Rockbund Art Museum
    Museums & Art

    Six-storey all-media giant rotates through big and new names from the uber-cool Chinese contempo scene. The Chipperfield-redesigned Art Deco edifice at the north end of the Bund has a sixth floor terrace cafe and pretty interior atrium.

  • Shanghai Center of Photography
    Museums & Art

    An arts district is emerging down at the 8km-long West Bund Cultural Corridor, and the SCoP is a small but innovative spot founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning Liu Heung Shing, one of China's foremost shutterbugs. Part gallery and part museum for contempo and archival photography, it's certainly worth a capture in your lens.

    2555 Longteng Dadao
  • Shanghai Film Museum
    Museums & Art

    Immerse yourself in more than 100 years of China's film history at this slick monochrome home to 3,000+ artefacts, working studios, 70+ interactive installations, thousands of historic exhibits, touch screens and a 4D cinema.

    595 Caoxi Bei Lu, by Puhuitang Lu
  • Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center
    Museums & Art

    See red at this private museum, with a collection of 6,000+ Mao-era propaganda posters, from cartoons to industrial-size prints and militaristic motifs. Don't miss the hundreds of Shanghai Lady Calendar prints dating from the early C.20th.

  • Shanghai Tower

    Go on a clear day (that means weather AND smog) to ogle Pudong, Puxi and beyond from atop this soaring 632m high observation deck. It's the tallest in China, and hands down the most impressive vantage point in the city.

  • Suzhou Museum
    Museums & Art

    Escape the city for this I.M. Pei-designed art space in white stucco, glass and bold geometric shapes, set amid C.19th houses and two UNESCO sites. Inside are Ming and Qing dynasty antiques in jade and porcelain, plus calligraphy, paintings and rotating special exhibitions.

  • The Shanghai Museum
    Museums & Art

    Step in for a stunning and vast collection of ancient Chinese bronzes, ceramics, coins, jade, paintings, furnishings and calligraphy, spread over 11 permanent gallery spaces plus a few rotating exhibits.

  • Tianshan Tea City

    The naff faux trad building conceals a bonanza of over 150 stalls selling every variety of tea and accessory imaginable, and shop owners happily provide samples with no pressure to purchase. The few whom speak English can impart a wealth of knowledge about tea types and brewing techniques. Don't forget to bargain!

    520 Zhongshan Xi Lu, by Wuyi Lu
  • UnTour Food Tours
    Private Tours & Guides

    Insatiable foodies and curious eaters don elastic waistbands for culinary adventures and the best of local street eats. Private and group tours available.

  • Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
    Museums & Art

    Sounds like a boring old crud, but on the fourth floor is a fascinating, sprawling scale model of the shape of Shanghai to come. In the next room, a video presentation offers a 360-degree glimpse of the future, while history buffs can dive into the interactive lower floor exhibits.

  • Water Towns
    Cultural Activities

    Just over an hour's drive is a stuck-in-time-necklace of water towns with old stone homes, alleys and quiet canals. Expressive Xitang has its quiet moments. Closer but busier is Zhu Jia Jiao.

  • West Bund Cultural Corridor

    Shanghai's emerging contemporary arts district, stretching 8km along the Huangpu, is perfect for a weekend wander, with a host of museums and galleries transforming this wide pedestrian riverside promenade into a culture vulture's must-see. Still uncrowded, so go now. Not sure where to start? Try the SCoP (see Activities), Yuz Museum (closed for renovation, but you're still able to peek inside), the Long Museum West Bund (see Activities) and newcomer Tank.

    West Bund Cultural Corridor
  • Yuz Museum
    Museums & Art

    Absolutely staggering, 9,000 sq m gallery (incorporating massive airplane hangars) and tribute to contemporary Asian art by Indo-Chinese billionaire art collector Budi Tek. Putting Shanghai firmly and decisively on the global art map.

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