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UR Shanghai
by LUXE City Guides

  • Art+ Shanghai Gallery
    Museums & Art

    Emerging contemporary artists from China come together in this modest white-walled gallery. Fine art for purchase or stop by regularly hosted artist talks and workshop events. With the picturesque Suzhou river by its side, make a day out of it and skip to the West Bund or Rockbund Art Museum.

  • 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.

  • Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project
    Museums & Art

    Global art heavyweight lands on the banks of the Huangpu, and what an arrival it is. British starchitect David Chipperfield conceived the colossal iridescent three-level showpiece, housing exhibitions and performances drawing on French and Chinese talents and collaborations. Three galleries feature a rotation of works from Paris. Check site for programs, creative studio events and children's workshops.

  • Chenshan Botanical Garden
    Gardens & Parks

    German landscape architects, Valentien + Valentien, are to credit for the city’s largest park clocking in at 2 million sqm with over 9,000 plant species — worth the schlep to Songjiang. This botanical bowery is a haven of roses, green expanses, sapphire lakes and cascading waterfalls. Tots in tow? Go for a climb on Chenshan Hill and stop at the playground (trampoline and all).

  • 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.

  • 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.

    no 370 Wulumuqi Rd (South) near Zhaojiabang Rd
    +86 158 2161 8151
  • Fosun Foundation Art Center
    Museums & Art

    The wowzer bronze-hued bamboo-shrouded arts centre conceived by Brit architect duo Norman Foster and Thomas Heatherwick is worth visiting for the building alone. But, peer beyond the triple-layered edifice to find an expansive contemporary art exhibition hall and world-class music venue.

  • 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.

  • Guangfulin Culture Park
    Gardens & Parks

    Come here for landscaped walkways, heritage teahouses, food stalls, plus Buddhist and Taoist temples. At a massive 1,050 acres, you'd barely notice the tourists. Lakeside picnics in lush cherry blossom surrounds for a day away.

  • 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.

  • M50
    Museums & Art

    Warehouse-sized studios abound in this old industrial park surrounded by graffiti and crammed with contempo art plus cafes and bars. Check out Island6 for neon, LED and interactive artworks by the Island6 digital collective and Vanguard Gallery for emerging local starlets offering contemporary works and live performance installations.

  • M97
    Museums & Art

    This contempo and fine art photo gallery is first stop for leading local snappers including Chi Peng and Huang Xiaoliang, with occasional special exhibits held by international shutterbugs too.

    363 1/F, Changping Lu, by Shaanxi Bei Lu
    +86 21 6266 1597
  • Magda Danysz Gallery
    Museums & Art

    Shanghai sister to the Parisian original, this contemporary gallery is housed in a hangar-sized Yangpu space, exhibiting new media works by emerging Chinese artists and hosting discussions, screenings and events.

  • Matthew Liu Fine Arts
    Museums & Art

    Ex-financier Matt has set up shop amid the restored neo-classical facades of the Rockbund Development, repping German photog Candida Höfer, Arranz-Bravo from Spain and Brazil's Vik Muniz, and a show schedule rotating six times yearly.

  • MIFA 1862
    Land Activities

    This ‘70s shipyard has a new name, and it’s MIFA— Kuma Kengo's 31,600sqm renovated expansion of homegrown and international talent rich with luxe boutiques, eateries and sophisticated galleries. Walk through the industrial-chic architecture, floating brick walls and exposed brasserie from the street-side to the riverfront where you'll find cyclists, furry friends and tiny tots alike. In the afternoon, head to the third-floor Floral Cafe and Lounge to refuel on coffee and cake.

    1777 Binjang Dadao, near Jimo Lu
    +86 021 6882 5398
  • 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.

  • Pearl Lam
    Museums & Art

    The eponymous, HK-based designer's creamy white Shanghai outpost displays contemporary, multidisciplinary works from the likes of Lei Hong and Zhu Jinshi. If bigger is better, visit the downstairs gallery for large-scale installations.

  • 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.

  • SGA
    Museums & Art

    Vaulted, world-class showcase with a focus on Chinese contempo, boasting river views and a chic Bund location, with prices to match. Prominent artists include Xu Bing, Yang Yongliang and Yan Lei.

    3 3/F, Three on the Bund, Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
    +86 21 6321 5757
  • 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.

  • 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.

    Rm K 7F East Tower,Hua Min Han Zhen International,726 Yan An Xi Rd
    +86 21 6211 1845
  • ShanghART / H-Space
    Museums & Art

    Shanghai's most reliable gallery is an omni-media installation space showing mod Chinese and int'l artists in new West Bund digs with well-informed staff. The library and archives can be viewed by appointment, and nearby H-Space homes larger-than-life exhibits from contempo creatives.

  • 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.

  • Tank Shanghai
    Museums & Art

    Adding further clout to the West Bund Cultural Corridor, Qiao Zhibing's formidable Tank is so-called for the enormous converted aviation-oil storage tanks it occupies. Beijing-based Open Architects have transformed the 60,000-square-metre complex into a pace-setting series of galleries repping contemporary art, bookstore, restaurant and education centre.

  • The Moganshan Lu Graffiti Wall
    Museums & Art

    After M50s famous graffiti wall makes a bold and temporary return. Pop along to snap the ever-changing hoardings emblazoned with murals by local and global artists. Peepers peeled for cult Shanghainese talent Sui Tang and French grafitti master Dezio.

    M50 Art District, 50 Moganshan Lu
  • 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.

  • Tianmashan (Tianma Mountain)
    Gardens & Parks

    Known as the most beautiful hill in Shanghai, make the trip to Songjiang for bamboo-shaded hikes around the mountain, serene temple stops and at-the-peak views of Shanghai’s western ‘burbs. Day trip it and tag along Chengshan Botanical garden for pretty pink blooms.

  • 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
    +86 21 6233 8699
  • 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.

  • 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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