48 hours in Shanghai

China’s largest city – a high-octane metropolis where 23 million people work, play and set the agenda for the entire region – can be a daunting place for new visitors. So we asked the team at GuidePal’s newly opened Shanghai office to create a weekend itinerary showcasing the secret spots and quintessential experiences that the city’s locals cherish.


10am – Brunch at Crystal Jade
Cosmopolitan families and the creative set make a weekend bee-line for one of the several branches of Crystal Jade scattered around the city to enjoy a Cantonese dim sum brunch. The simple, elegant menu and flawless service have seen it awarded Michelin stars two years running.

12.30pm – Shopping and architecture on Fuxing Road
This is where Shanghai’s young professionals come to shop for upscale fashion and homewares amid the East-meets-West architecture of the former French Concession.

3pm – Late lunch at Bao Luo
Sample traditional Shanghainese cuisine at this understated favourite that provides sustenance to Fuxing Road’s shopaholics.

7pm – Drinks at Le Petit De Franck
The French may have left Shanghai in 1946, but step inside this cosy bistro and you’d never know it. Pair your wine selections with the cheese, fruit and baked morsels on the épicerie plate, or skip ahead to the superb apple tart.

11pm – Decadence at Monkey Lounge
This ultra-luxe, completely un-signposted club – entrance is through an unmarked door in a sketchy alleyway – used to be where obscenely wealthy Chinese-American kids splashed their cash. Now, it plays host to a more varied crowd of scenesters, visiting celebrities and the odd bewildered tourist.


12noon – Brunch at Madison
Refuel at this popular weekend brunch spot, where expats and internationally minded locals trade local gossip over eggs Benedict and Bloody Marys.

3pm – Foot massages and footwear
Indulge yourself with a 120-minute foot and body massage (around USD 25) from Kangjun, one of the best massage parlors in Shanghai. Then check out Culture Matters, a streetwear retailer specializing in locally manufactured Feiyue sneakers.

7.30pm – Dinner at Xibo
There’s a relaxed vibe at this trendy diner that serves comfort food from Xinjiang, an autonomous region at the westernmost point of China.  Sit out on the terrace and watch the sun fade.

10pm – Drinks at Constellation 2
Finish the weekend with a nightcap from Constellation 2, a warm and smoky 30s-style bar serving more than 300 varieties of whiskey.

Check out our Shanghai guide available on our webpage and in all app stores.

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