With roots dating back some 5,000 years, Shanghai with its futuristic skyline and waterfront locale is constantly changing and evolving. Considered one of the world’s fastest-growing megacities, the bustling metropolis is undergoing one of the fastest economic expansions the world has seen.
Shanghai is essentially split into two sections by the majestic Huangpu River. On its western bank runs the colonial riverfront known as The Bund. On the eastern bank lies the finantial hub of Pudong which is flourishing with each new skyscraper more impressive than the last.
It’s hard to believe that the “City by the Sea” was a backwater fishing village before the first Opium war in 1842. The Teatry of Nanking between Great Britain and China granted trading concessions in Shanghai to European powers. By the end of the 19th century, the Bund became the finantial and political center of the International community.
During the 1920s and 30s, just before World War II, Shanghai was known as the “Paris of the East, the New York of the West” -synonymous with pleasure, decadence, glamour, power and money. Redolent with underworld crime, the Old Shanghai became notorious as the major center of large-scale criminal activity in China.
Smoky jazz clubs, dance halls, movie theaters, swanky casinos, lavish parties…Shanghai‘s opulent nightlife became renowned throughout Asia. With the free living spirit in the air, locals, expats and Westerners alike flocked to “The Hollywood of China” in order to indulge in guilty pleasures.
With dozens of nationalities living whithin its borders, the word most populous city is an ecletic mix of past and future, old and new. The pleasure lies in experiencing its many contrasts. Stylish Qipaos, exclusive restaurants, decadent boulangeries, classy boutiques, art galleries, fascinating Art Deco facades…The aura of Old Shanghai is ever present. You just need to find it!
Our Guide To Shanghai
Exploring the world’s most populous city can be quite overwhelming for the first- time visitor. China’s crown jewel is a city that definitely welcomes getting lost. We have visited Shanghai many times and we think ditching the itinerary and spend a little time wandering around some of the city´s neighborhoods is definitely the best way to experience it.
Occupying the eastern bank of the Huangpu River, Pudong is the finantial district of the vibrant and energetic city of Shanghai. The riverside district of Pudong is home to iconic skyscrapers including the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Mitsubishi-designed Shanghai Tower and the 88-storey Jin Mao Tower. The 492-metre-high Shanghai World Financial Center promises stunning above-the-cloud views from its 100th floor observation deck.
The most surreal way to get to Pudong is via the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel that runs beneath the Huangpu river. With special mutimedia effects, the five-minute underground journey has become a major tourist attraction.
Shanghai is definitely a shoppers paradise. The 3.4-mile-long Nanjing Road, which extends westwards from the Bund to the junction of Jing’an Temple and the West Yan’an Road, has 166 years of history with its former name as “Park Lane“. Famed for its up-scale boutiques, China’s premiere shopping street showcases some of the best Shanghainese shopping to be found.
Longhua Temple is the oldest and the largest Buddhist temple in Shanghai. Famed for its elegant 10th-century pagoda and beautiful peach blossoms, the temple is always crowded with devotees bringing incense to the Buddha images.
Jade Budhaa Center
Still inhabited by monks, the temple houses two beautiful white jade Buddhas that were brought from Burma by a monk named Huigen. The exquisitely carved Buddha statues are absolutely priceless. Jade Buddha Center offers quiet meditation from the husle and bustle of the vertiginous city of Shanghai.
Shanghai´s iconic postcard vista. With its grand Neoclassical, Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic, Beaux Arts and Art Deco mansions the elegant one-mile long esplanade definitely evokes an air of Paris in the East. Regarded as the “Wall Street of the East“, the ornate Bund has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Shanghai.
Yu Yuan Garden & Bazaar
Located in the heart of the Old City, the famous garden is a breath of fresh air in the bustling Shanghai. It’s best in the late afternoon when the crowds are thinned. After a high-energy day exploring the city, a slow and leisurely evening walk was a welcome respite. Rising above the water, the Huxinting tea house is an architectural delight. The zigzag Bridge of Nine Turnings crosses a small rectangular lake to the two-storey pavilion that holds the classic teahouse.
Combining prime location with pulsating views, IFC residence is a luxury serviced appartment complex nestled in the heart of the city’s business district and shopping mecca, Lujiazui.
From the elegant library lounge and the intimate living room complete with fireplace to the splendid terrace overlooking Lujiazui Park, every single detail of this “contemporary mansion” emanates a subtle sense of grandeur and sophistication.
Our cozy studio was the ideal retreat after a day exploring Shanghai‘s sights. It included all standard amenities including a fully-eqquiped kitchen, Seimens watching machine and dryer, home entertaiment system, and a rainforest shower and bathtub. Every morning, we woke up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and delicious Shanghainese breakfast foods as well as international favorites at the on-site restaurant.
International Finance Centre
8 century avenue, pudong