ChinaHow to spend 24 hours in Shanghai

With so much to see and do, use our whistle-stop guide to find the best places to drink, dine, shop and sightsee

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With its modern skyscrapers jostling for space alongside ancient temples, Shanghai is a mix of high-tech futurism and Old World China. Let us point you in the direction of the city’s best spots to drink, dine, shop and sightsee if your time in the city is limited.

 

Morning

Even if you’re not an early riser, do head to the Bund, Shanghai’s waterfront area, for sunrise to see the sun emerge from behind the Pudong skyline. This is the Bund at its most peaceful, with locals practicing the serene art of Tai Chi. Afterwards, order a jianbing for breakfast. These legendary breakfast crepes are loaded with spring onions and coriander and are prepared fresh by street vendors across the city. Then take a stroll along the Bund’s promenade to admire its colonial architecture and finish up at the pretty Yu Garden.

 

Lunch

For all its space-age modernity, it’s in Shanghai’s historic centre where you experience the soul of this dynamic city. Rich with heritage buildings, Nanshi (Old Shanghai) is a mix of narrow lanes, pagodas and lively street markets. Follow your nose to Sipailou Road and its many food vendors. Steaming bamboo baskets are filled with dumplings, and hot woks flash-frying fresh noodles await.

 

Afternoon

After lunch, spend an hour or two perusing designer flagship boutiques at Plaza 66. This elegant shopping haven offers the finest luxury labels such as Balmain and Loewe. To soak up some culture, cross the Huangpu River and head to the Himalayas Centre, in which Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel is located. A modern architectural wonder, the complex houses the Himalayas Art Museum where you can admire everything from ancient Chinese artifacts to Renaissance masterpieces. You can also check out a matinee at the DaGuan Theatre, or catch a film at the cinema.

 

Evening

You’ve sampled Shanghai street food so go all-out for dinner with a meal at the Michelin-starred Shang-High; an elegant restaurant fusing traditional local cuisine with fine-dining finesse. Among Chef Frank Hu’s imaginative creations are braised cuttlefish with pigeon eggs, and braised beef cheek with sliced truffles.

 

Night

Shanghai is always buzzing, and more so after dark. Complete your 24 hours in Shanghai at the Shanghai World Financial Centre where its three observation decks show off the city in all its illuminated glory. Another option is a river cruise along the Huangpu River for excellent views of the city’s contrasting architecture.