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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
            Back to Open Skies

Travel to Shanghai


Shanghai - Eat, Stay, Do

1 January 2015

Enjoy our guide to the city with the largest population in the world

Shanghai has a lot of nicknames - Pearl of the Orient, the Paris Of The East – and they all point to the fact that it’s one of the most exciting and exotic cities in China, if not all of Asia. Shanghai is the tallest city in mainland China (the 632m Shanghai Tower is the second tallest in the world), as well as its most populated, with more than 24 million people buzzing through its streets. And, with the Shanghai Stock Exchange being one of the most powerful in the world, this is China’s financial centre, too. 

Shanghai’s architecture is an interesting mix of old and new – in among all the space-age skyscrapers you can spot plenty of unique colonial architecture, left over from the city’s heady days in the early 20th Century. Head to the outskirts of Shanghai and you could see historical architecture that dates back even further in the ancient Chinese water towns such as Zhujiajiao. Shanghai is a multicultural destination, home to some of the most exciting restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels that China has to offer.


Commune Social
This is the best place for tapas in Shanghai, and the menu features some seriously creative combos. Think baked smoked bone marrow, onion jam and sourdough; miso grilled mackerel, wasabi avocado, and cucumber chutney; and DIY tuna tartar. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere too, with no reservations and no service charge.

Jian Guo 328
For the best traditional Shanghainese dishes in the city, you can’t go wrong with Jian Guo 328. Located at 328 Jiangguo Xi Lu, near Xiangyang Nan Lu, it’s really popular with both locals and visitors, thanks to its cosy, welcoming vibe and seriously tasty food. Try the fermented tofu, the shuijing cooked shrimp or the jiang-guo salted chicken for an authentic taste of Shanghai. 

Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet
Dinner at Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is a complex experience… in a good way. There are eight courses prepared by 25 chefs, and you eat in sync with audio visual displays to make it a more “multi-sensory” experience. Luckily, the food is delicious enough to be worth the fuss. The location is secret, so you have to book ahead.


Shanghai Park Hyatt
This luxury five-star hotel stretches from the 79th to the 93rd floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center. The location in the business district of Pudong makes it very popular with business travellers, but you don’t need to be working in the city to enjoy the central location, gorgeous rooms and amazing views of Shanghai.

Astor House Hotel
You might want to stay in Astor House just because of its colourful history. Pujiang Hotel, as it’s also known, has welcomed loads of famous faces – Ulysses Grant, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin have all stayed here. Today, it’s one of the most famous hotels in Shanghai, and a tourist attraction in its own right. pujianghotel.com 

The Peninsula
This luxury hotel in Shanghai has a great location right on the Bund, and close to Huangpu Park. There are 235 rooms and suites to choose from – ask for a deluxe room that looks out over the river. Even if you’re not staying, the roof terrace is a cool spot to hang out in the evening.


Make a grand entry on the Maglev
Take a ride on the world’s fastest train – the Maglev travels at an astounding 431kmph. It’ll take you from Pudong International Airport to Longyang Road in just under eight minutes. This might just be the coolest commute from the airport you’ll ever have.

See the city from the SWFC Observatory
For the best views of Shanghai, hop on the elevator at the foot of the Shanghai World Financial Center and rocket up (at five metres per second) to the Garden Observatory on the 100th floor. At 474m high, it’s the second highest viewing platform in the world. There’s a handy map to help you pick out key landmarks on the skyline.

Watch dancing in Fuxing Park
One of the cutest things you’ll see in Shanghai is the sight of the city’s older residents exercising with public “ballroom” dancing. Head to Fuxing Park in Luwan, where you’ll see hundreds of pensioners moving to the beat. You can even join in if you’d like – visitors are welcome.

Emirates Staff Tips

Dongtai Road Antique Market
“In the market you will come across the elderly playing cards and Mahjong, kids running around and shoppers and owners chatting and bargaining. It’s a very lively place.” 
- Susan Zhu, Lounge Supervisor, The Emirates Lounge, Shanghai

HuangPu River Night Cruise
“The city is more beautiful at night than it is in the daytime. You can experience its silence and beauty under the moonlight. This cruise is the best way to see both old and new Shanghai.”
- Molly Mo, Supervisor, Emirates Airport Services, Shanghai