I have lived and worked in Shanghai for more than two years and, of course, during this time I have cultivated my ‘corner nests’ (a.k.a. coffee shops, restaurants) in various places and I have my favourite areas to walk around and take photos in.
If you are planning to visit Shanghai for a short time and would like to have some inspiration of easy and simple things to do in the city, read on. Well, even if your stay in Shanghai is a long one, you can easily do any of these things at your leisure.
1. Eat Breakfast/Brunch in Egg or in Tomatito
I would recommend going to Egg (eggshanghai.com) for a simple but excellent! breakfast. Try out their Spring Shakshouka or Bacon Egg + Cheese plus their cappuccino with cashew milk. Yes, I order more or less the same thing every time I come there. Of course, you can try some other things in their menu. I’m convinced everything is delicious.
For brunch, preferably with friends, I’d recommend Tomatito (tomatitoasia.com). As you might have guessed already, this is a Spanish restaurant and it’s all about tapas. Apart from the tapas, I’m sure that you will also love the space and ambience - you almost think you are in Europe. If you are there during winter, no need to worry; this place will keep you feeling warm and cozy. Excellent to spend time to read a book or to have a chat with friends.
2. Go for a walk in Former French Concession area, visit Tianzifang or go to The Bund
Walking in and exploring the Former French Concession is one of my favourite pastimes. Heritage buildings (including the Cathay Theater above) are everywhere, the streets are lined with big, beautiful maples, and cafés and restaurants abound. I don’t feel comfortable recommending any particular street or streets to visit since the entire area is a gem waiting for you to explore.
Visit Tianzifang, This place has transformed itself from legacy residential architectures and factories into an artsy area housing bars, cafes, crafts shops, design studios, galleries and boutiques. But don’t get me wrong. There are still some residents living in this area, something which adds charm to this place. It is located in Lane 210, Taikang Road. If you take a metro, get off in Dapuqiao Station Exit 1.
For the Bund area, if you start from the ‘main spot’ where you face the famous Pearl Tower, walk to your left (northwards) towards the Waibaidu Bridge. This bridge is famous for wedding photo shoots, so you will be sure to capture some of that if the weather is not too hot or cold.
3. Coffee in Shanghailander
In fact, Shanghailander is really is my ‘corner’. It is just 3 minutes from my place and I spend most mornings there for my cappuccino and a Danish Chocolate. It is almost like a ritual; I need their cappuccino to make my day :) It is tucked in close to the intersection of Wulumuqi Nan Lu (Wulumuqi South Road) and Zhaojiabang Lu (Zhaojiabang Road).
4. Do your Manicure & Pedicure in Flower Finger
Don’t forget to bring along your man to join you for a pedicure or some other treatments. Everybody needs to give some love to their feet. The place I go to is on Wulumuqi Lu 344 (near Fuxing Xi Lu (Fuxing West Road)). And they normally offer you a tea mixed with flavour of fruits, or you can serve yourself. I love it.
5. Have a lunch and dinner in two of my favourite French restaurants, La Creperie and La Petanque.
When I first visited La Creperie, I wasn’t convinced that a galette could constitute a proper dinner, but I promise you it does and it is good stuff! My favourite one is Les Poulains, finished off with the dessert of Le Sextant. Hmmmm..!. It is located at 1 Taojiang Lu near Fenyang Lu (lacreperie.com.cn).
Another fantastic French restaurant named La Petanque is located at 139 Tai’an Lu near Huashan Lu. It is a small restaurant with a familial ambience and a great, kind and caring owner. For starters, you will find choices of tapas-like dishes, all of which are excellent. (Don’t miss the Clam!) Then, for the main course, try anything - everything is delicious.
Wait! One bonus tip on things to do in Shanghai, because who doesn’t need a massage? For this, my go-to place is Zen Massage located at no. 1 Wuyuan Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu, lane 210. Enjoy the 90 minutes (because 60 minutes is just not enough) of aromatherapy massage with your favourite oil.
I hope you get busy soon in trying some of the things above. It is genuinely the list of places I love. It’s totally unsponsored and something just for you. Because, why not having some readymade tips handy? And mix this up with your own findings in the incredible city of Shanghai. If you liked this post of “Easy travel tips” and would like me to do more, then let me know!
All photos above are available as photographic prints in my shop.