Cox & Kings’ China expert James Noyes shares the best times to visit Shanghai, where to stay, what to eat and what to do.
Shanghai has four seasons. Best is spring, from March to May, when the weather is mild and it tends to be less crowded.
Location, location, location. There is no doubt that 88 Xintiandi has it, surrounded by the vibrant art, fashion and culinary scene of the former French Concession. It also has style. Antique furnishings, personal service and the small scale of the hotel all combine to create a homely atmosphere. For something more lavish, live it up at the Mandarin Oriental in the heart of Pudong's growing financial district. The plush contemporary interiors are out of this world but it’s the exterior views over the river and Shanghai’s glittering skyline that will truly entrance you. Or escape to Amanyangyun. Opening in autumn 2017, this retreat is the result of the relocation of 50 Ming- and Qingdynasty villas and a forest of camphor trees in an ambitious plan to save them from destruction by a reservoir. Set on the doorstep of Shanghai, this bubble of tranquillity has antique villas, serene gardens, two pools, six dining venues and a spa.
Shanghai’s culinary scene has made the grade – the very first Michelin Guide to Shanghai picks from traditional dishes at YongFoo Elite and Cantonese roasted meats at Madam Goose to international fare at eateries such as the innovative Ultra Violet. Ranging in rating from three stars to one star, the city has gathered a magnificent 31 stars in total.
Book tickets for the Shanghai Circus World Theatre, a multimedia theatrical spectacular. Acrobats tell the story of China through traditional Chinese art forms combined with modern special effects for a knockout evening’s entertainment that will both educate and thrill.
For something more soothing, take a cruise along the Huang Pu river, Shanghai's shipping artery and silent witness to its rapid economic development. This dividing line between east and west, past and future, offers the perfect view onto both the Bund’s colonial landmarks and Pudong’s skyscrapers and neon lights. The museum lover will enjoy the Propaganda Poster Art Centre, a private collection of more than 5,000 posters spanning the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 to the end of the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s.
Learn more about...48 hours in Shanghai
A re-vamped waterfront area and a sparkling new array of Michelin star-studded restaurants are providing Shanghai with a new lease of life. Journalist Saskia Smith brings together her hot tips for a short stay in this fashionable city. See more >Recommended C&K tourChina: The Grand Tour
16 Days & 14 Nights from £3,345
This group tour takes in the natural wonders and cultural sights of China including Beijing and the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors at Xian, picturesque scenery between Guilin and Yangshuo, and the pandas in Chengdu. End with a cruise along the Yangtze river and a stay in cosmopolitan Shanghai. See more >
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