5 unique ways to experience Shanghai

By Nadia Sheng,

If you’d rather avoid business hotels and tourist filled Xintiandi, here are 5 lesser known areas to stay in with lots to see and do!

Young and trendy

Old French Concession

Shanghai’s former French Concession is our top pick for where to stay if you’re a young trendy type. With your equally as trendy bubble tea in tote, stroll down the area’s beautiful boullevards and admire the French-style villas – one of which is the castle-like Hengshan Moller Villa Hotel.

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Must do: Check out all the trendy cafes, art galleries, and craft shops in the hip Tianzifang district. Remember to try the bubble tea – currently trending in Shanghai!

Green Shanghai

Jing’an District

A 5-minute walk from the famous Jing’an temple is the URBN Boutique ShanghaiChina’s first carbon neutral hotel, built from reclaimed wood from old houses from the French Concession.

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Must do: Spend time at the Jing’an Sculpture Park and grab a bite at healthy, veggie restaurant Pure & Whole.

Themed

Thames Town

The French and now the English…Thames Town is a replica town built to look like a British market town, located in Shanghai’s suburban Songjiang District. Who would have thought a day trip from central Shanghai would land you in…England! The Liston Hotel keeps in theme with its brick exterior and traditional touches inside including its afternoon tea.

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Must do: Rent a bike free of charge and cycle the cobblestone streets to admire the precision of the replica Tudor and Victorian style buildings.

Luxe

The Bund

A trip to Shanghai isn’t complete without a visit to The Bund. Better yet, for panoramic river views minus the crowds why not stay at the premier boutique hotel on the historic waterfront – Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund.

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Must do: Dine at one of the many fine-dining Italian or French restaurants to enjoy a front row view of The Bund and the top notch food and drink.

Budget

Songjiang University Town

En route to Thames Town is Shanghai’s largest university park. With students, restaurants aren’t far, which is why the adjacent Business District is brimming with international choices. Besides affordable retail, luxury hotels are cheaper than in central Shanghai. With a pool, spa, and themed kid’s rooms, Songjiang New Century Grand Hotel is the top area choice.

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Must do: Visit Guangfulin Relics Park – a partially submerged archaeological site and museum that take visitors back through inhabited Shanghai’s vast 4,000 years of history.

Yangpu District

Yangpu District, home to the renowned Fudan University, is bustling with cheap food joints and parks, namely Gongqing Forest Park. The stylish and well located Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai Hongkou, located between Fudan University and Tongji University, is the ideal base for exploring Yangpu and neighbouring Hongkou districts.

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Must do: Have a drink at one of the student bars in the area. Propaganda

and Helen’s are two popular bars near Fudan University.