what to do in shanghai

Head to the Hua Noodle shop for authentic grub. (Photo: Getty Images)

Culture + Style

Authentic Shanghai Might Surprise You. Here’s Where to Dive Into the Scene.

From its intriguing past to its modern-day marvels, Shanghai is full of surprises. Why not travel back to the Roaring ’20s, enjoy an authentic bowl of noodles or pedal around beautiful lotus ponds?

Sasha’s Shanghai

The former residence of the once-prominent Soong family, Sasha’s can be found in a grand old mansion slightly off the beaten path in the French Concession. Balconies wrap around the building’s two stories, and the garden is a refreshing place to take in an evening aperitif.


Come to savor continental European cuisine, Pan-Asian specialties, afternoon tea or weekend brunch, and mingle with the locals, both expatriate and Shanghainese, who seem to adore this place in equal numbers.

Century Park

At 346 acres, this may be one of Shanghai’s largest parks; however, it’s often overlooked by the masses. The park was designed by English architects, and the scenery is a confluence of Eastern and Western cultures in the heart of China.

Lotus ponds, Japanese bridges, tree-lined lawns and protected ecological zones mark this park out as a tranquil oasis in which to escape the buzz of the city. If you don’t fancy a walk, hire a tandem bicycle or pedal-car instead. Don’t forget the camera!

A Hua Noodle Shop

This old-school Shanghai noodle shop is well known among office workers in the area — so you can be sure that it’s worth a visit. Come here for the signature dish: a big bowl of tangled noodles topped with pork liver and coated in a tasty broth.

This nostalgic, family-style diner will transport you to old Shanghai with its decor, ambience and entertaining staff. Tuck into an authentic Shanghai noodle dish like a local, with the locals.