The best things to do away from the track in Shanghai for Formula 1 fans attending the 2021 Chinese Grand Prix on April 9-11.
Make sure you add a day or two before or after the race to experience vibrant Shanghai. Take a stroll along the Bund to admire the city’s colonial architecture contrasting with the futuristic Pudong skyline across the river. Shanghai is lively at night, offering everything from jazz at the legendary Fairmont Peace Hotel to countless clubs. For those who cannot stay away from shopping malls, Shanghai is a veritable paradise, offering everything from antiques to luxury goods. You can also choose to leave the fast-paced city by having a mini getaway at one of the nearby charming water towns. TimeOut Shanghai is a good place to start planning what you want to do in the city.
A trip to Shanghai wouldn’t be complete without a stroll along the Bund. Join the tourists on the famous riverfront boardwalk and take pictures of the iconic Shanghai skyline. It’s also possible to take a short boat tour during the day or at night along this section of the river. To uncover some hidden gems, take TimeOut Shanghai’s Behind the Bund self-guided walking tour which starts at the Yu Garden Metro Station (Line 10). After the 2-hour walk, you can also visit The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel (CN¥55 for a return ticket) for a bizarre and trippy ride “into the core of the Earth” under the Huangpu River. The closest metro station is East Nanjing Road on line 2.
From the shark tank in M1nt to the underground music scene at ALL Club, a night in Shanghai has been never dull and its clubbing scene is definitely worth checking out, if that’s your thing. Best rooftop bar to check out the skyline? Head to Vue Bar, located on the 32nd and 33rd floors of the Hyatt hotel on the Bund. If you want a more subdued form of night-time entertainment, head down to one of the many parks around the city. During the spring in Shanghai when the race is held, evening dances are organized in the parks. If you are lucky, you might have a chance to listen to a little bit of Chinese Opera singing. Alternatively, if you feel like belting out a tune without being laughed at, there are plenty of karaoke places in town.
Shopping on Nanjing Road
Everywhere you turn on Nanjing Road, there’s an opportunity to give your credit card a workout. Located right between the East Nanjing Road Metro Station and the Bund, you can find well known international and Chinese brands on this stretch of the road. There’s a real mix of modern and historic shops here, along with hotels, theaters and more!
China Art Museum
Shanghai hosted a major World Expo event in 2010 and the distinctive China Pavillion has since been turned into the China Art Museum. Inside you will find a huge collection of Asian art. It’s open from 09:00-17:00 each day (except Mondays) and tickets are free, but with a maximum of 4000 visitors per day.
Ding Tai Fung
You haven’t done Shanghai until you have eaten from a roadside stall. The food (especially dumplings) served at these stalls are some of the yummiest in Shanghai. If you must dine in a restaurant, we recommend Ding Tai Fung for some of the best xiaolong bao in town, priced from CN¥29 ($4.15 USD) per serving.
50 Moganshan Lu
Art collectors and admirers should head to the centre of Shanghai’s buzzing contemporary art scene on Moganshan Lu. Built from once deserted warehouses near Suzhou Creek, some of the best Chinese art can be found in the galleries here. For the best from the crème de la crème of the Chinese art world, head over to ShanghART.
New Star Bathhouse
After a long day at the track, pamper yourself at the New Star Bathhouse. Entry costs CN¥58 (approx $9 USD). You’ll be given a pair of slippers and a key for the changing rooms. In the single-sex bathing areas, you can have a good soak. A body scrub costs CN¥38 ($6 USD) extra. Foot massages and other treatments are also available.
To get a notion of how life was during the rule of the Chinese dynasties, make a day trip to one of the many water towns near Shanghai. One of the best is Zhujiajiao, a classic ancient water village situated an hour away from the big city. For CN¥24 ($4 USD), you can take a tourist bus that departs Shanghai Stadium at 9.00am and returns before 4pm. There are also tours of Suzhou and Zhouzhuang, with a boat trip included. Find out more about it here.