48 hours in Shanghai

Submit to the dazzling city lights and historical allure

A gateway to the Yangtze River, Shanghai is a vibrant city that feels like nowhere else in China. With travellers now able to visit visa-free for 72 hours, it’s the perfect spot for a stopover or weekend retreat. Past the glittering skyscrapers of the Pudong district to the historical charm of Puxi, a cocktail of culture awaits. Stroll along the Bund for your pick of exclusive boutiques and stellar views. Take in the horizon from the Shanghai tower, or get lost in this futuristic metropolis’s rich past at captivating museums. From the comfort of one of the city’s best  luxury hotels, Shanghai is yours to discover in style.

Day 1

Despite its size, it’s easy to get around Shanghai. Be propelled from the airport to the city centre at 268mph on the world’s fastest train, the Maglev. Once you’ve freshened up, you won’t have to walk far to find stores to splash out in. Known by some as China’s very own Paris, it’d be sinful not to indulge in Shanghai’s shopping scene. Stroll from your hotel, in HKRI Taikoo Hui, to an über-modern shopping mall brimming with fashion and beauty brands. To bag some designer names, head over to Maison Mode, a haven for fashionistas. Or, to see a more down-to-earth side of Shanghai, stroll around Yuyuan Old Street. Its lakeside setting and traditional Chinese architecture makes it a sight in its own right. But delve into one of its many stalls, and you’ll find a treasure trove of trinkets.

While you’re in old town, fuel up at Wuyue Renjia. Though unassuming from the outside, this well-known family name is upheld by its fantastic cuisine. Gorge on steaming bowls of Suzhou noodles – either piled high or submerged in delicious broth.

Before retreating to your luxury suite, sip cocktails from the rooftop lounge at Bar Rouge right by the Bund, as the city bustles beneath you.

Day 2

Beat the crowds with an early morning walk along the Bund. With dazzling art deco buildings mixed in with Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance revival architecture lining the waterfront, it’s a majestic sight. Bring a selfie stick for snaps against the Lovers’ Wall. Enjoy a dazzling light show in the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. Or jump into past and present Shanghai on a Huangpu River Cruise. Gaze up at the Shanghai World Financial Centre, before sailing past the Waibaidu Bridge, hearing about its 150-year history.

The flawless sheen of Shanghai can leave you craving a slice of culture. So in the afternoon, discover the city’s heritage at the Shanghai Museum. Shaped like an ancient Chinese cauldron, the building is sat at the heart of People’s Square. From the intricacies of the ancient sculptures to the timeless beauty of the calligraphy gallery, it’s a must-see sight in the centre of the action.

You’ve had a taste of culture, now indulge your palate at Hakkasan. Serving traditional Chinese dishes with a fine dining twist, your last night is set to be a memorable one. Try the crispy duck with imperial caviar. Or for a lighter, yet equally delicious dish, pick the roasted silver cod with champagne and honey.

Where to stay

The Sukothai Shanghai echoes its super-sleek surrounds. From the low-lit lure of its Italian Restaurant to the floor-to-ceiling windows offering sweeping city views – this luxury hotel is the perfect urban escape.

Make room for a massage at the hotel, with five private treatment suites, including a couple’s suite complete with a Jacuzzi, you can fill the last of your 48 hours with sheer bliss.