Tips from 35,000 Feet: The Shanghai Spots We Love

By: Katie Manning

January 10, 2013

Whenever we touch down in Shanghai, our first stop is almost always for a meal at Lost Heaven. Not only is it one of the few restaurants in the city to have the food of China’s southerly Yunnan Province on its menu, but it’s also the real deal. We love the wild herb pancakes and banana leaf curries and find ourselves drawn in by the rich, dark décor – making this the perfect place for a romantic date or an intimate dinner.

Lost Heaven | Shanghai
Lost Heaven, Shanghai © Lost Heaven

In a city that literally never sleeps, you’ll want to find somewhere quiet and serene to pass your nights, and we can think of no place better than the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel. This five-star haven is one of the biggest in the city, and its rooms are some of the most spacious. We love the marble bathrooms and, of course, those coveted and spectacular Bund views. The famous Jade on 36 is always hard to resist, where celebrity chef Fabrice Giraud is in charge of the kitchen, and if you’re ever in need of a bit of pampering, we suggest the luxurious CHI, which is on site.

Pudong Shangri-La Hotel | Shanghai
Pudong Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai © Pudong Shangri-La Hotel

For the ultimate Shanghai nightlife experience, we suggest heading directly to Bar Rouge, located on the Bund. It overlooks the city’s most famous view and with its luscious décor and terrace, we soon forget about the cost of the cocktails. We highly recommend checking the website in advance, though, since their themed party nights are not to be missed.

Shanghai 35000 Feet | Bar Rouge
Bar Rouge, Shanghai © Maxime Guilbot/Flickr

Whenever we need a break from Shanghai’s relentless hustle and bustle, we head to Century Park (just a handful of stops on the metro from the city centre). It was designed as a “green lung” for Shanghai, and you’re sure to feel oxygen-saturated and revitalised when you leave. Those of us travelling with children (and some of us who are just big kids ourselves) love the amusement park there with its exhilarating roller coasters.

Shanghai 35000 Feet | Century Park
Century Park, Shanghai © risingsunset7890/Flickr

It’s always good to have a few phrases up your sleeve, and this is no less true than in Shanghai where the language spoken by most native citizens is Shanghainese, a complicated and guttural dialect that’s unintelligible to outsiders. In Shanghai, greet people with “Ni hao!” and say “Zai jian” for goodbye. Thank you is “xie xie” (pronounced sheh-sheh).


Shanghai 35000 Feet | Street Scene
A Shanghai street scene © Dhita Beechey/Flickr

Have you experienced this magnificent Chinese metropolis? What is your favourite thing about Shanghai?


Header image © Joan Campderrós-i-Canas/Flickr


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places