48 hours in Shanghai

2 days in China's most forward-thinking city.

by Briana Seftel

With a population of nearly 15 million, Shanghai is China's most populous city. But it's much more than crowded streets and soaring skyscrapers. It's also an intensely modern and global city, with many of China's Generation Y calling it home. With only 48 hours, we've narrowed our guide down to simply the most essential, can't-miss-it hotels, restaurants and attractions. Ready, set, go!

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall 94

No.100 Renmin Main Street, Huangpu District

To understand the true scale of Shanghai and its ongoing building boom, visit the Master Plan Hall of this museum.

- Fodor's

Park Hyatt Shanghai 91

No.100 Century Avenue, Pudong New District

You can’t miss Park Hyatt Shanghai — its towering screwdriver-like structure is the tallest skyscraper in the city.

- Forbes Travel Guide

Shanghai Museum 89

201 Ren Min Da Dao

With 120,000 works of art on view, this premier collection of Chinese artifacts warrants at least half a day to browse the ten galleries of calligraphy, jade, bronze, ceramics, and sculptures.

- concierge.com

Shanghai World Financial Center 87

Building 1, No.100 Century Ave, Pudong New Area

Three panoramic terraces, one of which has a transparent floor, offer extraordinary views over Shanghai.

- Michelin Guide

M on the Bund 87

HuangPu District GuangDong Road 20 WaiTan 5 Building 7 Floor

This is the oldest of the luxury Bund restaurants, and is worth eating at just for the extraordinary view.

- Rough Guide

Fuxing Park 84

No.2 Gaolan Road

This leafy park, laid out by the French in 1909 and later used by the Japanese as a parade ground in the late 1930s, remains one of the city’s more pleasant.

- Lonely Planet

Lost Heaven 83

38 Gaoyou Rd (south of West Fuxing Rd)

This expat favourite specializes in the cuisine of Yunnan province.

- Rough Guide

Xintiandi 79

Lane 181, Taicang Road, Huangpu District

Xintiandi was the birthplace of the Chinese Communist Party; now this restored two-block district is defined by upscale shops and restaurants.

- Travel + Leisure

Fu 1088 78

375 Zhenning Lu

Tucked away behind an iron gate on a busy one-way street, this gem of a restaurant in a three-story mansion offers some of the best Shanghainese cuisine in town.

- Frommer's

Madison 77

1F Building No.2, No.3 Fenyang Road, Xuhui District

You haven’t had a proper Shanghai brunch until you’ve dug into plates of duck-fat French fries and eggs Benedict at Madison

- Travel + Leisure

Jean Georges 77

4F, No. 3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai branch of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's garlanded New York restaurant offers French with hints of Asia (lemongrass, coconut), each dish small but perfect in every way.

- DK Eyewitness

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