3 Days Shanghai Itinerary: Day 1| Shopping in Shanghai
Recently I spent a month working in Shanghai and was able to explore some of the places and food in Shanghai. As a metropolitan hub of China, Shanghai has its similarities with Singapore its concrete jungle, yet there are also older streets and residential areas close by the financial districts. Although I did spend a month there, I have condensed most of the places I’ve been to into an itinerary that can be covered in just a few days.
Day 1 of my Shanghai itinerary, mainly focuses on shopping as we spent a day visiting one of Shanghai’s high end shopping malls and the popular Nanjing Pedestrian street. Also, along the way we had some of the tourist and local favourites at some popular restaurants in Shanghai during our shopping spree.
There are many apartments and hotels available in the Pudong district. What I would recommend is selecting a place that is convenient with a metro station close by. During my time in Shanghai, I booked an apartment through Airbnb at Dongchang road, which was just a 3-minute walk away from Dongchang station which was along line 2 of the metro system which also runs through most of the popular areas such as Lu Jia Zhui, West/East Nanjing road and Century Avenue.
Also, you can consider these few accommodations in Shanghai:
I was really impressed with Shanghai’s metro system as it was both efficient and cheap. Most areas in Shanghai are pretty well connected by train and the maps and system are both very easy to understand even if you have limited understanding of Mandarin. With an internet connection, either using the Metro app or just a search on google would give you all the various routes to your destination as well as train timings. Just take note of the peak periods as the trains can get squeezy then. You can consider getting your Sim Card from Klook, where the SIM card you ordered will be delivered to your hotel or your address within Shanghai city!
It was already early afternoon by the time we checked into the apartment. Since we had the day to spare, where else to go but to the central business district of Shanghai. But as we were walking towards the metro station, we decided to have lunch at a place recommended by our Airbnb host which was along the street we stayed at— Fu Xiao Jie.
Lunch at Fu Xiao Jie Zai Cheng Dou (付小姐在城都)
Fu Xiao Jie Zai Cheng Dou (付小姐在城都) which means Little Miss Fu in the City is a chain that serves Mala Chuan Chuan which are skewers served in Mala broth. Mala is an oily, spicy and numbing sauce made of peppercorns, chilli and various spices and oil. Here we were given an ordering chit listing out all skewers ranging from vegetables, beancurd, meatballs to more exotic items like duck tongue and intestines. We were able to choose our spiciness level as well.
Each skewer ranges from RMB 0.5 to 5 which in SGD is only about 30cents to a dollar. Various spicy noodles and other sides can be added on as well. Their Tian Shui Mian (甜水面)was really good too, thick hand made noodles served with a sweet and spicy sauce a little like satay sauce. Having Mala skewers while the weather outside is cold really perks you up! Even Terry who doesn’t really like spicy food found it amazing even though he was struggling with the spice throughout. For 3 persons, our bill came to around RMB 120 (SGD 24) which I would say is totally value for money. The place also opens till 1 to 2a.m on weekends so it is a great place for supper and I found myself returning a number of times throughout my stay.
*Note: 付小姐在城都 has multiple stores in Shanghai, do look out for the one nearest to your location!
Address: 411 Haifang Rd, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Shopping at Lujiazui (陆家嘴)
The glitzy financial and business district of Shanghai is situated on the Eastern side of the Huangpu river. Just stepping out of the metro station, we found ourselves flanked by many tall buildings that make up the famous Shanghai skyline. Probably the most famous ones are the Shanghai Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Jin Mao Tower. These are amongst the tallest towers in Lujiazui and they all have observation decks where you can check out the panoramic view of Shanghai. Unfortunately, we did not visit any of these observation decks due to a lack of time. However, if you are interested to experience any of them, you can book tickets the observation decks through Klook.
Shanghai IFC Mall
IFC mall is probably the most prominent and popular mall in the Lujiazui area. The entire complex comprises of two office towers and a shopping centre. It is probably the place to go if you want to get your designer fix with high end brands such as Prada, Gucci and LV all found there. If you are an Apple fan, do check out the mall’s apple store as it is huge and has a very interesting design.
Teabreak/Early Dinner at Wai Po Jia(外婆家, Grandma’s House)
When visiting Shanghai, Wai Po Jia (外婆家) which translates to Grandma’s House in English is highly recommended by many and is considered a must-try. WPJ is a franchise serving Shanghai cuisine similar to Zi Char style which we have in Singapore. WPJ is highly popular not just among tourists but locals as well due to the good food and affordable prices. At IFC mall, the outlet we visited was Wai Po Jia Gold, so it was slightly pricier than other WPJs as perhaps the ambience and food here was a little high-end. Overall, it was still considered affordable and we probably spent about SGD 15-20 per person for such a wide spread. There are many outlets of Wai Po Jia spread out throughout Shanghai, so you can take your pick. Do take note that because Wai Po Jia is very popular, there might be long queue times during peak periods.
*Note: Wai Po Jia has multiple outlets in Shanghai!
Address: 世纪大道8号IFC国金中心商场LG2层55号; Shanghai International Finance Center Mall, 8 Century Ave, Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai, China
Shopping at Pedestrian Street of Nanjing Road
After dinner, we visited the pedestrian street of Nanjing road, which is widely considered to be among one of China’s best shopping streets. The entire place stretches out over a few kilometres and runs through several metro stations. The street is so large that it is impossible to cover it in half a day and I found myself returning a number of times because I stayed nearby. You can either use metro Lines 2 and 10 to get to East Nanjing Road, or Lines 1, 2 and 8 to get to People’s square. All you have to do is step out of the stations and follow the crowd to know if you are in the right place.
The pedestrian section which stretches between East Nanjing Road Metro and People’s Square is the most popular area. Walking down the street, we were flanked by malls, restaurants, flagship stores, cafes and bars. The area is crowded throughout the day with both locals and foreigners alike. There were too many things to see so on the first visit, we mainly checked out the flagship stores of clothing retailers such as H&M, Gap, Uniqlo and Zara. East Nanjing Road is definitely a shopping paradise for all shopaholics.
Do take note that East Nanjing road is a popular tourist destination and although the police has cleaned up the area in recent years, there are still some touts and tourist scams along this walkway. Just make sure to be wary of anyone who approaches you to ask questions. If you walk right till the end of East Nanjing Road, you will come to the famous Bund and see the famous Shanghai financial district across the river. However, the Bund will be talked about more on another day.
Dinner/Supper at Jia Jia Tang Bao (佳家汤包)
While the general quality and standard of Xiao Long Bao/ Soup Dumplings I had in Shanghai were all very good, Jia Jia Tang Bao (佳家汤包) is hands down the best I tried. The place is really well-known and is widely considered a must-try by many travel guides. Be prepared for a long queue as the shop is rather small but wait times are definitely worth it. We visited the place probably around 7 or 8+ in the evening and were among the last customers so the queue wasn’t bad. During our visit there, most people in the shop and queue were tourists. My recommendation has to be the pure crab roe xiao long bao. Although slightly pricier, (99RMB for 12 pieces) it was totally worth it. Each dumpling was filled with rich crab roe broth and chunks of crab inside. This was probably one of the things I feel shouldn’t be missed when visiting Shanghai.
Jia Jia Tang Bao Address: 90 Huanghe Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
With this, I come to the end of day 1 of my Shanghai itinerary, where we covered various shopping malls and streets of Shanghai. Do stay tuned for my day 2 and day 3 itinerary! On a side note, if you are looking to include Shanghai Disneyland in your itinerary, you can consider booking your tickets through Klook. First time users get an extra S$4.30 discount!