Shanghai's Quirky Charms
Collected by Christy Campbell, AFAR Local Expert
Shanghai may be a bustling metropolis, but hidden behind its modern façade are the quirky charms that make the city so special. Wander into old neighborhoods to see what the locals are up to, and send wishes to a happy couple on the Waibaidu Bridge. Or, visit a master of calligraphy and learn to fly a kite. No matter where you wander, there’s bound to be a quirky surprise on every Shanghai corner.
Waitan, Huangpu, China, 200002
Just as my tourguide was telling me that couples often pose on the Garden Bridge before their wedding (he was actually explaining that they often pose all over the city in their wedding garb prior to the big day, then all of those pictures are...
China, Shanghai Shi, Huangpu Qu, 上海老街 邮政编码: 200085
After getting your bearings from atop the world's highest observation deck at Shanghai World Financial Center, visit the other side of The Bund. Meander through the side streets and alleys of Old Shanghai, where you can find city life as it's been...
1008 Huaihai Middle Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
“I used to sit in this small park with a cup of coffee before I went to work. It’s an interesting experience to be in the park and see modern shopping malls on one side of you and tall green trees on the other. At night, older couples...
524 Fuzhou Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200002
After a delectable meal of steamed pork dumplings at a traditional Shanghainese restaurant, the owner took my friends and I to the back to show us his studio. He had sheets of rice paper and hundreds of fans with beautifully precise calligraphy.
Pudong, Shanghai, China, 200085
On Century Avenue in Pudong near the Shanghai World Financial Center (currently the tallest building in China), kite vendors fly and sell kites. The kites soar to the height of the super high skyscrapers. There's a Chinese saying, "Those who fly a...
Baodai Long, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085
You find these alley-like narrow lanes tucked between the larger, modernized buildings. Many people in Shanghai still live in these lanes in apartments and cook in a steamer outside and share a kitchen and hang their laundry out to dry until...
Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Architecture lovers flock to the Huangpu River's western side to stroll the Bund, a waterfront tourist magnet in central Shanghai. There's a glorious mishmash of late-19th- and early-20th-century styles here, from Gothic revival to art deco. Walk...
Jiang Ning Lu, Shanghai Shi, China
Sure, Shanghai has some great markets where you can find just about anything, but wandering the local streets and alleys will let you stumble upon things you didn't even know you needed... Not only will you find kitschy and often nostalgic...
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