Pudong Airport is located around 30km out of town, and has a direct connection with the impressive maglev train, which travels at speeds of 430km an hour and gets you to Shanghai in just eight minutes. However, you will need to transfer to the metro if you are headed to the city centre or Pudong. Taxis are also available at the airport, but must be paid for in cash.
The metro is the best way to get around town, and is both cheap and easy to navigate. The ticket machines have an option for English speakers, but be aware that they do not accept credit cards.
A Room With a View
With its superior service and a location right in the heart of the city centre, the Langham Xintiandi is hard to beat. Its breakfast buffet is a highlight, offering everything from congee to a traditional cooked breakfast. Check in to one of the Club suites for a host of added benefits including free garment pressing, access to meeting rooms and a lavish dinner spread.
If your business is in or around Pudong, check yourself in to the Mandarin-Oriental Shanghai. From the floor-to-ceiling windows to the staggering art collection (4000 words at last count), to the sprawling spa that has a lounge dedicated exclusively to foot massages, this hotel delivers on little luxury after another.
Yes, the new Amanyangyun resort is 25km from the heart of town, but your clients will be willing to make the schlep to visit the city’s most talked-about new property. Like all Aman resorts, this scores high on luxury; what sets this place apart, however, is the fact that so-called “guest rooms” are actually antique stone villas from Jiangxi province. Invite your business partners to lunch at one of the three on-site restaurants, or treat them to a tea ceremony.
Drink and Dine
There is no rushing a meal at Fu He Hui, and no reason that you would want to, either. Created by two of the city’s most celebrated restaurateurs, the restaurant seats diners amid period Ming and Qing era furniture and dishes up one delicately constructed dish after another – from a soup of longan, walnut and papaya to a mouthful of herbs wrapped in a fragile net of tofu. It’s all so enchanting, you won’t even notice it is all vegetarian.
In Shanghai, a city that loves whatever is new and now, it is rare for a restaurant to remain sizzling hot for a decade. Franck – a classic French bistro – is one of the few to achieve that status. If you want to enjoy the ever-changing menu, bookings are recommended.
You will need to book ahead if you want to join the locals at Mercato, the hot new Italian outlet from superchef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Diners are lapping up the relaxed, rustic chic interiors and the reinvented Italian favourites (the thin crust pizzas are hot movers); the fact that this is the best value diner on the Bund doesn’t hurt, either.
Got a Spare Hour?
With its historic stone-framed shikumen houses and its hip mix of galleries and design shops, pocket-sized restaurants and bars, Tianzifang’s Soho-style vibe draws a crowd no matter which day you visit. Despite that, the maze of narrow lanes is a still delightful place to get lost.
Shanghai’s new arts district, West Bund, aims to become the local equivalent of New York’s Museum Mile. The area is still under development but is already home to some impressive institutions including the Long Museum and YUZ Museum, as well as cutting-edge galleries such as Qiao Space.
In this hyper-modern city, traces of the past still remain. Head to the Old Town for a glimpse into the Shanghai of the past. The big drawcard here is the lovely 400 year old Yuyuan Gardens, built by a Ming dynasty official for his parents, but also worth checking out is the Temple of the City God, which still draws many worshippers.
Many of the city’s taxi drivers speak limited English, so if you are taking a taxi to an appointment, get your concierge to write down the destination and the address in Chinese.