Shanghai by bike: Xuhui Riverside

Cycle past modern art along the Huangpu River

Distance Around 20km (plus 10km with Expo extension)
Time 2 hours (3 hours with Expo extension)
Difficulty Medium – you’ll have to negotiate some hairy backstreets between Dapu Lu and the Power Station of Art
Highlights Taking in Shanghai's art area


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Start at the entrance to Xuhui Riverside on the west bank of the Huangpu at the very southern end of Dongan Lu (which begins from the southern tip of Wulumuqi Lu). If you’re looking to rent a bike, there’s a Forever pick up point inside Xuhui Riverside, a five-minute walk south of Chuanchang Lu metro station on Line 7 (find out how to rent a Forever bike here). The open-air recreation ground is a great place for a leisurely stroll with its towering red cranes, floating frigates and dog-walkers. Sporty types also come to use the running track, basketball courts and climbing wall or to perform flips on the crash mats.

Cycle beside the water, emerging at the north gate on Ruining Lu. Turn right, and continue onto Ruining Nan Lu, followed by another right onto Longhua Dong Lu, and brace yourself for some breakneck weaving through the bustling backstreets. Follow the road for 15 minutes as it takes you under the North-South elevated highway, eventually crossing busy Xizang Nan Lu, until it becomes Bansongyuan Lu. Here, the scenery changes and opens onto freshly landscaped, deserted boulevards. Turn right onto Huayuangang Lu, using the Power Station of Art’s iconic chimney as your guide. Park up at No 20 and go inside China’s first state-run contemporary art museum and home to some of the city's best large scale art shows. See current art show details if you plan to stop in.

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For modern art you can cross the river to the new China Art Palace (formerly the China Pavilion in Zone A, Pudong Lu, near Shangnan Lu), with almost five times the floor space of the Power Station. You can reach it by catching the public ferry from beneath Nanpu Bridge (these run every 12 minutes from 6am-9pm) and heading south through the former Expo site, turning left just past the Mercedes-Benz Arena. From here, the easiest way back across the river is to retrace your tyre tracks back to the ferry station and take the return ferry across to Nanpu Bridge.

If you’d rather just drop your bike off in Puxi, pedal 15 minutes north from the Power Station of Art, until you hit Lujiabang Lu. From here, head due west until you reach the junction with Zhaozhou Lu. Cycle north on Zhaozhou Lu and you’ll see the dock on your left before the junction with Hefei Lu, just past Jianguo Dong Lu. Walk north on Zhaozhou Lu until you hit Fuxing Zhong Lu and turn right. Laoximen metro station (Line 10) is two blocks away.

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