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The best things to do in Shanghai this week

Sticking around Shanghai over CNY? There's no shame in that

Photograph: courtesy Juju
Sticking around Shanghai over CNY? There's no shame in that! You don't have to battle the ren shan ren hai of Shanghai's train stations and airports and you may even get a bit of peace and quiet for a few days. Plus, there's still plenty of great stuff going down this week despite the impending holiday. Read on for our picks of what to do.

Things to Do

Historic Shanghai walk: Xiaonanmen – The Disappearing Old City

Critics' pick

Over Spring Festival, Historic Shanghai will organise walks in three neighborhoods in the oldest parts of the city that are in the process of being redeveloped out of existence. This Sunday (26 January), explore the Xiaonanmen section of the old Chinese city, including twisting lanes, the ghosts of temples, overgrown gardens and the hauntingly beautiful remains of a 16th-century garden and library. RSVP to book and for meeting point (info@historic-shanghai.com).

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TBA 26 Jan

Yuyuan Lantern Festival

For Shanghai’s longest and best-known annual lantern festival, Yuyuan gets decked out with huge, brightly coloured displays tailored for each year of the zodiac. This year the lantern festival kicked off on Friday 10 and it will last until Tuesday 11 February. Walk through the streets full of billboard illuminations, rat-themed light installations as well as a nine-metres high light installation and a Mickey Mouse light hall.

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Yu Garden , 279 Yuyuan Lao Jie 10 Jan - 11 Feb Free

Eating & Drinking

Free-flow barbecue Mondays at JUJU

At Bundside spot JUJU, powered by restaurateur Mark Klingspon (The Nest, The Cannery, Rye & Co), all-you-can-eat barbecue takes the limelight with as much pork, beef and veggie plates as you can stomach. Every Monday, it offers a free-flow barbecue deal with six cuts of meat and refillable sides for 198RMB (instead of the usual 288RMB). Reservations are recommended – call 6330 5005 to book.

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Juju , Lane 1639 Huashan Lu Every Monday


in my head, in my eye…belonging…

Since 2013, the PSA has been showing a series of 'Architecture & City' exhibitions. Now, catch the first solo exhibition from one of France's most well-known and prolific architects, Jean Nouvel. At the exhibition, you can watch a three-and-a-half-hour film produced by Nouvel himself showcasing hundreds of his designs from across the globe, as well as six works of art based on his architecture. 

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Power Station of Art , 200 Huayuangang Lu Every day except Monday


Fighting with My Family

Inspired by the life of Britain’s youngest female WWE champion, the movie tells the story of a former wrestler and his family making a living performing at small venues around the country while his kids dream of joining World Wresting Entertainment, with help from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who plays himself in the movie.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 10 Jan - 09 Feb

The Farewell

Based on the personal story of writer and director Lulu Wang, this bittersweet and maturely witty family drama tells the story of Billi (played by the amazing Awkwafina), a young American-born Chinese whose family decides not to tell her grandmother that she has cancer. Poignant and sometimes funny, the film brilliantly captures cultural differences between the East and the West.

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Life is Beautiful

More than 20 years after its initial release, the Oscar-nominated classic Life is Beautiful (original title: La vita è bella) makes its way to Chinese cinemas for the first time. Directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, it tells a poignant story about a loving Jewish father who protects his son from the harsh life of their concentration camp by telling him it’s nothing but a game.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 03 Jan - 02 Feb

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