Although possessing one of the nicer green spaces in Shanghai, Zhongshan Park
is more than just a park. This laidback neighbourhood is also teeming with hidden away bars, lots of shopping and live music. Whether you want to mooch around a mall or drink beers in the sun (or both), we’ve got you covered with this guide on what to see and do in the area.
Begin your day with the obvious – China’s most popular breakfast, a jianbing. The savoury breakfast crepe at Niu Jia Cun La Mian (1275 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu) is cheap, convenient and, most importantly, delicious. Pair it with a morning coffee at Cofe+ (Exit 2 Zhongshan Park Metro Station, near Kaixuan Lu), a small kiosk manned by a robot that makes your choice of hot drink in less than two minutes. You just need to scan a few QR codes on your phone for a taste of the future.
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler (Cofe+)
If being surrounded by giant malls is spurring you on for a bit of morning shopping, look no further than Raffles City
(1123 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu
) and Cloud Nine
(1018 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu
). Both are filled with international brands, designer chains, entertainment facilities and cinemas.
When all the shopping makes you peckish, there are plenty of places in the area to grab a quick lunch fix. In Raffles City, there’s Shenzhen teahouse chain Gaga
, known for its swish modern interior design or Common Green
, a vegan restaurant and shop with an entirely plant-based menu. Alternatively, venture out of the mall to Toriyasu
(172 Huichuan Lu, near Changning Lu
), a Japanese Izakaya that serves some of the best yakitori in the city.
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler (Common Green)
Sky-high drinks and views are normally synonymous with other parts of the city but Zhongshan Park is no slouch in this department either. Make your way up to Zpark Coffee
on the 25th floor of the Renaissance Hotel
(1018 Changning Lu, near Huichuan Lu
) and relax over tea with an impressive sprawling vista that stretches out towards The Bund and beyond.
Wander over to Zhongshan Park
(780 Changning Lu, near Dingxi Lu
) the crown jewel of the area and the reason you’re here in the first place. But before you go, make sure to grab supplies like cheese, crackers and wine at Hema
(Raffles City,B1, 1123 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu
), then find a nice grassy space to kick back with an afternoon picnic taking in the tranquillity around you. The park also features classic Chinese gardens and serene walkways if you have an inkling for a scenic stroll.
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler (Zhongshan Park)
While the sun still shines, saunter across the road to Beer Union (889 Changning Lu, near Yuyuan Lu). There’s a drinking tent here that doubles as a patio and you’ll find a variety of beer in the fridges ranging from common lagers to hoppy IPAs – but the real hook is the 99RMB all-you-can-drink draft beer deal that includes Asahi and Kirin on tap.
Dinner’s the hot topic when darkness sets in and it can go in many ways. You can either get your hands dirty at Shaking Crab
(Raffles City, Third Floor, 1123 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu
) with big portions of seafood boils, or get carried away on Tang dynasty gimmicks at nearby Yao Jin
(1189 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu
) – expect sharing platters of meat and downing themed cocktails. There’s also Xibei Youmian Cun
(Cloud Nine, Sixth Floor, 1018 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu
), a popular chain with tasty takes on North-West Chinese cuisine and Maurya
(Raffles City, Fifth Floor, 1123 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu
) for traditional Sichuan dishes in an elegant setting.
Photograph: courtesy Chope (Maurya)
Grab a drink (or two) at Wave Lounge (606 Kaixuan Lu, near Wuyi Lu). It’s a homely bar with games, darts and decent cocktails especially the easy on the eye Old Grapefruit that acts as a great pit-stop on the way to your next destination.
Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler (Wave Lounge)
Catch a live show at one of Shanghai’s oldest underground music venues, Yuyintang
(606 Kaixuan Lu, near Wuyi Lu
) or if there’s no gigs there, head to its newer bigger location, Yuyintang Park
(1398 Yuyuan Lu, near Dingxi Lu
). A beacon of the scene, it hosts a number international and local indie acts on a regular basis. Expect to rock your head ‘til it hurts and to make a few new friends along the way while doing it.
Photograph: courtesy Yuyintang
Looking to keep the party going into the wee hours? The Beer Lady
(1010 Kaixuan Lu, near Yanan Xi Lu
) is an institution not just because it has over 3,000 beers on display but because it’s open 24/7. Perch up at a table with the gang and drink to your heart’s content, there’s no limit.