Beauty and the East: Art and Culture in Shanghai City


You want to book a trip to Shanghai, but are in desperate need of a Shanghai travel guide. Good news! Though she can’t fit in your suitcase, content creator Cynthia Corona @cyncynti  gives our ARTRPRNR readers some exclusive international travel tips for your vacation to Shanghai. Cynthia, along with her photographer Jens @envy4lens are actually based in Shanghai, which means they know the in’s and out’s of this incredible city. Read on for an insider’s look at what you need to know when visiting Shanghai.

What To Do

If you’re heading to Shanghai in the next month or two, there are several exhibits Cynthia says you’ll want to check out. The first is Universe of Water Particles in the Tank from TeamLab, which will be around until August 2019. The second is an exhibit by Yayoi Kusama at the Fosun Foundation, which goes until June 2019.

A few other places to see in Shanghai are the Yu Garden, Jing’an Temple, the Zhujiajiao water town, and the Bund.

Cynthia suggests seeing the first three as early in the day as possible to avoid the crowds, especially on weekends. However, the Bund is where you can see all of Shanghai’s beautiful skyline, so the best time to catch that is during sunset or later for the nighttime lights.

Art enthusiasts can visit Shanghai’s creative district known as M50. This area features contemporary art galleries. Cynthia adds that you’ll also find graffiti, cafes, and cool people while exploring these galleries.

How To Stay Active

City life means busy life, and the same thing goes for travel. It can be hard to find the time to work out, even though it’s a top priority. Like many major cities though, one of the best ways to stay active in Shanghai is by accessing gyms in the city. If you travel to Shanghai in the summer, you can take advantage of exercise classes outdoors or in parks. Cynthia says this is a great way to meet new people.

Speaking of which . . .

Meeting Cool People

The good news is that Shanghai is an easy city to meet people in. The French Concession is one of the city’s nicest neighborhoods and is full of cafes and bars. Cynthia adds, “Meeting local people can be complicated due to the language but you need to keep yourself open. It is always good to learn from new cultures.”

Where To Eat

For good Chinese food, head to Grandma’s Kitchen, and Ding Tai Fung is where you’ll want to go for dumplings in particular. For pastries, check out Lost Bakery and Boulangerie. During the summertime, Kartel has an “amazing” terrace for you to enjoy while you eat.

In the event you’re craving some western food, you can find good burgers at Charlie’s and Mexican dishes at Pistolera.


There’s no shortage of options when it comes to lodging in Shanghai; there are hotels for every type. Check out Trip Savvy’s list of the 9 Best Shanghai Hotels for 2019, which breaks it down by the type of hotel. From what’s best for families to business trips, you can find what works for you.

For more info on Cynthia, head to her official website at

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