Says Doina Ciobanu, blogger at The Golden Diamonds
Why? In many parts of China you can feel very much like a foreigner. However, in Shanghai, the impact of the old colonial area – with its mix of well-travelled locals – makes the city feel much more accessible. When I was there, people were very warm and welcoming, and I made so many friends in just in a few days. The city is so huge and there’s so much to explore, you’ll never be bored.
Where to eat: Discover the local street food, especially in the old quarter. If you’re looking for something fancier, try Kathleen’s 5. It has a ridiculously gorgeous view of the Bund.
Where to stay: The Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai has some of the best staff I’ve ever experienced – they’ll do everything to make you feel comfortable during your stay. The hotel also has the most sublime view of the new part of the city.
What to do: This might be a bit bizarre, but make sure you use the underground! Like so many other Chinese cities, Shanghai’s train system is very efficient and worth seeing first-hand. It’s also a great way to see very different people and feel like you’re a part of that community.