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20 Things To Do In Shanghai During Golden Week

A list of things to help you wile away the hours. Happy holidays!
By Sep 30, 2019 Activities


Chinese National Holiday starts tomorrow! Oct 1 to Oct 7, in case you're wondering why the office is locked. Sometimes called Golden Week, referring to the silence that falls over the city as everyone goes away.


Get Out Of Shanghai

Yep! The first and most obvious option is to get out of Shanghai. We're aware of the irony. This place is dead, man. You don't have to go far or get expensive plane tickets though; our big page of Outbounds has a couple of decent nearby options, such as a trip to Shaoxing, or Moganshan, or the Zhejiang Hiking Network. Take a peek.

Read in Shanghai's Highest Library

Go read a read a book in Duoyun Bookstore, Shanghai's highest library. It’s on the 52nd floor! Hopefully the queues have died down since we first went.

Walk Shanghai's Oldest Lanes

While the city's a bit less jampacked, take the chance to walk some of Shanghai's oldest lanes, from the high-class redbrick Jing'an Villa to the more "rustic" Jixiang Li. You might even get a chance to duck into a seedy parlor and learn how to play Mahjong from the residents.

See Bob Dylan's Artwork

The rolling stone himself used to roll a brush across some canvas every once in a while! Bob Dylan's Retrospectrum is on at Modern Art Museum in Pudong, two floors of Dylan’s paintings and sculptures, set to a soundtrack of his music and live recordings. Every day from 10am-6pm (last entry 5.30pm). 88rmb entry.

Listen to Grammy Nominated Jazz

Five-time Grammy nominee Christian Sands is at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Yasushi Nakamura (Wynton Maraslis' regular bass player) and his brother Ryan Sands, a world-class drummer from the Blues Alley Jazz Club. They're playing every night at 7.15pm from Oct 1 to Oct 6, pretty much the entire break. Tickets are 260rmb.

Visit The Cyberpunk Exhibit at MOCA

MoCA is hosting Do You Copy, a group exhibition that’s a futuristic journey into the past, inspired by the times in which astronomy, space exploration, and robotics dominated public imagination. That's every day except Monday. 80rmb. Cyberpunk space rock stuff!

See the Floating Circles At Powerlong

Psychedelic interactive installations over at Powerlong Museum for MOTSE: Over and Over Again. The work of new media art team MOTSE 墨子, it's 17 large-scale works of art in various forms such as interactive visuals, mechanical devices and so on. Visits are limited to 120 minutes. 128rmb.

Party In Elrow's Enchanted Forest

Big party-providers Elrow return with Enchanted Fowrest at TAXX. Sounds like Fangorn Forest, set to dance music! That's bound to be packed with all the coolest of the cool kids. That's on October 5. Entry's 150rmb pre-sale.

Watch Others Party At The Rolex Masters Party

Bar Rouge is hosting this year's Rolex Masters Official Players' Party with Moet Chandon. There's no Nick Kyrgios this year, which sucks. That cat looks like he can party. That's on October 5. Entry's 200rmb.

Drink At Dead Poet

Dead Poet, from the Bar No. 3 and Blackbird people, does intriguing cocktails in a quiet, thoughtfully-designed and secluded space on Jinxian Lu, perfect for sitting and thinking profound thoughts over a long drink.

Listen to Cintia Lund For Free

Spotify-famous Swedish/Spanish singer-songwriter Cintia Lund performing at Yuyintang for free on October 5. Fabulous.

See A French Rock Opera

Le Rouge et Le Noir: L'Opera Rock comes to Shanghai. In case you can't read, it's a rock opera adaption of the famous French novel by François Chouquet. It's in French! That's on from October 3 to October 5 at Shanghai Culture Square.

See a Mime At Grand Theater

The Shanghai debut of Interactive Mime Theater: Perhaps, Perhaps... Quizás, Gabriela Muñoz’s wordless show, a heart-wrenching yet hilarious piece that plays with ideas of loneliness, hope, jealousy, and the longing for true romance. With mimes! That's on from October 5 to October 13, at the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Take The Kids To Learn Science

Here's one for the kids: the European parent-child science show I Love Science is a series of research activities aimed at children between the ages of 4 and 12, helping them learn science and interact with their parents. They're covering natural sciences such as chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy, and geography. That's on October 5 (boy, lot of things happening on October 5) at the Shanghai Centre Theatre.

Eat at Le Bec Charlies

Le Bec Charlies is French steadfast Nicolas Le Bec dipping two toes in the world of Thai cuisine. it is still predominantly French, but there are now prawn shao mai and a Thai chicken curry on the menu, and the outside terrace area is decorated to feel like a Thai beach club, complete with Thai mosquito spray. It's good. You should try it.

Nasty Eats: Stand In Line At Shake Shack

There's a new Shake Shack in Jing'An! How about that? Will it cut the lines in half, or double them?

Party Late at New Clubs

Owner Circle is some hot new after-hours hip-hop club we haven't been to but people who care about this sort of thing have been very positive about it. We hear it's hot. Alternatives on the new club beat are Don Club, perched there at the top of the same building that houses ALL and looks like a cyberpunk poster, or Lujiazui's Space Plus, which is enormous, glitzy and very Pudong.

Party At Fusion For The Last Time

... til November. Sad news! Fusion is throwing its last parties at its current location, with a raft of parties planned from October 1 to 4. Then they're chaining up the door and moving to M2's old spot in Hong Kong Plaza, sometime in November.

Get A Massage

Yeah. Relax. Reelaaaaax. There're dozens of places around town, you can check out just a selection of the betters ones here. Plus, Subconscious still has those sweet deals running across the city.

Watch The Bund Light Show

The Bund's getting colorful and glittering night skies for the 70th anniversary. We haven’t be able to find any official notice, but we called around the bar terraces on the Bund and they told us that there will be a light show happening from September 30 until October 6, running once every 30 minutes. The staff gave us different start times: some said it starts at 6pm, some say it runs until 11pm, everyone seems a bit confused. Let's say 7-10pm to be safe. The city seems to have kept it quiet, maybe to avoid overcrowding the Bund? Good luck with that.


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