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The Shanghai Golden Week Events, Eating, and Activities Guide

Everything to get up to for the holidays in the city...
2023-09-29 12:00:00

If your stuck in Shanghai for the holidays, please accept our most heartfelt condolences... that's a sad state of affairs indeed. Better luck next time. Gotta get on those travel plans sooner...

Conversely, if you're visiting from out-of-town, welcome!

Welcome to Shanghai!

There's tons of stuff to do in the city for the holidays, with the social calendar coming alive with terrific nightlife, arts, and concert events. Restaurants across the city are hosting week-long brunch deals, there's a bunch of music festivals on, there's tons of shows — really, you picked the right vacation destination!

Scroll on for a round-up of great stuff to get up to with your holidays in Shanghai...


Join for an unforgettable musical extravaganza at the Montreux Jazz Festival China 2023 during the upcoming 8-day national holiday. This world-known Festival is going to be held along the Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou from September 27 to October 2, featuring legendary jazz guitarist and Grammy-awarded Mike Stern, Grammy-nominated singer Gretchen Parlato, famous Jazz singer Talie Monin from South Africa, one of the most in-demand live bands Dirty Loops, the most popular London New Jazz Group Kokoroko...The list goes on. The lineup consists of 20 international bands and 10 Chinese bands, presenting jazz, rock, pop, electronic, hip-hop, folk, reggae and other music genres. Regular Tickets priced from 468rmb to 628rmb, and VIP tickets are priced from 880rmb to 1280rmb for single-day entry.

Square Cat, in collaboration with Shanghai Bookfair and Sinan Bookstore Festival, is delighted to present a four-day afternoon block party, featuring two stages, 6 live jazz bands and 14 vinyl DJs,  along with record collections from Daily Vinyl and Vinyl Studio, and a daily workshop supported by Technics. There will also be over 50 unique bookstores of all kinds. Join all the square cats for a movable feast of music, literature, sunshine, afternoon chill and more. Runs daily 1pm to 7pm. No entry fee. 

The Savvy Fashion market is hosting a full scale afternoon and evening festival out in a park in Changning district with tons of local fashion designers and retailers, guest DJs and performers, food, drink, and more. The theme is "Connection, Creativity, Sustainability" and if your looking for an event at the intersection of youth culture, fashion, music, and art, it's one to check out. Runs 2pm to 10pm. No entry fee. Venue address: C-Park, 618 Zhao hua Lu,. Changning Distrtict. 

Concerts and Stage

Crossroads Live and Poly Productions are staging Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies for the first time in China. Debuting in London's West End in 2010, this is technically the sequel to the long-running Phantom of the Opera, although Webber calls it a standalone piece -- a new story with the same characters, set 10 years after the events of the first one, to be more specific. If you're looking for a new face for the Phantom, it's one to check out. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and original direction by Simon Phillips. The Shanghai run is September 28 to October 15. The show will be in English, with Chinese subtitles. Check the full cast list on page (link below). New Dates added: October 17 to 22.

This is a show expressing love through music and dance. Choreography by former dancers from the renowned Batsheva Dance Company in Israel, performed by 3 accomplished dancers, with 21 timeless songs, 3 segments of theatrical monologues, the performance embraces elation, heartache, and joyfulness. Get your tickets now for the exclusive on-stage seating.

Award-winning comedian Garron Chiu will be headlining at Spicy Comedy Lounge on September 29 and 30. Garron, an American-born stand-up comedian based in Hong Kong, was the winner of the 2018 Hong Kong International Comedy Competition and was on Comedy Central's "Stand Up Asia!" Season 2. Catch his shows at 4:30 or 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday. . Tickets available now. Every guest will get a free drink if you mention you bought the tickets from SmartShanghai.

Gravity & Other Myths is an Australian contemporary circus group, utilizing an honest approach to performance to create shows with a focus on human connection and acrobatic virtuosity. Check out the pictures of this event and be ready to enjoy a performance that is simultaneously raw, frantic and delicate. From Oct 4 to Oct 22. The show duration is 75 minutes without intermission. Ticket price ranges from 180 to 580rmb.

The renowned Russian soprano Anna Netrebko takes to the stage with pianist Irina Soboleva at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on October 6 and October 8. Throughout an illustrious career beginning in 1994, Anna Netrebko has arguably become a reigning prima donna of the 21st century. The toast of season opening productions at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano or the Metropolitan Opera in New York, a featured soloist at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, or the first classical music artist named to Time magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people, Netrebko has consistently distinguished herself inside – and outside – the world of opera. The show will be 100 minutes in length including a 20-minute intermission.

on Oct 2 and Oct 3, 2023

Moulin Spectacular

The Moulin Spectacular will be a night like no other with glitz, glamour and cabaret. At the show, performers will re-create and re-imagine the ambiance and decadence of the infamous Parisian Cabaret Club. The audience will follow the journey of two lovers as they fight to create a showcase unlike any other with scenes from the Cirque, the tease of Burlesque, the spirit of Drag and music from the Étoiles Rouges (Red Stars)


"Beyond the Streets" is a celebration of graffiti, street art, and beyond. Following blockbuster exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, and London, the show is curated by Roger Gastman, noted graffiti historian and founder of Beyond the Streets. On display in paintings, instalations, photography, film, and sculpture is a roster of over 100 artists representing over 60 years of graffiti and street art culture. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 8pm. Tickets are available at 138rmb for workdays and 188rmb for weekends and holidays. You've got tomake an reservation after purchasing the tickets. Free entry for children within 1 meter height. Read more about it on SmartShanghai here.

This exhibition marks a significant milestone as it is the Museum of Art Pudong's inaugural photography exhibition. It also serves as a remarkable retrospective of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Liu Heung Shing. Featuring seven distinct sections, the exhibition showcases nearly 200 precious photographic works capturing historical events, portraits of notable figures, and candid glimpses into the everyday lives of people from various countries during specific periods.

The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, which is part of Madrid's renowned "Golden Triangle of Art" in Spain, is showcasing its treasures in China for the first time. This exhibition marks a significant milestone as it will be the museum’s first large-scale international exhibition since its establishment. This exhibition will feature a selection of exquisite paintings spanning six centuries. By presenting Western art from the Renaissance to post-war European and American movements, this exhibition aims to provide the audience with a profound understanding of the Western world’s evolution in lifestyle and social landscapes over the past six hundred years. With masterpieces by renowned artists such as Raphael, Pieter Hendricksz de Hooch, Peter Paul Rubens, Canaletto, Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, and Georgia O'Keeffe, the exhibition boasts approximately 70 precious authentic works, including portraits, landscapes, and depictions of customs, offering a diverse range of captivating themes.

Activities and Wellbeing

Juss Sports confirmed the tennis tournament will happen at Qizhong Tennis Center in Minhang, starting from the crazy golden week to the middle of October. Tennis celebrities including Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev are expected to attend. Even the retired Roger Federer himself will join for a public event.

Floatasian is a luxury floatation spa offering stress relief and relaxation. The tanks are all imported from Sweden, and they're filled with salt water that's kept at body temperature so you can float comfortably. Floatasian is offering awesome deals. Any floating, ice bath, fire & ice session you purchase right now can be used in the next couple months. For this deal, please book at least one day in advance.

A three-story water resort with 15,000 sqm of outdoor pools and hot spring pools, massage services, rest areas, and activities to keep your kids entertained while you relax. Their special deal for SmartShanghai readers is back online, one adult ticket is 108rmb with one fruit tea, and one kid ticket is 49rmb. The family package (1 adult +1 kid) is 148rmb, and the couple package (2 adults) is 208rmb. Pool opening hours: 10am-11pm.

Strip is celebrating 21 years in the business by offering a special deal: 210rmb for your first Brazilian Wax trial which values 420rmb. Strip is a brand that provides all waxing options for both sexes. They have pruned and waxed over 4 million bushes worldwide! The ticket can be redeemed at any of their three shops in Shanghai before December 31, 2023. Only available to female new customers, excludes usage with other specials, can only be purchased once and requires a reservation. Unavailable to be paid by membership credits.

QY The Med Spa, who specializes in high-tech beauty services, is hosting the Hot and Cool deal starting as 880rmb. Purchase 2 treatments, you can get 1 additional treatment for free. Hot treatments include RET, TR; Cool treatments include Cryotherapy, Glacial. There is also a good discount in their Hydrafacial with 880rmb for promotion (original price 2800). Check out the flyer for more details.

Owlpaca Studio is holding a relaxed outdoor drawing session in the beautiful season of autumn. The theme will still be drawing people - participants may volunteer as live models for others, but you can also draw botanical lives. At last we will create a collage together with works by the participants. All levels are welcome, the group encourages focusing on the process of CREATING rather than results. More information at the QR code on the flyer. 

Kids & Family

Reputed local tennis academy Tennisline hosts a tennis camp for kids aged 4-12 throughout the October Holiday. This leading international tennis academy in Shanghai is based on the official ITF International Tennis Federation curriculum, with professional coaches using professional facilities. The camp is five days long (2 hours a day) and classes are given by international tennis pros. Scan to learn about details; spots are limited! Group size depends on the age group of the kids.

Planet Earth II Live in Concert brings us closer to the spellbinding animals, landscapes and wildlife dramas on our planet than ever before. This musical and visual concert features breath-taking footage from the original BBC series, shown on big screens, accompanied by a live Orchestra playing remarkable music by the Academy Award winners Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea, and JashaKlebe. The show will be introduced from the stage by a well-known local Host who will provide background and context to each sequence from the series. Please note that children and adults tickets are the same price.

On October 4, the first day of Disney's Halloween celebrations, all the Micky Avenue residents, including Micky and Pals, will wear their 2023 Halloween costumes for a special fashion show. Shanghai Disneyland hosts its magical annual Halloween Carnival from October 4 to November 5. Bring your family and all your friends to create a special memory of Halloween in Shanghai in 2023. 

If you're a fan of monkeying around 60ft in the air, Magic Jungle is something worth looking into. Their North Bund location right near the International Ferry Terminal is a 400m² high ropes course with over 90 elements like swinging from pillar to pillar, riding bicycles along a 7-inch-thick plank of wood, carefully edging their way along rolling cylinders and more, all while suspended 20-30m in the air right in front of the Lujiazui skyline. The Highlight Pass ticket gets you exactly that - a full 2-hour pass on Giant Swing, Crazy Slider and Magic Island viewing platform. This ticket is available for healthy people aged between 4 and 60with a height over 140cm and a weight of under 80kg.

Immerse yourself in a night of 90s nostalgia at Skater Moon skate night, the ultimate throwback party at RIINK this Friday. Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with a Sailor Moon twist, as their DJ spins your favorite hits from the era. Lace up your skates, chase the moon on our mesmerizing rink, and groove to the beats that defined the 90s. At RIINK, you are always welcomed to dress up as your favorite characters and create unforgettable memories, where the 90s come alive. Starts 7pm. No entry fee. Drinks, food, and skates packages available. 

Temple of Light - the immersive digital art exhibition on the Bund - continues its Shanghai presence with a new theme show focused on Chinese Shadow Puppetry. The exhibition uses a projection area of ​​more than 1,500 square meters, a 360-degree immersive light and shadow art ‘stage’, and 3,000+ collections of shadow puppetry to reproduce the Chinese aesthetic in a modern way. The opening dates are Tuesday to Sunday every week, until November 30.

Based on Jules Verne's classic ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, the British Library provides hundreds of digitized reproductions of exhibits on display at the Shanghai Library East Branch. There are 24 themed exhibition halls featuring different cultures from France to Egypt, Italy to India. Family-friendly for sure, but weekdays will definitely be less crowded than weekends. You can purchase a ticket with a ‘passport’ to collect stamps from different sections, if you and your kids have Chinese language equipped, you can also book a tour guide! In addition, it’s a good chance to check out this branch of Shanghai Library in Pudong, as the new building is now one of the largest libraries in the world.

Eat and Drink

Daily until Oct 7

Golden Week Brunch

Bund staple Mr & Mrs Bund is hosting brunch every day of the holidays, if you're looking for the classic Shanghai brunch option. It's on the Bund so expect it to be classy yet relaxed, without sacrificing an ounce of chic. Serving global French favorites through Pairet's looking glass. Service is family-style, recast for a modern table, and the wine list includes 32 wines by the glass. 488rmb per person. Book ahead. More information at the QR code on the flyer. 

Conrad Shanghai offers a lunch/dinner buffet with all-you-can-eat seafood, BBQ, delicious cold cuts and salad, and plenty of sushi at the Lane 11 restaurant -- for only 208rmb! 248rmb for dinner on the weekend. Soft drinks are included in the buffet. Steal of a deal, don't miss out. Please note that Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance. 

Daily until Oct 7

8 Days of Brunch

The Cannery hosts a steal of a deal on champagne and oysters if you're looking to class up your Golden Week brunch.  50% off all wines and champagnes, and a dozen oysters is only 188rmb. Available daily, every day, from 11am. They've got movies playing on their lawn out front from 2:30pm and it's a pets friendly environment. 

Daily until Oct 8

Sexy Golden Week Brunch

"Hola Sexy Amigos! Are you in town for the holidays like us?" Tomatito is open for the holidays, and they're also extending their sexy brunch deal for you from September 29 til October 8. 188rmb for four sexy dishes plus dessert. And if you're feeling extra thirsty, they've got their two-house free-flow deal for 168rmb. "We'll be waiting to welcome and serve you the best Sexy Spanish Tapas in town. And yes, you counted the days right! That's a total of 10 Sexy Days of Brunch for the Holidays! Don't forget to call us & book your table ahead. See you there amigos!"

Tap House YongKang Lu and ShangKang Li‘ free-flow brunch extravaganza is extended during the October Holiday. They're serving up a delectable array of delights, including fluffy pancakes, tantalizing Bruschettas, and a scrumptious breakfast burger. For 168rmb, they have a free-flow option on imported draft beer, Prosecco, wine, and selected mixed drinks between 11am and 3pm. The brunch is available every day until October 6. 

Nightlife and Clubbing

On the first day of the holiday, Space Panda hosts a Bund rooftop party at Banyan Tree, with two stages of music and UK-based house head Elliot Adamson headlining. "Lose yourself in Elliot’s infectious live tech beats and discover sensational artists, ensuring a sunset of non-stop musical ecstasy." Afterwards, head to Playground Club at INS to keep the party going all night. Tickets, 128rmb to 188rmb, including a drink. 

With a beautiful city garden view, Portman Ritz-Carlton and FoS will be hosting this party featuring multiple DJs and bubblicious performers on September 30, Saturday, from 4pm to 10pm. In addition, you can expect mouth-watering food, bubble machines, and free bubble guns! Early bird is 108rmb for single entry, 300rmb for 3 ppl. Presale price is 138rmb. All tickets include 1 drink.

Roza celebrates its first birthday at 298 Xingfu Road, with special guest Peter Portman, a talented international artist who has won the Burn Residency Award for his music selection and production. A big line-up of support for the visiting Portman:  The Mansion's Rainbow High, emerging artist Roni Macedo from Sao Paulo, Brazil, DJ/Producer Aldwin Macapagal aka Sounds Like! from the Philippines, and the Blackmarket club joint Founder Stefano. Raise a glass for a busy year on the dance floor for Roza as they look forward to a more musical eclectic future. Starts 10pm. 

One of the Disco Queen of China, Rose Zhang’s personal favorite European bands, Stevans has decided to come back to China to once again expand their music journey. This time, things are slightly different from before, this time, they have the support from Rose Zhang. She has covered many of Stevans’ songs in her latest albums and got great reviews from both critics and audiences. 120rmb presale; 150rmb at door. Starts 8pm.

...there's still time to escape!

If you're looking for a quick, last minute getaway from Shanghai, Huttoipia, located in the bamboo forests of Deqing (2.5 hours from Shanghai), offers a French touch on glamping, with Family and Duo wood cabins; Family and Duo Trappeaur Tents (canvas roofed cabins); and the "Cahutte", a quaint wood cabin on the ground floor topped by a real tent upstairs so you can sleep among the trees.

They have a French bistro cafe on-site, pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and pristine hiking trails. Great for people looking for an even quieter side of Moganshan. Ideal for families and couples looking for a romantic trip out of the city. They're hosting specials on their cabins for the Golden Week holidays if you want to get out of the city for a few nights. Read more about the place here. Contact info at that link as well.

Happy holidays!