Things to do in Shanghai during October Holiday week
October Holiday has always been a bit awkward. Stuffed halfway between summer and fall, the week off seems unnecessary and stressful. Where will you go? What will you do?
Since flights are expensive, hotels are full, and Hangzhou hasn’t gotten any more interesting, why don’t you just relax in your cosmopolitan back yard?
October Holiday day 1: Crowdsurf the Bund
We're expecting over 8 million people to descend on Shanghai this October Holiday. While we wouldn't suggest you join the crush at the 2010 Expo, take walk on the wild side and admire the masses of tourists in town this week on the Bund. They’ll be out in all their glory on October 1, Chinese National Day.
To see possibly the most people you have ever seen, take a stroll down Nanjing Lu to the Bund. Since its reopening this spring, the Bund has been a huge attraction for people across China who are genuinely excited about the changes in Shanghai.
October Holiday day 2: Consulate-spotting bike tour
Enjoy Shanghai’s colonial trappings with a tree-shaded bike ride through the French Concession. Some of the more pleasant streets are between the Changshu Lu and Jiaotong University stops on Line 10. Peddle around and see how many consulates you can find.
Don’t miss Iran on the corner of Wulumuqi and Fuxing -- just a few feet from the Boxing Cat Brewery and next to the American consulate. For the adventurous head out to the Japanese consulate in Hongqiao or the Russian by the Bund.
Boxing Cat Brewery, 82 Fuxing Lu, near Yongfu Lu 复兴路82号, 近永福路 , +86 21 6431 2091
October Holiday day 3: Gallery crawl
There is more going on in Shanghai’s art world than ever before. Take a day to visit the Minsheng Art Musuem and the RockBund Art Museum, two private museums that opened this year. James Cohan has a great exhibition right now, as does M97, Beaugeste Photo Gallery, Art Labor 2.0 and many others.
If new stuff isn’t your thing, revisit the very beautiful and very free Shanghai Museum in Peoples Square.
Minsheng Art Museum, Bldg F, 570 Huaihai Xi Lu, near Kaixuan Lu 淮海西路570号F号楼, 近凯旋路, +86 21 6282 8729; RockBund Art Museum, 20 Huqiu Lu, near Beijing Dong Lu 虎丘路20号, 近北京东路, +86 21 3310 9985; James Cohan, 170 Yueyang Lu, Lane 1, Bldg 1, near Jianguo Xi Lu 岳阳路170弄1号楼1楼1号, 近建国西路, +86 21 5466 0825; M97, 2/F, 97 Moganshan Lu, near Aomen Lu 莫干山路97号2楼, 近澳门路, +86 21 6266 1597; Beaugeste Photo Gallery, Lane 210 Taikang Lu, Bldg 5, Studio 519, near Sinan Lu 泰康路210弄5号楼519空间, 近思南路, +86 21 6446 9012; Art Labor 2.0, Bldg 4, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu 永嘉路570号4号楼, 近岳阳路, +86 21 3460 5331
October Holiday day 4: Island hopping
One of the great things about Shanghai is you can get out of town and, if it’s a clear day, still use the skyscrapers as reference.
Test this theory by heading out to Chongming Island and bum around for a day. Although your nature-filled day might not be all that tranquil, as Chongming is far from undiscovered, it is a dose of greenery and a great day out of the city.
At Dongtan National Nature Reserve, peruse the park on boardwalks that hover over the wetlands. Watch as locals try to catch the tiny crabs scurrying around the salt water marshes, and keep your eyes open for migrating birds.
Afterward, Dongping National Forest Park is a great place to rent a bike and cruise through the plentiful, flat paths that trace through the trees. Once you get out of the main walking areas, the crowds disappear. Bring a lunch and stop in one of the gazebos to refuel.
To get there, catch bus number 5 at Shanghai Stadium to Baoyang port, and then hop on a ferry.
October Holiday day 5: Park life
Not to hold anything against Shanghai’s myriad indoor activities, but we do have some awesome parks -- even if some have rather tough anti-grass-sitting laws.
Head up Lu Xun first thing to get some street food and watch Shanghainese elders practice tai chi all morning. Pack a picnic and head towards Century Park, probably the most spacious place in town. Alternately, Fuxing Park is a perennial favorite and no need to jump the river.
Lu Xun Park, 146 Dongjiangwan Lu, near Sichuan Beilu 东江湾路146号, 近四川北路; Century Park, 1001 Jinxiu Lu, near Minsheng Lu, Line 2 Century Park station 锦绣路1001号, 近民生路; Fuxing Park, 105 Yandang Lu, near Nanchang Lu 雁荡路105号, 近南昌路
October Holiday day 6: Al fresco times
Again, October is one of the best times to be outside in Shanghai. While you can rock a Suntory and walk down the street, there are innumerable places in town that allow for a breezy afternoon of boozing.
On the weekend, partake in Cantina Agave’s all-you-can-drink margarita happy hour (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), then sober up with a walk to the Fat Olive. Enjoy the late afternoon there before cabbing it over to Mistral, where you can hang out the patio or listen to disco downstairs. Best day ever.
Cantina Agave, Rm. 01A-2, 1/F, 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu 富民路291号01A-2室, 近长乐路, +86 21 6170 1310; Fat Olive, 6/F, Silver Court Complex, 228 Xizang Nan Lu, near Huaihai Lu 西藏南路228号6楼, 近淮海路, +86 21 6334 3288; Mistral: 133 Fuxing Xi Lu, near Yongfu Lu 复兴西路133号, 永福路, +86 21 6433 4261
October Holiday day 7: Bookworm
Do you need a vacation from your vacation? Go the yuppie route and spend this last part of your holiday at a classic Shanghai brunch or dim sum spot, and then browse through the Sunday newspaper. Head to Shanghai Library, where a RMB 25 membership gets you access to all 24 reading rooms, the surprisingly good foreign stacks, and … the Sunday New York Times. There is even an Internet café where you can contact with friends toughing out very long layovers.
There are a number of brunch deals in the area, but right across the street is the small and cheap La Casbah.
La Casbah, 1554 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Gaoan Lu 淮海中1554 路, 近高安路, +86 21 6471 2821; Shanghai Library, 1555 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Hunan Lu, Shanghai Library Station, Line 10 淮海中路1555号, 近湖南路, +86 21 6445 5555