Shanghai Surprise

2017 might be coming to a close, but let’s not freak out over 2018. As vacation plans are being booked up left and right for NYE, there is never a time when you can run out of ideas of cities to visit!

If there is one city you need to add to your 2018 travel bucket list, it’s Shanghai. This past November, American lingerie behemoth Victoria’s Secret launched their very first fashion show there. Every VS model and Instagram fashion blogger/influencer attended the show. Thanks to its cloud-grazing skyscrapers and KiraKira+-esque lights in the evening, the beauty of China’s internationally appealing coastal city cannot be ignored.

When I visited Shanghai last month, I couldn’t help myself. In fact, I felt like I NEEDED to Instagram every single street corner and space in the restaurants. As much as I hate to spill secrets, I’ll let the cat out of the bag on this one as I cannot wait to tell you my favorite hotspots!



Lost Heaven 

China may be the home to the finest Chinese cuisine, but this place ain’t one of ’em. Instead, it serves up fusion fare as the menu is inspired by the Silk Road, which reaches as far as India. Speaking of the food, it’s extremely mouth-watering as the sauces and spices tingle your tongue. Whether it be with meat or veggies, you feel like your taste buds are “lost” in heaven (pun intended). If you need a little pick me up, head downstairs to the bakery. You can score the time to do the perfect layout once you get your coffee and Cluizel chocolates!


el willy 

To me, eating Spanish food outside of Spain feels kinda unusual. But in Shanghai, it never fails to surprise me. Although I myself am no foodie, I can’t get over their succulent sangrias and tantalizing tapas. Not only will you enjoy the meal, you can enjoy a killer view of The Bund!



Hey Jesse, what’s good? Although it goes by a different name, THIS is the place that everyone swears by. Nicknamed “Old Jesse,” it is best known for crab-based dishes. If you are someone who cannot live without eating anything from under the sea, you will LOVE this place as there’s crab sashimi. Across from it is a wine store, where you can ball out on the finest bottle. FYI, if you think that all Chinese food is the same, this is authentically Shanghainese to a tee as no other dish is found outside this place.

Coffee + Juice

lizzy's juice 2

Sourced from Lizzy’s All Natural 

Lizzy’s All Natural 

Juice bars and Shanghai don’t belong in the same sentence, but apparently, there *is* a spot in the city where you can drink up your greens. Conveniently located next to Lost Heaven, this sweet neighborhood fave just happens to be right around the corner! If you try one juice, you will feel instantly refreshed.

black sheep espresso

Sourced from Foursquare

Black Sheep Espresso 

Despite the name, this ain’t no black sheep. Set in a contemporary classic meets minimalist space, the all-white interiors of this coffee shop make you feel so chill. As a coffee addict, you can never go wrong with trying an espresso over there. It’s flavorful, strong and rich.


Lost Bakery

Although I’ve already mentioned how Lost Heaven has dope coffee, their bakery is not to be overlooked. Their coffee tastes like Nespresso and instead of giving you a sugar cube, you will get a piece of Michel Cluizel chocolate. It’s the perfect balance between sweet AND sour. If you are gluten intolerant (like myself), you can just stick to the coffee as there are an assortment of breads, cakes and pastries galore.


chloe chen

Sourced from Chloe Chen 

Chloe Chen 

If you like to find simple and extremely classy things to wear, go for Chloe Chen. Her menswear-inspired take on ladylike leisurewear is extremely Céline-esque, but at a fraction of the price of the French luxury designer. While chunky knit sweaters and loose pants are a staple over there, you NEED to get her leather pieces as they are ridiculously comfy!


Sourced from Philippe le Bac 

Philippe le Bac Cashmere

Need to stock up for sweater weather? This cashmere store is ready to keep you warm for winter! If you ever go there, you will go goo goo gaga over the softest cashmere. Whether it’s black, brown or millenial pink, you can dive for your future heirloom right now.


Sourced from Shanghai K11 

K11 Mall

If you are only in Shanghai for a few days, but you wanna see a museum, this mall is the closest thing you can get for a trip to the gallery. Filled to the brim with designer boutiques (Chloé, Vivienne Westwood, Lanvin, etc.), this is where you can indulge in your fantasies of being bad and boujee. But, if you go downstairs, you can take a peek at the MoMA-esque goodies! At the basement, there is a gallery where you can catch a contemporary art exhibit. Take a LOT of pictures while you can!

xintiandi mall

Sourced from iDEALShanghai


This heavenly shopping district is everything you always dreamed of: chic (local) designer clothes, cute ice cream shops and nice grub! If you ever head into the area, look out for the Pharrell hat logo. If you ever find it, you will be at the Xintiandi Mall, where you can find a selection of local Shanghainese designers. If you ever step outside the mall, you can discover your new favorites right around the alley!



Alleyways may not be the most convenient place to be dropped off for your shopping trip, but if you are looking for souvenir trinkets, this is the place. As a tourist trap, you will be bound to see crowds walking past you right and left. However, don’t let this deter you from going in there. If you are someone who enjoys the unconventional, go kitschy for the kitties. Another less basic option is Teddy House, where you can get a serving of teddy bear-themed coffee and pastries. Taking photos inside the alleyways might be chaotic, but at least you can get the chance to score a photos inside the cafes! Also, if you plan on buying anything there, bargain HARD.

Museum-worthy Sights


The Bund

Ahhh, the good old Bund-weiser. Located by the Huangpu River, The Bund has the most stunning night lights. While it’s a mainstay for any tourist recommendations, what I like about it is that you can pull out your KiraKira+ app to capture the glimmer of every color. You should take a nice evening stroll as it’s super pretty at night.

yuyuan garden

Sourced from Vogue UK

Yuyuan Gardens

As much as I love nature, this is the closest thing to it. Although I missed out my chance on visiting it, you NEED to go there and put it on your bucket list stat. This garden was made by a government official, who gave it to his parents as a present for them to enjoy their old age. Given its origin story, it’s also THE perfect romantic stroll destination where you can your man can go on a date!

Published by

Michelle Varinata

Lapis - (n.) a layer Shrek once said that "onions have layers" as he was peeling one. Like an onion, I have layers. Born in Jakarta and raised in Singapore, I grew up being surrounded in a multicultural environment. Then, I moved to the States, where I lived in NYC and L.A. The creativity, hustle, bustle and vibe of those cities inspired me to become a blogger, journalist and influencer. Writing by day and living it up by night, I slay in the streets one OOTD at a time. Full-face makeup included, too. ;)

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