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Couple |© Unsplash/Pexels
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A Couple's Guide to Shanghai

Picture of Rachel Deason
Updated: 26 January 2017
Shanghai has a reputation as the “Paris of the East”. It has an abundance of swanky hotels and high-end restaurants for luxury lovers but even couples traveling on a budget can find a romantic spot. Whether young in love or a seasoned sentimentalist, here are Culture Trip’s top picks for romance in the city.

Travel Back in Time to a Water Town

Shanghai may be a relatively young city, but it is surrounded by many ancient canal towns. Perfect for a day or overnight trip, Shanghai’s water towns are especially beautiful in the spring and autumn. Stroll hand in hand with your loved one over bridges older than most countries. There are eight primary water towns in and around Shanghai, and each has its specialty. For convenience and beauty, try Zhujiajiao, only an hour away from center city. There is a bus that departs for the town every day at 9am from the Tourist Bus Station at Shanghai Stadium. For street food, go to Qibao, located on metro line 9. For rustic charm, head to Nanxun from the Shanghai Long Distance Bus Station.

Zhujiajiao |©Suki Zhou/Flickr
Zhujiajiao | ©Suki Zhou/Flickr

Work Together to Escape the Room

Room escape games have boomed in popularity across the world in the past few years, and Shanghai has gotten in on the craze as well. Mr. X, headquartered in the city, is the perfect date spot for couples who like to challenge their relationship. For those unfamiliar with the concept of the game, it is an interactive puzzle experience in which teams get locked in a room for one hour and have to use the clues provide to find a way out. Shanghai’s Mr. X has nine missions to choose from, including a prison break, an Area 51 disaster, and a mausoleum quest. Couples who dare to enter will only come out stronger.

550 Jumen Rd, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China, 200011

Pamper Yourselves at a Spa

Spas in Shanghai come in many shapes and sizes. There are Korean-style bathhouses that offer hot and cold sex-segregated pools for rejuvenation, traditional retreats that provide invigorating facials in a tranquil environment, and spas that offer any kind of massage you can think of, including traditional cupping and fish pedicures. Many local hotels offer couple’s spa packages.

Up Your Endorphin Levels at a Chocolate Factory

Austrian chocolate has found a new home in Shanghai at Zotter Chocolate Theater. Take a tour of the factory and learn about chocolate production from bean to bar. What makes this such a great spot for couples? All the chocolate tasting you could ever want is included in the price of your tour. There are chocolate covered fruits and nuts, chocolate whisky, chocolate infused with frankincense, syringes full of liquid chocolate mixed with baijiu (Chinese rice-wine liquor), and more. You can even experiment with your own flavors and create a bar of chocolate from the multitude of ingredients the factory has on hand.

2866 Yangshupu Rd, Yangpu District, Shanghai, China, 200090

Chocolate |©Eli Duke/Flickr
Chocolate | ©Eli Duke/Flickr

Get Fancy at a Hotel Bar

Hotel bars in Shanghai are a great way to experience the luxury of a world class hotel without breaking the bank. Shanghai’s Grand Hyatt provides a gilded backdrop for photos of you and the one you love. Or, kick back at the Park Hyatt atop the Shanghai World Financial Center and enjoy unparalleled city views from what once held the record as the highest hotel in the world. In fact, nearly every skyscraper in the city has a hotel at the top, so put on your fancy shoes and live large.

88 Century Ave, LuJiaZui, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China, 200120

Grand Hyatt Shanghai |©Wenjie, Zhang/Flickr
Grand Hyatt Shanghai | ©Wenjie, Zhang/Flickr