Xintiandi may be known for its ritzy stores, but the area’s as much about culture and history as it is about commerce. Here are Culture Trip’s top picks for things to do in Xintiandi.
Din Tai Fung is the restaurant that made xiao long bao (steamed buns) famous, so it’s logical that they serve some of the best in the world. Din Tai Fung offers pork and crab roe fillings and features an open kitchen where you can watch chefs busy at work folding the wrappings into a precise 18-fold crown.
K11 Art Mall offers a pretty special shopping experience. This swanky mall features upscale fashion brands, quirky places to eat and drink and an art gallery. It’s an interesting place to while away a couple of hours, simply because you don’t know what you’ll come across next: you might walk by a Bally, a Vivienne Westwood café or an art installation.
Xintiandi Style is no run-of-the-mill shopping mall. Rather than filling the shops with well-known international brands like every other mall, Xintiandi Style is devoted to giving space to local talents who have their own unique concept of style. The aim of this mall is to support and nurture local Chinese designers and give them a space to connect and communicate with a global audience.
Highline is considered one of the coolest restaurants in Xintiandi and with its swanky terrace, it’s also a great place to have a nightcap under the stars. Designed in a tropical Miami style, with a chic, minimalist look and feel, the vibe here is cool and modern. The food is contemporary American cuisine, with classics like chicken and waffles served with maple bacon butter, bacon cheeseburgers and prime rib. Their drinks are also spot on, with a variety of classic and speciality cocktails, wines and beers.
Near the heart of the fashionable Xintiandi area sits the Memorial House of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the birthplace of Communism in the country. Today, this renovated shikumen house is a museum featuring fascinating information about Chinese history and the Communist Party.
Xintiandi is best explored on foot, and after a long day of walking around the neighbourhood, your feet will be feeling it. Green Massage is one of the most popular spas in the area for all kinds of treatment, but their foot massages are particularly heavenly. The ambience is clean and relaxing, and the therapists courteous and well trained. If you don’t like deep massages, make sure to tell them so that they can adjust.
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