Spend: Shop Tianzifang
“My impression before I ever visited Shanghai was that it was a city of the future,” says Morrison. “In reality, there are parts of it that are very modern, but there is also so much history. These two contrasting worlds tell a very different story of the city’s evolution.” Head to experience the “Parisian-style architecture” and explore the labyrinth of little streets dotted with bars, cafes, galleries, and boutiques. “It feels like you’re walking through Europe,” she explains. Morrison picked up a box-shaped purse in lieu of “a trinket that will sit on a shelf,” but says that a lucky cat figurine always makes for a cheap thrill.
If you’re interested in avoiding throngs of tourists and after a more authentic experience, head to the art supply district where many of the stores specialize in Chinese calligraphy. You’ll find everything from supersized brushes to a plethora of paper and ink. “Going to an art supply store is something that I do at home almost weekly, if not bi-weekly, but to have this experience in Shanghai gave me another glimpse into local life,” explains Morrison.