Alternative ‘First Time’ Cities Ep. 3

Favourite destinations around the world are matched with lesser known places that offer an equally awesome experience when it comes to culture, food, nightlife and attractions. Here is the third match guide to find your perfect first time trip!

If you like SHANGHAI, why not try MUMBAI?

Shanghai

Shanghai skyline, China

Landscape: Shanghai is home to the world’s second tallest tower and skyscrapers dominate the landscape. But that doesn’t take away from the beautiful old town, featuring art deco buildings, temples and cathedrals.

Culture: Confident and colourful – you can enjoy anything from the latest fashion and foodie trends. It’s east meets west in China and offers a unique blend of Chinese tradition and western culture.

Points of interest: The shopping in Shanghai is fantastic and there are a lot of markets, vintage shops and high end couture along the Bund. Sample one of the many art galleries, visit an acrobatic spectacle or take a night-time river cruise – a great way of sampling the colourful city scape Shanghai has to offer. Don’t miss one of the many ancient temples, old town markets, the Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, filled with rockeries and pavilions.

Food: Shanghai’s food is diverse as it is delicious and the city has its very own Michelin dining guide. There is a lot of freshwater oily fish, steamed crab, lobster on offer, as well as peppered duck and lots of sugar! But get out into the streets for delicious steamed dumplings, pork buns, rich soups, fritters, pancakes and eel noodles.

Nightlife: Shanghai’s nightlife has boomed in recent years – there are many bars open until sunrise, including underground dance clubs, sports bars and live jazz bands. It’s mainly concentrated around the Bund, which also features theatres for opera, dance, drama and even puppet shows.

Did you know? To get the best view of the city, visit the Vue Bar in Hyatt on the Bund for a relaxing drink or a dip in the bar’s swimming pool.


Mumbai

The Gateway of India and boats as seen from the Mumbai Harbour in Mumbai, India

Landscape: Mumbai has a bustling mix of gothic, Victorian, art deco and contemporary landscape to soak in. It’s a city embracing energy and discovery. Where else can you find a tropical forest next to an urban metropolis?

Culture: The city is the centre of India’s film industry and is a vibrant mix of working class and millionaires. It is also the country’s financial heart and at the centre of fashion – its fast paced and busy, with tradition at its heart.

Points of interest: Arriving to Mumbai via the stunning Gothic train station is an experience in itself. Then there is the striking Iskcon Hindu Temple, the renowned walled Hanging Gardens or head north to the Elephanta Island, a World Heritage Site, for a labyrinth of cave temples, ancient ruins and Hindu carvings that date back to the 5th century.

Food: The street food in Mumbai is impressive – it’s part of everyday life and considered just as good as the restaurants. There are numerous local delicacies but try to sample the pav bhaji’s, kebabs, potato patties and bhel puri – delicious puffed rice and vegetable snacks.

Nightlife: The hectic buzz of the day makes way for fun, dance and food by night and there is an array of fun bars or romantic meals out to choose from. There’s a flourishing LGTB scene, as well as live music and late night foodie destinations.

Did you know? For a real taste of authentic Mumbai food, try Swati Snacks in the Tardeo district for traditional specialities.


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