1. YU LEI, former managing editor, Shanghai Tatler
Start out with a walk in the old neighborhoods near the Yuyuan Gardens. This is where Shanghai originated, and you can still get a sense of the ancient rhythms of daily life, pictured. Then, head to dinner at a tiny, authentic Shanghainese restaurant called Chun (Spring) on Jinxian Road in the historic French Concession. Two ordering musts: the braised fatty pork and the glutinous rice balls in a sweet wine broth. To finish the evening, check out modern Shanghai at a hot new bar called Mimosa, located on the south bank of Suzhou Creek.
2. HAN FENG, Shanghai and New York City-based fashion designer
Lounge on an opium bed at Face Bar, a renovated 1930s-era villa in central Shanghai, where a favorite tipple is the Chinese Whisper—a Midori and Cointreau cocktail. Stroll past stores selling bolts of Chinese silk to Restaurant 1931 on Maoming Road, where the traditionally clad waitresses evoke the glamour of old Shanghai. The fried dumplings aren't bad, either. Then catch some music at the House of Blues and Jazz, owned by a local TV personality, before ending the night with a typical Shanghai treat: a relaxing massage at Dragonfly spa on Donghu Road.
3. HANNAH BEECH, Shanghai bureau chief, TIME Begin your evening with a cocktail at YongFoo Elite (nominally a private club, but I've never seen anyone turned away at the door), where the brocaded wallpaper, spacious garden and Art Deco lamps hint at the building's origins as the 1920s residence of the British consul general. Then meander through the French Concession's sycamore-lined streets to my favorite hole-in-the-wall eatery, Jishi, on Tianping Road. Adventurous eaters can dig their chopsticks into Jishi's signature braised fish head nestled in deep-fried scallions. Desserts and after-dinner drinks aren't the strong suit of Chinese cuisine, so grab a cab across the Huangpu River to Cloud 9, the Grand Hyatt's 87th-floor bar, whose superlative status as the highest drinking establishment in the world perfectly captures the city's lofty ambitions.