The best things to do in Shanghai this November

So many things to do this season yet so little time...

Photograph: courtesy Secret Cinema
It's November, which means we're properly into autumn. Like, properly into it, guys. We're talking leaf-peeping in the park, wearing extra layers and warming up with hot pot. You know how autumn goes... As well as the usual seasonal goings-on, there's also a lot of great events going down around town.

Things to Do

World Cafe Expo

Shanghai is the biggest consumer of coffee in China and is the trading centre of coffee worldwide. CAFEEX will host over 300 exhibitors and coffee-related products and is expecting over 60,000 visitors. Learn all about the differences between types of coffee, supply chain and more at the Specialty Coffee and Cocoa Forum.

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Shanghai New International Expo Center , 2345 Longyang Lu (龙阳路2345号) Pudong Shanghai Shanghai 29 Nov - 01 Dec

Secret Cinema pres Casino Royale

Imagine a theatre experience where you’re a part of the show – what you say and do shape the storyline. London-based immersive film experience company Secret Cinema has been transforming audiences into aliens, robots, time travellers and all sorts of characters since 2007, and it’s coming to Shanghai to turn people into spies and assassins in its production of 007 flick Casino Royale.

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23 Nov Buy tickets

Eating and Drinking

Black Friday at Stone Brewing

Take advantage of Black Friday Stone Brewing-style with a dark beer line-up celebrating the depth of these crepuscular creations that are so varied in style yet similar in appearance. Dive even deeper into the holiday spirit by pairing the Black Friday beer flight (four 5-ounce pours) with The Cheesery’s melt-to-order original Swiss Raclette cheese that can be added as a topping all night long to burgers, steaks, or anything on the Stone menu for just 208RMB.

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Stone Brewing Tap Room Shanghai , 1107 Yuyuan Lu 29 Nov

A Season Of Thanksgiving

The Portman’s restaurant brings a season of Thanksgiving by hosting a hearty dinner buffet to those looking for that traditional family celebration, with roast turkey, pumpkin, cranberry compote and also a selection of Asian-inspired cuisine.

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Portman’s·Ritz-Carlton , Level 1, The Portman Ritz-Carlton, 1376 Nan Jing Xi Lu Jing'an Shanghai Shanghai 28 Nov

Music and Nightlife

RDC, Alter. and Redbox pres Dixon

Rainbow Disco Club, Redbox Asia and Alter. have teamed up to bring on the party of the year with one of the biggest names in dance music. Pioneer DJ/producer and Resident Advisor favourite Dixon will be playing at Fallout

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Fallout , 218 Xinle Lu 29 Nov Buy tickets

Sam Tsui: The Gold Jacket Tour

Sam Tsui has been hailed as an internet singing sensation, who along with his production partner Kurt Schneider was among the first musicians to establish a hugely popular music-focused channel on YouTube. His videos, including covers, medleys and mashups, have amassed over 500 million hits on YouTube alone, with each new release, including his debut original album Make It Up, and his brand new 2018 album Trust, contributing to his ever-expanding worldwide fan base.

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MAO Livehouse , 308 Chongqing Nan Lu 29 Nov Buy tickets

Boiler Room Shanghai

Boiler Room China is back and this time heads to 44KW. Both the guests, the Milan techno scene backbone Hunter/Game and Shanghai underground boundary-pusher MIIIA, made Boiler Room debuts back in 2016. Three years later, they are bringing a brand-new live show, whereas Diamond Lil, Faceless and J.R.G. will represent the new wave of DJs and producers shaping the club sound in China. 

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44KW , 158 Julu Lu 23 Nov


Frozen II

Six years after the hugely popular Frozen, the sequel sees Elsa (voiced by Kristen Bell) and company travelling beyond their homeland into the ancient forest of a magical land to discover the origins of Elsa's power in order to save the kingdom.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 22 Nov - 22 Dec

The Farewell

Based on the personal story of writer and director Lulu Wang, this bittersweet and maturely witty family drama tells the story of Billi (played by the amazing Awkwafina), a young American-born Chinese whose family decides not to tell her grandmother that she has cancer. Poignant and sometimes funny, the film brilliantly captures the cultural differences between the East and the West.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 22 Nov - 22 Dec

The Legend of 1900

Enjoy a 4K restoration of Tornatore's classics on the big screen more than 20 years after its initial release. 1900 is the story of an orphan, left on a ship as a baby, who was eventually forced to learn how to survive on his own when his adopted father passed away and ends up displaying musical talent like no other. Tim Roth stars as the protagonist in this award-winning film that has scooped up 21 awards including the Golden Globe for Original Score and other awards for its director, production design and more.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 15 Nov - 16 Dec

They Shall Not Grow Old

A documentary about the First World War directed by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit), They Shall Not Grow Old shows real footage provided by the Imperial War Museum, most of which had never been shown before to the public. For the film, which was released last year to commemorate the war's centenary, Jackson restored and colourised footage of Tommies in the trenches, presenting it in 3D and augmenting it with audio gleaned from 600 hours of archival interviews with veterans.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 11 Nov - 11 Dec


Based on the story as told by the people who were involved in the Battle of Midway, a turning point during the Second World War and starring Woody Harrelson and Patrick Wilson, the film revisits the June 1942 battle through the eyes of soldiers and pilots.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 08 Nov - 08 Dec

Charlie's Angels

The 1976 TV series has been made into two popular action flicks bearing the same title released in 2000 and 2003. The 2019 iteration (produced and directed by Elizabeth Banks) sees the female ensemble (Naomi Scott, Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska) parachuting, car-racing and gun-fighting against the bad guy, this time someone who possesses a very dangerous technology. 

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Cinemas around Shanghai 15 Nov - 15 Dec

Terminator: Dark Fate

With James Cameron (Avatar) and Tim Miller (Deadpool) as producer and director respectively and the comeback of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the original Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), Dark Fate continues the story by following Sarah Connor’s new mission to protect a young girl from a new kind of liquid Terminator.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 01 Nov - 01 Dec

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and soon-to-be-queen Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) have to join forces despite their complicated past in order to fight against a new villain and protect their kingdom and the magical creatures inside it.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 18 Oct - 18 Nov

Gemini Man

Gemini Man, directed by Ang Lee, is an American action-thriller starring Will Smith, Clive Owen, Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong. Will Smith plays Henry Brogan, a retired hitman working for the government. Brogan finds out that he is being pursued by another hitman who seems to know him very well, and later discovers that the hitman is actually a younger clone of himself.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 18 Oct - 18 Nov


The Shape of Time: Highlights of the Centre Pompidou Collection

Kickstarting a five-year collaboration between Paris's Centre Pompidou and the West Bund Museum, the 18-month opening exhibition The Shape of Time: Highlights of the Centre Pompidou Collection offers up a comprehensive introduction to contemporary and modern art history through more than 100 masterpieces from the world's major artists including Duchamp, Picasso, Kandinsky, Miro, Beuys, Ding Yi, Cai Guoqiang and Li Yongbin.

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West Bund Museum , 2600 Longteng Dadao Every day except Monday

The Birth of Beaux-Arts

From Baroque art in the 17th century to Rococo in the 18th and from Neoclassical art after the Enlightenment to Romanticism under the reign of Napoleon, this new exhibition features over 80 masterpieces from the collection of the National Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, most of which will be exhibited for the first time in China.

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Shanghai Museum , 201 People's Avenue Every day except Monday

Wild Metropolis

Curated by Chinese contemporary artist Xu Zhen, this edgy exhibition brings together international contemporary artists, musicians and designers under the unifying theme 'borderless' with a total of 40 artworks including installations, behavioural art, video art, media art, digital art and experimental music.

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Powerlong Museum , 3055 Caobao Road Every day except Monday

Jean-Luc Mylayne: The Autumn of Paradise

Compared to van Gogh in his method of crystallising time in his artworks, French photographer Jean-Luc Mylayne's first solo exhibition in Mainland China showcases 40 photos spanning 40 years of his career. Mylayne's photos usually focus on one particular bird against the backdrop of a wild landscape that shows human habitation.

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Long Museum West Bund , 3398 Longteng Avenue Every day except Monday

NOWNESS Experiments: The Mesh

This edgy group exhibition features solo projects from American video art pioneer Bill Viola and London-based experimental art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, as well as other video projects under D.E.E.P that explore the inter-disciplinary nature of the way we study our world.

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chi K11 Art Museum , 300 Huaihai Zhong Lu 08 Nov - 13 Dec

Ocean II Ocean

In this exhibition, TANK Shanghai unites French artist Cyprien Gaillard's three latest works including the film Ocean II Ocean, which debuted at the 2019 Venice Biennale. From metro stations in Russia and fossilised matter to the archival footage of subway cars at the bottom of the ocean, the film explores the themes of erosion in a physical, historical and cultural sense.

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TANK Shanghai , 2350 Longteng Avenue Every day except Monday

Prada Rong Zhai pes Li Qing: Rear Windows

Rear Windows presents paintings and installations by the Shanghai- and Hangzhou-based artist Lin Qing, including his most famous series 'Neighbour's Window' – paintings of famous colonial architecture of Shanghai framed in old wooden windows, an interesting play on the past and present, inside and outside, looking and being looked at.

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Prada Rong Zhai , No. 186 Shaanxi Bei Lu 07 Nov - 09 Jan

Three Souls Seven Spirits

Drawing inspiration from both Chinese calligraphy and German romanticism, the new exhibition at Minsheng Art Museum, titled Three Souls Seven Spirits (the seance of the human soul in Daoism), showcases 20 groups of works, including paintings, installations and video projects of Foshan-born artist Yang Jiechang. Highly spiritual and unapologetically romantic, Yang tries to reach an equilibrium between the two art forms.

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Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum , 210 Wenshui Lu Every day except Monday


Hanoch Levin: The Child Dreams

Written in 1986 and premiered at Habima – Israel National Theater in 1993, The Child Dreams is considered by many to be one of the most poetic texts to be put on the Israeli stage. The play follows the journey of one mother and her child to find asylum after an army killed the father and forced them into exile. 

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The Silent House

Iran’s Saye Theatre presents its widely acclaimed physical theatre piece about a seemingly normal couple who are disintegrating before our eyes. Through their slow, deliberate, repetitive movements (and minimal dialogue), we realise that they are not home, but in a refugee camp and that their routines are not habits, but desperate attempts to hold on to sanity, and to each other. A widely acclaimed work shown at Avignon, Adelaide, Edinburgh and other international festivals.

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Shanghai Grand Theatre Studio Theatre , 300 Renmin Da Dao, near Huangpi Bei Lu Huangpu Shanghai Shanghai 15-17 Nov Buy tickets

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