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Shanghai/French Concession

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Shanghai in 1935, with French Concession outlined in red. The eastern part of it wraps around the Old City

The French Concession is the area of Shanghai that the French government administered from 1849 until 1946. The tree-lined avenues and the many fine old houses in the area still retain an air of the "Paris of the East". In particular, the many wrought iron fences and stair railings will look familiar to anyone who knows Paris or Montreal.

This has been a fashionable area for well over a century and is now very developed as well. There are plenty of large buildings, mainly upmarket residential and office towers, quite a few hotels and a number of enormous shopping malls. At the same time, many of the picturesque older buildings — even whole neighbourhoods — have been renovated. There are a huge number of boutiques, galleries, bars and cafes scattered through the area.

For many years after the French left, the area was administered by the Chinese as two districts, Xuhui to the west and Luwan to the east. In 2011, Luwan was merged into Huangpu District for administration, but for the traveller it has more in common with the rest of the old French Concession so we cover it here rather than in our Huangpu article.

Get in[edit]

Map of Shanghai/French Concession

Metro Line 1 runs through the area. along Huaihai and Hengshan Roads. Stations along Huaihai Road are S. Huangpi Road, S. Shaanxi Road, which is fairly central, and Changshu Road. Along Hengshan Road are Hengshan Road Station and Xujiahui, which is one of the biggest metro stations in Shanghai. Further north, this line goes past People's Park and on to Zhabei. Going South, it leads into Minhang.

Line 7 comes in from the north, crosses Line 2 at Jing'an Temple, intersects Line 1 at Changshu Road, makes three more stops further south in the Concession, then crosses the river into Pudong.

Line 10 runs west from Laoximen (the 'Old West Gate' of the old town), stopping in the French Concession at Xintiandi, S. Shaanxi Road, Shanghai Library and Jiaotong university. Further west, it goes to Changning and Hongqiao Airport. Going east, it crosses the Old Town, swings north via Nanjing Road East, and ends up in Yangpu.

Line 9 runs along the southern edge of the French Concession, stopping at Dapuqiao (near Tianzifang), Zhaojianbang Road and Xujiahui along the way. Further west, it goes to Songjiang. Further east, it leads into the center of Pudong.

Line 11 comes in from Nanhui across the river, goes to several stations in the French Concession, intersects lines 1 and 9 at Xujiahui, and goes off to Changning, Putuo and Jiading to the north. At its western extreme it already (late 2017) extends outside Shanghai as far as Kunshan, and plans call for it to eventually link up to the metro systems of Suzhou and Wuxi.

Neighborhoods[edit]

In addition to the official administrative districts Xuhui and Luwan, the French concession area has some well-known streets and neighborhoods.

Xujiahui[edit]

Cathedral. Xujiahui

Xujiahui is an area to the south-west of the French Concession. Today, its central area is an enormous road intersection with a metro station (lines 1, 9 and 11) under it and much shopping around it. There is a large underground shopping area right in the station and at least half a dozen large malls or department stores nearby. From the station, you can get to most of them without going outdoors. Among other things, Xujiahui has Shanghai's largest cluster of consumer electronics vendors; see #Buy for details. It also has a lot of high-end residential and office space, and many restaurants.

Xujuahui (old spelling Zi-ka-wei or Siccawei) was technically not part of the French Concession, but it was largely owned by the Catholic Church and effectively an extension of the Concession; the area has many buildings built by the Church during the French period and thereafter. The most prominent of these is St. Ignatius Cathedral (exit 3 from the metro station), the neighbouring Bibliotheca Zi-ka-wei, a library built by the Jesuits; a number of preserved convent and school buildings; the Jesuit observatory; the T'ou-se-we Museum, housed in part of a former Jesuit orphanage with interesting displays on the history of Xujiahui, the orphanage and its workshop famed for producing works of Chinese and Western art; and the tomb of Xu Guangqi, an imperial official and famous Catholic convert whose family donated much of the land in Xujiahui to the church. This collection of buildings from Xujiahui's Catholic past is promoted as a themed walking tour called "Origin of Xujiahui", and boards with maps can be found near any of them with directions to visit the others.

There is a large road which starts by the cathedral and becomes an elevated road just beyond it. It leads to the Xinzhuang interchange and beyond that to Humin Road, the main route South into Minhang District for cars and buses.

Huaihai Road[edit]

When the French controlled the area, this street was Avenue Joffre. Today it is the main street of the Luwan area, and one of Shanghai's main shopping streets. In fact, Shanghai people seeking upmarket goods are at least as likely to look here as on Nanjing Road, which attracts more visitors from other parts of China than locals.

Many of the smaller streets nearby are also worth a look, especially when you want to get away from the busy streets. Explore the area between Julu Rd to the north, Huaihai Rd running through the center, and Jianguo Rd to the south. Pleasant tree-lined streets and local Shanghainese bustle, combined with a growing number of trendy boutiques and restaurants. Changle Rd and Xinle Rd are rapidly becoming the places to find small designer clothing shops. Interesting architecture built with French and Belgian money and showing mixed Chinese-European styles.

The trendy areas Xintiandi and Sinan Mansions described below are both near Huaihai Road (5-10 minutes walk away); Tianzifang is further afield, about 30 minutes walk, or a 15 minute taxi ride in normal traffic conditions.

Metro line 1 runs under Huaihai Road through the main shopping area — stations, listed east-to-west, are South Huangpi Road, South Shaanxi Road and Changshu Road. Line 7 also comes to Changshu Road, and Lines 10 and 12 to South Shaanxi Road.

Further west, Huaihai Road becomes mainly residential. Line 10's Shanghai Library and Jiaotong University stations are on the street and in this area.

Hengshan Road[edit]

Hengshan Road (old name Avenue Pétain) and nearby streets have what is probably Shanghai's largest cluster of dining and nightlife spots. It is an upmarket area with few real bargains, but food and drink here are generally somewhat cheaper than in trendier and more touristy areas like Xintiandi. There are also a number of hotels and quite a bit of boutique shopping. For those interested in the history, the main points of interest are the former American College (no. 10), and the (still active) Community Church (no. 53), reminders of the large English-speaking community that also lived in the French Concession.

From Changshu Road, line 1 swings south; the next two stops are Hengshan Road and Xujiahui. Hengshan Road and the smaller streets off it have mainly older two-storey buildings, many of them now bars and restaurants, though nearby areas such as Xujiahui and Zhoajiabang Road are largely highrise.

You can reach this area on foot starting from Changshu Road station (line 1 or 7). At the cross street on the west side of the station, head South past the Starbucks. The first couple of blocks of this street are called Baoqing Road, but the name soon changes to Hengshan Road. Oscar's Pub, a block along on the left (corner of Fuxing Road), and Shanghai Brewery two short blocks further on are popular expat hangouts. Between them are shopping — several clothing stores, a DVD shop that is popular with expats on the right, and a place with lovely enamel-on-tile work on the left — and several restaurants including an excellent upmarket Sichuan place called South Beauty, visible a bit to the right as you walk South. Turning right down the street South Beauty is on will bring you to an Irish pub.

Turning right at Shanghai Brewery puts you on a short block of Dongping Lu with an Indian restaurant and, at the end of the block, a British place called Glo London (see #Eat). The terminus for the #816 bus to Minhang is also on that street. Dongping Lu ends in a T junction; the US Consulate is across the top of the T.

Across from the brewery are Sasha's upmarket european-style restaurant and Zapata's, an odd combination of Mexican restaurant and dance bar. Beyond Sasha's along Dongping Lu are a Western bakery, Thai and Greek restaurants, another Irish pub, and a mostly-expats sports bar. Continuing beyond those leads onto the west end of Fuxing Road, and into the area of smaller streets described under #Huaihai Road above.

Near Hengshan Road metro station

Staying on Hengshan Road and walking on past Shanghai Brewery, or turning right onto Hengshan Road from Exit 1 of Hengshan Road station (the only exit with an escalator), or coming out exit 2 or 4 from that station, will get you to a whole strip of restaurants — upmarket Italian, Chinese and Arab places, a Papa John's Pizza, a Starbucks, a good Turkish kebab place, and an all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbeque that is good value at ¥139 a head provided you are feeling both hungry and carnivorous. These are all in the long white building shown in the photo. Most have patios out front which are quite pleasant except for some rather annoying beggars.

There are no bars in that strip, though most of the restaurants serve drinks. However, there are upmarket disco-style bars just beyond both ends of it and across the street. There is a cluster of half a dozen plainer and quieter bars across a side street from Exit 1, and more bars, boutiques and restaurants in either direction along Hengshan Road. Going South, there are also at least two high-class hotels within a few blocks.

Continuing several blocks South on Hengshan Road gets you to Xujiahui.

See #Eat and #Drink for details on some of these places.

Xintiandi[edit]

Xintiandi is an area of old shikumen houses, two-storey buildings on narrow lanes. It has been extensively redeveloped and now has new shopping malls, trendy bars and restaurants, and much tourism.

Xintiandi cafes

There is a Xintiandi station on metro line 10 and line 13; walk north from there to reach the center of the area. Walking south from South Huangpi Road station on line 1 is roughly the same distance.

Xintiandi is sometimes considered a sanitized, touristy and upscale "Disneyland" version of the original old neighborhoods it displaced. It is certainly rather pretty, worth at least a look for any first-time visitor to Shanghai. Prices are generally on the high side, but there are some good deals to be had at off-peak times such as lunch specials in some restaurants and happy hour in bars. Although there are many shops here, most are international or Hong Kong-based chains.

Attitudes to Xintiandi among Shanghai's large expatriate community are quite mixed. The area certainly has many expat customers, and many consider some of its live music venues and dance clubs as among the best in the city. Others dismiss most or all of them as "poseurs' pubs", suitable only for a more-money-than-sense crowd.

Xintiandi is supposed to expand and similarly transform a huge swatch of the French Concession later this decade.

Tianzifang[edit]

Tianzifang is another area of shikumen housing that has been redeveloped. It is newer than Xintiandi and emphasizes arts, crafts and boutique shopping where Xintiandi has more stress on brand-name goods and entertainment. Unlike Xintiandi, the shikumen residences in Tianzifang have been preserved, rather than knocked down and rebuilt. Slightly further from the central part of the French Concession, Tianzifang first gained fame when several prominent artists took up residence there, taking advantage of the cheap rent. There are still galleries and artists' studios here, although handicraft, souvenirs and cafes now dominate.

The number one exit of Dapuqiao Station (on metro line 9) is just across the street from Tianzifang.

Sinan Mansions[edit]

Former residence of Zhou Enlai. Sinan Mansions is based around a dozen or so similar villas, although Zhou's house is the only one that has not been modified in the redevelopment.

Sinan Mansions is another redeveloped quarter, based around a dozen European-style villas dating from the early 20th century. This area is bounded by Fuxing Road to the north, Si'nan Road to the west, and Chongqing Road to the east. The villas have been renovated, and their front and back yards knocked through and paved over to become paths. The revamped villas now mostly house restaurants and bars. Shaded by tall plane trees planted by the French authorities 100 years ago, this is a pleasant area to stroll and perhaps stop for a coffee and some cake.

A group of buildings once belonging to the Catholic Church are located near the Chongqing Road end, the largest of which is now an upmarket restaurant (Aux Jardins Massenet). Some of the villas in the same group are now an upmarket hotel (Hotel Massenet). ("Sinan Road" was formerly "Route Massenet" in the French period.) Only one villa, the former residence of Zhou Enlai, is preserved (as a museum) in a form which shows what these villas might have looked like when they were in residential use.

Wukang Road[edit]

A house on Wukang Road

Wukang Road (old name Route Ferguson) is one of the best preserved residential streets of the French Concession. Still lined by ornate villas and grand apartment buildings, it is a favourite for visitors interested in Shanghai's diverse architectural heritage. The road connects Huashan Road to the north with the western part of Huaihai Road in the south. The narrow road is lined with plane trees, and is popular in autumn when the golden leaves cover the ground. Unfortunately, very few of the historic houses can be visited. There is one small area of the road which has been developed to house cafes, bars and restaurants, and is popular with expatriate residents of the area.

Longhua[edit]

Longhua, formerly a suburban township and now part of urban Shanghai, was not part of the French Concession and is about a 30-minute walk or 10-minute cab ride further out from Xujiahui. Although close to the French and Catholic areas, until quite recently Longhua retained the look of a Chinese town. Much of the area has now been rebuilt in a fantasy-Chinese style. The most famous feature of Longhua town is Longhua Temple, one of Shanghai's largest and more authentic Buddhist temples. Nearby is Longhua Pagoda, one of the oldest standing structures in Shanghai. The temple's old gardens and orchard has been turned into the Longhua Martyrs' Cemetery, a good example of Socialist Realist landscaping, although the temple's peach blossom trees have been preserved. Viewing the peach blossoms is still a popular activity for locals in Spring.

See[edit]

In general this is a pleasant area to wander about in. Explore the sylvan streets and admire Shanghai's Art Deco residential architecture, reputedly the world's largest group of such homes, although not the most well-kept. Most historic buildings have a bronze plaque that details their original use. The area sandwiched between Fuxing and Huaihai Roads is particularly interesting with a sprinkling of tucked-away shops and discreet cafes, a refreshing alternative to the city's generally manic streetscape.

Around Fuxing Road[edit]

  • 1 Fuxing Road (复兴路) (Parallel to Huaihai Road, one block south, exit 6 of the line 10 station at S Shaanxi Road). Walk along Fuxing Rd to see classical old buildings and much boutique shopping. The Shanghai Music Conservatory is near Fuxing Road some blocks west of Shaanxi Road here and there are a number of shops specialising in musical instruments, especially orchestral stringed instruments, and several shops for classical or jazz recordings.
  • 2 Fuxing Park (复兴公园; Fùxīnggōngyuán), 105 Fuxing Zhong Rd (卢湾区复兴中路105号; Lúwānqū Fùxīngzhōnglù), +86 21 53861069. 6AM-6PM. This European style park formerly known as French Park has gardens, open spaces and restaurants and clubs dotted throughout. Early in the morning, the park is filled with dancers (some Chinese styles, but mainly Western ballroom) players of various games (cards, mahjong, Chinese chess and Go), Tai Chi artists, and singing groups. Free. Fuxing Park on Wikipedia Fuxing Park (Q5510954) on Wikidata
  • 3 Shanghai Former Provisional Government Site of the Republic of Korea, 306 Madang Road, Huangpu District 上海市黄浦区 马当路306弄4号, +86 21 5382 4554. During the Japanese occupation of Korea, it was the site of the Korean government in exile from 1919. Now owned and preserved as a museum by South Korea. Note that everything is explained both in Mandarin and Korean, and with nothing in English.

Around Huaihai Road[edit]

These sights are near Huaihai Road, but west of the main shopping area.

  • 4 Shanghai Propaganda Poster and Art Centre (PPAC), RM. BOC 868 Huashan Rd, Shanghai 上海华山路868号BOC室 (Go north from the Line 10 and 11 Metro station Jiaotong University or take a taxi to 868 Huashan Road. The museum is inside the apartment complex here. With any luck, the complex guard will point you in the right direction. The museum is found in the basement of building 4 (B).). Daily 10AM-5PM. This private collection is one of the most relevant and uncensored exhibits available to visitors interested in a glimpse of the politics and art of Mao-era China. Posters, memorabilia, photos, and even "大字报" (dazibao: big character posters) can be found in rotating exhibition. Due to the controversial nature of the historical items stored here, the museum is quite difficult to find, and unlabeled from the outside. Well worth the hunt, the museum boasts a wide array of art and political relics from 20th-century China. ¥20 admission. Propaganda Poster Art Centre on Wikipedia Propaganda Poster Art Centre (Q2324031) on Wikidata
  • 5 Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU or "Jiaoda") (Jiatong University Station, Line 10). This is one of China's top technical schools. The new main campus is in Minhang, but the original campus in the French Concession is still used; it now does mainly continuing education courses such as Chinese-for-foreigners or MBA-for-executives

Many of the consulates of foreign governments are also in this area; see the list in the main Shanghai article.

Political history[edit]

It seems a bit ironic that various militantly anti-imperialist Chinese lived in the French Concession and the Communist Party had its first national meeting here, but there were good reasons for this. For one thing, this area has always been one of the most pleasant and prestigious in Shanghai. Also, for revolutionaries — whether republicans opposing the Qing Dynasty before 1911 or Communists opposing the Kuomintang government later — an area under foreign law was considerably safer than one with Chinese law and police.

First national Communist Party meeting
  • 6 Site of the First National Congress of CPC, 76 Xingye Lu (E side of Xintiandi). The building where the Communist Party of China (CPC) had their first national meeting in 1921. Free. Site of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party on Wikipedia Site of the First Congress of the Communist Party of China (Q41728) on Wikidata
  • 7 Zhou Enlai's Former Residence, 73 Sinan Rd, +86 21 64730420. This was the former Shanghai Office of the Delegation of the Communist Party in China from June 1946. It is now a museum telling the story of the Communist revolution in China and particularly Shanghai. See #Sinan Mansions above. Free. Former Residence of Zhou Enlai (Shanghai) on Wikipedia Former Residence of Zhou Enlai in Shanghai (Q10867765) on Wikidata
  • 8 Sun Yat-sen's Former Residence, 7 Xiangshan Rd, +86 21 64372954. Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhong Shan in Mandarin) was the first leader of the Republic of China after the 1911 revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. He is one of the very few political figures regarded favorably by the current governments of both China and Taiwan. The house was the Shanghai residence of Sun Yat-sen and his wife Soong Ching Ling. It was converted into a museum in 1961. ¥20. Former Residence of Sun Yat-Sen (Shanghai) on Wikipedia Former Residence of Sun Yat-sen in Shanghai (Q41712) on Wikidata
Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling
  • 9 Soong Ching Ling's Former Residence (上海宋庆龄故居), 1843 Huaihai Middle Rd (Walk a couple of blocks west from Shanghai Library station, line 10). Soong Ching Ling was the wife of Sun Yat Sen, and an important figure in her own right. The two-storey house was originally built by Ms. Soong's father — missionary, millionaire and revolutionary Charlie Soong; later Ching Ling inherited it.

    Like her father, brothers and sisters, she went to an American university (Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia), spoke excellent English, and was deeply involved in Kuomintang politics prior to the Kuomintang defeat in 1949. Unlike the siblings (a sister married Chiang Kai Shek and a brother served as his Finance Minister), she remained in China and worked with Mao's government after that. Much state business took place at the residence.

    Today the house is a museum with many artifacts and photos. The grounds are very well maintained and there's a garage with a few formerly state-used cars as well. Gift shop. Soong Ching-ling Memorial Residence (Shanghai) on Wikipedia Soong Ching-ling Memorial Residence (Shanghai) (Q4165412) on Wikidata

Chairman Mao's Shanghai house is now also a museum; it is outside this area, in Jing'an District in what was the British concession. The Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai Shek, who lost the civil war in 1949 and was driven off to Taiwan, also had a house in the French Concession (9 Dongping Road) but that has not been made a museum; it is now used as a Middle School attached to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

In Longhua[edit]

Longhua Temple
  • 10 Longhua Temple (Metro: Line 3 Longcao Rd). One of the city's less-visited temples for foreign visitors, but an important one and one of the most popular for Shanghai residents during religious festivals. It is one of the largest ancient Buddhist temples in Shanghai. It was originally built in 247 CE, but it was destroyed and rebuilt under the Song dynasty, 977 CE, and several times since then. It is a temple of the Ch'an sect of Buddhism, better known in the West by the Japanese name Zen. Longhua Pagoda, in front of the temple, is from the 10th century and one of the oldest standing buildings in the city. Longhua Temple on Wikipedia Longhua Temple (Q41912) on Wikidata
  • 11 Longhua Martyrs' Cemetery, 180 Longhua Lu (Metro: Line 3 Longcao Rd). Longhua Temple's old garden and orchard has now been converted into this large green space. Very few people are buried here, so it's more of a memorial garden and museum but the acreage is beautiful and large, akin to Luxun Park. The temple grounds became a "cemetery" because, during the civil war, Koumintang troops executed Communists on these grounds and the cemetery, poetry, fountains, steles, and sculptures commemorate those who were shot. The cemetery is an interesting example of Socialist Realist landscaping, but the peach blossoms - for which the temple's garden were famous - are still there, and attract many visitors when they flower in Spring. Free.

Longhua Cemetery and Temple are located down at the southern edge of the former French Concession, about a half hour walk or a ¥20 taxi ride from Xujiahui. The easiest way to reach them is by metro.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Jinjiang Amusement Park, No. 201 Hongmei Rd (in Xuhui District, Line 1 to Jinjiang Park). Has a 108-metre (354 ft) ferris wheel with, on a clear day, a fine view over the city. Jinjiang Action Park on Wikipedia Jinjiang Action Park (Q3179183) on Wikidata

Buy[edit]

Lots of additions to this district, on a seemingly weekly basis. Check out the entire Xujiahui area and Times Square Huaihai Road for some of the larger malls. Creative boutiques can be found on Julu, Changle, Anfu and Xinle Roads throughout the French Concession, in addition to a high concentration of one-of-a-kind buys for sale in Tian Zi Fang northwest of the Luwan Stadium.

Xujiahui

If you are looking for anything electronic, Xujiahui is the place to start. The Metro station is under the intersection of five roads (see photo) and there is at least one shopping mall on each of the five corners. Pacific Digital Plaza Phase 2 (red building in lower right of photo, exit 10 of the metro station), has all sorts of consumer electronics — computers, digital cameras, game consoles, MP3 players, cell phones, memory cards, and computer accessories. There are more electronics markets nearby, such as Pacific Digital Plaza Phase 1 (exit 9) which is better for computer parts. The idea of shopping at "PDP-1" may appeal to hackers; that was the model designation of DEC's first computer. If you look like a foreigner then at quiet times you will probably find you are constantly called out to by shop owners, which makes browsing quite challenging.

Grand Gateway Mall (dome between office towers, back and left in photo, exit 12) is the most upscale of these malls, and also the best-air conditioned in the summertime. The 5th and 6th floors offer a good selection of restaurants, and there are several more at ground level behind the mall. The 5th floor also has a large bookstore with a good selection of books in English. This mall is a lot larger than it looks in the photo; that green dome starts above the sixth floor, and everything below it plus corresponding floors of both towers is shopping. The basement level has more shops including a large supermarket with a good, though pricey, selection of Western groceries.

Ruijin Second Road is a tree-lined boulevard in the heart of the French Concession, where you can experience the real Shanghai longtang (a narrow alley from house to house, which is a distinctive Shanghai architecture style). Don't forget to walk down Taikang Lu into Tian Zi Fang and burrow your way into the in process gentrification of the back alleys here. Old men air their magpies in spotless, tiny cages next to top flight restaurants and cafes. Shanghai T is a great place to buy a high quality T-shirt with a smart logo, "What recession?" Tian Zi Fang's renovation is still evolving and interesting shops and restaurants are opening and closing every day. The trendy stores exist side by side with the rhythms of "old school" Shanghai life -- and any time you can catch a glimpse of that, you should feel lucky.

  • Diva Life Nail & Beauty Lounge, Ruijin Er Lu (Near Jianguoxi). A 2,700 ft² house, mixed with Chinese and European style, is located on Ruijin Er Rd. Established in 1933, this three story complex was once the home of the Jewish wine merchant H.L. Menken.
  • Ferguson Lane (In a narrow alley off Wukang Rd). A '30s building filled with restaurants and boutique shops.
  • 1 Garden Books (Near junction of Changle and Shanxi S Rds). Good selection of Chinese travel guides, as well as aromatic coffee and flavorful ice cream. Their monthly bric-a-brac sales are a popular local social event.
  • 2 Madame Mao's Dowry, Fu Min Lu. Cultural Revolution nostalgia. Prices are stiff enough that buying here is recommended only if cheaper places do not have what you want.
  • Silk qipao shops. A row of shops along Chang Le Lu, between Mao Ming Lu and Shan Xi Nan Lu specializes in silk Qi Paos (traditional Shanghai-style silk dresses), which can be made to measure. The shops are especially popular with Japanese visitors staying at the nearby Okura Garden Hotel. An alternative destination for qipao in Shanghai is along North Shaanxi Road, near the junction with West Nanjing Road, where the most famous qipao workshops of Shanghai are located, including Long Feng. There are also some other qipao stores on Maoming Road, near Huaihai Road.
  • Spin Ceramics, 360 Kangding Rd (at the corner of N. Shaanxi Rd). Designer ceramics by Chinese artists but with a Japanese flavor, in a stylish minimalist space.
  • Torana House (164 Anfu Rd (just west of Wulumuqi Rd)). Has Tibetan and Chinese carpets and Tibetan furniture in a contemporary gallery.

Other nearby areas:

Along Maoming South Road by the Jin Jiang Hotel there are designer shops and art galleries. Don't forget your platinum credit card.

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Vegetarian Lifestyle, 77 Song Shan Rd (In an alleyway just S of Huaihai Rd), +86 21-6384-8000. until 10PM daily. A beautifully appointed modern restaurant where everything is vegetarian. You will not find much in the way of fake meat that pervades most of the other vegetarian places. Instead, you will enjoy beautifully cooked dishes from all over the country in addition to a juice bar. Beer ¥30, ¥18 lunch special.
  • 1 Spicy Joint, 3/F, K. Wah Center, 1028 Huaihai Zhong Rd, near Donghu Rd (淮海中路1028号, 嘉华中心嘉华坊3楼, 近东湖路), +86 6470 2777. Ridiculously popular for their cheap stylized Sichuan food, in a young and fashionable environment. The waits for a table are notorious. ¥8-30.
  • Foodrepublic Food Court (Sixth floor of Metro City mall, Xujiahui). Food court with many different restaurants. Most do not accept cash, though the restaurants that have their own separate seating area take both cash and cards, so you will have to add money to and put down a deposit for a stored-value card specific to the other Foodrepublics. You can see plastic models of all the dishes before you order them, so you will have a decent idea of what you are getting. Copious MSG (avoidable depending on what you're after; the CoCo Ichibanya Japanese curry place is safe in this regard) but mostly tasty and moderately priced.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Amokka, Anfu Rd (W of Wulumuqi Road). Coffee bar and restaurant good for lunch stops.
  • Cafe Dan, No. 41, Lane 248 Taikang Lu, near Sinan Lu 泰康路248弄41号, 近思南路 (Leave Dapuqiao Metro Station (Line 9) by exit 1, and cross Taikang Street. Cafe Dan is at the back of the lane opposite the station exit.). Japanese style coffee house with very good tasting coffee and very nice Hokkaido Cheese Cake. Coffee starts around ¥40.
  • 2 Cantina Agave, 291 Fumin Road, corner of Changle Road (Changshu Road metro, exit 1, turn left, walk a block, right, then another block), +86 21 6170 1310. Good Mexican food, beer and cocktails. They have another location in Pudong.
  • Di Shui Dong (滴水洞), 56 Maoming Rd (Near Changle Rd, Metro: Shaanxi S Rd), +86 21-62532689. Fiery cuisine from Hunan, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, thus a menu full of "Mao's Shrimp", "Mao's Chicken" and such. Very popular with foreigners.
  • Enoterra, 53-57 Anfu Rd (5 min walk from Changshu Road station (line 1 and 7), 5-10 min walk from Shanghai Library station (line 10)). 10.00-02.00. Excellent wine bar specializing in Argentinean and South African wines. Food is fairly basic with cheese and meat plates and salads, but the wine is outstanding.
  • Hailaogui (海老亀; Hǎilǎogūi), 41 Yandang Rd (雁蕩路41号). Cafe specialising in sweet Chinese desserts claimed to have all sorts of beneficial effects for your health, particularly dishes made with turtle. No English menu. Milk pudding with ginger is ¥10.
  • Secret Garden, Changle Rd (A short distance west from Garden Books). Serving Cantonese food in pleasant surroundings. The veranda-like space near to Secret Garden has been home to a succession of restaurants, the latest incarnation being a Greek restaurant.
  • Shanghai Uncle, 211 Tianyaoqiao Rd, +86 21-64646430. A famous chain of three restaurants known for Shanghai flair with some Western accents. Known for their spare ribs, smoked fish and fatty pork with garlic.
  • Uighur Restaurant (维吾尔餐厅), 280 Yi Shan Rd., +86 21-62550843. Claims to be the "original" Xinjiang cuisine restaurant in the city, and probably the best-known. The typical main dishes are moderately spicy preparations of lamb, but the menu also features some rather adventurous items like camel feet, sheep's eyeballs, and a bull's you-know-what. Also music and dance shows with the obligatory audience participation.
  • 3 Glo London, No. 1 Wulumuqi South Road (On the corner of Dongping Road and Wulumuqi Road, opposite the United States Consulate.), +86 2164666565, e-mail: . An English style restaurant that does familiar (for westerners) style brunch. Rather expensive, but the food tastes pretty close to what you would get in a good restaurant in England. Coffee shop and a good bakery on the ground floor (half price on many items after 9pm), a disco-ish bar on the next floor, then a grill restaurant, and finally a rooftop barbeque. Nearby metro stops: go north along Wulumuqi for Line 10, Shanghai Library, north on Hengshan Road (a short block east) for Lines 1 or 7, Changshu Road, or south on Hengshan for the Hengshan Road Line 1 stop. ¥70.

Splurge[edit]

  • Casanova, far western end of Julu Rd. Very competent Italian fare.
  • Le Saleya, 长乐路570号 (Between Xiangyang Rd and Shaanxi S Rd), +86 21-54036957. Not open between 1:00pm and 6:00pm. Neighborhood French Restaurant. Unpretentious and you can close your eyes and imagine you are on the Ile de la Cite. Prix fixe menu is 220元 per person.
  • Mesa, Julu Rd (W of Xiangyang Rd junction). Excellent and flavorful Western and fusion food accented by a fine wine list. The stunning view from the balcony is at its best in the spring and fall. Quite pricey.
  • Otto, 85 Fumin Rd. A sophisticated Italian restaurant and wine bar.
  • 4 Sasha's, No.11 Dongping Road (corner of Hengshan Road), +86 647 46166. European-style food in a lovely old mansion. Large patio area. ¥200-400.
  • Shintori, Julu Road. Japanese design restaurant with stunning features. Serving traditional and fusion cuisine.
  • 5 Southern Belle, 433 Changle Lu. Good American food including some Tex-Mex dishes. The biscuits are disappointing, the mint juleps just fine.

Drink[edit]

Many bars, nightclubs and wine bars in and along Julu, Yongfu, Huaihai, and Hengshan Rds, and a handful of bars interspersed throughout Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang.

  • The Apartment, 47 Yongfu Rd (near Fuxing Rd), +86 21 6437 9478. Modeled on a New York loft-style lounge, The Apartment is a stylish but relaxed lounge space split into three rooms -- two large areas with DJ's and a smaller dining room with a few tables. Great place to have drinks and dinner. Starting price ¥45.
  • De Refter, 181 JinXian Lu (Near Maoming Lu). Located on an up and coming French Concession street. The only place in Shanghai with an extensive Belgian Beer list. The food is pretty good too.
  • The Geisha, 390 Shaanxi Lu (near Fuxing Lu), +86 21 6403 0244. 5pm-late. The newest venture from Shanghai nightlife staple Collective Concepts, The Geisha is a Japanese restaurant, sake lounge, and boutique Vegas styled club featuring craft cocktails and international DJ's. starting price ¥45.
  • 1 [dead link]Jenny's Blue Bar, 7 Donghu Rd (Metro: Shanxi Rd S), +86 21-64157019. A friendly bar, run by Jenny in its present location since 2000. A wide choice of drinks, good music and sports coverage mean that it is popular both with expats and with visitors. Look out for the two cats that make themselves at home behind the bar, frequently sleeping on top of the television or the display units.
  • Judy's Too, 176 Maoming S Rd (Metro: Shaanxi Nan Lu), +86 21-64731417. 6PM, but the party does not really get started until at least 10PM. A somewhat cheesy but fun favorite among expats. Locals dance it up here too, but mostly before 11PM. Some feel this place offers all that is bad about older Western men and younger Eastern girls in Asia, at times there is some pretty unpleasant scenes, unfortunately. Free.
  • Muse Two, 上海市淮海中路283号香港广场4F, +86 21-62886222. huge 2 storey night club. This is the place to be on Thursdays. 50 a beer.
  • 2 Oscar's Pub, 1377 Fuxing Lu at Baoqing Lu (Metro: Changshu Road (line 1 or 7) and walk south past Starbucks). Daily, 11am to late. Mainly an expat bar, in an area with several others. Dartboard, chess on Sundays, reasonable food and a range of drinks, a Filipino band. Cheap Tiger in happy hour, 11am-8pm.
  • 3 Shanghai Brewery, 15 Dongping Lu, corner of Hengshan Road (东平路15号) (Metro: walk south from Changshu Road station or north from Hengshan Road), +86 21 3461 0717. A brew pub with Western food, big-screen TVs used mainly for sports, and English-speaking staff.
  • Stormy Cafe Bar, 229 Ln Danshui Rd, +86 21-63743576. Expect a warm welcome from Biru, Stormy's dog, and Killer, the resident rabbit, before you sink into a soft chair and get absorbed in the eclectic music selection or plethora of games at this cafe. Their small menu offers Japanese curry, toasted sandwiches as well as coffee, cocktails and beer. ¥20-40.
  • Tang Yun tea house (Hengshan Road stop on Line 1, at Exit 4). Tang Yun serves many varieties of tea along with traditional Chinese delicacies. Many of the snacks at the common table are free. Serve yourself.
  • 4 Zapata's, Hengshan Road (enter via the large patio area it shares with Sasha's). Quite popular as a dance bar. Also a Mexican restaurant, but Cantina Agave is better. Zapata's Sunday all-you-can-eat tacos are popular and surprisingly good despite having neither guacamole nor cheese.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • [dead link]Asset Hotel Shanghai, 590 S Wanping Rd, Xuhui District. The hotel is located close to well-known places such as Xujiahui and Zhaojiabang Rd. All rooms are air conditioned and have their own private bathroom. Services include 24-hour front desk and room services, and free shuttle bus is offered to guests who want to explore the rest of the district.
  • Blue Mountain Youth Hostel (上海蓝山国际青年旅舍), 2F Bldg #1, 1072 Nong, Quxi Rd, Luwan District (卢湾区瞿溪路1072弄1号甲二楼) (Just opposite Luban Rd Metro Stn (Line 4)), +86 21-63043938, fax: +86 21-63043938. On the street just outside you will find several restaurants, small supermarkets, fruitshops etc. The staff is helpful and speaks good English. Dorms 8/4-6 persons ¥40/¥50, Double/triple with bath ¥160/¥220.
  • Shanghai Bin Guan (上海宾馆), 柳州路2号 (Across the street from Shanghai South Station), +86 54488899. If you took a bus to Shanghai South Station, this is a decent hotel within walking distance, you have to go through the underpass. have massage in your room if you want. It is very far South of the French Concession: two subway stops or ¥30 taxi from Xujiahui. 200-300.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Anting Villa Hotel, 46 Anting Rd, Xuhui District, +86 21 6433 1188. Offers guestrooms equipped with air-conditioning, cable television (with lots of English channels), and an IDD phone. It is a must-try to dine in at their very own Maple Leaves Restaurant, that serves Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisines all day. It is in a beautiful, sleepy Concession neighborhood, down the road from the popular bar Cotton's, and close to subway lines 1, 7 and 9. Hotel Design also sees it used for many special occasions such as weddings in its Gardens. $65 - $75 AUD.
  • Hua Ting Hotel, 1200 N Caoxi Rd. A 5-star hotel, is also not far away, you may take Metro Line 1 for one stop and get off at Shanghai Stadium, the hotel is close to the metro station. It is not in the French Concession, but one stop or ¥20 by taxi away.
  • Jianguo Hotel, 439 Caoxi Rd, Xuhui District, +86 21-64399299. Offers 454 air-conditioned guestrooms, all of which have high-speed Internet, color TV, mini-bar, and room safe. Some of its amenities include fitness center/gym, sauna, and an indoor pool. Restaurants include the CTC Restaurant that is known for its shark's fin, abalone, and other upscale Chinese delicacies; Shanghai Restaurant that serves authentic Shanghai dishes during lunch and dinner; and Yuliu Restaurant that serves Korean fare. It is in Xujiahui but several blocks south of the actual former Concession.
  • Jin Jiang Tian Cheng Hotel, 585 Xujiahui Rd, The East Building, Jin Yu Lan Sq. Four-star business hotel with 148 guestrooms. Business and event facilities include a business center and event and conference venues of varying sizes. Leisure offerings include indoor swimming pool, disco and karaoke center. It is just south of the French Concession.
  • [dead link]Patina Court, No.68 Luban Road,Luwan District, +8621- 63018888. All rooms equipped with Air-conditioning, cable TV and internet connection. Some of its facilities and services are Swimming pool, sauna, massage service, Room service, bar, cafe, Meeting facilities and business center. Best rates on official website start at ¥998.
  • San Want Hotel, 650 Yishan Rd, Xuhui District, +86 21 61451111. Four-star hotel with 383 rooms with LCD TV, Japanese-style bathtub, refrigerator, and high-speed Internet access. Conference rooms, banquet hall and business center available. It is to the far southwest of the French Concession.
  • 1 Somerset Xu Hui Shanghai (上海徐汇盛捷服务公寓), No 888 Shaanxi Nan Road, Xu Hui district, +86 21 6466-0888, e-mail: . Each of the 167 residences at Somerset Xu Hui is furnished with fully-equipped kitchens, home entertainment system and broadband Internet access.
  • Sports Hotel, No 15 Nandan Rd, Xuhui District, +86 21 64382222. Four-stars. Outside the hotel are nearby tourist spots such as Shanghai Museum, People’s Square, and Yu Garden. Their guestrooms are equipped with air conditioning, a 25-inch cable TV, and electronic door locks. Some of their offered facilities includes an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, and function and business rooms. It is halfway between Shanghai Stadium and Xujiahui Metro Station. Best rates on official website start at ¥553+.

Splurge[edit]

  • 2 Ascott Huai Hai Road Shanghai (上海雅诗阁淮海路服务公寓), No 282, Huaihai Road Central, Luwan district, +86 21 2329-8888, e-mail: . The serviced residence is located in the Luwan District near Xintiandi. It studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, each with its own kitchen, washing machine, home entertainment system and modern furnishings.
  • Garden Avenue Hotel, 689 Old Humin Rd, Xuhui District. 5-star business hotel nowhere near Shanghai’s central business district. It has 218 rooms, fully-equipped banquet halls, and dining and recreational facilities. It is next to the South Railway Station and ¥30 taxi to away from Xujiahui.
  • Hengshan Moller Villa, No 30 Shanxi Rd S Jing. Housed in a stunning piece of 1936 architecture. Rooms are frequently booked out so be sure to try and get one of the main rooms which contain wood panelling or business rooms that are much larger and come with a huge balcony that overlooks the garden.
  • Hengshan Picardie Hotel, 534 Hengshan Road, Xuhui District, +86 21-61226688, fax: +86 21-64333443. A classic Art Deco-inspired hotel in the heart of French Concession. The hotel offers 254 rooms and dining and leisure facilities. Business amenities include a fully-equipped business center and venues such as Kaixuan Palace and Blossom Hall.
  • 3 Hilton Shanghai, 250 Huashan Lu, +86 21-6248-0000, fax: +86 21-62483868. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. While still popular with business travelers for its recognizable name, the Hilton Shanghai has lost some of its luster, although its still considered a top end hotel in this area. Rooms are spacious and modern, and the staff are friendly, but the Hilton needs to step up its game.
  • Jin Jiang Hotel, Luwan District, +86-21-32189888. Offers 434 luxurious rooms, all of which have individually controlled air-conditioning, mini-bar, color TV with cable channels, DVD player, and refrigerator. Some of its amenities include fitness center, beauty salon, spa, sauna, and massage service. Best rates on official website start at ¥1,280.
  • Lanson Place Jinlin Tiandi Residences Shanghai, No 3, Lane 168 Xingye Rd, Luwan District, Shanghai 200020, China, +86 21 2306 1888. Offers 3-bedroom residences with engaging views, either over the alleyways of the Xintiandi quarter or a tranquil lake. All apartments are equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchen, and Internet connection. Some of its amenities include a home theater system, sauna and steam rooms, and a fully equipped gymnasium. Best rates on official website start at ¥2200.
  • Mason Hotel, 935 Central Huaihai Rd, Luwan, French Concession, +86 21-64662020. This boutique hotel is cozy and comfortable and great for quiet nights sleep. All rooms have internet access and there's a 2nd floor lounge, a rooftop beer garden, a variety of restaurants and a Starbucks on the ground floor.
  • Okura Garden Hotel, 58 Maoming Rd S, Luwan District, +86 21-64151111, fax: +86 21-64158866, e-mail: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. 5-star hotel built around the former French Club and its garden from 1926. Many art-deco decorations from that time are still visible in the hotel, especially in the Ball Room. Very central location along Huai Hai Road, with good accessibility and a subway stop (South Shaanxi Road, Line 1) next to the hotel grounds.
  • Old House Inn, No 16, Lane 351, Huashan Rd, +86 21-62486118. With only a dozen rooms, its advisable to book ahead to secure one of these charming rooms, furnished in traditional Chinese style. All rooms have internet access and breakfast, which is included, is served in an outdoor courtyard.
  • Royal Court Hotel Shanghai, Lane 622, 7 Middle Huaihai Rd, Luwan District. A five star business hotel. Air-conditioned rooms, conference halls, restaurant and bar, gym and sauna. Easily accessible from S Shanxi Rd Stn and Nanjing Rd.
  • Intercontinental Shanghai Ruijin (上海瑞金洲际酒店), 118 Rui Jin 2 Rd. Villa style hotel with picturesque surroundings. All of the villas here, 5 in total, are designed in French style, some harking back to the start of the 20th Century. The main building is particularly nice with a grand colonial vista. The hotel is situated in a park-like compound with small bridges, ponds, pavilions and marble fountains.
  • Shanghai New-Westlake Hotel, No 22, Lane 133, Mao Ming South Road, Luwan District, +86 21-54655888. It is 5 km from the railway station. It offers 20 air-conditioned rooms with cable TV, free broadband Internet access, a private toilet, and a room safe.
  • 4 Pullman Shanghai Skyway, 15 Dapu Rd, Luwan District (Subway station: Dapuqiao), +86 21 33189988, toll-free: +86 21 53010000, e-mail: . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. The hotel impresses the most with its sheer size - over 50 floors, crowned by a gargantuan canopy, make it a visible landmark from much of southern Shanghai. The smallest rooms in the hotel are almost 50 sqm in size. On the inside, it is getting quite long in the tooth and gradual renovations slowly bring it in line with more modern Pullmans, but all of the features you'd expect of one are here, including a swimming pool, spa, gym, and health club. The upper room categories come with access to a generous Executive Lounge. Starting from ¥730.
  • 5 Langham Xintiandi, 99 Madang Road, Xintiandi, Huangpu, +86 21 2330 2288. Luxury hotel right next to the Xintiandi old town ¥3,000.

Learn[edit]

The original campus of Shanghai Jiaotong University (Jiaoda) is in this area, though there are now several other campuses and the new main campus is in Minhang. The old campus has Chinese language courses for foreigners and an MBA program that is taught in the evenings, mainly for Chinese business people.

There are several schools offering Chinese cooking courses for visitors:

Connect[edit]

This district travel guide to French Concession is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.