Overview: The route takes you through the French Concession via "restored" areas and places that have been left in their more natural ... more »
The route takes you through the French Concession via "restored" areas and places that have been left in their more natural ... more »state. Xintiandi is a well-known tourist destination and Tianzifang is increasingly becoming so. Still, both show traditional style housing and buildings. Sinan Road was for a long time a peaceful street lined with old villas. This is changing, but it still makes a pleasant walk.
On the way, you will see what life was like for ordinary Shanghai residents in the early 20th century, along with richer Chinese and Europeans.
There are many opportunities to eat along the route. Whilst there are some souvenirs available in Xintiandi, Tianzifang is a better bet. less «
Whilst it would seem logical to go to Xintiandi subway station on Line 10, depending on where you are coming from you are probably... more » better going to Huangpi South Road (Nan lu) station on Line 1. From Huangpi nanlu station walk along Madang Road to Xintiandi.
Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking – some of it on cobbled surfaces.
From Tianzifang you can catch Line 9 at Dapuqiao station which is just opposite the entrance on Taikang Road – inside the modern shopping center. less «
This is one of the tourist hotspots in Shanghai. These two blocks of extensively rebuilt shikumen buildings (see next stop for more building details) has been largely given over to high end restaurants and shops. Many of the restaurants and coffee shops have outdoor seating which in warmer months is ideal for people watching, because after all... More this is one of the places to be seen.
Restaurants worth visiting include a branch of Din Tai Fung (in the modern shopping center part) famous for its dumplings, Zen - a Cantonese chain originating in London, TMSK with its beautiful decoration and jazzed up Chinese traditional music performances (from 8pm) and "fusion" food (read: more Western than Chinese). Note all these places are pricey, particularly TMSK.
Rm.2, South Block Xintiandi, Lane 123 Xingye Lu,
(8621) 6385 6385
Unit 2, Bldg 11, North Block, Xintiandi, Lane 181 Taicang Lu
Din Tai Fung
2/F, Unit 11A South Block, Xintiandi, 123 Xingye Lu,
The term shikumen 石库门 literally means "stone warehouse gate" but is applied to a style of house special to Shanghai. Shikumen were arranged in alleyways (longtang) which were usually entered through a stone gate, hence the name.
They are unique for combining Chinese and western style in their two or three story designs. In many ways... More they are a Chinese version of the British terraced house! First appearing in the 19th century they reached their zenith in the pre-war era. They once made up the majority of housing in Shanghai.
Each house was originally designed for one family, although it was common in the early days for the mezzanine room to be let out - particularly to Bohemian sorts. After Mao and the Communists took power, little new housing was built and an increasing urban population led to division into ever smaller units, meaning that such a house could be shared by as many as 10 families.
The museum illustrates life in a 10 room shikumen as they were originally intended for use. It is furnished with antiques to show Shanghainese family life.
Hours: daily 10.30am – 10.30pm
Children 3-12 years Y10
Seniors 60 or over Y10
Adults with student ID Y16
Address: No 25 Lane 181 Taicang Road. Xintiandi
The entrance is located where Xintiandi is split in two by Xingye Road.
Telephone: (0086) 021 3307 0337Less
In July 1921, the CCP was founded at this shikumen which at the time belonged to Li Hanjun. The meeting convened on the 23rd only to be broken up on the 30th by a raid by police from the French Concession. The final day’s meeting took place on a pleasure boat at South Lake, Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province.
The propaganda is laid on thick here with... More the introduction talking of the “British invaders” “Chinese people’s arduous attempts” and “heroic struggles.” There is a display of memorabilia from the time and the history behind the first meeting. Some parts of the house are restored to their former condition.
No photography is allowed indoors.
Hours: Daily 9am-4pm but can be closed if needed for a VIP visit. They also claim to restrict entry to 2,000 people per day.
Cost: free. Audio tour Y10
Address: 76 Xingye Road 兴业路76号Less
This tree-lined road in the French Concession used to be known as Rue Massenet. Many historic people in the path to modern China lived along this road and today many of the old buildings remain.
This place has probably the best chocolate cake in Shanghai and can also make a good lunch spot. It is also busy in the evening doing cocktails.
Hours: 11am-Midnight Sunday, Tuesday – Thursday
11am – 1am Friday & Saturday
Address: 30-1 Sinan Road near Huai Hai Middle Road
Telephone: (0086) 021 6093 2058
This is worth a quick detour to see villas that have been less ‘restored’ and also the former Russian Orthodox St Nicholas Church which is now a café called Kinloch Coffee.
Sun Yatsen is the founding father of modern China and is revered by both the Nationalists and Communists (one of the few things they agree on).
Sun Yatsen lived here between 1918 and 1924 and after Sun’s death in 1925 his widow Song Qingling continued to live here until 1937. Today the house is furnished much in the way it was during Sun’s time... More here. The house was looted during the Japanese occupation, so much of the furniture is not original to the house.
Hours: daily 9am – 4pm.
Cost: Adults Y20
Children under 1.3 meters tall or under 6 years old free
Students with ID Y10
Seniors 60 – 70 with ID Y10
Seniors over 70 free
Address: 7 Xiangshan Road
Telephone: (0086) 021 5465 9050Less
This is one of Shanghai’s latest attempts at restoration in which the city takes an area of villas from the 1920s and 1930s, rips them down, and then rebuilds them brick by brick in slightly different positions. Throw out the families that were living here and replace their homes with an über expensive hotel and high-end restaurants.
Partly... More opened in 2010 as part of the Expo, city renovations to the area has still to take off. Probably due to poor public transport links and lack of parking, the restaurants are on the empty side. In the daytime a lot don’t even bother to open. The area to the west side of Fuxing Road is still under construction and is meant to be more aimed at corporations.
On the plus side, the buildings all look very nice with their pebble dashed exteriors. Fuxing Park across the road was laid out by the French and might be worth a quick detour.
And if you wondered about the hotel, instead of rooms, it has villas which apparently go for a cool Y40,000 per night. The Hotel Massenet takes its name from the original French name for the street. Beware: the hotel is very camera shy, banning pictures.
Address: intersection of Sinan Road with Fuxing Middle RoadLess
Zhou Enlai, the late Chinese Premier, spent 1946 in residence here when he was head of the Shanghai office of the CCP. Nationalist spies were posted across the road to keep tab of him.
This is the only villa here spared the Sinan Mansions treatment. Rooms are sparsely furnished but the second villa has a display of historical photographs.
No... More photography is allowed indoors.
Hours: daily 9am – 4 pm
Address: 73 Sinan RoadLess
This area is the antithesis of Xintiandi and what happens when you let small businesses gradually redevelop an area. Like Xintiandi, it is a collection of shikumen style buildings but it also includes former factories. These days there are still some local residents living above the shops and restaurants.
A few years ago it was relatively... More undiscovered, but now even tour groups make their way here. Still, it is a pedestrianised area of small shops selling souvenirs, curios, works of art and cafes and restaurants which spill out into the narrow lanes. It is a favourite with photographers.
Shops and boutiques worth looking out for include Feel Shanghai selling off the peg and tailor made clothing evoking the 1930s, and Deke Erh’s photography gallery.
As a place to eat few of the restaurants are much good with most of them over priced for what you get.Less