It is no surprise that Shanghai’s commerce would be so alive considering that it is one of the major financial hubs in Asia. It is so well-known for its shopping districts that there are a lot of tourists that visit the city specifically for those places. Indeed, shopping is one fun way to make a trip complete. Shanghai is a perfect place for such an activity.
The most popular commercial street in Shanghai is the Nanjing Road (南京路), often hailed as the Chinese counterpart of New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Being six kilometers long, Nanjing Lu is one of the longest and busiest shopping streets in the world. Over a million of people every day are coming and going to the over 600 business establishments that can be found there. Shanghai is a city that is full of buzz and activity and Nan Jing Lu is the center of all that.
The Nanjing Lu is divided into different districts- the Eastern, the Western, and in the middle of them, the Xizang Road. The eastern section is part of the Huangpu District. It is an extension of the Bund and continues towards People’s Square. From the People’s Square, the western section begins and extends toward the Jing’an District.
From all corners of the Nanjing Lu, there are so many establishments standing tall and serving the people what they want and need- from shopping malls, theatres, hotels, specialty stores, branches of international retail stores, to pretty much anything else that would require one to spend. Fast food chain branches such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Mcdonald’s, and many more can be found the area too. On the eastern section, there are more traditional and specialty stores that mainly sell things that are from the traditional Chinese culture such as silk, jade, and materials for embroidery. During the night, glittering lights from the establishments brighten the place more and highlight the fact that Chinese commerce is so alive. Also, there is a sightseeing train available that goes around the place to give visitors a chance to explore the streets with ease and comfort. Street musicians also add to the lively atmosphere of the street.
After Nanjing Lu, next on the list of the most popular shopping places in Shanghai is Huaihai Road (淮海路), formerly known in its French name- Avenue Joffre. The difference of Huaihai from Nanjing is that it is more famous with the locals, while the latter is frequented more by tourists. Huaihai is a more upscale version of Nanjing Lu. It is elegant, fashionable, and popular among the fashion-savvy youth. A part of Huaihai’s charm is the French influence that it still manifests. A lot of buildings on the area still have French-inspired architecture.
French Concession of Shanghai
Huaihai is divided into three sections, and its middle section- also its main section- is the French Concession of Shanghai (法租界). The middle section is 5500 m long and is situated in what was formerly known as the Luwan District. The west section, formerly called the Jordan Road, is 1510 m long and is the boundary between Chongming district and Xuhu. The eastern section used to be Ningbo Rod, is 373 m long, and is the boundary between Huangpu and Nanshu. The middle section is lined up with buildings of shopping malls and offices. Overall, there are a total number of 400 restaurants, shopping centers, stores, and other establishments in Huaihai.
North Sichuan Road
The third largest shopping street after Nanjing Lu and Huaihai is the 3.7 km long North Sichuan Road. There is such a rich history behind the present North Sichuan Road. It has been a prominent street in Shanghai since the 19th Century. In fact, it was one of the first streets that opened after Shanghai officially became a commercial port. In the present, North Sichuan is considered one of the busiest and important shopping streets in all of Shanghai. Most of those who go to Sichuan regularly are part of the working middle class. The street has a lot of different stores that sells items like shoes, clothing, and jewelry.
Another well-known shopping district is the locality of Xuijiahui (徐家汇). The area that serves as the intersection between the roads Hongqiao, Huashan, Zhaojiabnag, and North Caoxi in the Xuijiahui district is home to many shopping malls. Some of these shopping malls are: Grand Gateway, Orient Shopping Center, Shanghai Liubai, Pacific Digital Plaza, Metro City, Sunrise Department Store, Huilian Department Store, and Metro Shopping Plaza. Almost everything is available in these shopping centers, but mostly, Xuijiahui is known for electronics products like gaming consoles, cameras, computers, and many others.
City God Temple
City God Temple (城隍庙) is also called as Chenghuang Miao, which is one of the most famous ancient gardens in Shanghai. Inside its vicinity is the Yuyuan Bazaar- a place where traditional Chinese items, Chinese food products, local goods, and souvenirs can be bought. Some of its famous establishments and sections are Huxingting Tea House, Nanxiang Dumplings, and Central Fangbang Road where there are many curio shops. This place is perfect if one is looking for a souvenir that embodies the Chinese culture. The Yu yuan Garden is located in the center of Nan shi or the Old Town., at 137 Anren Jie, near Fuyou Lu (豫园, 安仁街137号, 近福佑路).
Often referred to as the “Cultural Street,” Fuzhou Road is a charming little area known for its cultural and intellectual shopping centers. It is where bookshops, publishing houses, science and technology bookstores, ancient bookshops, foreign language bookstores, stores that are around a hundred years old, local specialty stores, and art shops can be found. All in all, the bookstores in this area are more than 30 in number, which makes it the place with the most number of those shops in the whole of Shanghai. Items sold in the establishments found here include books, time-honored stationery, ink stamps, writing brushes, art materials, and specialty papers. It is definitely the perfect place for anyone who loves literature, arts, crafts, knowledge, and culture. Fuzhou Road is located near the Nanjing Road.