Nanjing Road Shanghai
Nanjing Road Shanghai is China's premier shopping street, and is Shanghai's main shopping street, famously named one of the World's Seven Great Roads in the 1930s and now making a rapid comeback after decades of Maoist austerity.
The 3.4-mile-long Nanjing Road, starts at the Bund in the east and ends in the west at the junction of the Jingan Temple and Yan'an West Street. Today, Nanjing Road is a must-see metropolitan destination attracting thousands of fashion-seeking shoppers from all over the world.
Along the street are more than 600 stores, including the city's largest department store, pearl store, food store, medical shop, clothing store, and bookstore.
After the Opium War (1839-1842), Shanghai became a treaty port. Nanjing Road was first the British Concession, then the International Settlement. Importing large quantities of foreign goods, it became the municipality's earliest shopping street.
Over time, Nanjing Road has been restructured, undergoing significant change. For shopping convenience, its eastern end has an all-weather pedestrian arcade. Big traditional stores no longer dominate the market since modern shopping malls, specialty stores, theaters, and international hotels have mushroomed on both sides of the street.
Today over 600 businesses on the road offer countless famous brands, superior quality, and new fashions. KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and other world-famous food vendors line both sides of the street. Upscale stores include Tiffany, Mont Blanc, and Dunhill. In addition, approximately a hundred traditional stores and specialty shops still provide choice silk goods, jade, embroidery, wool, and clocks.
Open-air bars, abstract sculptures, and lingering sounds from street
musicians enhance evening strolls. A trackless sightseeing train
provides a comfortable tour of the night-transformed pedestrian
street. Flashing neon signs illuminate the magnificent buildings
and spangle the night skyline of this lively city.
Metro Line 2 runs under Nanjing Road for much of the way, intersecting with Line 1 at People's Square.
At time of writing, the new Shanghai City Air Terminal (near Metro Jing'an Temple) remains under construction, but express buses shuttle regularly to and from here to both Pudong (45 min; Y19) and Hongqiao airports.
People's Square - located at the heart of the city, it is the political and cultural center of this city. A racecourse in the colonial era and the place where one million Red Guards gathered in 1966, today's park is a comfortable place to spend an afternoon with many pigeons and lots of fresh air. Entry into People's Park on the north half of the square costs ¥2, but all attractions listed below are on the edges of the park, not inside. People's Square can be easily reached with metro lines no. 1 and 2.
The Shanghai Museum is the premiere museum of Chinese art and artifacts in China. It is located in People's Square and is beautiful inside and out. The exterior evokes a bronze urn, which is appropriate since the museum holds the world's greatest collection of Chinese bronzes. The collection is well-presented and state-of-the-art. Directions and information are presented in Chinese and English, and the facilities are world-class. The museum is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.), Saturday to 7 p.m. Admission is 20 RMB (5 RMB for students), plus 40 RMB for the excellent audio guide. Admission is free Saturday 5-7 p.m. Address: 201 Renmin Dadao. Phone: 86-21-6372-3500. The audio guide is highly recommended, especially if you do not know much about Chinese art.
Jing An Temple (Feb. 2007)Shanghai Art Gallery - Bordering the People's Square on the north-west corner, this is a large international gallery with frequently changing program.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall (100 Renmin Dadao, on the road across People's Park) – more interesting than you'd expect given its name, this museum documents the history of Shanghai and attempts to chart its future, with changing exhibits on the first two floors and a permanent exhibition on the rest. Particularly worthwhile is the massive scale model of what Shanghai should look like in 2020. Entry ¥25.
Jing'an Temple (near Metro Jing'an Temple) - Also known as the "Temple of the Jade Buddha", this 750-year-old temple was refurbished and re-opened in Spring 2004.
Shanghai Grand Opera Palace - Situated on the west side of People's Park, the Opera Palace is often listed as one of the ten best opera houses in the world. Performances are normally "classic" opera.
Beijing Opera can be seen in the opera house on Fuzhou Lu 710, on the first big corner on your right if you walk down Fuzhou Lu coming from Renmin Square. Chinese opera is very different from its Western counterpart, and you may want to listen to a sample to decide if you'll survive for three hours. Some operas include acrobatic stunts, other focus more on singing, and sometimes a tourist-oriented mash-up is performed that includes "the best bits" from various works. Interest for this art-form is low from tourists and Shanghainese alike, so getting a ticket is not a problem. Show listings and staff are Mandarin-only though. Price is around 80 yuan.
The Shanghai Acrobatics Show features all the impressive acts of Chinese circus packed into one 90 minute show. The location is easy to walk by as the theater is hidden inside the Ritz-Carlton hotel building, on West Nanjing Lu 1376. Tickets are best bought in advance, especially in the weekend, and go for about 150 yuan. The good acts are up right from the start, so don't be late!
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street at night (Oct. 2006)Nanjing Road is the most important commercial street in Shanghai, with hundreds of shops, many with a rich history. As a rough generalization, Nanjing East Road is more historical but these days a little downmarket, while Nanjing West Road is brash, modern and caters more to the status-conscious luxury shopper.
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street, the car-free central section between People's Park and Henan Zhonglu, is known for its stationery and book stores. One of the largest is the Shanghai Book City which is all Chinese language, or the the Foreign Book Store just down the street which caters to Western tastes.
Foreign Language Bookstore - South of Nanjing East Road, located in Fuzhou Road, between the intersection with Fujian Road and Henan Road on the northern side. Offers the largest variety of language learning books in Shanghai and is the best place to shop for Chinese learning books. Its also popular with foreign language students.
Wujiang Road ( Wujianglu, near Metro Shimen No.1 Rd) is a short, twisty alleyway packed with fiercely competitive shops selling snacks and small meals. Very cheap (most everything less than Y10) but very Chinese, with English menus basically unknown.
, 60 Wujiang Rd. Shanghai's most famous purveyor of shengjian , basically fried xiao long bao, and easily spotted thanks to the yellow signs and never-ending (but fast-moving) queue outside, with over 10,000 served daily. Pay at the cashier (a steal at ¥2.50 for 4), then join the queue, get your buns either on a plate to eat in, or packed in a box for take away. For those eating indoors, three types of soup are also available.
Da Niang Shui Jiao, East Nanjing Rd. Part of a chain of dumpling (jiaozi") restaurants around the country. Think of it like the McDonalds of Chinese dumplings. Some of the cheapest food on the Nanjing Rd. pedestrian mall, but be prepared with either a phrase book or a Chinese friend. Dumplings are ordered in "fen". "san fen" = three fen = a normal sized plate. To order dumplings: number + "fen" + filling (pork, vegetable, etc.) Soup is also available.
Bali Laguana , No.3 Jinan Park, 189 Huashan Road (near West Nanjing Road, tel. 62486970. Indonesian food.
Huanghe Rd (next to Park Hotel) has an assembly of good but fairly expensive seafood restaurants in the Chinese style, geared more for larger groups and featuring fish tanks, meters of red plush and golden dragons encrusted on all available surfaces.
K5 , or Kathleen's 5, is located on top of the old Shanghai Horse
racing club (now an art gallery). The menu offers a fusion of Western
and Chinese foods. The views from the glass-encased rooftop are
stunning. Located at 325 Nanjing Xi (West) lu, 5th floor.
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 24:00
Recommending Time for a Visit: 1 hours
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