Shopping and Attractions
The Yu Gardens
Every tourist who comes to Shanghai needs to go here. It is the number one tourist attraction in Shanghai, even if it’s always very busy and just slightly less impressive than it could be.
It is the only example of a Classic Chinese garden left in Shanghai from the dynastic period of Chinese history. The added advantage is that it borders the Yuyuan Tourist Mart, where you can browse through a wide selection of touristy trinkets and test out your bargaining skills. You are going to get ripped off here, the only question is how badly.
Address: 137 Anren Jie, near Fuyou Lu. Most taxi drivers will know where to go if you just say Yuyuan.
M50 and Moganshan Lu
M50 is one of the more well known creative spaces in Shanghai but it is far enough off the beaten track to still feel like something you have found for yourself. Inside you discover a trove of galleries and workspaces housing a key part of Shanghai’s modern art community ranging from the famous names to the obscure up-and-comers.
Address: 50 Moganshan Lu
Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
When people first hear of this museum they nearly always dismiss it, but if you give it a chance it will give you a much better understanding of the city than traipsing from one tourist attraction to another.
It also gives you a great perspective on the city, both past and present. Even if you don’t enjoy this sort of thing, you are bound to be impressed by it.
Address: 100 Renmin Da Dao, near Xizang Lu
As the name suggests, a former slaughterhouse, now a self-styled creative hub that is home to restaurants, art galleries, wine bars and live music performances.
The building itself justifies a visit in its own right, the inner and outer buildings are connected by a myriad of bridges ad staircases, and is one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture there is in Shanghai, making it an amateur photographers paradise.
Address: 1933, 29 Shajing Lu near Haining Lu
The fabric market
As the name suggests, this is the place in Shanghai to go for tailored clothes. Packed into six floors are several hundred tailors and almost every type of fabric you can think of.
Much is made of how good, and inexpensive, tailoring in Asia is, but in China that is unfortunately not always the case, so it is worth the effort of looking around to find one of the busier tailors, or try to find a shop that specialises in making one or two particular garments.
Tailored shirts should cost you under 100 RMB, provided your bargaining skills are up to the job, whilst a tailored suit should set you back around 600 RMB.
Go there at the start of your visit so you can make sure there is enough time for alterations to be made, as are sometimes necessary, and make sure you pay as little as possible up front, just in case you don’t have time to collect it. When you do collect your clothes pay attention to the small details, these are usually where problems arise as tailors cut corners to try and save time.
Address: 399 Lujiabang Lu,near Nancang Jie
Science and Technology Museum Market
The S&T Museum Market is about on par with another market at 580 on West Nanjing Road as the most comprehensive fake market in Shanghai. The key difference between them is the atmosphere, the West Nanjing Road fake market is a bustling, often intimidating place where the shopkeepers scuttle after you down the aisle, eager to make a sale, whereas the S&T market is a more sedate shopping experience, and more the sort of place where the novice bargainer can be inured safely; where haggling is done with a smile rather than the silent ferocious battle played out on a large-buttoned calculator like it is at the Nanjing Road fake market.
Another plus for this fake market is the convenience, located at The Science and Technology Museum metro stop on Line 2.
Address: 2000 Century Avenue, Pudong
Qipu road is the home of the most extensive wholesale clothes markets in Shanghai, and is always packed with visitors.
On offer here is just about every European luxury brand there is, and there are cheap clothes and bags to be had at every turn. A frequently repeated story by those vendors who can speak English is that the clothes are not pirated, rather made in the same factories at night and not exported. I am not sure how this explanation differs from piracy, but in any case is almost certainly not true.
As it is a wholesale market, one of the best bargaining tactics here is to ask how many, not how much – even if you only end up buying one item, it can make the difference between being ripped off badly and being ripped off only slightly.
Address: 168 Qipu Lu, near Henan Bei Lu
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