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Home >> Shanghai >> French Concession

Former French Concession

French Concession, Shanghai tour China travel trip
French Concession, Shanghai travel China tour trip
French Concession, Shanghai trip China travel tour

The former French Concession is, for many visitors, the highlight of a visit to Shanghai, delivering much of what this fabled city promises. It's also become the city's hottest and hippest neighborhood, where trendy bars and clubs multiply like mushrooms after a rainstorm. Shanghai's idiosynctratic push-pull between new and old, development and preservation, takes a special form in the French Concession, making it an absolutely unique urban experience.

The area still holds something of the alluring mix of scrappy Shanghainese street life, shopworn European colonial charm, Art Deco edifices, hidden brick courtyards and film noir intrigue that have, along with the proud stone edifices of the Bund and the twisting alleys of Shanghai's Old City, long defined "Shanghai" in the Western popular imagination.

Some of the French Concession's delapidated villas and crowded shikumen (stone gate) warrens have fallen to the wrecking ball, others have been renovated and reimagined, creating vibrant new streets full of restaurants, boutiques and galleries where only a few years ago metal-working shops and local produce markets did their business.

The good news for tourists is that the trend has been as much toward renovation as toward demolition and new construction, allowing entrepreneur-driven hives of nascent hip like Taikang Lu in the south to develop as a solid alternative to the glitz of Huaihai Zhong Lu to the north, the mega-mall mania of Xujiahui in the west and the theme-park historicism of Xintiandi at the eastern end of the old French Concession.

In between the above-mentioned points on the French Concession compass, numerous small streets hold surprises for the strolling urban explorer, from the cafes on Shaoxing Lu to the shady nooks of Fuxing Park; from the Art Deco grand dames standing watch over Fuxing Lu as it heads west to meet Huashan Lu to remaining shikumen like Cit¨¦ Bourgogne.

An abundance of walking tours can be traced through the French Concession's streets and lanes. We'll be providing our favorites in months to come on our Features page, so stay tuned, and let us know about your favorite French Concession finds.

Shanghai Tour Sights

The Bund
Yuyuan Garden
Shanghai Museum
Jade Budder Temple
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Huangpu River
Former French Concession
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