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Shopping in Shanghai?

I’m visiting a friend in Shanghai at some point before the end of the year and I’d love to know some great places to shop. I prefer little boutiques to large stores but I’m interested in everything. I especially love re-sale or thrift shops if there happen to be any—don’t know if that exists there. Not interested in anything that exists everywhere else (Chanel, H & M, etc.) unless there's some reason to see it. 

3 Answers

top answer by
Sarah from Los Angeles

Try Tianzifang and the French Concession. Roads including: Changle Rd, Fumin Rd, JuLu, Rd etc. have smaller shops and cafes/restaurants, so are nice to walk around.

Avoid areas like Nanjing Road (both West & East of this very long road are very commercial) or Pudong.

Hope that helps!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. French Concession (attraction)
  2. Nanjing Road (attraction)
  3. Pudong (attraction)
  4. Tianzifang (attraction)
8 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Shannon from Shanghai

I agree that the French Concession is a great place to stroll and find some unique, small stores. Shanghai is a great walking city (when the AQI is ok) and the best thing is to just hit the streets, enjoy the architecture, Chinese fashion design is growing, and in Shanghai you also find a unique mix of expat/international designers and business owners on the scene. There are really so many...and so many new ones popping up, I'd recommend looking at some of the local mags (online versions too) like City Weekend, That's Shanghai, Time Out as they often do listings and articles on them. You might want to check out places like 10 Corso Como Shanghai, Spin Ceramics Shop, CULTURE MATTERS (for Feiyue and other Chinese sneaker brands---I especially love the handpainted ones) and even some of the higher end malls are fun if just for window shopping (Xintiandi Style and K11 tend to have more high end but less big brand stores). There are some good bloggers who cover stuff like I like is

Also, what I like most about China/Shanghai is the unique market/shopping experiences. First, there are areas of town for specific products, such as Fu Zhou Lu being the book store and stationary/art supply street; another street just south of it being the hair product, salon supply street--fun for wigs!; electronics markets; Beijing Lu just north of E. Nanjing for construction supplies (you may not want those, but I love strolling and just seeing the sheer # of shops and all they carry). I wouldn't miss a trip to the fabric market to get some things hand-tailored (there's the South Bund one that is most known but I have someone I prefer at the Science and Technology Market). Similarly, they have linens markets and eyeglasses markets. You will just be amazed by the selection. If you want to check out furniture, housewares and trinkets, Dong Tai Lu has long been a popular spot on the tourist trail but supposedly soon to perhaps close with that neighborhood's renovations. Even more interesting is the large warehouse in Pudong, Shanghai that stores all that type of stuff...literally old Chinese chairs stacked to the ceiling, doors and other pieces of architecture, statues and figurines, etc. I'd also recommend a visit to the trims and accessories (laces, buttons, etc.) market near Yu Garden (there's also the large "commodities" building there--kind of junk, but fun to see). 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. French Concession (attraction)
  2. CULTURE MATTERS (attraction)
  3. Fu Zhou Lu (attraction)
  4. Beijing Lu (attraction)
  5. Dong Tai Lu (attraction)
  6. Pudong, Shanghai (attraction)
  7. Yu Garden (attraction)
  8. 10 Corso Como Shanghai (attraction)
  9. Spin Ceramics Shop (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Zoe from Manhattan Beach, California

The French Concession is a great choice for independent designers, most of the shops are on Changle Road (between Maoming Road and Chengdu Road) and Xinle Road.

One of my favorite stores, if you are interested in ceramics is Spin.  They do gorgeous unique work.

Tianzifang used to be great, but it is becoming more of a tourist attraction each year, so while it should still have some great unique shops you will probably need to brave an international tourist crowd

If you want to dodge the major designers stay away from Nanjing Road, Huaihai Zhong Lu, or Pudong, Shanghai.  If you ask at your hotel in Shanghai they will almost certainly recommend the major malls.  Walking through them is an interesting experience, but they are not what you are looking for in terms of independent retailers.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. French Concession (attraction)
  2. Spin (attraction)
  3. Tianzifang (attraction)
  4. Nanjing Road (attraction)
  5. Huaihai Zhong Lu (attraction)
  6. Pudong, Shanghai (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

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