Part of Shanghai’s appeal lies in its extensively vibrant shopping environment. Whether you’re looking for local novelty items or international brand names, you can be sure to find them here. The main shopping areas in Shanghai are divided into two main categories:
The Four Shopping Streets - Nanjing Road, North Sichuan Road, Huaihai Road and Middle Tibet Road, and The Four Shopping Cities - Yuyuan, Xujiahui, Jiali and New Shanghai.
Aside from these eight, there are plenty of other shopping areas scattered around town offering specialty goods such as antiques and local crafts.
Often likened to Tokyo’s Harajuku, Huaihai Road is known as the fashion district of Shanghai.
Featuring everything fashion-related from clothes to accessories, the street is dotted with huge malls and major shopping outlets such as Huating Esetan, the Paris Spring, Maison Mode, Yongxin Department Store and Parkson Shopping Centre, as well as a variety of shops selling specialty fashion items.
Seen as ‘the street paved with elegance and luxury’, Huaihai Road features some of the world’s most renowned high-end fashion labels.
Food and tourism are the order of the day on Middle Tibet Road. If you would like to sample some of the best culinary delights this city has to offer, then this is the area to go to. From traditional street snacks to international flavours, you can find almost anything here, foodwise.
If you’re also looking for inexpensive souvenirs to take home, Middle Tibet Road has plenty of gift stores and stalls selling a variety of beautiful, handmade knick knacks and crafts, making this street a one-stop destination for tourists.
One of the world’s busiest shopping streets attracting approximately a million visitors every day, Nanjing Road is the main and most popular shopping street in Shanghai. Stretching six kilometres from The Bund right up to Yanan Xilu, it is by far the world’s longest shopping district.
The eastern side of the road features a pedestrian mall, with some of the city’s oldest retail outlets and plenty of local specialty shops dominating the area, whilst the western side of the road features a more international flavour with upmarket shopping malls and luxury goods boutiques forming the bulk of choice.
The biggest shopping area in Hongkou district, North Sichuan Road is where one goes for an excellent range of reasonably-priced goods.
It is the famous haunt of bargain hunters and budget shoppers. Yet, as cheap as they are, this in no way indicates a compromise in quality.
Most of the stuff that can be found here is locally-produced, so if you’re just looking for general merchandise or everyday items, then this is the best place to find them. You can also find some pretty good deals here by browsing the shops that line the street.
Facing Shanghai Railway Station, Jiali is known as the city that never sleeps. A buzzing commercial area, Jiali is perfect for those looking for unique mementos to take home.
Plenty of gift and souvenir shops dot this area - selling clothing, accessories, handicrafts and trinkets, among others – making this a hugely popular destination with tourists wishing to take a piece of Shanghai home with them.
Located in the middle of Pudong’s Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, New Shanghai has a huge number of retail outlets offering everything from Chinese-made goods to international brands. Boasting the best in amenities, the district offers an unmatched shopping experience, with some of the best brand names setting up shop within this area. From household items to electronic gadgets, you can be sure that New Shanghai has everything covered.
A newly-established district for shopping and entertainment, Xujiahui in located at the intersection of four streets – Honqiao Road, Huashan Road, Zhaojiabang Road and North Caoxi Road - above the Xujiahui Metro subway station. This district is home to three large supermarkets and six premier shopping malls and this is where to find all sorts of goods ranging from the expensive to the middle-priced. Xujiahui is said to be the best place to go for electronic items and gadgets, with The Grand Gateway Shopping Mall at its core.
Located in the Nanshi district, Yuyuan is also known as ‘The Kingdom of Shanghai’s Arts & Crafts’, and with good reason, too. If you’re looking for specialist, China-made goods such as jade pieces, gold and silver jewellery items, trinkets, local handicrafts, craft items and antiques, then this area is the best place to find them.
The goods are sold in elaborately-decorated shops as well as at small roadside stalls, making the area itself look like one huge, colourful work of art.
There's a huge collection of antiques at Dongtai Road, from porcelain and bronzeware to paintings and calligraphies. Its antique market is the biggest in Shanghai, with hundreds of stalls and stores selling furniture, ceramics, jewellry, wood carvings and vintage bric-a-brac. It is also overflowing with Cultural Revolution kitsch and Mao memorabilia. All in all it's a great place for a spot of treasure hunting.
Also known as ‘Culture Street’, Fuzhou Road has bookstores, record stores and small art galleries lining both sides of the street, making it a popular haunt for Shanghai’s cultured types. Nearly all of China’s important bookstores are concentrated here on this road. Today, it boasts more than 30 specialty bookstores with wide and varied subjects ranging from Chinese Science and Technology to Foreign Language. Shops selling art supplies and stationary items can also be found here.
If you have a shoe fetish, then you’ll find yourself in shoe heaven at North Shaanxi Road. Shoes almost litter the street; there are so many choices of colours, prices, makes, materials and styles.
Not only are they plentiful, but they're also reasonably priced. Aside from shoes, clothes and accessories to suit all ages are also available here, including beautiful tailor-made traditional Chinese costumes.