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Shanghai/Old City

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Shanghai : Old City
Revision as of 11:10, 21 August 2011 by (talk)
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Shanghai/Old City

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Old City is the area inside the the ancient walled city of Shanghai, the city walls ringed the city around what is today Remin & Zhonghua streets. During the era of foreign concessions, the old city remained exclusively Chinese, and foreigners seldom ventured there. These days there are more foreigners, and while the attractions here, touted as the old Shanghai is rather touristy, they are undeniably picturesque. Neither is the "Old Town" exclusively old, tall modern buildings have - like in the rest of the city - started shooting up around the two main streets intersecting the district, but you still have a chance to take in the atmosphere if you wonder into the quaint side streets.

Get in

The area is now well served by the metro. Line 10 Yuyuan station serves the garden of the same name as well as most of the main sights of the old city. Line 8/Line 10 Laoximen station and Line 8 Dashijie station are fairly close to the western part of the district (Dajing Tower). Line 9 Xiaonanmen station is close to Dongjiadu Cathedral. Otherwise, if you prefer to walk, the Yuyuan area is only a 10-minute signposted walk from the southern part of the Bund. You can also take a ferry from Dongcheng road in Pudong to Jingling road south of the Bund and follow the above-mentioned signs. At Dongcheng Road Pier, the ferry departs from the right side - the other one goes to Fuxing Road which is less convenient.


  • Temple of the Town Gods (城隍廟 Chénghuángmiào), 249 Bangzhong Lu, [1]. A well-known Taoist temple not far from Yuyuan, the biggest example of traditional Chinese architecture in Shanghai. You can find local snacks and food as well as other traditional Chinese decorations.
  • Dajing Tower, 269 Dajing Lu.
  • Old City Wall, 269 Dajingge Lu 269. The small surviving part of the city wall
  • Jiu Qu Qiao Bridge.
Yuyuan Gardens
  • Yuyuan Garden (Garden of Contentment) (豫园), 29 Chenxiangge Lu, +86 021-63282465 (+86), [2]. A traditional Chinese Ming-style private garden, originally built in 1559 but ransacked and restored several times since then. Entrance price is worth it for the many exquisite Chinese pavilions, seemingly never-ending paths, and sculpted gardens within. Near the garden, the famous zigzag bridge and its teahouse (see Drink) can be visited. The bazaar near the garden is always crowded with tourists. ¥30 (as of August 2011).
  • Chenxiang Ge Temple.
  • Baiyun Guan Temple, Baiyun Guan Lu.
  • Xiaotayuan Mosque, Xiaotaoyuan Jie 52.
  • Wenmiao Temple, Wenmiao Lu 215.


  • Laocheng (Old Town) Huang Miao. Take photos of the old style buildings in this heavily popular shopping and eating area. Come after 6:30PM when the lights show off the beauty of the buildings in a new way. Eat upstairs at one of the restaurants overlooking the square on Yu Yuan Lu (a pond criss-crossed by a zigzag bridge and tea room) and see the reflections of the lights. (The entrance to Yu Yuan Gardens can be found in the centre of this interesting area).


  • Fuyou Antique Market.
  • Xiliupu Fabric Market, (Next to an Old Town market where you will see badgers, bear claws and interspecies intimacies). A warren of tailor shops offering custom made clothes, from tuxedoes to dress shirts to fake designer jackets and qipao. The prices are cheap but expect a lot tinkering afterward as your tailor will not be able to remake something as you like unless you tell her exactly what you want. The tailoring itself is average. Bargain hard and be familiar with the prices it would cost at a major retailer - even after bargaining, just getting a shirt from an H&M will be about the same price, but the H&M shirt will likely be much better quality.


  • Soup dumplings (xiaolongbao). The ever-popular soup dumplings restaurant is popular for take-away and sit-down, but if you stay, be prepared to sit elbow-to-elbow with other patrons. The line for take-away is quite long and takes 90 min or more before soaking your teeth in some of the best (and cheapest) ones in Shanghai. This form of food is one of Shanghai's most well known culinary contributions to Chinese cuisine. ¥20.


  • HMid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse (湖心亭 Húxīntíng). In the Yuyuan Gardens and reached by a 9-legged zigzag path to stop evil spirits. One of the most famous tea houses in all of China. A glass (not a pot) of your tea of choice is ¥20-25 downstairs and ¥40-55 upstairs — upstairs you'll get nice views, respite from the crowds, free snacks and even a souvenir or two. Pressure-free.



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