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Why to Visit Shanghai French Concession

Shanghai French Concession (上海法租界) located in Huangpu district (黄浦区) and Xuhui District (徐汇区) is the earliest, largest and most prosperous French concession in Modern China. Since its opening up in 1849, groups of foreigners from many countries came here and settled down. After Wang Jingwei (汪精卫) Regime took back this important area, Shanghai French Concession ended its nearly 100-year-old history as a leased territory.

Nowadays, while walking along the streets in the Shanghai French Concession, you can still feel the rich culture combining many antique buildings in many styles in other countries and the authentic Shanghai custom.

Old French Concession Shanghai Picture of Old Shanghai French Concession

What to Do in Shanghai French Concession

Visiting Shanghai French Concession, you can take your time enjoying the fancy buildings and the quiet streets to taste the different charm of Shanghai.

Appreciate the Quaint Buildings

It is amazing to take a chance to see the quaint buildings in Shanghai French Concession. Since the fast development of this area after many people from France, America, England, Belarus, etc. came to Shanghai and settled down, a series of non-Chinese styles buildings were constructed one by one. And after nearly one hundred years, these buildings still stand there in its origin images, so you can visit Shanghai French Concession and appreciate the unique beauty of each one.

Diverse religious buildings can be found in this area too. The international church at No. 53 Hengshan Road (衡山路) is the largest Christian church in Shanghai where typical Gothic design is especially elegant and the singing of the choir is super ear-pleasing. Residences in French Renaissance Architecture style, villas in British country styles, foreign-style buildings in Spanish features, buildings in the Mediterranean style and so forth make you feel not being in China, but a colorful town in a place in Europe or the America.

Stroll along the Old Streets

Take a walk on the ancient streets in Shanghai French Concession is really an enjoyable experience. With leafy platanes growing on both sides on most streets, you can spend a leisure time in tranquil atmosphere without the hustle and bustle of the prosperous downtown. You can stroll along each road to find the remaining culture of the ancient celebrities, like the important officers, elicit businessmen, famous scholars, and talented artists, etc. Also, the private garden residence at No. 3 on Baoqing Road (宝庆路) is seen as the must-see place for it is rich in the old culture of Shanghai.

As the development of history, many famous Chinese people have lived in Shanghai French Concession, so it is great to visit their former residence to feel their life during that period. Such as the former residence of Sun Yatsen (孙中山) at No. 7 on Xiangshan Road (香山路), you can walk into this memorial hall to admire this great father of Chinese nation.

Besides, since this concession area has been prosperous for tens of years ago, many boutiques selling high-end commodities are dotted in these quaint buildings, which offers you a special shopping experience. Moreover, you can pick up some interesting things and souvenirs in Shanghai French Concession since many old buildings are used as shops now, like some antiques, fashionable clothes, and so on, and try out the featured food from all over the world in authentic flavors in the ancient atmosphere.

Wukang Road

Wukang Road, or Wukang Lu (武康路), of 1,183m long is a very tranquil but famous street in Shanghai French Concession. Walking on this road, you can see rich types of buildings in typical design of various countries like France, Italy, Spain, Britain, etc. are gathered here under the dense shade of the lush platane trees, therefore, this road with rich European and American flavor and reputed as the “Building Group of Small-scale Residences of Various Countries” provides you a cozy enjoyment of the culture of old Shanghai.

Wandering along Wukang Road and appreciating the more than 50 excellent historic buildings, you will not only be marveled by its fancy appearance in every usage of color, every design on the wooden louver and so on, but also know about the distinct story of each foreign-style-house.

Take Fancy Photos

Various kinds of buildings in Shanghai French Concession not only are very worth to appreciate, but also deserve your shoot. It is so special and happy to press the shutter while finding the distinct charming buildings various from villa, country-style house, old residence, and so forth. Furthermore, take a shot at the nice scenes of local people’s life while strolling on the streets in this area, which will leave you an unforgettable memory in the tour to Shanghai.

>> 4 Days Shanghai Suzhou Excellent Tour

Shanghai French Concession - Building Building in Mediterranean Style
Shanghai French Concession - Villa Building Fancy Villa in Old Shanghai French Concession
Shanghai French Concession - Platane Shanghai Tranquil Road with Leafy platane
Shanghai French Concession - Former Residence of Sun Ya-sen Sun Ya-sen Memorial Hall
Shanghai French Concession - Hengshan Road Exotic Flavor in Shanghai
Shanghai French Concession - Wu Kang Special Old Building on Wukang Road
Shanghai French Concession - Wu Kang Elegant Private Residence on Wukang Road

How to Get to Shanghai French Concession

Independent Travel

Since Shanghai French Concession is at the very prosperous area of this city, it is very easy to get there by many kinds of vehicles, like bus, taxi, subway and bicycle.

  • Driving from Shanghai People’s Square – 5km; 15mins
  • Driving from Oriental Pearl Tower – 9km; 25mins
  • Driving from Shanghai Disney Resort – 30km; 40mins
  • Driving from Yu Garden – 6.5km; 25mins
  • Travel with China Discovery (Top Recommended):

    If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Shanghai French Concession with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

French Concession Shanghai Map Click to Enlarge Location Maps of Shanghai French Concession

Warm Tips to Visit Shanghai French Concession

1. Since some areas in Shanghai French Concession, especially the villa areas, have not equipped with street lamps, it is not recommended to visit there during night.

2. There are many interesting places within the area of Shanghai French Concession, and you can visit Xintiandi to savor the modern and fashion features in the traditional Shanghai Shukumen structures, or stroll along the narrow lanes in Tianzifang to see the ordinary residents living with people who run their restaurants or cafe from the whole world.

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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >