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Tianzifang (田子坊) from 1920s of 7 acre wide is one of the coolest places attracting a rising number of people to visit every year. Working studios of famous artists and creative people fill Tianzifang a lively SOHO gathering. And also, the various exquisite shops with interesting new and traditional items and restaurants serving delicious food from many countries has appealed CNN Travel to recommend Tianzifang on its web page. Luckily, not only the lively daily scene of local Shanghai residents and immigrants from 23 countries and regions could be seen, but also the typical Shikumen structure of Shanghai feature are well protected to remember the change of Shanghai. That’s why numerous world people like visiting Tianzifang to feel its old Shanghai life and the exotic features of other countries.
Tianzifang in the No. 210 Lane of Taikang Road (泰康路210弄) in Dapuqiao (打浦桥) district in Shanghai was once a street fair before 1998. And in the earlier years, it was the living place of local Shanghai people, immigrants from other Chinese provinces, and the foreign people during the colonial period. As a result, there emerged a lot of Shukumen residences in Shanghai. And Tianzifang is one of the treasurable places for remaining such historical and cultural feature of Shanghai. As a growing number of artistic people set up their dreaming studios and the Shanghai government reformed the fair into the shops, Tianzifang gradually became a place of art and culture, attracting people from tens of other countries and regions to establish shops and live in this great block.
Tianzifang is so attractive and has a lot of fun places. Let’s see what to see and feel in this cool place in Shanghai!
Tianzifang has long been a gem place of artistic & cultural creativity, since many famous artists like Chen Yifei (陈逸飞), whose paintings have greatly influenced the world countries, Erdong Sheng (尔冬升), whose photographic works have frequently been reported by the Times in America, etc. Apart from the many other famous artists and cultural celebrities, there now exist abundant studios of the well-known groups and young peoples from many countries and of different fields, like painting, photographing, ceramic, movie, fashion designing, etc. Visiting Tianzifang is really so worthy to take in the rich nutrition of art.
Shukumen (石库门, Stone-hooped door) was the most representative residence in old Shanghai. As the historical influence of many rich people coming to the concession area in Shanghai to avoid the war, Shikumen structure has combined the traditional southern Chinese elements and the western styles. Therefore, take your time in Tianzifang to appreciate the traditional wood Chinese doors of the two to three floors making squeaky sound, delicate carving of European styles, and the terrace of American townhouses, which is very meaningful to see the history remain of Shanghai.
Not like other same cool places in Shanghai, Tianzifang is the happy living environment of many local Shanghai people, which makes these mazy lanes more lively and close to people’s life. Watch elder couples resting on the bench under the warm sunshine, little boys playing and laughing innocently at the alley corners, Shanghai ladies hanging their clothes on the bamboo pole that is out of the window, etc. Are you eager to savor the simple daily life of the pure Shanghai people? Actually I am, VERY MUCH!
As an old block in Shanghai downtown, of course Tianzifang has a lot of delicious local traditional Shanghai and Chinese food to give your tongue a new try, like the famous pan fried pork bun (生煎包), noodles, and so on. Moreover, since Shanghai is a gathering International metropolitan, you can also release the weight on your feet to taste the various foods from other countries, like sushi from Japan, spaghetti from Italy, Steaks from the America, beer drinks from Germany, etc. Besides, there are also many interesting innovative restaurants to treat your eyes, for example, the bear-head shaped rice roll, wall paintings with many Buddha, decorations of Southeast Asia charm, and so forth.
At night hours, Tiangzifang is especially the favorable place for fashionable young people. Sit at the open-air restaurant or bar, drink the colorful beverages, have a relaxing chat with friends of different complexions, enjoy the soft and elegant Blues, and feel the magic night life of Shanghai. That moment is really idyllic. You will have so much to discover!
Tianzifang always has many things to entertain you. Along the complex crossing lanes, many delicate shops of stylish designs and decorations easily draw your desire to walk in and roam along closets displaying interesting new gadgets, like very adorable bear toys of wool, fashionable bags of funny designs, various colors and patterns of candies, etc.
Furthermore, you can find the rare remaining traditional Chinese crafts and artworks, like the ancient glasses, old-style music boxes, beautiful paper-cut, and accessories of Chinese minority group styles… Also, there are some worth-going DIY-houses for you to make your own stylish works to memorize this happy cultural Shanghai visit, such as the super cute ceramic baby, fancy silver and jade bracelet and other jewelries, etc.
Tianzifang is located at Taikang Road in Daopuqiao District in Shanghai downtown, and also, it is within the Shanghai French Concession, so you can arrive by taking bus, subway, bicycle, taxi, etc.
Take Metro Line 9 to get off at Dapuqiao Stop and come out from Exit 1, then walkabout 390m to Tianzifang.
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 Tianzifang with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
1. Most studios and shops in Tiangzifang open around 10:00 in the morning, so if you want to enjoy the daily life and featured Shanghai old buildings, it is recommended to visit there during day time. And if you are more interested in the night view and bustling night life of this place, you can choose to go at night after six or seven o’clock.
2. Although Tianzifang opened all day long for there are local residents living, the shops usually close around 21:30, bars later at night.
3. Since there are many lanes in Tiangzifang and many people from other places and countries are unfamiliar and may easily get lost, it is highly and warmly recommended to check the sketch map of Tianzifang before you enter the narrow lanes.
4. Some paths and stairs in Tiangzifang are narrow and not so flat to walk. Ladies better wear comfortable shoes and clothes. High-heels or miniskirts are not suggested.
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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 >