For almost all of China’s modern history, Nanjing Road has been among the country’s top commercial streets and certainly the most premier in Shanghai. In fact, Nanjing Road was the first commercial street since sea traffic was economized in Shanghai.
Today, the highlight is Nanjing Road’s pedestrian mall on Nanjing Dong Road in downtown. This is where modern and traditional retail intermix. There are more than 600 shops and stalls from old and new China alike with items to be seen such as food, clothing, shoes, toys, and much more, not to mention cinemas, theaters, hotels, restaurants, and beyond. The most popular section is right next to The Bund pedestrian waterfront along the Huangpu River, also known as Nanjing Road East. Nanjing Road West, then, is more known for its high end boutique selections hosting some of the world’s most significant commercial names. Shopping on Nanjing Road is certainly a must-do experience for all visitors.
Huihai Road is often considered the locals’ version of Nanjing Road. Like its sister commercial star, it is also a shopping paradise. Countless famous and beloved brands have their shops here peddling the latest in fashion and technology and more.
Huihai Road can be considered in 3 parts: the East, Middle, and West. The East (Xizang Nan Road to Chongqing Nan Road) is the first class business and financial center full of office buildings, technological centers, and think spaces. The Middle part (Shanxi Nan Road to Chongqing Nan Road) is the zone for finding special commodities and niche items as well as large department stores and stores such as Lippo Plaza, Shui On Plaza, Central Plaza, Shanghai Square, Shanghai Times Square, Hong Kong Plaza, and K11. Internationally known brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and others are also in the Middle part; this is perhaps the most popular section of Huihai Road. Finally there is the West part (Shangxi Nan Road to Changshu Road) where you can find the latest fashions and various fine handicrafts.
Another way that Huihai Road rivals Nanjing Road is in its night scene. Both are spectacular experiences at night, different from what you see during the daytime. The sea of neon lights and displays are colorful and lively, and there is even a “lights tunnel” that you can walk through. Here on both streets, one can really see why Shanghai never seems to sleep.
Lastly, the cuisines and snack foods found on Huihai Road add to the street’s third dimension. There are outlets from fine restaurants to shops and stalls that serve up down-to-earth, traditional Chinese food. These local joints include Tangxuan Restaurant, Quanju De Restaurant, Wuyue People Restaurant, and countless more. Canglang Ting Restaurant, Yiteng Jia Restaurant, and others specialize in classic snacks.
Xujiahui, which is found in the southwestern section of central Shanghai, is one of the most prominent and significant modern commercial and transportation centers in the country. Although it does not have as long of a history as Nanjing Road, Xujiahui is part of the driving force that hopes to propel China into the future. There are 2 important computer markets and a number of large shopping centers that each cater to different and specific markets. Electronics are by far the products that most visitors come here to purchase.
Still, no matter what your budget is, you are sure to find shops on Xujiahui that cater to your preferences. For example, the Pacific Shopping Mall, Oriental Department Store, and Huijin Department Store are the ideal stops for high end shopping and access to international brands. No. 6 Department Store, on the other hand, is a medium range choice in the area. In addition to shopping, the street is a hub for restaurants, entertainment venues, and much more all in one place. For example, there is an European-style food street on the first floor of Ganghui building, and just opposite of this street is Hongji Recreational Square where a mish mash of international fare awaits such as Middle Eastern shish kebabs to Brazilian barbecue.
Yuyuan Garden Commerce City is considered the “kingdom of arts and crafts and small commodities of Shanghai.” Located very close to the Bund in the southwestern part of Shanghai, this area is the best stop for purchasing classic items such as antiques, jade wares, gold and silver ornaments, chopsticks, buttons and silk threads, and more. Nearby Yuyuan Garden itself is very well known for its classical layout and beautiful space including typical halls, springs, pavilions, and more. Around the garden is known as the Old City God's Temple, but today it is mostly visited for its tourist shops and wonderful views.