Shanghai’s French Concession District is a hot spot for restaurants and cafés while also being in the centre of historic landmarks; hosting the former residences of Sun Yat-sen and other important political figures. Spend the day touring art galleries and museums, then recover at night at one of the many restaurants and bars.
Here’s my list of things to do in Shanghai’s French Concession district.
Xujiahui Tourist Information Centre
Start your tour of the French Concession area at the Xujiahui Tourist Information Centre. Here you can see examples of colonial architecture that still exists in the area, while gathering a list of things to do.
Location: 1068 Zhaojiabang Lu, Shanghai. Outside Xujiahui metro station exit 14
A fun way to explore the surrounding area is renting one of the Forever bikes available at the information centre. There is no better way to take in the area than riding bikes around the tree lined streets. I can highly recommend it!
Sun Yat-sen’s Former Residence
Dr Sun Yat-sen and his wife Soong Ching Ling lived in this 2 storey European villa from 1918 to 1924. Here you get a look at what China was like at the time, with an old car from the era parked in the garage and furnishings untouched from when they resided there.
Location: 7 Xiangshan Rd, Shanghai. Near Sinan Rd and Metro Huangpi Rd S., Line 1.
The Tou-Se-We Museum highlights an orphanage of the same name that was known for the training programs in painting and crafts for the residents. Here you can see examples of the skilled work the orphans created varying from woodwork to painting.
Location: 55 Puhuitang Rd, Shanghai. Closest metro: Xujiahui, Line 1.
St. Ignatius Cathedral
Said to have once been known as the grandest church of the Far East, St. Ignatius Cathedral was designed by English architect William Doyle, and built by French Jesuits between 1905 and 1910. It can accommodate 2,500 worshippers.
Location: 158 Puxi Lu, Shanghai. Near Nandan Lu and Metro Xujiahui, Line 1.
A fun newly opened café with great coffee, cakes and little plants in domes set around the coffee shop.
Location: 9 HuNan Rd, Shanghai
The restaurant on the main floor serves casual French food, while the upstairs bar is well known for its cocktails mixed by their resident Japanese bartender. Housed in a beautiful lanehouse, the upstairs bar is worth a view.
Location: 372 Xingguo Lu, Shanghai. Near Tai’an Lu and Shanghai Library Metro.
Thought by many to be the best restaurant for Shanghainese food in Shanghai, Jesse restaurant is well worth a visit … if you can get a table. Make reservations early and order the Scallion wrapped fish head and Tofu with Crab Meat.
Location: 41 Tian Ping Road, Shanghai
With so much to see in Shanghai’s French Concession District, these are only a few of the places to visit. Our trip to Shanghai was made possible by Spring Airlines and a big thank you to the Tourism Bureau in Xuhui District for arranging the tour of the beautiful area!