A walking tour through Former French Concession Shanghai

french concession walk

The Former French Concession is a charming and historic area in Shanghai, China. It was a designated area in Shanghai from 1849 to 1946, where the French and other foreign nationals lived and conducted business. Today, the area is a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful architecture, tree-lined streets, and historical significance.

A walking tour of the Former French Concession is an excellent way to experience the area’s unique atmosphere and learn about its history. Here are some highlights of the walk:

Huaihai Road:

The walk can begin at Huaihai Road, a bustling shopping street that was once known as Avenue Joffre. This street is lined with luxury stores and high-end boutiques and is a great place to observe the modern side of the area. As you walk down the street, you will notice the mix of old and new architecture, with some buildings retaining their colonial-style facades.

Fuxing Park:

From Huaihai Road, you can head to Fuxing Park, a peaceful green space that was once the private garden of a French family. The park is a popular spot for locals to relax and exercise and is a great place to observe daily life in Shanghai. You can watch locals practicing Tai Chi, playing mahjong, or simply enjoying a stroll in the park.


From Fuxing Park, you can head to Xintiandi, a trendy pedestrian street that has become one of Shanghai’s most popular tourist destinations. This area was once a shikumen neighborhood, a traditional style of housing in Shanghai that combines Chinese and Western architectural elements. Today, the area has been transformed into a commercial and entertainment hub, with trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars. The area also features a museum that showcases the history of the shikumen housing.


After exploring Xintiandi, you can head to Tianzifang, another popular shopping and dining destination in the Former French Concession. Tianzifang is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways that are packed with boutique shops, art galleries, and cafes. This area has a bohemian vibe and is a great place to find unique souvenirs or gifts.

Wukang Road:

As the walk continues, you can head to Wukang Road, a tree-lined street that is home to some of the most beautiful colonial-style buildings in the Former French Concession. The street is named after the famous Chinese writer Lu Xun, who lived in the area in the 1920s. Many of the buildings on Wukang Road have been renovated and now house boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Sinan Mansions:

The final stop on the walking tour is Sinan Mansions, a collection of restored mansions that were once the homes of wealthy Shanghai residents. The mansions have been transformed into a shopping and dining destination, with many high-end restaurants and boutiques. The area also features a museum that showcases the history of the mansions and the people who lived in them.

Overall, a walking tour of the Former French Concession is a great way to experience the unique history and charm of Shanghai. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or simply want to enjoy a leisurely stroll through one of Shanghai’s most picturesque areas, the Former French Concession is a must-visit destination.

Other facts about the Former French Concession

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