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  • Writer's pictureAlizée CCM

3 Local Walks in Shanghai


On my last trip to Shanghai, I shared the places and people who were part of my daily life, and you guys LOVED it!

So, I decided to bundle it up and give you my top 3 Local Walks in Shanghai!


Welcome to my Shanghai favorites guide! 


I have lived 7 years in this city, and it’s a place I call home to this day. Through my years here, I made friends who are artists, entrepreneurs, and restaurant and coffee shop owners, and I tried many different yummy foods and drinks. It’s all in here... 

well... most of it! 


To make it easier to navigate this guide, I organized it in walking tours. You simply need to follow my lead and discover Shanghai through my eyes. 


These walks will not take you to touristy places or important historical buildings; there are other people who are much better at that. I suggest reaching out to Historic Shanghai (info@historic-shanghai.com).


My #1 advice is to immerse yourself in the life you will see around you. Chinese people are friendly, and most of them are happy to share their lives (& tea!) with you. 


Be present.

Enjoy!


Alizée



 

Download it directly here, or keep reading 👇


 

If this is your first time ...


If this is your first time in Shanghai, ... here are a couple of things to keep in mind:


The Great Internet Wall: You won’t be able to rely on Google, Facebook, or Instagram seamlessly. I suggest downloading Astrill VPN on all your devices before entering the mainland to surf on those (and many other) platforms. Or you can roam on your cell. I recommend the eSIM app Airalo. Apple maps will work. 


Most small places I am taking you to don’t take foreign bank cards. 

It would be best to get cash. Everyone else uses WeChat Pay or Alipay, but unless you have a Chinese bank card, you won’t be able to use it. Of course, bigger restaurants and hotels do take your cards. 


If you’re taking the subway, I believe you can use your visa card to tap and enter. Directions and support are in English, too. 

It’s very uncommon to hail a cab these days anymore. Everything happens through the apps. The easiest would be to ask a hotel to help you get one. 


Subway and buses are very efficient in the city, but if you’re downtown, I recommend walking as much as you can. 


You will see shared bikes in the streets. Try getting their app and see if you can connect a foreign card, but I doubt it...



Here we go! My top 3 local walks in Shanghai!




HUANGPU District

黄埔区


This is a full-day walk. I recommend starting early, say 9 to 10 am. There’s no need to rush it, though. This walk can be done in a few hours, but if you want to stop and shop, take the day. 


Relax, enjoy! 




red chopsticks - 3 local walks in shanghai




Start your walk by Fuxing Park and walk towards Nanchang Road. 

This little street is home to many small shops; some are more expensive than others, so allow yourself to enter where you see fit. 


At some point, you should walk past a fruit shop called “Magasin de Fruits”; they are the only fruit shop I know in Shanghai that sells juices too. 


The family running it is super sweet, and their fruit is the best in Shanghai, in my opinion—very good quality. 

You can walk inside and check out their juice menu. 


If you fancy a beauty treatment, manicure, pedicure, or others, Helen’s Nail Spa is right next to it. 

I’ve been going there for 7 years for all of my beauty treatments. It’s very homey, professional, and clean, and all the girls are very friendly. 


The owner is a lady from Henan province, and all the girls there come from the same town. It’s a very nice place to relax in. 


Keep walking west. 


Fancy a coffee? A scone? 


Turn left on Sinan Road and then right on Xiangshan Road. At the end of the street, on number 32, you will find my favorite coffee shop: Café Chez W. The owner is my good friend Yi. 

He also makes amazing souflés. If the weather is nice, have a seat on his little balcony upstairs.


Take a right on Ruijin 2 Road, and turn left again on Nanchang. At number 212, there’s a little baozi shop; they also sell soy milk, steamed corn, and rice balls wrapped in banana leaves. I suggest going for the veggie or pork baozi. 


A baozi is a large steamed puffy bread with different stuffing. 

I like the veggie boazi, or the sweeter ones they have, which are custard and black sesame paste. 






When you hit the crossroad Nanchang Road and South Shaanxi Road, make a right on Shaanxi and walk North. You will cross the large Huaihai Middle Road intersection and then Changle Road until you hit Jinxian Road.


Jinxian Road has many fun little places, but they change a lot. 

However, the bar Dead Poet should still be there (highly recommend in the evenings). Have a stroll, and then head back north on Julu Road and walk West on Julu Road. 


If you’re looking to acquire some linen souvenirs, I recommend reaching out to Studio Noosh on Julu Road 820. The owner, Steph, is my friend, and she has beautiful products in their studio. (Call prior; contact details in the back.)


You should, at some point, see a fun store called Lady Fafa. I love this store; I feel it’s very iconic for Shanghai. 

They sell jewelry, clothes, and other fun things, all of them making allusions to women becoming rich and independent while having a style. 

Shanghai is such a feminine city, run by so many powerful women business owners - it’s a fun place to make this vibe your own. 


Keep walking on Julu Road until you hit Fumin Road, and turn left on Fumin Road, heading back south. This street has a few international restaurants: Tres Perros (Spanish), Lucky Mart (Japanese snack bar), a French bistro, and more.


Walk until the triangle of Fumin Road, Changle Road, and Donghua Road. There are other food options here as well. 


Grab a bite if you’d like. I would recommend Lucky Mart or Tres Perros. 

Drunk Baker (on Changle Road) if you want something sweet.





You can continue your journey south by walking down Donghua Road. 


Cross Huaihai Road again, and you will see IAPM Mall (a great mall with fun stores and an international grocery store in the basement if you want).


Keep walking down on Xiangyang Road, and turn left on Fuxing Middle Road.

I am taking you to a special Chinese herbal store that I used to visit!

TCM Herbal Store - Fuxing Middle Road 1288, Huangpu 


The lady inside the store can guide you to make your own concoctions and special brews for some ailments you have. 

I used to ask her for menstruation cramps, fever, cough, and more. 


She will tell you what to buy and how to brew it. 




I find that her ingredients are high quality. I like to purchase flowers to infuse my water with, such as roses, osmanthus, chrysanthemums, goji berries, and more. And it’s really affordable!


When leaving the shop, walk on the street right across from it, called Jiashan Road, and then make a first right turn on Yong Kang Road. 


I love Jiashan because there are still old-school shops selling fruit, meat, and even alcohol! Do you see a shop on the left-hand side with large white vases? Most of it is yellow wine or Huangjiu. You can see how many years they’ve been aging, and you can ask to taste some too! 


Huangjiu is a semi-dry yellow wine from China made from fermented rice. It is considered to be one of the oldest wines in the country, with a history of several centuries. Traditionally, when a daughter is born, a father buries a pot of huangjiu and digs it up for her wedding.






If you happen to see a food stand/hole in the wall - situation where they have a large round black heating stone. 


This might be where you can order a jianbing


You will mostly see it in the mornings, as it’s more of a morning snack. It’s a very thin pancake where they crack an egg on top, fermented veggies, spring onions, herbs, some glutinous preparation, and maybe some spicy sauce. 

I always go for the simple one but add

 lettuce to it. 


The person preparing will most likely ask you: LAJIAO?


It means: do you want spicy sauce?

I always ask for a little bit: YI DIAN DIAN.




Yong Kang Road has fun little stores and places to eat, too, but I recommend keeping you hungry for Jianguo 328—a local restaurant owned by a Taiwanese lady for decades. 


To head there, turn left on Xiangshan Road until you hit Jianguo West Road, and then turn right on Jianguo W Road until you get to number 328. 


They should speak good English here. Order the Hong Shao Rou (pork belly with rice).




Or if you fancy a REAL local experience, keep walking on Jianguo Road until number 641.


They have some of the best XiaoLongBao’s here. 

I suggest ordering a serving of the crab meat and the fresh meat soup dumplings.







Nearby:


Voyage Coffee - Yongjia Road



Delicious restaurants nearby: 


Bread Etc - Mediterranean - Lebanese cuisine


red chopsticks - 3 local walks in shanghai

XUHUI District

徐汇区


Depending on how much you want to tick off this list, I would recommend starting early here. Say 9 - 10 am? That way, you can aim for lunch at Godly and still enjoy a walk in the afternoon.


red chopsticks - 3 local walks in shanghai

Start by Changshu Road Metro Station and walk on Wuyuan Road. This street is one of my favorites. 


My friend Louise from Sol Studio lives here. Lou is an artist, ceramicist, and reiki practitioner, amongst other things. If you get in touch with her before, she might be home to show you her ceramic collection or offer a Reiki treatment. (contact details at the back)


Take your time here; there are a few coffee shops, too; grab yourself a coffee and wander further. When you reach the Wulumuqi Road crossroads, you can cross it for a quick visit to Eu Noia on Wuyuan 212. Enter the lane, and you should see her shop on the right-hand side 50 meters into the lane. 


They have amazing candles, essential oil blends, and other fun objects. I always love being there. Everything screams self-care, and if you know me, you know that’s my vibe! 







Ok, head back towards Wulumuqi Road and turn left, northbound. 

You may pass by other fun stores, such as Feiyue (shoes) - get yourself a pair; they are a Chinese staple. 

This lightweight canvas plimsoll first hit the streets of Shanghai in the 1920s and is famous for its robustness, flexibility, and comfort. Bringing together all walks of life, from workers like Shaolin Monks to politicians. 


Turn left on Anfu Road.


Anfu Road used to be very big in the foreign community but has lost some of its fame. However, my all-time favorite jewelry brand, OKRA, has its studio here. 


Walk until number 211, and enter the lane. The studio will be on the right side of the house. 

 I love walking into these old compounds with beautiful, old, and large houses like these. 





When leaving OKRA turn left and keep walking West on Anfu Road until you hit Wukang. Turn left on Wukang until the next corner with Wuyuan Road. On that corner is a delicious vegetarian restaurant called Godly. 


Highly recommend it for lunch! 

Order the dumplings without soup and with peanut sauce. Also, their fresh tofu and preserved eggs are amazing. Goes really well with some Jasmin tea. 


When you’re done, keep walking on Wuyuan until you’re back on Wulumuqi Road, but now turn right. 

You will walk by Avocado Lady and a wet market that received a facelift in the last few years. 


Wet markets are such a great place to wander around and observe the different vegetables, condiments, fruits, meats, and snacks. And this one is clean and beautifully restored.

 

Upstairs, there’s a great organic Yunnan restaurant called Chi Mi Do. The whole project behind this brand is amazing. I actually went to see them in Yunnan, and it’s incredible. Highly recommend. 


Even if you’re not hungry, do me a favor and order the small mushroom pizza as a snack. It’s so good. 




Keep walking south on Wulumuqi Road, turn right on Fuxing Road, and take the first left turn on Yongfu Road. 


On the right-hand side, you have a restaurant called the Yongfu Elite. I haven’t been and heard mixed reviews, but do come for a drink at their bar called Keep It Quiet. 


The decor is beautiful! 


When you continue walking south on Yongfu Road, turn right on Hunan Road. You will pass by a number of fun coffee shops and turn left on Wukang Road. On weekends, these streets used to be packed with influencers because there were a lot of hip and design stores. 


Keep walking until Huaihai Road. On the corner, you should see a beautiful old building that should remind you of the New York Iron Building. 



Walk back up north through Xingguo Road. On the left-hand side is Bar No 3 - great bar! Highly recommend it for late evening drinks.

It’s by a badass lady (who also owns Oha Eatery, a great, intimate fusion restaurant. Need to book prior!)


Dinner time?


In the neighborhood, I recommend: 


Ginger - fantastic Asian Fusion restaurant by a little park up on XIngguo Road or 


Sichuan Citizen, on Wukang Road 378, 2nd floor. 

Sichuan cuisine is very spicy, but here, it’s adapted to European pallets. I recommend ordering fish, tofu, shrimp, and veggies. 


Go for after-dinner drinks to Bar No3 ;-)




red chopsticks - 3 local walks in shanghai


CHANGNING District

长宁区


I recommend doing this walk right before lunchtime. Start around 10:30 or 11 am. That way, you can enjoy lunch at YuanGu and spend the afternoon at the spa. 


red chopsticks - 3 local walks in shanghai

Start your walk by Jiangsu Road Metro Station and walk westbound on Yuyuan Road. 


On the left-hand side, you should see Gregorius Coffee. The guy is a friend of Yi’s from Café Chez W. They share a similar old-school vibe. You can grab a coffee here and continue your walk. 


Keep an eye out for the little shops you will see on this street. Some are really fun, and others have great clothing. 

At some point, you’ll arrive at number 1088 or lane 1088. You can see that there are some restaurant joints here and shops. 


You should have a look at a store called Common Rare further inside the lane. 

Common Rare is a creative market curator based in Shanghai, representing different craft brands from the city. Now, they have a shop bringing these brands together. 

The ladies behind Common Rare have done a phenomenal job in their curation.





A bit further on Yuyuan Road, turn left on Fenggang Road


On the left is a beautiful little restaurant called YuanGu, serving simple Chinese dishes. If you’re hungry for lunch, I recommend stopping here and having a kouign amann next door for dessert. 





Keep walking south on Fenggang Road, 


Here, you have two options: 


Go for a 20-minute walk to visit an incredible eco-shop 

on Xinhua Road and discover my friend Xenia’s Brand, Usedem

She upcycles denim in different products and has worked with a lot of cool companies, like Levi’s, Adidas, and others.




Or, 

Let me walk you through the small streets of Shanghai until the Korean Spa New Star and treat yourself to some relaxation time. 


At New Star, you hand in your shoes upon entry, where you’re given a key with your locker number. Go downstairs, strip naked (yes, fully naked), shower, and enter the baths. You can use the different baths, hammams, and saunas for as long as you want. 


In the corner, you can ask for treatments at an extra fee, but it’s still very affordable. I suggest taking the scrub (Milk Help Bath) and the almond body beauty (it includes a facial) as a massage. 


For dinner, I recommend walking to 

Lotus Eatery for some amazing Yunnan food.


I recommend ordering goat cheese slices, chicken noodles, the eggplant dish, green beans, fried red beans, fried beef, and mint leaves. 





red chopsticks - 3 local walks in shanghai


This is it, friends!






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