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Home >> China City Guide >> Shanghai >> French Concession tourist information

Former French Concession

French Concession, Shanghai
French Concession
French Concession, Shanghai China

If you want old-Shanghai romance with the convenience of downtown living, look no further than this enticing network of tree-lined streets, stretching from Yanan Lu (road) in the north, Zhaojiabang Lu in the south, Huashan Lu in the west and Xizang Nan Lu to the east.

Characterised by an intriguing mix of low-rise, architectural styles dating from the colonial-era, this area boasts quaint boutiques and galleries, an endless supply of stylish bars and restaurants, plus easy access to metro stations and Huaihai Lu, ' the hub of Shanghai' s shopping scene. To the south-west of the area are Xujiahui's mega-shopping and leisure malls. All these factors combine to make Xuhui and Luwan, the two areas proper that make up the French Concession, an extremely desirable, world-class lifestyle package.

All types of expats are attracted to the former French Concession: you are just as likely to bump into young expat parents out for a stroll with their new baby as you are to see an American businessman or Italian student of Chinese language.

As land in this area is limited, residential property consists mainly of apartments of all shapes, sizes and rents. Rentals are some of the highest in Shanghai and it is harder to find lower end housing than in other areas. You can find anything you want but it might take a bit of searching. Highly desirable, older-style properties - both lane houses and apartments - can be found here. There is a small supply of luxury newly-built villas and also of the classical colonial-era style villas, most commonly referred to as 'Lao Yang Fang'. There are also some pre-fab villa clusters in the grounds of the old Xing Guo and Ruijin Guest House and a couple of smaller villa compounds with very expensive villas in them. The military own most of the old villas in the area and these are often renovated to a more local standard so you need to be really careful about plumbing and wiring etc. You need to do lots of background checks before moving into old properties or your dream home in will become a nightmare.

View as many properties as are available within your budget because they vary enormously in terms of style and quality of renovation. If you are attracted to older-style apartments - be prepared! Communal areas can be grossly unloved, but the rewards of having Chinese neighbours will more than compensate for this and enhance your new experience ten-fold.

On the fringes, yet still close to all downtown amenities, there are several popular high-rise expat compounds offering apartments of varying sizes with superb recreational facilities.

The quiet, leafy streets offer respite enough from the relentless urbanism of Shanghai, but French Concession residents have the added benefit of never being far from a park.

Shanghai Travel Attractions
The Bund
Yuyuan Garden
Shanghai Museum
Jade Budder Temple
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Huangpu River
Former French Concession
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