The French Concession is for sure one of Shanghai’s prime historic and cultural attractions, there’s one downside to it, it’s huge. It has an almost 8 km radius centering close to the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum and covering part of Xuhui and Huangpu Districts. The most famous roads to explore are Wukang Road, Fuxing Road, Tai’an Road, Dongping Road, Julu Road, Hengshan Road, Taojiang Road, Wulumuqi Road, Yongfu Road, Xinle Road and Changle Road.
Along the beautiful tree-lined streets you can find a mix of historic buildings, art galleries, alfresco cafes, wine bars, coffee shops, local produce stores, shopping and more. It really is a must-visit destination and a great place to base your time in the city.
Where to Start? As you can gather from the brief description above and the map further below, the French Concession is quite large, and how much you see would depend on your time and level of interest. For most people, a half-day walking trip covers the key points and a suggested route which takes in the key attractions is outlined in blue on the map below, it starts at Huangpi South Metro Station and finishes at Hengshan Road Metro Station.
If time was limited, I would go straight to Tianzifang (Dapuqiao Station exit one) for arts crafts style experience, or, Xintiandi and Huaihai Lu for upmarket shopping, or, Fuxing Road for classical buildings and boutique stores with a stop at Fuxing Park for a wander.
For hotels and accommodation, I have created a shortlist of the top-rated hotels and guest houses, based on past visitor reviews, location, and features. Below is a map featuring hotel and key attractions in the French Concession followed by reviews of the top places to stay.
French Concession Map inc. Xintiandi, Tianzifang and key attractions plus hotels and hostels. Key streets are marked in green and hotels in red. There’s also a printable map at the bottom of the page. The blue line & markers represent a 4-6 hour walking path through some of those key spots in the French Concession.
Key spots along the walking path include Xintiandi (covering 2 blocks from Taicang Lu to Huangpin Nan Lu), Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party (374 Huangpi Nan Lu), Fuxing Park (Yandang Lu), Former St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church (16 Gaolan Lu), Sun Yat-sen’s Former Residence (7 Xiangshan Lu), Sinan Mansion, Zhou Enlai’s Former Residence (73 Sinan Lu), Ruijin Hotel (118 Ruijin Er Lu), the fashion shops of Maoming Nan Lu, Okura Garden Hotel (58 Maoming Nan Lu), Jin Jiang Hotel (59 Maoming Nan Lu), Lyceum Theatre (57 Maoming Nan Lu), Former Russian Orthodox Cathedral (55 Xinle Lu), Shanghai Conservatory of Music (20 Fenyang Lu), Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts (79 Fenyang Lu), Taiyuan Villa (160 Taiyuan Lu), and finishing along Hengshan Lu which features many colonial buildings with cafes and restaurants.
The Top Rated Hotels in the French Concession
Towering over the former French Concession Quarters, the luxurious Hilton Shanghai offers 8 dining options and a world-class spa. It features a large indoor pool, fitness centre and sauna.
In the heart of former French Concession, Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai is on 7 acres of private, landscaped grounds.
In the heart of Shanghai’s Old French Concession, the historic Jin Jiang Hotel features European architecture and luxurious rooms. It has a heated indoor pool, 5 restaurants and 3 bars.
Located in the former French concession, the luxurious Radisson Blu Plaza Xing Guo Hotel Shanghai houses 70,000 square-metre beautifully landscaped gardens.
Featuring British Colonial architecture, Taiyuan Villa offers 5-star accommodation in Shanghai.
As an oasis of calm in the bustling city, Shanghai Fenyang Garden Hotel is located in an erstwhile French Concession, beside Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Spreading over 100 acres of landscaped gardens, InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin features its lovely art decor, French provincial-style villas and 4 historical buildings including Morris Residence.
Housed in a unique northern European Norway-style building with more than 70 years history, Shanghai Hengshan Moller Villa Hotel is located in Former French Concession of Shanghai.
Boutique hotel near to Wukang Road and a few minutes walk from Jiatong University Subway Station.
Boutique apartments, self-contained with kitchen and laundry featuring free WiFi and satellite TV.
Located in central Shanghai, The Puli Hotel offers modern rooms with internet and a BOSE wave music system. Its 5-star facilities include 2 dining options and a fitness centre.
Located in the heart of Jing’an District, Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai is central to Jing’an Kerry Centre, the large-scale complex covering an area of 450,000 square metres.
Twelve at Hengshan, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Shanghai is located along Hengshan Road, a 3-minute walk from Hengshan Road metro station.
Boutique apartments – this branch of Shanghai Lane is located a 5-minute walk from South Shaanxi Road Subway Station (line 10). Free WiFi access is available in all rooms.
Located just beside the bustling Middle Huaihai Road in the former French Concession, Donghu Guest House offers simply-furnished rooms with cable TV, they also have swimming pool. It’s a short walk from
Shaanxi South Road metro station.
Five star hotel with a lot of old-world charm in a beautiful location. Hotel has gym, swimming pool, massage and sauna. Short walk from Shaanxi South Road metro station or Changshu Road metro station.
The four star “Kevin’s Old House” features period style furniture and is a great place to really sink into the French Concession feeling and that era.
Directly opposite Jing’an Temple and located on the 12th floor of Paramount Metropolis Building, Paramount Gallery Hotel is a 2-minute walk from Jing’an Temple Station (line 2 and 7).
Five-star comfort awaits at Hotel Equatorial Shanghai, conveniently situated a 10-minute walk from Shanghai Exhibition Centre and Nanjing Road shopping street.
Shanghai Soho Garden Hotel offers accommodation in Shanghai. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar and relax in the game room. The ticket service is offered from the tour desk.
Howard Johnson Huaihai Hotel is located along the shopping belt of Huaihai Road. It features a fitness center, 2 dining options and rooms with free internet.
Offering an indoor pool and a restaurant, Ascott Heng Shan Shanghai offers self-catering accommodation. Free WiFi access is available.
Surrounded by the stylish restaurants and shopping malls, the Mason Hotel is located along the lively Huaihai Road, a 3-minute walk from Xiangyang Park.
Nanjing Xi Lu and the French Concession Map