The French Concession is one of Shanghai’s prime historic and cultural attractions which spreads itself out over 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 former French Concession followed by reviews of the top places to stay.
Former 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 10 Rated Hotels in the former French Concession
These are all in great locations and many occupy historic buildings. They are also all foreign guest friendly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nanjing West Road and the French Concession Tourist Map