China's premier shopping street, 3.4-mile-long Nanjing Road, starts at the Bund in the east and ends in the west at the junction of Jingan Temple and Yan'an West Street. Today Nanjing Road is a must-see metropolitan destination attracting thousands of fashion-seeking shoppers from all over the world.
Nanjing Road was the first commercial road in Shanghai. In the early 20th century, there were only four department stores along this stretch. Today, it has become the number one place for shopping in the city. The money at work in the road has encouraged many companies and businesses over the years to set up bases near here. Nanjing Road is fantastically located, stemming off the Huangpu River and the Bund at a right angle and linking the city's main commercial and residential districts to the mouth of the river. The road to the east of Tibet Road is called Nanjing Dong Road while the road to the west is known as Nanjing Xi Road.
In the past few years, mammoth changes have taken place here. The street was beginning to look a little down at heel and Huaihai road was pulling the wealthier customers away from here. A huge improvement plan was put into action and completed just in time for Chinese New Year 2000.
New shopping centers have been erected and a large section of the street has been pedestrianised. There are also some first class hotels scattered along the road including the Peace Hotel, and the Portman. In the evenings, the street looks at its best, with neon lights and advertising billboards illuminating the glorious buildings along the road.
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Though it’s most well known as a city of commerce, Shanghai is also one of the centers of China’s fashion industry, and Nanjing Road is the center of fashion in Shanghai. The 3.5 mile long street is one of the busiest shopping streets in Shanghai, and indeed all of China. Once a British Concession and thus a center for imports, Nanjing Road today is a great place to shop for both low and high end imports and exports, in short all things fashion.
The eastern end of Nanjing Road is a pedestrian zone. Big names like Mont Blanc, Tiffany and Dunhill all have stores on Nanjing Road, but smaller stores do very well there too. Of the 600 plus businesses on Nanjing Road a majority are western, but the street is known for being on the cutting edge of upcoming trends so local designers do well there too.
Of course, when you take a break from all that shopping, you will need to eat. Big western chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut all have franchises there, and there are plenty of smaller Chinese restaurants too. In the summer, the open-air cafes are a great place to sit and enjoy a lengthy meal under the clear blue sky or the brilliant night lights.
Barbarossa: 231 Nanjing Xi Rd, Peoples Park ,Tel: +86 (0)21 6318 0220. The bar is behind Starbucks and next to the Shanghai Art Museum. Walk into the gate next to the Kathleen's and follow the path into the center of the park. Open daily 11am to late
Kathleen's Rooftop Restaurant: 5th floor of the Shanghai Art Museum. 325 Nanjing Xi Lu ,+86 (0)21 6327 2221. Open 11:30am to midnight.
Shanghai Museum, Open daily 9am – 5pm, last entry at 4pm. Entry is 20RMB per
Today over 600 businesses on Nanjing road offer countless famous brands, superior quality, and new fashions. KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and other world-famous food vendors line both sides of the street. Upscale stores include Tiffany, Mont Blanc, and Dunhill. In addition, approximately a hundred traditional stores and specialty shops still provide choice silk goods, jade, embroidery, wool, and clocks.
Open-air bars, abstract sculptures, and lingering sounds from street musicians enhance evening strolls. A trackless sightseeing train provides a comfortable tour of the night-transformed pedestrian street. Flashing neon signs illuminate the magnificent buildings and spangle the night skyline of this lively city.