Can not wait to shop in Shanghai? Well then, which are the best places to shop in this consumption-crazy city in China?
Shanghai is well known for some of the best shopping experiences you'll find among major cities in China. When visiting Shanghai you'lll sure pass through the city's two major commercial streets – upscale Nanjing Xi Lu (Nanjing West Road) and bustling Huaihai Lu (Huaihai Road).
But there's a lot more to shopping than these two obvious places. Indeed, you'll find streets big and small full of shopping centers. You'll be able to plan a full day of shopping if that's what you want. Even if you do not really feel like shopping you should still visit them. (I know you're a guy but you're already in Shanghai, right?)
Shopping in Shanghai is an experience you will never forget. Whether or not you are a shopping fanatic, there are various shopping malls selling anything from high-priced luxury goods to stylish and affordable casuals and traditional Chinese handicrafts.
I should mention that as I'm writing this article, the infamous Xiang Yang Market has already been closed down. Some of you out there reading this will have fond memories of highly-charged bargaining sessions with fake goods vendors who speak six different languages.
Here are a few shopping highlights in Shanghai, starting with Nanjing Xi Lu …
Shanghai's Plaza 66
Where: 55 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Lu
Plaza 66 is crystalline proof of Shanghai's diligent obsession with consumption. Arguably, it's the fanciest shpping mall in Shanghai, with a frosty demeanor to match.
Whether you're looking for Prada for pret-a-porter, Waterford for cystal, Bose or Bang and Olufsen for sound, Plaza 66 has over 100 famous brands.
With its dazzling array of designer brands, this place is perfect for the nouveau riche with money to burn. There is not another shopping mall as luxurious as this one in Shanghai.
A five-minutes walk from the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Plaza 66 has a cafe in the atrium and a few restuarants perched on the fifth floor.
Shanghai's Citic Plaza
Where: 1168 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Plaza 66
A bright, gleaming five-storey mall offering a varied mix of clothing labels, Citic Plaza is a five-minutes walk from the Shimen Yi Lu metro station.
From high-end designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Chloe and Kenzo to the more affordable casuals from Tough and Esprit, this is a mall with more reasonable prices.
Whether you're wealthy or light on budget, this place is perfect for anyone with an eye for fashion.
Feeling hungry after all that shopping? No worries there.
Every floor of the mall offers a restaurant – from McDonald's (you're not going to eat at McDonald's in China, are you?) In the basement to super buffet Golden Jaguar (unlimited sashimi and Pacific oysters) on the third floor to chic Sichuan restuarant China Moon (puts your local Chinatown Sichuan restuarant to shame) on the fourth.
By the way, there's also a convenience store and English-Chinese language bookstore in case you're looking for mineral water or maps.
Shanghai's Westgate Mall
Where: 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Citic Plaza
A smart, well-organized shopping haven, offering up a range of trendy shops from Burberry, Givenchy and Versace to Chinese label Zuczug. The Westgate Mall is perfect for mall lovers with cash to spend who fancy a change from their usual hang out.
Also a couple of minutes walk from Shimen Yi Lu metro station, the Westgate halls offers a Studio City Cinema (with super sound system), Watson's, a small supermarket in the basement, Marie France sliming clinic and an Isetan Department store (a major Japanese chain) accessible on every floor.
And much, much more …
As I mentioned before, Nanjing Xi Lu and Huaihai Lu are the most prominent shopping streets in Shanghai but they're not the only ones. These are the modern shopping malls and they'll give you a good idea of how things have changed in China over the last 20 years.
Other Shopping …
If you go on older streets like Dongtai Lu you'll find classic hand-made items. This handicraft market offers a variety of classical items like Chinese ceramics, jade, bronze, wood articles, paintings, and calligraphic works. You can also get your tools there if you are an artist yourself or plan to be.
More of an intellectual shopping street, Fuzhou Lu boasts a vast collection of bookstores in Shanghai. Not only does it offer over thirty bookstores but also has some of the oldest bookstores (some over 100 years old) in Shanghai.
Shopping in Shanghai is probably the most time-consuming activity in Shanghai whether for visitors or locals. With big shopping malls on the more popular streets to small boutiques or specific markets on smaller streets, Shanghai is where shopping fanatics will find their Paradise.
I'm a foreigner who traveled to Shanghai and realized it is hard to have a great time in Shanghai when you are not well-informed. That is why I decided to come up with a complete online guide with the latest information and tips on having a great time in Shanghai, whether you're traveling to Shanghai or living in the city.