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The Huangpu River, a Yangtze tributary, carves Shanghai into two districts. Puxi, on the west bank, contains most of the cultural attractions, including the Bund, the French Concession, and People’s Square. To the east, Pudong flaunts a futuristic skyline that seems to change monthly.

Shanghai Neighborhoods

The Bund

This mile-long row of colonial buildings offers fine dining and trendy clubs, astonishing views of river barges backed by Jetson-esque skyscrapers, and a relentless parade of both residents and visitors.

The French Concession

With its tree-lined streets and gracious villas, the French Concession is the preferred address of many hip boutiques and cafés, along with a select group of wealthy entrepreneurs and retired Communist Party members.


On the eastern edge of the French Concession, Xintiandi showcases the nostalgic appeal of Shanghai’s colonial past. Opened in 2002, it attracts a free-spending mix of tourists and professionals to its pricey bars, restaurants, and shops.

The Old City

The Old City’s borders are obvious in the pattern of streets. The rough oval recalls a long-since demolished wall, built to ward off pirates. Although the Yu Garden area resembles a Disney-fied theme park, nearby buildings still lack indoor plumbing.

People's Square

Served by converging arteries of bus and subway lines, People’s Square is Shanghai’s commercial and cultural heart. Its green spaces are fenced by skyscrapers and ornamented with several interesting museums.


Situated north of the Bund, across Suzhou Creek, this neighborhood housed Shanghai’s Jewish ghetto, where 20,000 people found refuge from the Nazis. The authentic lanes and lively street market provide a gritty contrast to upscale Xintiandi.


Although much larger than Shanghai’s other districts, the bulk of Pudong’s appeal resides where the old river meets the futuristic skyline.

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