Culture + Style

Where Locals Shop for the Best Deals in Shanghai

An upscale clothing store is one of many high-end retailers on Shanghai’s Huaihai Road. (Photo: Alamy)

Shanghai is bursting with culture and history—which is why most visitors fall hard for this lively city and want to bring a piece of it home with them. Fortunately, Shanghai has a multitude of shopping centers, and locals know where to find the best deals. Selling everything from top fashion brands to unique local artisan pieces, and traditional Chinese silks, jade and antiques, these Shanghai shopping hot spots will inspire you to loosen your purse strings.

Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road
Make a shopping list before hitting the many shops on Nanjing Road. (Photo: Alamy)

One of the busiest street shopping destination in the world, Shanghai’s Nanjing Road is a haven for fashion lovers. Measuring 3.4 miles long, Nanjing Road houses everything from the biggest names in fashion to popular fast food joints. For those who want to veer away from the international shopping scene and purchase more traditional Shanghai treats, there are also local specialty stores selling traditional wool, jade, silk, and embroidery. When hunger or thirst strikes, you’ll find Nanjing Road is also lined with open-air bars, pubs, and upscale restaurants.

Huaihai Road

Often called Asia’s Champs-Élysées, the Huaihai Road in Shanghai is renowned for its 400-plus high-end stores. A haven for fashionistas and tourists, Huaihai Road is the destination for classical style, elegance, upscale lifestyle, and of course, fashion. In addition to the wide array of shops, stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues to choose from, a simple walk along this road in Shanghai offers visitors an impressive collection of towering architecture to admire.

Yuyuan Garden Outdoor Bazaar

Yuyuan Market
You’ll find history and shopping combined at the Yuyuan Market in Shanghai. (Photo: Alamy)

If you’re itching to shop after visiting a historical site, head to the outdoor bazaar in Yuyuan Garden. Vendors hawk everything from locally crafted souvenirs to authentic silk pieces and beautiful scarves. Along with the unique finds, a trip to the Yuyuan Bazaar also allows tourists to experience first-hand the vibrant culture of Shanghai and its people. For the best experience, visit the bazaar at night to see brightly-lit buildings and try some of the local Chinese snacks and dumplings available in the area.

Dongtai Road

Dongtai Road
Antiques lovers flock to Dongtai Road’s vendors. (Photo: Alamy)

Serious antiques shoppers will want to hightail it to Dongtai Road. For experienced antique buyers, Dongtai is a haven filled with one-of-a-kind treasures that are either worth a fortune or simply unique in this world–or maybe both. Along this stretch of road, you’ll find shops selling rare book collections, vintage items, Art Deco pieces, and lots of memorabilia from China’s Communist Cultural Revolution. Additional knick-knacks that can be found here are embroidered slippers used by the local Chinese women with bound feet and calligraphy brushes.