Best things to do near Nanjing Road, Shanghai

Nanjing Road Commercial Street was first built in the 23rd year of the Daoguang reign of the Qing Dynasty (1843). After the opening of ports in Shanghai, Nanjing Road gradually formed through the expansion of the British concession in Shanghai. Nanjing Road was originally a small path from the Bund to the Racetrack, known as Park Lane or Garden Lane. In 1855, the expanded Garden Road was called the Great Horse Road. In 1865, it was named Nanjing Road.

Nanjing Road Commercial Street
Nanjing Road Commercial Street | Things to do in Shanghai, China, Asia

The total length of Nanjing East Road is 1599 meters, and the total length of Nanjing West Road is 3833 meters. Nanjing Road, extending from the Bund to Jing'an Temple, is about 5.5 kilometers long. Nanjing Road is lined with famous historical buildings such as Huizhong Hotel (1908), Sassoon Mansion (1929), Dahua Hotel (1933), and Park International Hotel (1934), as well as entertainment venues such as Xinxin Stage (1912), Carlton Theatre (1922), New World Amusement Park (1923), Paramount Ballroom (1931), Xianle Theater (1936), Majestic Theatre (1941), and so on.

Nanjing East Road Pedestrian Street

By the 1920s, Nanjing East Road had become a prosperous commercial center. At that time, Nanjing Road was home to more than 30 industries and about 200 professional shops, enjoying the reputation of 'Little Paris in the East'. With the establishment of the four major department stores of Yongan, Daxin, Xianshi, and Xinxin, Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street has become a symbol of old Shanghai, and Nanjing Road has become 'the most cosmopolitan destination'.

In 2003, Raffles City opened, and commercial complexes began to move onto East Nanjing Road. In 2011, high-end commercial buildings such as Henderson Celebrity Shopping Center and New Century Plaza were opened one after another, and fashion brands such as iPhone flagship stores and Forever21 settled in one after another. In 2017, Shanghai No. 1 Department Store, New World City, Wing On Department Store, and other old commercial buildings began to be upgraded.

Famous historical buildings on Nanjing East Road

"Laszlo Hudec's architecture used to be, is now, and will always be a highlight of Shanghai's urban outline." Ieoh Ming Pei (1917–2019)

László Ede Hudec (1893–1958), a famous architect, lived in Shanghai for 29 years and designed 124 buildings in different styles. Among the buildings designed by Ladislav Edvard Hudec, 25 were rated as excellent historical buildings in Shanghai. Now there are more famous buildings, including Jin Jiang Park Hotel, Grand Cinema (Da Guangming), Wukang Mansion, etc.

Near the East Nanjing Road subway station, historic buildings designed by Laszlo Hudec include:

1.Chinese American Bank of Commerce, 1920, No. 521-529 Middle Henan Road

2.Shanghai Ameican Club, 1923, No. 209 Fuzhou Road

3.Sihang Savings Club Building, now Bank of Shanghai, 1926, No. 261 Sichuan Middle Road

4.Christan Liberature Society Building, 1930, No. 128 Museum Road

5.China Baptist Publication Building, 1930, No. 209 Old Summer Palace Road

Stroll along Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street to the Bund

In December 2019, Shanghai launched the eastward extension project of Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street, extending the pedestrian street area from Henan Middle Road to the Bund. This 500 meters long Nanjing Road pedestrian Street condenses the story and architectural history of Nanjing East Road and the Bund.

On July 26, 1882, Shanghai Electric, the first power generation company in China, was officially put into commercial operation. The first Arc lamp in Shanghai was lit on Nanjing East Road. The lamppost that lit that lamp is now located in Shanghai "1882 Square".

Shinseokai Daimaru Department Store, with its simple appearance, together with Huawei's global flagship store opposite, is the beginning of the eastern section of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street. The newly opened Huawei flagship store is located in the Nanjing Building built in 1935. Next door to the Huawei store is the luxury boutique hotel Shanghai EDITION.

The most indispensable thing on Nanjing East Road Pedestrian Street is the time-honored brand shops. There are many famous local food stores in Shanghai, including Shao Wansheng (selling dry goods), Guangming Bright Dairy (selling dairy products), Dabaitu White Rabbit (selling toffee), Huang Longtai (selling tea), Laodatong Rice Shop (selling rice products), Sanyang South Goods (selling pastries), Taikang Food (selling fresh meat mooncakes), and so on. These well-known food stores also sell souvenirs, and are great places for you to buy tourist souvenirs.

Walk along Nanjing East Road Pedestrian Street to the end, and at the end near the Bund is the Peace Hotel. This was the place where the legend of Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon (1881–1961), a British Jewish businessman, took place. The Peace Hotel was extremely famous in Shanghai in the 1930s and is known as the "Number One Mansion in the Far East". From Henan Middle Road to the Bund, famous historical buildings along the way also include the Ci'anli Building (1906), the Meilun Building (1916), the Central Building (1930), etc.

Best snack bars near Nanjing East Road

There are many famous snack bars on Nanjing East Road that are very convenient for eating. Most of these Snack bars serve food quickly and are relatively cheap.

Yang's Fry-Dumpling, Fast food dumplings

Signature foods are fried dumplings (Shengjian Bao), soup, etc. There are 5 stores near Nanjing East Road.

1.Yang's Fried-Dumplings (Fuzhou Road Store) location is 1st Floor, No. 567 Fuzhou Road

2.Yang's Fried Dumpling (Huanghe Road Restaurant), address: No. 97 Huanghe Road

3.Yang's Fry-Dumpling (Ningbo Road Restaurant), No. 178 Ningbo Road

4.Yang's Dumpling (Hongyi Plaza Shop), Unit B-107A, B-107, B1, Hongyi International Plaza

5.Yang's Dumpling (Nanjing Road Restaurant), No. 299 East Nanjing Road, No. 132–133

6.Yang's Dumpling (Mingdu Shop), First Floor, Hong Kong Mingdu, No. 489 Henan South Road

Dahuchun, a Michelin Guide rated restaurant

Signature foods are Pan-fried Pork Buns (fried dumplings), soup, etc. There are 3 stores near Nanjing East Road.

1.Dahuchun Fried-Dumpling (Zhejiang Road Store), location No. 136 Zhejiang Middle Road

2.Da Hu Chun Fry-Dumpling (Yunnan Road Restaurant), location No. 89 Yunnan South Road

3.Dahuchun Sichuan Road Shop (Big Pot Spring), address No. 136 Sichuan Middle Road

Dexing Noodle Restaurant, Shanghai-style Noodles

The signature dishes are braised pork leg noodles, pan-fried Fish noodles, etc. There are 4 stores near Nanjing East Road.

1.Dexing Noodle Restaurant, address 471 Guangdong Road, MICHELIN Guide

2.Dexing Noodle Shop, address No. 529 Fujian Middle Road

3.Dexing Pavilion, 1st floor, location No. 416 Jinling East Road

4.De Xing Guan, location No. 199 Shanxi South Road, Shanghai, China Mainland

Eating Soup Dumplings (Xiaolongbao) in Shanghai

1.Jiajia Soup Dumplings, Chinese pork soup dumplings. Address: No. 127, Huanghe Road No. 127, Huanghe Road.

2.Chansanchi Soup Dumplings, Chinese crab soup dumplings. Address: 4th floor, Mosaic Shanghai, 353 East Nanjing Road.

3.Zhuangshi Longxing, crab soup dumplings, and crab sauce noodles. Address: B2, New World Daimaru Department Store, No. 228 Nanjing East Road.

Nanjing West Road: quiet and prosperous

The western section of Nanjing Road is filled with elegant and fashionable shops, theaters, apartment buildings, and garden villas. Compared with the bustling Nanjing East Road, Nanjing West Road also has a strong commercial atmosphere, but it always gives people a quiet feeling. 

West Nanjing Road starts from Tibet Middle Road in the east and ends at Yan'an West Road in the west, spanning Huangpu District and Jing'an District. Among them, Tibet Middle Road to Chengdu North Road belong to Huangpu District. Jing'an District is from Chengdu North Road to Yan'an West Road. 

Nanjing West Road is the lucky place for architect László Hudec. Here, he designed and built three masterpieces, including the International Hotel, the Grand Cinema (Grand Theatre), and the Green House.

The famous buildings on Nanjing West Road also include the Shanghai History Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, the Shanghai Exhibition Center, the Deyi Building, and the Mahler Villa Mansion.

Landmarks on Nanjing West Road, including Jiuguang Department Store, Rui Ou Department Store, Jing An Kerry Center, Shanghai Centre, Meilong Town Plaza, Citic Pacific Plaza, Hang Long Plaza (Plaza 66 Shopping Malls), Zhangyuan (Fengli), HKRI Taikoo Hui (Xingye Taigu Hui), JC Plaza, etc.

Why are there so many Nanjing Roads in China?

There are countless ‘gates’ in Nanjing, such as Wuding Gate, Zhonghua Gate, Zhongyang Gate, Kazi Gate, etc. However, there is no road in Nanjing called Nanjing Road. However, Nanjing Road exists in many cities in China.

Nanjing Road in Shanghai. After the first Opium War, in order to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing, the most prosperous road in the Shanghai Public Concession, 'Great Horse Road', was changed to ‘Nanjing Road’. In 1945, Nanjing Road in Shanghai was renamed Nanjing East Road, and Jing An Temple Road was renamed Nanjing West Road. What we now call Nanjing Road is the collective name of Nanjing East Road and Nanjing West Road.

Nanjing Road in Tianjin. In 1945, after the Japanese left Tianjin, the Tianjin government renamed the roads on both sides of the Qiangzi River Nanjing Road and Shanghai Road. Nanjing Road in Tianjin is today a symbol of Tianjin's prosperity.

More famous are Guangzhou Nanjing Road, Chongqing Nanjing Road, Wuhan Nanjing Road, and so on. Nanjing has a long history and has different meanings for every city in China.

Best things to do in Shanghai