There are basically five main shopping areas in Shanghai:
After Beijing¡¯s Wangfujing, probably the most famous shopping street in China, home to Shanghai¡¯s classiest and most expensive shops. There are two main areas:
Nanjing Xi Lu: In colonial Shanghai known as Bubbling Well Road, where carpet salesmen and clairvoyants plied their trade. Today the main focus is on the Shanghai Center, Westgate Mall, and Plaza 66, all big, swish and shiny with expensive foreign brand name stores.
Nanjing Dong Lu: The pedestrianized area running from the Peace Hotel and the Bund to People¡¯s Square is not quite as swanky as the western section, but bigger, more popular and still at the top end of the shopping scale. Originally built as a route to the horse-race tracks, it became filled with silk merchants and luxury hotels. Today, it¡¯s more about Western style boutiques and huge department stores, with crowds of window shoppers and sparkling neon.
The main shopping area is the section between Xiangyang Lu (where the fake goods market is) up to Xizang Nan Lu. This road used to be known as Avenue Joffre, the main street of the French Concession, and much of the old architecture still remains. A bit further down the scale than Nanjing Lu, it¡¯s much nicer to wander around, and with over 400 shops you certainly have variety.
In the southwest, this has a price range on a par with Huaihai Lu, but is most famous for electronic goods (especially in Meiluochen, the giant glass golf ball, and Buy Now, next door). It also has a range of specialized department stores such as Dongfang Shangsha, focusing on luxury women¡¯s goods.
Sichuan Bei Lu
Having the same great range as Huaihai Lu, but cheaper. This is wear your average Shanghainese comes to actually buy things.
The touristy ¡®old town¡¯ which has been rebuilt in Ming dynasty style and comes off feeling disappointingly fake to many foreign visitors mainly deals in souvenir-type Chinese cultural goods. The place is very popular with the Chinese, however, who mainly go for the xiaochi (snack foods).