Tianzifang is a famous tourist hotspot in Shanghai. Unlike Nanjing Road, Tianzifang is more “original” because the area hasn’t been markedly reconstructed.

When you arrive at Tianzifang, you will notice the narrow alleys packed with people. Instead of tall buildings, you will see alleys and streets of the old French Quarter with Chinese additions on them.

Tianzifang is still a residential area, but it has been transformed into a tourist attraction of arts, crafts, cafes, and bars. The local Chinese still live above the shops in Tianzifang.

The narrow alleys in Tianzifang. It can be really crowded, especially during the weekend.

Since the 1920s, Tianzifang has become one of the most hipped attractions in Shanghai. With its various shops, both traditional and modern style, selling crafts and arts, from bars to local street foods, Tianzifang has been featured in CNN Travel.

Strolling along the clean old alleys, like Beijing’s hutong, relax in a cafe and drink a cup of hot coffee, find some interesting souvenirs and seeing the locals and tourists are part of the culture in Tianzifang.

One of the foreign-owned bars in Tianzifang. You can find both local and international foods here.

In fact, you can even find some foreigner owned cafes, bars, and restaurants here. You can easily find various international foods in this area.

How to Go to Tianzifang

Going to Tianzifang is easy. Take Shanghai Metro Line 9 to Dapuqiao and use Exit 1. It is located to the north of the exit.

After you take Exit 1, walk to the north and you will see this entrance. There will be a lot of people walking in and out from here.

The metro station is located below the mall next to Tianzifang. Hence, what you need to do is to take Exit 1 and walk to the north of the mall, and you will arrive at Tianzifang. Look at the map below:

Tianzifang Visiting Tips

  • Tianzifang opens all year long. Most shops open around 10 AM, some maybe earlier. Bars and cafes in the area will close later.
  • This place is famous among the tourists, so, some of the souvenirs and items sell here will be of a higher price.
  • There are a lot of shops selling crafts and arts. It is the perfect place for souvenirs.
  • You can spend about an hour to two strolling in Tianzifang.
  • It is located just about 1.5km away from Xintiandi, another famous place for bars and higher-end restaurants.
  • You may get lost in Tianzifang due to its narrow lanes and alleys. It is like a maze and hence, you may want to check out the map of Tianzifang before you enter.

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Shawn Lim is the founder of StarlingTrip.com. He loves to travel and likes to share his experience and talks about his trips.

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