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Walking tour of Shanghai’s former French Concession Area

You may imagine Shanghai as a vast metropolis filled with towering, illuminated skyscrapers, but there is more to the city than meets the eye, and in the French Concession Area, the French quarter of Shanghai, you’ll feel as if you’re in a totally different world. One of the best places to observe the city’s colonial legacy, Shanghai’s French Concession Area has a characteristic European style, lined with villa-style buildings and structures combining both European and Chinese influences. On our Very Best of China tour, during your time in bustling Shanghai, you can discover the hidden history and beauty of the old French concession with an optional French concession walking tour.

There is so much to see around every corner of the French Concession; fortunately your guide will be able to show you the highlights in this delightful walking tour. Travelling at a leisurely pace, there is plenty of time to pause and take photos, or even stop for a coffee in one of the chic cafes. The tour is conducted in English by a knowledgeable local guide, who throughout the walking tour will share with you a wealth of information on the history of the French concession and the fascinating people who lived there.

This walking tour is an excellent way to escape the crowds of Shanghai’s main attractions, while still feasting your eyes on some of the city’s hidden highlights. Some of the famous streets you could spend hours wandering around are Yongfu Road, Wuyuan Road and Fuxing West Road, leafy boulevards lined with beautiful historic buildings. Sinan Road is another street worth visiting, with twenty magnificent garden houses on both sides of the street, together representing several of the different styles of houses built in Shanghai during the 20th century.

For a spot of eating and shopping, take a walk down Middle Huaihai Road, where a slew of fashion boutiques and highly-rated restaurants can be found. Also not to be missed is Tianzifang, a network of lanes where you could get lost for hours wandering amongst the old folk houses, fashion stores and eateries.

Shanghai’s French concession area is bursting with stories to tell, and with the help of your expert tour guide, you’ll unearth some of the most intriguing and fascinating during your walking tour. For a glimpse into a significant 100-year window of Shanghai’s history, this tour comes highly recommended, giving you a flavour of how European influences have shaped Shanghai through the ages.

Useful Information

Tour Guideline Price:

RMB 180 / GBP £21


approx. 3 hours

Activity Level:


Please note: All optional excursion descriptions represent a typical itinerary and will not necessarily operate exactly as outlined. Distant Journeys reserves the right to change the local operators at short notice if deemed necessary and appropriate.


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