Walking the French Concession in Shanghai

Street life in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Street life in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood

 

During our days in Shanghai, we visited the neighborhood known as the French Concession twice. It’s a lovely neighborhood which has a few streets that still retain some of the “old Shanghai” charm which is rapidly being replaced with high rises and highways. Oddly enough, the area was never really populated by the French, but rather by local Chinese and Russian immigrants.

One of our more interesting stops was the Shikumen Open House Museum which shows what life was like in the area in the 1920’s and 1930’s in a stone-gate house (Shikumen). These houses were built in rows with many people crammed into them. Entire neighborhoods filled with these houses have been demolished to make way for modern apartments. The rooms are filled with period furniture and accessories and really offer a window into the time.

Shikumen Open House Museum
Shikumen Open House Museum
Shikumen Open House Museum
Shikumen Open House Museum
Shikumen Open House Museum
Shikumen Open House Museum
Shikumen Open House Museum
Shikumen Open House Museum

After visiting the house museum (and after walking all over Quibao) we needed to rest our feet and decided that a beer and a plate of French fries at a “Munich brew house” was just the answer. Yes, it’s a huge chain, but the beer was tasty and the fries were perfect.

Paulaner Brauhaus in the French Concession
Paulaner Brauhaus in the French Concession

There’s no shortage of interesting street life in Shanghai and the French Concession neighborhood was no exception.

Street life in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
I’d like to know what these “Aunties” were saying about us.
Street life in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Looking to buy any rattan furniture?

There’s a small wet market in the area if you like that sort of thing (we do).

Wet market in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Chicken feet anyone?
Wet market in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
These berries were so tempting!
Wet market in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood
Wet market in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Vendors playing cards while waiting for customers.
Street food in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Street food in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood
Street food in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
Sweet seller in Shanghai’s French Concession neighborhood
Street food in Shanghai's French Concession neighborhood
We bought some of this peanut brittle. It was delicious!

We also had a late lunch at the Citizen Bar and Cafe which has a nice selection of French inspired food. I would have loved to sit on that upstairs balcony but it was filled with people smoking and hanging out at their tables. We sat upstairs and had a nice salad, sandwich, and glass of wine nevertheless.

Citizen Cafe in the French Concession
Citizen Cafe in the French Concession
Citizen Cafe in the French Concession
Citizen Cafe in the French Concession
Citizen Cafe in the French Concession
Citizen Cafe in the French Concession

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