Walking the French Concession in Shanghai
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.
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.
There’s no shortage of interesting street life in Shanghai and the French Concession neighborhood was no exception.
There’s a small wet market in the area if you like that sort of thing (we do).
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.