Shanghai Neighborhoods

Shanghai Districts Map











Shanghai is divided into 16 districts and 1 county. The core area of the city includes Huangpu, Jing'an and former Luwan District (merged into Huangpu in 2011) in the center. The periphery area of the city zone includes Yangpu, Hongkou, Zhabei and Putuo to the north of the core area, Changning to the west, Xuhui to the southwest, Lujiazui area of Pudong east of the Huangpu River. The rest are suburbs and exurbs. The rest are suburbs and exurbs.

There is no single core district in Shanghai; the urban core is scattered across several districts. Prominent central business areas include Lujiazui (in Pudong) on the east bank of Huangpu River, the Bund (in Huangpu) and Hongqiao (in Changning) on the west bank. The city hall and major administration units are located in Huangpu, which also serve as a commercial area, including the famous East Nanjing Road. Other major commercial areas include the prominent West Nanjing Road in Jing'an, classic Huaihai Road and Xintiandi in former Luwan, Xujiahui in Xuhui, Zhongshan Park and Gubei in Changning. Many universities in Shanghai are located in residential areas of Yangpu, Hongkou and Putuo. Each district has something special to offer and has an important story that identifies the spirit and characteristics of its citizens.

Insider information of the best Shanghai neighborhoods:

Jing'an - central commercial and residential area
Landmarks/Attractions: West Nanjing Road, Jing'an Temple, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Wujiang Rd, Moller Villa
Jing'an is one of the most central and densely populated districts of Shanghai with an area of 7.62 km². Home to one of Shanghai's business districts, Jing'an is filled with luxury shopping malls, fashionable boutiques, modern office buildings, fine hotels and restaurants, exhibitions and upscale residential complexes.

The district borders Huangpu in the east and south and Suzhou Creek to the north. Many of Shanghai's numerous expatriates live in Jing'an and it houses several luxurious residential complexes in addition to having an extremely vibrant nightlife scene. Many excellent shopping and dining options are located along the western stretch of Nanjing Road, which cuts through Jing'an. You'll also find that West Nanjing Road is a lively place to start a walking tour of downtown Shanghai.

The district was named after the famous Jing'an Temple, an ancient traditional Chinese Buddhist temple located in central of the district. Jing'an is voted by Shanghai locals the best area to live in Shanghai.
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Huangpu - traditional city center of Shanghai including old city and old concessions
Landmarks/Attractions: the Bund, People's Square, Nanjing Road, Yuyuan Garden, City God Temple
Huangpu makes up the eastern part of Shanghai's traditional urban core and is today the most central of Shanghai's 16 districts, a shopping territory and business center. It has an area of 20.43 km².

Huangpu was combined from the pre-merger old Huangpu, former Nanshi in 2000, and former Luwan in 2011. The old Huangpu is largely located in the former Shanghai International Settlement, the commercial center of Shanghai. International Settlement was handed back to the Chinese government in 1943. Thereafter, the Shanghai Government has always been located in Huangpu. This traditional center of Shanghai is home to People's Square, People's Park, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Art Gallery, City Hall, and the city's largest metro station, underneath a large underground shopping mall. Adjacent to People's Square is the East Nanjing Road pedestrian mall, one of China's greatest shopping street and the Bund, the old colonial riverside and Shanghai’s greatest attraction.

The southern former Nanshi area is home of Yuyuan Garden, City God Temple, this is the historic core of the city, where much of the old wooden architecture of ancient Shanghai is still preserved. Huangpu District was named after Huangpu River, which divides Shanghai into two parts: Pudong to its east and Puxi to the west (Dong and Xi mean 'East' and 'West' in Chinese).
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Luwan - upscale residential area in central Shanghai
Landmarks/Attractions: Xintiandi, Huaihai Road, Former French Concession
Luwan is one of the central districts of Shanghai and has an area of 8.05 km². It is probably the most elegant district in Shanghai with some of the premier attractions, dining, hotels and parks.

Luwan is located directly south of People's Square. The northern part of Luwan includes one of the best sections of Huaihai Road, famous for its international fashion shops and high-class restaurants. You'll find countless travelers expatriates return to this street for their nightly entertainment.

Luwan is a part of the Former French Concession area, one of the most prestigious sections of the city. It is famous for its boulevards. The plane trees lining the main streets were imported from France over 100 years ago. The district includes the historical residences of Sun Yat-sen, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Agnes Smedley and Mei Lanfang, among others. In 2011, Luwan merged with old Huangpu to form the new Huangpu district.
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Xuhui - premier commercial and living district in southwest Shanghai
Landmarks/Attractions: Xujiahui, St. Ignatius Cathedral, Former French consession, Tianzifang, Longhua Temple, Shanghai Stadium
Xuhui is located in the southwest of the city and has an area of 54.76 km². The district is centered on Xujiahui, after which it is named. Xujiahui is a prominent commercial center in Shanghai, with a proliferation of large-scale shopping malls and department stores such as Grand Gateway and Pacific Sogo. Xujiahui is also a premier residential area of Shanghai that houses many upscale apartment complexes and western businesses; as a result the surrounding area has exploded with amenities that cater to the new rich, expatriates and businessmen who dwell in the area.

Standing in the middle of an intersection in Xuhui, there is likely to be a mall on all four corners. With big box stores like Ikea, this is where locals come to browse the hottest brands. The food courts and chain restaurants inside Xuhui's shopping complexes are a great place to satisfy a Western food craving, while for foreigners it is a haven they flock to nightly. The electronics market is located in Xujiahui, where you can build your own computer, buy a camera or find parts for a TV. The area is also home to China's largest Catholic Church, Saint Ignatius Cathedral of Shanghai, which is open daily and is the primary tourist attraction in the area.

Being the core of Catholic Shanghai, Xuhui (the north-eastern part) formed, together with neighboring Huangpu (the western part) the former French Concession of Shanghai. Vestiges of the French influence can still be seen in remaining boulevards and French-style lane houses and garden villas. Nearby parks offer a relaxing way to spend a Sunday. You'll find pleasant cafes and restaurants dot the area around the park and Cathedral, which could make for a very pleasant afternoon dining experience. A number of former residences of prominent personalities remain, including Song Qingling and Sun Yat-sen's former residence. Yao Ming of Houston Rockets was a resident of the district.
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Changning - commercial and living area in western Shanghai
Landmarks/Attractions: Zhongshan Park, Shanghai Zoo, Xinhua Road, Hongqiao, Gubei
Changning is located in the west of the city and has an area of 37.19 km². Changning is a very large, residential district without much tourist traffic but in recent years has seen more commercial and entertainment hubs develop, especially the area around Zhongshan Park. Zhongshan Park is a popular place with the young and old, and houses several ponds, some amusement zones that offer rides and live entertainment, and several grassy areas where people play Frisbee, fly kites or picnic. The park is surrounded by modern restaurants and shopping buildings that are catered to by the metro station that makes transportation to the park and surrounding area.

Changning encompasses both the historic French concession and the modern suburban sprawl out to Hongqiao/Gubei and Shanghai Zoo. The Xinhua community, part of the old French Concession area is a lively tree lined neighborhood housing some of Shanghai's most acclaimed historic architecture. The Hongqiao/GuBei community was built in the early 1990's to accommodate the growing number of expats, Hongqiao has all the conveniences a busy family and business person could ask for, including international schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, Hongqiao airport and train station.

A mix of local and foreign residents makes this area a melting pot of cuisine and culture. Changning is a favorite neighborhood for families with children and business people who desire to live in tranquility but still stay close to the central business district.
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Putuo - major local residential district in central-north-northwest Shanghai
Landmarks/Attractions: Jade Buddha Temple, Zhenru Temple, Suzhou Creek, Changfeng Park, M50 Shanghai
Located at the north side of the Suzhou Creek, Jing'an and Changning, Putuo covers an area of 55km², ranking the second largest among center urban areas of Shanghai. Recent re-development has made the district a favorable living environment, especially in the southern, zigzag Suzhou Creek area that borders on Jing'an. There are many good residential complexes in this area and a plethora of shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment. This area is popular due to its location (close to Jing'an and has easy access to core area of Shanghai) and moderate housing rental prices. The Suzhou Creek area is also full of historic and artistic feel. There are seven museums along Suzhou Creek (themes for the museums include matchbook covers, coins, textile products, relics and ancient arts); There are at least 28 heritage sites along the downtown stretch of the creek and many have been converted into art studios and galleries.
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Zhabei - major local residential district in central-north Shanghai
Landmarks/Attractions: Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai Circus World, Daning Lingshi Park
Zhabei has an area of 29.26 km² and is one of the city districts of Shanghai. Facilitated with the Shanghai Railway Station, Zhabei is famous for its connectivity, which becomes the reason hi-tech and creative industries begin to accumulate in the district. Historically, the district has been highly populated with working class residents. However, due to the shift in the structure of industries and increasing number of immigrants from outside Shanghai, partly due to its reasonable housing price, the district has become increasingly appealing to local inhabitants and foreigners. Many commercial and office buildings, shopping centers, retail outlets have been built around Shanghai Railway Station which is only three metro stops away from People’s Square. So are luxuries hotels like Intercontinental, Marriot, Bvlgari. New housing complexes offered terrific joy to many expats. Further north, Daning Lingshi Park, the biggest green area in downtown Shanghai, is surrounded by a series of cultural facilities such as stadium and Shanghai Circus World. It’s also a popular residential area among local inhabitants and more and more foreign dwellers. In 2015, Zhabei merged with old Jing’an to form the new Jing’an District.
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Hongkou - major local residential area in north-northeast Shanghai
Landmarks/Attractions: North Bund, Old Jewish Quarter, 1933 Old Millfun, Luxun Park, Duolun Culture Street
Hongkou is located at the northeast side of the core area of Shanghai and has an area of 23.48km². Hongkou has a unique history. It was the home of European Jewish refugees in World War II. The Jewish community created a thriving community in Hongkou, with cafés, theatres, synagogues, and even their own newspapers. Today it remains relatively residential and untouched by Shanghai's construction craze. There are rich architecture (Chinese, European, American...), several beautiful parks and interesting museums in this area. It's also the home for Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai International Studies University and Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Major features include Sichuan Road North (one of the most famous shopping streets in Shanghai), Duolun Road (a street of "Cultural Relics and Antiques"), Qipu Road (huge bargain market), and old Jewish neighborhood's cultural heritage buildings.
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Yangpu - large residential area in northeast Shanghai including university town
Landmarks/Attractions: Wujiaochang, Fudan Uni, Tongji Uni, Daxue Road, Gongqing Forest Park
Yangpu is located in northeast Shanghai, bordering the Huangpu River on the east and south, and Hongkou on the west. The southern part of Yangpu is 4 km away from the Bund. It is predominantly composed of residential communities, with a total area of 60.61 km2. The heart of the district is near Wujiaochang, mainly a shopping center with a large Cineplex, including an IMAX theatre. Situated in northern Yangpu are three of China's most distinguished universities, Fudan University, Tongji University, as well as the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Due to the large number of students, Yangpu is a budget-friendly location for living in the city.
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Pudong - financial district with upscale residential area and international community
Landmarks/Attractions: Lujiazui, Riverside Promenade, Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai Aquarium, Century Park
Pudong is Shanghai's newest district on the eastern side of the Huangpu River, a skyscraper-laden financial and commercial zone rising out of what was mere farmland only 25 years ago. The hundreds of futuristic skyscrapers comprise one of the world's most recognizable skylines, including the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jinmao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Shanghai Tower.

Pudong literally means "east of the river," referring to the Huangpu river, which divides Shanghai in half. Lujiazui, at the core of the Pudong New Development Project, is a hub of financial institutions, international hotels, and shopping malls, making it one of the best places to visit for anyone interested in a world-class hotel, dining experiences, bar hopping or shopping. The area around Century Park is teeming with sights for perfect people watching, and is a must-see for anyone staying in Shanghai over a week. Pack a picnic and a kite and go watch the Shanghai locals do exercises, play games or paddle boats around the lake. The area is also famous as a sort of 'lovers lane' so strolls in the park around sunset will provide for a romantic setting indeed. The Biyun residential area of Pudong gives residents a feeling of being at "home" while still living in a foreign country, complete with garden villas, country clubs, western restaurants, and pools and gold courses, many international schools, sporting fields, and major highways, Pudong is a favorite location for expats relocating with families.
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