Shanghai

Shanghai is chock-a-block with places to spend money. The markup on luxury goods is extremely high in China, and even clothes at American chains are pricier here than in the States. Malls usually don't open until 10 am; boutiques open at 11 am. The upside is that chain stores tend to stay open later, with many closing at 10 pm. Independent shops close by 7:30 pm. Markets generally start earlier, at around 7:30 or 8 am, and close around 6 pm. Most stores are open seven days a week.

Yu Garden, a major tourist haunt in the Old City area of Shanghai, can be overwhelming, but if you’re looking for tchotchkes, hard bargaining brings rewards. Here is where you’ll find imitation jade, tiny Buddha statues, costume jewelry, scarves, and the like. Also check out these streets that specialize in specific traditional products: Fenyang Lu, in the French Concession, and Jinling Lu, west of the Bund, for musical instruments; Fuzhou Lu, between People’s Square and the Bund, in City Center, for books and art supplies, including calligraphy supplies; Changle Lu and Maoming Lu in the Former French Concession for qipao (Chinese-style dresses).

For a traditional massage, you’ll find hundreds of blind massage parlors, inexpensive no-frills salons whose blind masseurs are closely attuned to the body's soft and sore spots. At the other end of the spectrum lie the hotel spas, luxurious retreats where pampering is at a premium.

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  • 1. Brut Cake

    French Concession | Household Items/Furniture

    Taiwanese designer Nicole Teng's showroom is welcoming, with comfy oversize chairs (for sale), reclaimed wood, and quirky ceramic pieces on...Read More

  • 2. Madame Mao's Dowry

    French Concession | Antiques & Collectibles

    This shop claims its covetable collection of mostly propaganda items from the '50s, '60s, and '70s is sourced from the countryside and areas...Read More

  • 3. Piling Palang

    Jing'an | Ceramics/Glassware

    Designers Judy Kim and Bingbing Deng, who hails from Tianjin, founded their line of cheerful ceramics in Paris in 2010. Their Jing'An boutique...Read More

  • 4. Propaganda Poster Art Centre

    French Concession | Souvenirs

    This small-but-mighty museum, housing a collection of Chinese propaganda posters from 1949 through the 1970s, has an equally impressive pint...Read More

  • 5. Subconscious Day Spa

    French Concession | Spas

    Give your stressed-out body a bit of TLC at this great value spa. The bright, minimalist decor and soothing staff create a calming environment...Read More

  • 6. Chou Chou Chic

    French Concession | Clothing

    This irresistible French–Chinese children's-wear shop is your go-to when you’re looking to spoil your fashion-focused nieces and nephews. Think...Read More

  • 7. Culture Matters

    French Concession | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Shanghai’s iconic sneaker brand, Feiyues, can get comparatively pricey when bought internationally, but in Shanghai, where they’re made, you...Read More

  • 8. Dong Liang

    French Concession | Clothing

    For one-of-a-kind designs from up-and-coming (and a few well known) Chinese designers, carefully curated multibrand store Dong Liang is a stunning...Read More

  • 9. Urban Tribe

    French Concession | Clothing

    An eco-conscious clothing line, Urban Tribe’s creations are made with natural fabrics adopting traditional methods used by Chinese tribes including...Read More

  • 10. Wanling Tea House

    French Concession | Food/Candy

    British expat James and his wife Wan Ling, who hails from the tea-producing province Fujian, have built a tidy tea business in Shanghai. In...Read More

  • 11. Charles Philip Shanghai

    French Concession | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Italian expat Charles Philip found inspiration for his shoe line when he had a Shanghai cobbler make his then-favorite shirt into a pair of...Read More

  • 12. Song Fang Maison de Thé

    French Concession | Other Specialty Store

    Parisian Florence Samson, who has lived in Shanghai for more than a decade, sells both Chinese and French tea at inflated prices, but the location...Read More

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