Shanghai is hailed as the "Shopping Paradise" and "Oriental Paris". So if you come to the city, shopping should not be missed any more than its other charming attractions. Providing the very best of shopping has become an indispensable part of the city's tourism industry.
Without a doubt, Shanghai is the center of China's fashion industry with "China's No. 1 Street" finding a place right here in Shanghai. "China's No.1 Street" is known to many locals, tourists and expats as Nanjing Road, one of the busiest commercial streets of the city. The main stretch of shops on Nanjing Road starts at the Bund and ends at the Jing'an Temple. It is divided into two parts: Nanjing Road E. and Nanjing Road W.
The east section is the busiest shopping area in Shanghai, if not the busiest in China. On both sides of the road, there are many department stores with long histories, providing you with a wide choice of goods from food to clothes. But if you do not have enough time, take a tourist bus which enables you to grasp the whole sight of the bustling pedestrian road in a short time at a cost of 2 Yuan.
The west part mainly boasts luxurious brand names and targets big spenders. You can find a wide variety of world-famous brands in these spacious and well-arranged stores, such as Armani, LV, Prada and CD. It is one of the city's premier shopping streets, and definitely lives up to its name with its shops: tall, shiny, new department stores, enormous, glass-fronted malls pushing their Western franchises to the front of their displays and side streets, all lined with stylish boutiques. These shops attract throngs of fashion-seeking shoppers both locally and from all over the world.
The more famous part is its eastern section, Nanjing Road E. This 1 km-long Pedestrian Boulevard is car-free and it extends from near The Bund in the east to People's Square. A great idea is to start at Nanjing Donglu metro station exit 3 and to walk the entire length of lined shops and department stores.
This wide boulevard is often packed with people on weekends and holidays.It is now one of the hottest tourist destinations to most domestic travelers, who are often the target customers of the shops, so the prices are not high, but usually not reasonable. However, it is not always the case in big department stores.
Nanjing Road W. begins at People's Square and continues westward towards Jing'an District. This section is slightly more modern and caters more to the decadent and status-conscious luxury shopper. The district’s governors have made the road the most high-end comercial area in Shanghai.The western stretch of Nanjing Road abounds in luxury shops and there are expensive shopping malls such as City Plaza, Plaza 66 (Henglong Plaza), Citic Square, Meilongzhen Isetan and many other large shopping malls with boutiques carrying the most famous names in fashion such as Chloé, Dior, Tod's, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Armani.
Spanish retailer Zara is situated at the prominent corner of Nanjing Xilu and Shanxi Lu, opposite Plaza 66 as are other upscale international retailers and shopping malls. Along the same row is L'occtaine en Provence. The building that Zara and L'occtaine now occupy once housed the Spanish.Prices in these shops however are not much different than in Europe or America. If you want to get good deals, look for small shops in the adjacent streets where you can find real bargains. Most of the shops in these streets are outlets of the firms that manufacture in China. When buying in the outlet shops however, do watch out for defects and fake goods.
After your shopping is done, take a walk along the pedestrian walkway at Nanjing East Road at dusk. Continue walking on towards the elegant waterside promenade The Bund to admire the scenic night view and lights across the Huangpu River to Pudong.
Be careful of pickpockets and street vendors touting along Nanjing Road. Be firm and say no, "Bu2 Yao4" because they will persistently sell their wares or services that might not be in your best interest. They will pop up when you least expect it and are in your face all the time. Some will even follow and wait for you outside shops.
Walk in a group if possible. Pickpockets tend to target those who walk alone.
In some of the smaller shops, have a keen eye for defects or counterfeit goods.
How to get there
Metro Line 2 runs along Nanjing Road, including three stations:
Nanjing Road (E.) – The closest station to the pedestrian walkway of East Nanjing Road and The Bund.
Nanjing Road (W.) – Just two stops apart from Nanjing Road (E.), this area starts at the beginning of the western section of the street, close to People’s square.
Jing'an Temple – The road ends here in the farther western section of Nanjing Road.
See,going to do some shopping in Nanjing road is convenient.