Yu Garden Bazaar
Nine turn Bridge
Shanghai Old Street
Old City God's Temple
Photos of Old City
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Yu Garden area & Old City 老城


Shanghai Old City usually refers to the area enclosed by Renmin Road 人民路 and Zhonghua Road 中华路, with Yu Garden 豫园, Yu Garden Bazaar 豫园市场 and Shanghai Old City God's Temple 城皇庙 as the center. In the precise sense, Shanghai Old City is the very "genuine" Shanghai, and those who live within this area are the very "genuine" Shanghainese.

In the past, Shanghai Old City was one of the places where "lower classes" people used to live. One of its main features was the simple, low, crowded and shabby houses, most of which had been out of repair for long. When a couple were making a row in a room, their voice could be heard by at least dozens of other families. There was neither tap water, nor gas, nor flush toilet in rooms. In most cases, there were about ten members living in a room of less than 20 sq.m.

Old City

Now all those have gone. Most of those crowded houses have been bulldozed and turned into modern buildings or greenland. In order to maintain the traditional architectural style, a few ancient buildings have been repaired. Old City God's Temple, the Temple of Confucius and other famous relics have been restored, and Shanghai Old Street has been constructed. The Bazaar becomes busier and the environments of this area become cleaner and tidier. Shanghai Old City now is in fact a totally brand new city.


Outside the beautiful Yu Garden is a wonderful place well worth seeing. That is Yu Garden Bazaar, a very famous place occupying a total area of 75,000 sq.m. It is notable for its narrow and bustling streets lined with various shops, stores and stalls. Numerous peddlers and shoppers standing in front of their doors are calling out their welcome. They offer trinkets, souvenirs, antiques and all kinds of handicraft. Every visitor is sure to be attracted by the rows of little shops with amazing collections of merchandise of special features, of which the most typical are Shanghai local commodities and foodstuff such as pear syrup candy, which is effective for cough, and the spiced(five flavor) broad beans. Stopping and watching artisans paint either a scene or a pretty girl on the inside of a bottle, or observing artisans cut from paper the profile of a visitor is no doubt worth your while.

Yu Garden Bazaar

Many a visitor is eager to have his name carved on an article he has just bought. Visitors like to choose a Chinese painting there that he is going to hang at home, or select a jade jewelry or a Buddha statue, or pay for a pair of silk pajamas for both his wife and himself. What we like to suggest here is that you should bargain with the shop owners over the prices. It is such an interesting experience that many foreigners regard it as part of the fun in touring Shanghai.


Do not forget to stroll the famed Zigzag Bridge (also named "Nine turn Bridge"), on which myriads of people can always be seen. It is undoubtedly another marvelous sight. If you can spare some time , you'd better go into the famous teahouse to take a sip of Chinese tea. The teahouse is called Mid-lake Pavilion built in 1783,where you can admire the wonderful scenery outside through the windows. Or you can step into a restaurant or a snack bar to enjoy the well-known steamed dumplings. However, you will often have to wait in a long line to be served. It is by all means worth the wait.

Nine turn Bridge


The 825 meter long Shanghai Old Street is divided into two sections by Guanyi Road, i.e. the Eastern Section and the Western Section. The Eastern Section extends to Renmin Road 人民路 while the Western Section to Henan Road(S.) 河南南路. The former's style is different from that of the latter. The Eastern Section keeps quite well the features of residences of the Late Qing Dynasty and Early Republican days. For example, the houses there are mostly fitted with checked windows, balustrades, swing doors, roofs with upturned eaves and protruding corners. And the Western Section is also characteristic of its buildings which have been modeled after the Ming and Qing Dynasty structures with black tiles, white washed walls, red columns and upturned eavesa typical folk token of Shanghai old downtown.

On Shanghai Old Street, a number of more than one hundred year old stores can be found, such as Wuliangcai, Old Shanghai Tea House, Tonghanchun and Laotongsheng. And a few newly opened traditional stores, clinics and restaurants can also be seen here and there on this street.

Open time (local):
8:00 - 20:00


Old City God's Temple was built in the reign of Yongle (1403-1424) of the Ming Dynasty to enshrine Shanghai's three celebrities, i.e. QinYubo, who was granted the title of City God of the former Shanghai County by the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Huo Guang, a famous general of the Han Dynasty, and Chen Huacheng, a national hero during the Opium War. In the Qing Dynasty this temple was very popular in Shanghai. Since then, the temple has been renovated time and again.

Old city

Today when we are talking about Old City God's Temple, it is always connected with the surrounding bazaar. In the past days, temple fairs used to be held on special days; however, the periodic fairs have been gradually turned to permanent markets. Now it is one of the busiest and most attractive scenic spots in Shanghai.

Open time (local):
9:00 - 17:00
5RMB (1$=6,9 RMB)
How to get in this place:
subway station "People's Square 人民广圽站", "Huangpi Rd (S) 黄陂南路站" (1-st line) or "Dashijie 大世界站" station (8-th line), then take taxi up to Yu Garden 豫园 (about 10-15 RMB)
bus 11,26,42,64,66, etc

All points are given in WGS 84:
  1. Mid-lake Pavilion Teahouse & The Zigzag Bridge - 31°13,723'N, 121°29,225'E
  2. Entrance in Yu Garden 豫园 and ticket office - 31°13,744'N, 121°29,233'E
  3. City God Temple 城皇庙 - 31°13,681'N, 121°29,260'E
  4. Tourist Information Centre - 31°13,662'N, 121°29,181'E

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