The Best of Shanghai Markets - Bargains and Diversity
When it comes to options for shopping, Shanghai offers heaps. While the obvious touristy places like Tianzifang, Nanjing West Road, Xintiandi etc are the obvious choices, China Highlights brings to you a more specific list of markets that you would not regret visiting, for a great shopping experience, complete with amazing bargains.
Shopping for Fakes
You would have heard of Shanghai teeming with fake markets, but there are just a few markets where it's worth going to shop and get some cool gifts for back home. One of the most prominent markets is the Han Market [580 Nanjing West Lu/ 南京西路] which is on Nanjing West Road.
This is a multi-storeyed haven of cheap but good to very good quality bags, luggage trolleys, household items, Chinese souvenirs, clothes and shoes, and much much more! This market is also home to a famous pearl shop on floor 2. You will not be disappointed. Read more about Pearl shopping here.
Shopping for Clothes
If you are after some custom clothes making, then we know the perfect market for you to check out is the Fabric Market [399 Lujiabang Lu, near Nancang Jie/ 南外滩轻纺面料市场, 陆家浜路399号, 近南仓街] near the bund. Here, you can get yourself any type tailored suit or dress if you have a design in mind or to show as a photo. Typically if you need to get a suit stitched, it would be ready in about two days to a week's time, at really cheap prices! You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to linen, cushions, rugs, curtains, etc.
The one most prominent and one of the oldest clothes markets is the Qipu Lu Clothing Market [168 Qipu Lu, near Henan Bei Lu/ 七浦路168号，近河南北路]. This is the largest of its kind in the city, if not the country! You have access to many many storeys of clothes, cheap to expensive, for all seasons. And of course shoes! If you are serious about it, prepare to go fresh faced early in the day, and bargain hard and we are certain that you will walk away with some great finds!
Shopping for Electronics
Well, there is an electronics shopping mall in Xujiahui, but we do not recommend buying any products there. Bargaining is tough, customer service is non existent, and you would in most circumstances end up with something that is simply not worth it.
However, we do recommend an amazing camera market in Shanghai - Xing Guang Photography Equipment Centre [288 Luban Lu, near Xietu Lu/ 鲁班路288号, 近斜土路]. This is a haven for camera lovers, photographers and the likes, and you will find a huge mass of brands and products in this building. There is a shop where you can get camera repairs done too.
Shopping During Christmas
Christmas is big in Shanghai, and over the years, the list of Christmas markets - regular ones and pop ups - has only grown. We recommend that you check out Christkindlmart - the biggest and most prominent Christmas market in the city, which is highly anticipated by residents and visitors to the city. There are several others that take place around Jing'An and in large malls like IAPM which are fun to hang out at and shop! Lots of mulled wine to go around while you explore the festivities in Shanghai during Christmas.
Shopping for Uyghur Goodies
There is a weekly Muslim market [1328 Changde Lu, near Aomen Lu] that is held near a mosque in Shanghai every Friday, 11 am until 4 pm. It is temporarily closed now because of COVID-19. This weekly gathering of Uyghur vendors is a meat haven along with tons of dried fruits, furs and specialty goodies from the North West of the country. You can feast here on lamb kebabs and other meat delicacies, meat and vegetable dumplings, meat pulav (rice dish), walnut dessert, delicious, freshly baked Uyghur bread, and more. Visit this gathering to shop for an attractive variety of dried dates, apricots, walnuts, raisins, figs, or some fur, and more to take back home!
Shopping at Pop-ups
Shanghai's creative and talented expat community come together frequently - once to twice every month - to present pop-up markets, which are essentially farmers' markets.
These typically feature live music, craft / locally made beers, baked goodies, homemade food, and a unique lively ambience on a weekend. You can find some really unique souvenirs to take back home, which won't be seen at any other place or time. These are also the best places to meet interesting people if you are looking to make friends. One of the most well known, bib-monthly pop up is held at Jiashan Market and goes by that same name. The other one on our radar is called Anken Life.
Shopping for Art
Shanghai's touristy areas like Tianzifang and Xintiandi do have stores where you will find art work and those are definitely the pricier option. We recommend two places which we think are perfect if you are looking to get good deals in art. One is the contemporary art district called M50 [50 Moganshan Lu/ 50莫干山路] which is a great experience to be had. Not only will you witness up-and-coming artists from China holding exhibitions, you also get to interact with them, and look at some unique, original pieces of art work.
The other place we recommend you check out is called 'Painter's Street' [212 Wending Lu, near Nandan Lu/ 212文定路，南丹附近鲁] which is a haven for those who are looking for cheap copies of popular art pieces and other work. This street has long lines of artists making multiple copies of what customers want. If you have something special you want a copy of, this is the place to come to.
Shopping for a Spouse
Last but not the least, we simply could not end without mentioning Shanghai's "marriage market" - one that you don't want to miss. This is a gathering of the family elders at People's Park [Line 2, 1 minute walk from People's Square station] every weekend, where they engage in dealings on behalf of their young unmarried nephews, nieces, daughters and sons.
Sitting under umbrellas, in heated discussions, they all display pamphlets which are akin to the individual's resume, including information about their employment status, physical attributes, salary and such, and can be seen haggling to find the right life partner for the single youth in their family.
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