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Exploring Tianzifang

What to do in this little neighborhood of Shanghai

by ryanedwardkalb | Fri, November 03, 2017

District: Xuhui

Cross Streets: Taikang Lu and Ruijin Lu

Nearest Metro Station: Dapuqiao (Line 9)

The labyrinth Tianzifang – with narrow alleyways, century-old-brick residences, and traditional shikumen flair – has been updated and transformed into boutiques, restaurants, and studios. As one of the most visited tourist sites in Shanghai, weekends can be overbearing, but find some breathing room and other gems at these little escapes.

Stack up on jewellery



Peruse some jewelry at The Legend of Stone, which specializes in hand-made and bespoke turqoise pieces sourced from Yun County in Hubei. The gems hold historic signifcance within Chinese culture, dating back to the Qing Dynasty, and are thought to carry luck and joyfulness. Lane 210, Taikang Lu; 5465 3585

Fill your wardrobe



Hi, My Name Is is a treasure trove of children’s clothes and toys with a large selection of qipaos: traditional one-piece Chinese dresses originating in 17th century Manchu ruled China. They can be made-to-order or selected from their affordable rainbow of pieces on display. Lane 210, Taikang Lu; 159 0059 5123

Bring home souvenirs


Art street

One private studio worth a visit is Cosmos Design, which primarily features the works of internationally acclaimed Chinese illustrator He Youzhi. In addition to his drawings of all sizes, it’s the ideal place to score souvenirs or gifts. Their poster and (post)card collections are especially tasteful. Lane 210, Taikang Lu; 6473 0795

Drink and relax

Bell Bar

Enter an unassuming exterior into Bell Café and Bar, a deceptively large, five-story lane house café. Like a cat’s jungle gym, it’s laid out on different levels amidst cozy overstuffed couches. With dim lighting, they boast an extensive drink selection and Western menu, focusing on tasty Mexican specialties. Lane 248, Taikang Lu;



Indian Restaurant

One of the best Indian restaurants in the city is situated prominently within Tianzifang: Lotus Land is an intimate affair, where you can sit on mats in a colorful dining room salivating over curries and delicacies straight from the tandoor oven. Be sure to try their unique culinary creations such as crab masalas! Lane 274, Taikang Lu; 5465 2743


Want more? Check out what you can find on Wuding Lu.