Old Town, Historic Center, Altstadt, Vanhakaupunki, Gammelstaden, Citta Vecchia, Centro Storico, Casco Antiguo, or whatever you may call it, is the part of a city where its architecture, history, and identity are kept alive. You can think of Montmartre in Paris, or Staré Město in Prag.
Shanghai, as a city which has been bringing the East and West together for several hundred years already has two such areas: The Old City around Yu Garden (豫园), and the former French Concession. The first one has been Shanghai county’s administrative seat for many hundred years and today excells at helping visitors to experience Chinese architecture, culture, and history. After the Opium War in 1842, several foreign concessions were established in Shanghai. The Old City remained under Chinese control, and the foreign concessions to its north and west developed into the new urban areas of Shanghai. The French Concession existed between 1849 and 1943, and remained rather unchanged for several decades.
What makes the former French Concession so popular today?
Today the area combines long tree-lined streets, high-rise malls, tudor mansions, many lane houses, few (and highly-sought after) apartment complexes, and beautiful parks – making the French Concession a true “Paris of the East”.
The overhanging trees and old parks make this area the perfect place for long strolls in the middle of the world’s largest metropolis. The Metro and bus network in this part of town is excellent, shopping facilities cover the whole range from budget to pure-luxury options, and when it comes to nightlife you are simply spoiled for choice.
There is something for everyone in the former French Concession, from bargain deals at little local shops to 4-figure designer labels and everything in-between. Same goes for dining and entertainment – making it a fantastic area to live for executives, families, young professionals. And of course – being in the Paris of the East, you’ll find great cafés, well-dressed ladies, eclectic art galleries and the whole range of fashion.
What’s more is that the area, although charming, picturesque, and with its own chapter in every Shanghai travel guide, is not overrun with tourists – unlike the Bund area, which also comes with old world charm, but lacks the potential for one to wind down.
Property options in the former French Concession
All this combined with its central location makes the former French Concession a very, very popular area for expats to settle. When searching for houses in the former French Concession, you can choose between modernized lane houses, garden houses, mid-rise run-up buildings, few single-high rise apartment towers, and even fewer compounds: gated apartment communities with on-site facilities, and last but not least: service apartments.
While lane houses and run-ups and single high-rise buildings are sprinkled throught the streets of the former French Concession, the following compounds and service apartments are frequently requested by our expat clients:
Compounds in the former French Concession:
- The Summit at Middle Wulumuqi Road 99
- Kingsville at Anfu Road 198
- Chevalier Place at Anfu Road 168
- Palace Court at Middle Huaihai Road 1068
- Joffre Garden at Nanchang Road 555 (just behind IAPM shopping mall)
- Ambassy Court at Middle Huaihai Road 1500 (close to Shanghai Library)
- Hengshan 41 at Hengshan Road 41
- La Cite at Hunan Road 565
- The Paragon at South Maoming Road 9
- Grand Plaza at Julu Road 568 (close to Jing’an Temple)
- Mingyuan Century City at Middle Fuxing Road 199
- Champs Elysee at Xiangshan Road 55 (near Fuxing Park)
- Le Marquis at Taiyuan Road 289
- Central Residences at Huashan Road 1038
Service apartments in the former French Concession are provided by:
- Le Chateau Huashan
- Sussie Place
- Ascott Hengshan
- Central Residences
- Ambassy Court
- Belgravia Place
- Villa Beaurivage
- Royal Pavilion
- Aimking Mansion