Huangpu and People’s Square
This area has some of the most historical places in town however it does not have a lot to offer in terms of international accommodation. Although Huangpu sure makes up for it in terms of interesting and historical spots; most famous are People’s Square, Yuyuan Garden and The Bund. With the opening of retail and restaurant venues like 3 on the bund, and M on the Bund the bund is starting to become a destination point for local residence and expats.
is a spectacular space in the heart of the city. Formerly the city’s race-course, a sports arena and a gamblers paradise, the area west of Nanjing Lu was converted after the war to become the People’s Square. Renmin Guangchang is a vast green area including plants and trees and surrounded by spectacular buildings on all sides. In the north lies the Municipal Government Mansion, an impressive and serious building which is not open to the public. In the northwest sits the Shanghai Grand Theatre, a colossal construction made almost entirely from glass which is balanced by the brand new Exhibition Hall for City Planning in the east. The most impressive building in the square however, is the Shanghai Museum. Perfectly smooth and symmetrical, the building was designed to resemble a Chinese cooking pot. The Square is particularly spectacular at night, when steam appears to seep out of the roof of the museum and the light bounces off the glass walls of the Grand Theatre.
With the opening of retail and restaurant venues like 3 on the bund and M on the Bund, the Bund is starting to become a destination point for local residence and expats. Its famous waterfront is regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. The most famous and attractive sight which is on the west side of the Bund are the 52 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance. On the opposite side, the spectacular view of the new Shanghai building including the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Jin Mao Tower can be seen across the river.
Suzhou is fast becoming the relocation option (offices) of choice for media, creative and design agencies in Shanghai. Since the government clean up of the creek, renovation works to the banks of the river and investment in some of the historic warehouses, Suzhou Creek has started to emerge as a natural alternative to higher costing, modern downtown office space. Advantages of Suzhou Creek include a range of unique warehouse/offices that provide a distinct company image and working environment. Transportation links, including Xinzha Lu and Shimen Lu subway stations and only 10mins walk from Nanjing Lu and public car parking, mean customers enjoy easy proximity to downtown office locations, at a fraction of the price.
Hongqiao & Gubei
Hongqiao was developed towards international standards because of its close proximity to Hongqiao Airport, which has now lost its significance since all international routes have been taken over by Pudong International Airport. Hongqiao offers many western style compounds, both apartments and villas, and is an excellent choice for families with small children since this is where you will find most of the international schools and kindergartens. Accommodation is significantly cheaper than living downtown and, as it is the case with Pudong as well, if your priorities are focused on quiet living, recreational facilities and green surroundings, Hongqiao has a lot to offer. However if you are interested in nightlife and dining downtown is your best bet.
Gubei is considered the most exclusive residential area within Hongqiao and is located closer to the city than the ‘real’ Hongqiao. Easy access to the elevated highway makes it convenient to get to just about any part of the city. Gubei offers some very charming villa compounds with focus on facilities and security, making it a top choice for families. Ideal if dad is working downtown and the kids are in a school in Hongqiao. Gubei is a typical suburb without much charm but geared to conveniently cater to the everyday needs of a busy family.
Everbright City /Zhabei
Everbright City may seem dull and grey in daylight but it certainly lights up like a carnival at night which is supposedly how it got its name. Located close to Shanghai Railway Station with train connections to just about all parts of China, it is considered a local district and does not have a lot to offer if you are looking for western standard accommodation, shopping and entertainment. It also lacks the character and charm which is prevalent for other local districts such as Huangpu. However, many foreign students on tight housing budgets prefer this area where cheap apartments are easy to find, and the train station makes it easy to go downtown.