French Concession/ Huaihai Road /Maison Mode
Previously known as Avenue Joffre, Huaihai Road runs parallel to Nanjing and was once the most popular shopping avenue. While it lost out to Nanjing Road in terms of scale, it maintains a reputation for elegant, boutique-style shopping. The local highlight is Maison Mode, with its collection of designer brands.
The Bund/ Yuyuan Gardens /Old Town Bazaar
Also known as Yuyuan Bazaar, this is the place to find Chinese handicrafts, antiques and local artwork. The historic storefronts are arrayed across a maze of pedestrian alleys that are worth checking out, even for those not in the mood to shop. This area is Shanghai's oldest and boasts beautiful gardens and temples.
With nearly twice the retail space as Nanjing Road, this thoroughfare is more popular with locals than tourists due to the abundant bargains. What it lacks in name-brand merchandise it makes up for in sheer discounts. The tangle of shopping malls in this district is anchored by Nextage department store.
Shanghai shopping tips
Bargain hunters appreciate the opportunity to haggle over prices, but note that some shops have fixed prices. The best strategy for securing good deals is to scope out prices in department stores or hotel gift shops (always fixed-price and more expensive). Then armed with this knowledge, head into the foray of street vendors and bargain accordingly.
Specialty shoppers, especially antique hunters and jewelry collectors, are urged to practice caution. Fakes are convincing and surprisingly prolific. Authentic antiques should be marked by a red waxy seal, and nothing that predates the 19th century may be exported. A good rule is to buy something simply because you like it and not because you suspect you're getting incredible value for money.