Xintiandi Street

Located in the center of Shanghai City proper, Xintiandi Street is an area filled with cafés bistros, and small boutiques. It has a wonderful atmosphere which blends Shanghai’s past and present.

Xintiandi is comprised of traditional Shanghai Shikumen houses and lanes and it is this which give the area its charm. The name “Shikumen” means stone wrapped doors. The houses were a blend of Chinese and Western architectural styles. Behind the gates, which were framed in carved stone was a small courtyard and behind this courtyard, was the home. The layout of most Shikumen were very similar. The first floor consisted of a Parlor, a kitchen, and a back courtyard. The second and third floors had the living and dining areas. There was generally a small room for renting between the first and second floor. Very few of the Shikumen areas are left in Shanghai and it was decided that turning this particular section into a shopping and fine dining area would be a wonderful way to show this part of Shanghai’s culture to the world. There is a museum made from a Shikumen which is decorated as it would have been during the early 20th century to allow visitors to see what life would have been like in a Shikumen home.

Xintiandi is split into two sections, the North Block and South Block. The North block consists of the Shikumen buildings and are has a very lovely atmosphere. It features upscale boutiques, cafés, jazz clubs, wine shops, and restaurants. The South Block has a very modern feel to it and is a complex of shopping and entertainment areas. There are fashionable clothing shops, jewelry and watch shops, movie theatres, fitness centers, and restaurants from around the world.

Located near Xintiandi is the site of the first conference of the communist party of China.