Xintiandi is an affluent entertainment area in the Huangpu District of Shanghai. The area was meant to preserve 19th century Shikumen housing as the style began to disappear with Shanghai’s increasing modernity. The Shikumen style was created as a result of foreign influences being brought into Shanghai, which reveals clues about the culture of Shanghai during the period. The buildings have retained the traditional exterior while having modern and international stores, cafes, and restaurants on the inside.
The variety of dining options is vast. You can choose between eating traditional Chinese food, or you can have lunch at a Japanese, Thai, or other international restaurant. You can finish your meal with a Western dessert from Cold Stone Creamery or Godiva. After eating, there are plenty of stores, including Western ones, for shopping. With options like French Connection, Tumi, and a Rolls Royce dealership, Xintiandi has a store for every type of shopper.
Xintiandi isn’t all just shopping and dining though. You can visit the site of the Communist Party of China’s first congress at the Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (right). The Museum has exhibits about the history of Shanghai and China, particularly events about the establishment of the Communist Party. Also available to visit is the Shikumen Open House Museum which shows what the interior of a 1920-30s Shikumen house looked like. Every item in the Museum is from the period to make the exhibit feel authentic.
You can also live in Xintiandi, but for a price. The area is supposedly the most expensive place to live in China with rent prices soaring higher than some other international metropolises. A number of Chinese and expat elites live in the neighborhood.
Whether moving to the area or not, Xintiandi is certainly worth a visit as it blends the ancient with the contemporary while exhibiting the array of international culture present in Shanghai.