The best things to do in Shanghai's suburbs: North

Explore the outer reaches of Shanghai with our guide to the north

As part of Time Out's guide to exploring the outer reaches of Shanghai we take a look at the best things to do in the north of the city, from Yangpu to Jiading, including the birthplace of xiaolongbao, the Kuomintang’s ‘new Shanghai’, and a retro roller disco.

Click through the links below for our guide to Shanghai's suburbs

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"1-3-jiangwan-00-cropped"Seek out the Kuomintang’s ‘new Shanghai’ near Jiangwan Town

The recent construction of Lingang in a remote corner of southeast Shanghai is the latest in the city’s long line of dalliances with ‘new’ and ‘satellite’ settlements. One of the most interesting historical precedents exists in the stretch of the city east from Jiangwan Stadium to the Shanghai University of Sport. It’s here that the Kuomintang attempted to shift Shanghai’s focal point away from the foreign concessions during the 1930s.

Four key buildings from that era remain. The still imperious Jiangwan Stadium (Asia’s largest when it was completed in 1935) is joined further east by a trio of matching structures: the former Shanghai Museum (now a hospital wing), the old seat of the Shanghai government (now an admin hall for the university) and the old Shanghai Library. The last of these is inaccessible to the public – the library has unfortunately been left to decay behind a high wrought iron fence, though slogans daubed on it by the Communists are still visible from the road.

Get there See our guided walk from Xiangyin Lu to Jiangwan Stadium metro stations featuring all of the sites mentioned above.

Cycling Fuxing IslandBike to Chiang Kai-shek’s last Mainland China bolt-hole

While the name Fuxing Island may conjure up quaint images of small fishing boats and nets being fixed outside of pastel-coloured houses, the reality is unfortunately somewhat dustier. A small strip of land beside the Shanghai International Fashion Centre on Yangshupu Lu (itself worth a trip for slightly different reasons), the island is mostly occupied by a string of shipyards.

Towards the northern end, however, is Fuxing Island Park, an oasis of greenery that features an unremarkable (and unmarked) white bungalow that served as Chiang Kai-shek’s final Mainland stopover before he fled to Taiwan in 1949. That you can’t get inside or even particularly near the building is a disappointment, but the island still makes for a good spot to spend some time on as part of a fascinating cycle ride through the lanes of Hongkou and Yangpu districts.

Get there Find directions for the full bike route to Fuxing Island as well as a map with our cycle route.


Eat dumplings at the (supposed) birthplace of the xiaolongbao...

Nanxiang, located on Line 11, lays claim to being the place where Shanghai’s beloved xiaolongbao was first created. The locals have decided to make the most of this folklore with a whole street (Guyi Yuan Lu) dedicated to churning out the steamed dumpling (pictured inset). Guyi Yuan Restaurant (218 Huyi Gong Lu, near Guyi Yuan Lu, 5912 1335) – notable for its grand, temple-like building – is one of the best and will do you a steamer of 20 Nanxiang xiaolongbao for 20RMB.

Get there Head to Nanxiang station on Line 11.

Guyi Park

...then walk them off in Guyi Park

Aside from stuffing your face with Nanxiang’s famous dumplings, the main reason to visit this part of Jiading district is to wander the grounds of the picturesque Guyi Park (entry 12RMB). Originally constructed by an officer during the Ming Dynasty, the landscaped gardens have been rebuilt and expanded a number of times, but have retained their atmospheric charm. Inside, you’ll find teahouses and traditional Chinese corridors surrounding a central stretch of lily pad-laden water being circumnavigated by groups of elderly locals and families enjoying a thoroughly pleasant stroll.

Get there Guyi Park, 218 Huyi Gong Lu, near Guyi Yuan Lu. See full address details.

Click through the links below for our guide to Shanghai's suburbs

North | East | South | West | All