Shanghai Walks: Outdoor Drinking

Al fresco drink-themed walk around The Former French Concession

Walking time: 1-2 hours (not including drinking time)
Starting point: Xintiandi metro station, Line 10

1. Heavy drinker

If you want some refreshment for this drink-themed walk, there’s an Alldays just to the right of Xintiandi station's Exit 2. Once you’re stocked up, head west on Fuxing Zhong Lu. You’ll first pass the Romanesque All Saints Church, built in 1925, at the junction of Danshui Lu, then the neighbouring Park Apartments built a year later and, on the north side of Fuxing Zhong Lu, the pretty offices of M&C Saatchi. When you hit the junction with the elevated Chongqing Nan Lu, cross to the north-east corner to 514 Fuxing Zhong Lu. Look up and you’ll see an advert featuring some remarkable weightloss.

Question: According to the pictures, how much weight did this man lose (kg)?

2. Boozing in the park

Across Chongqing Nan Lu is the beautiful and bustling Fuxing Park (open 5am-6pm daily), which features a large stretch of grass perfect for enjoying a few beers in the sun – the small shop next to the tea rooms inside the park has cans of Suntory beer for 5RMB each. When you’re ready to move on, head across the road to the Sinan Mansions complex. Inside, you’ll find Boxing Cat microbrewery, which has outdoor seating when it’s warm. Back inside Sinan Mansions, you’ll find two giant silver heads outside Longmen Art Projects. One’s a deer and one’s a dog.

Question: What is the name of the artist responsible for these heads?

3. Kommunal drinking

Return to Sinan Lu itself and head south until Jianguo Zhong Lu. Cross to the south side of the road and turn right, continuing along until you find lane 115, one of the entrances to Tianzifang. Head inside the sprawling former residential area and continue along this lane until you reach the courtyard on your right, home to Kommune, a chilled out Aussie bar and café that was one of the first establishments to move here back in 2002. Once you've had your fill of Tianzifang, find your way back to Jianguo Zhong Lu and continue west.

Question: What popular bar snack is available for 4RMB/cup at Mimian Jujia (Unit 3, 155 Jianguo Zhong Lu)?

4. Drinking songs

Turn right when you meet Ruijin Er Lu and head north until the junction with Shaoxing Lu. Turn down the small road – a classically pretty French Concession street home to numerous cafés, bookshops and galleries – making sure not to miss the stained glass windows and Art Deco stylings of number 9, home to the Shanghai Kunju Opera Troupe. Further along is Shaoxing Park (open 6am-6pm daily), a small area populated with card players and model opera masks. Plaques on the outside wall of the park also introduce China’s traditional operas.

Question: According to the Shanghai opera introduction, which Pudong folk song is the opera form derived from?

5. Jiashan beer gardens

Continue along Shaoxing Lu to the junction with Shaanxi Nan Lu and cross to the west side of the street before turning left, and heading south to lane 550. Enter the lane and make your way past the market sellers and xiaolongbao stall until you reach the Jiashan Market complex. Immediately on your right you’ll find Café Sambal, which boasts a pleasant upstairs terrace. Above the bar’s terrace, there’s also a rooftop garden accessible by the stairs to the south of Café Sambal, full of vegetable plants, fruit trees and with a resident rabbit and chicken.

Question: In the garden, beside the barbecue is a large, oddly-shaped playhouse. What colour is it?

Getting home
Exit Jiashan Market and turn left. A short walk will bring you to Jiashan Lu, which you can follow south to the metro station of the same name on Line 9.

See all Shanghai walks