The Former French Concession


The Former French Concession (FFC) is a popular area that is located in the Xuhui and Huangpu districts. From 1849 to 1943, the area was the concession for the French, or, in other words, an area that was both occupied and ruled by the French.


Normandie Apartments Art Deco building in the Former French Concession of ShanghaiThe FFC was previously the top residential area in Shanghai, and many people, including expats, still look to reside in the area. You can find various styles of housing in the FFC, including lane houses, middle to high-end compounds, and renovated apartment buildings. The peaceful tree-lined streets and the beautiful colonial French buildings also make the area appealing to potential residents. It is centrally located, and there is easy access to the other districts.


Bars and Restaurants on Hengshan Road in the Former French Concession of ShanghaiFor those not looking to move to the FFC, there are still lots of things to see and do in the region. There are many dining options in the FFC. One can eat Italian food, Japanese food, and food from different Chinese regions. The FFC is also very popular for its nightlife. Hengshan Road (right) is one of the prime areas in Shanghai for nightlife with many of the old buildings being repurposed as clubs or bars. More bars and clubs can be found on Huaihai, Julu, and Yongfu Roads.


For those who are passionate about wine, the FFC also has a number of wine bars. Enoteca is one of the wine bars located in the area, and they have Argentinean and South African wines. There are lots of shops in the area as well. Times Square on Huaihai Road has a large mall. For smaller boutiques, one can visit Julu, Anfu, Xinle, and Changle Roads.


Fuxing Park in the Former French Concession of ShanghaiThe FFC also has its fair share of cultural activities. Aside from the historical French buildings and streets, one can visit the former residence of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen which has now been converted into a museum. Just south of the FFC, one can find the Longhua Martyr’s Cemetery and Longhua Temple. The Cemetery and Temple are very beautiful with statues and fountains, and they commemorate Communists who were shot and killed on the grounds by the Kuomintang. To take a break from all of the sight-seeing in the FFC, one can visit Fuxing Park (above). The Park, which was once known as French Park, has lovely gardens and green space, as well as nightclubs and restaurants scattered around the park.


Full of history and things to do, the FFC is a must-see area in Shanghai, in addition to being a great place to live.