Encompassing two blocks between Madang and South Huang Pi Roads, Xintandi is an upmarket pedestrian street straddling the old and the new where you can dine at expensive bars and restaurants and shop in chic boutiques among heritage housing. Designed as ‘the city's living room', it's the ideal spot to people watch from the outside seating areas.
Xintiandi was completed in 2002 by converting dilapidated residential blocks into an entertainment complex boasting restaurants, bars, boutiques and cafes. A remarkable feature of this urban attraction is the Shikumen housing – stone gatehouses or traditional alleyway homes which appeared in the 1860s and are a fusion of Chinese and Western architectural styles. The Shikumen buildings of Xintiandi retain the antique façade, walls and tiles however the interiors have been given a 21st-century spruce-up to reflect a modern urban lifestyle.
Xintiandi is divided into two blocks: the North and South blocks. The North block is comprised of antique Shikumen buildings with modern interiors, and restaurants and boutiques with an international flavour. The South block contains a mix of traditional and modern architecture including a glass wall building providing a one-stop entertainment precinct with restaurants, boutiques, food courts, cinemas and gyms. Opened in 2010, Xintiandi Style is a shiny new four-level indoor shopping mall connected to the South block aimed at nurturing and showcasing Chinese fashion designers. The entire Xintiandi area is best explored by strolling down the alleyways to admire the Shikumen architecture and indulging in some retail therapy or enjoying a bite to eat and a drink in one of the upscale bars and restaurants.
Other attractions in the area include the Shikumen Open House Musuem, and the site of the First Congress Hall of the Communist Party of China on Xingye Lu which divides the two blocks. To get to Xintiandi, take metro line 1 to South Huang Pi Station and walk five minutes'south down Madang Lu. From metro line 10 to Xintiandi Station, it's a six minute walk north up Madang Lu.