Located in a renovated portion of the Old French Concession’s residential neighborhood, Tian Zi Fang has become a trendy artistic district filled with cafes, boutiques, art studios and galleries. The neighborhood’s buildings were erected in the 1930s. It wasn’t until 2006 when it was slated for demolition that it underwent the transformation into the hip neighborhood it is today.
The yuppies, artists and expats who frequent the neighborhood today have local protestors, among them, Shanghai native and artist Chen Yifei, to thank for saving the area from redevelopment.
While the area now attracts a hip, young crowd, Tian Zi Fang has retained its eighteenth century Shikumen-style buildings, now occupied by more than 200 small businesses. If you’re looking for something quirky and different from the usual souvenirs, then Tian Zi Fang is the place to go, as many of the shops here specialize in handmade novelty items.