Nanjing Xilu, near Maoming Beilu
METRO: West Nanjing Road (Line 2)
Escape the crowds of West Nanjing Road and get a taste of lilong (traditional Shanghai residential alley) life down Lane 1025. Taking up a whole block between West Nanjing Road and Weihai Road to the south, Lane 1025 contains row upon row of gorgeous red-brick buildings.
Three stories high, they are mainly residential, but many of the yards contain cafés, art galleries, and independent boutiques. Unlike the historic shikumen (stone arch gate) housing compounds that have mostly been destroyed, Shanghai’s lilong continue to thrive, and make up much of the city’s low-rise housing stock.
Once you get inside the Lane complex, it’s easy to forget that you’re actually at the center of one of the world’s biggest cities.