To get to the heart of a city, you need a good pair of shoes. Charles Baudelaire used the term `flâneur’ to describe someone who walks through the city to experience it. And nothing beats being shown around by those who have been walking the streets themselves for a while. Let the Shanghai Flaneurs take you on a walk-and-talk experience! As a community service SHANGHAI FLANEUR offers open walks on weekends for individuals, a novel format to explore urban space, involving short lectures, walks to key locations and discussions with our experts.
To join a open walk or register for the newsletter, kindly send a message to Ms. Chu, Yan at ychu(at) or call us @ +86 1381 892 2040 for short notice inquires.
Should you prefer privacy or have a special occasion to celebrate, we also offer all topics as private walks to individuals and families. To arrange a private walk please contact Ms. Chu, Yan at ychu(at)



Wuyi Lu and Lixi Lu may be little visited today, but their grand houses were home to some of Shanghai’s most influential residents in the 1930s and 40s. This walk, led by writer Duncan Hewitt, will explore this forgotten suburbia, still surviving in the midst of the city.

Starting at the old St Mary’s Hall, the famous girls’ school (affiliated to the former St John’s University) once attended by the author Eileen Chang, the route passes the former Jessfield Station and Park, before visiting some of the most prized addresses of Shanghai’s old West End between Yuyuan Lu and Wuyi Lu. These include Lixi Lu (formerly Lucerne Road) a tiny back street which was once home to the famous Kwok family (founders of the Wing On department store), the Qing dynasty statesman Li Hongzhang’s mother, the Swiss Club – and the legendary Shanghai architect Laszlo Hudec.

Expert: Duncan Hewitt is a British writer who first visited Shanghai in 1987 and moved to the city in 2000 and has since researched many of the city’s old neighbourhoods. He is the author of Getting Rich First – Life in a Changing China, (Vintage UK), a book on social change in China since the 1980s, with a particular focus on Shanghai. He contributed a chapter on Hongqiao Road to Tess Johston’s walking guide Still More Shanghai Walks. Learn more about him.

Date & Duration: Saturday, April 27th, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Cost: RMB 300 p.p., RMB 250 2nd person, RMB 250 p.p. for groups above 3, RMB 180 students
Meeting point: Subway station Zhongshan Park, Subway line 2/3/4, Exit 3, street level.) (Chinese address: 地铁2/3/4号线,中山公园站,3号出口路面)
Finishing point: Subway station Jiangsu Road (Chinese address: 江苏路地铁站)



Home to the world’s tallest skyscrapers in the early 20th and 21st century – this is the most visible parallel of New York City and Shanghai. Beyond that we find striking similarities in all economic, social and cultural layers that form these two Mega-Cities at Hudson and Huangpu River. As points of emigration, drawing people across land and sea, their populations have been growing at mindboggling speed, leading to their very own typologies of mass housing and urban slums. At the same time, some of the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurs, inspired artists and political activists turned Shanghai and New York City into centers of the jazz scene, newspaper industry, fashion and finance hubs and a thriving underworld.

Our walk takes us from the Bund through the former International Settlement area to people’s square, tracing Shanghai’s New-York-inspired Art Deco architecture and building technologies while discussing questions that arise from parallel developments over the past century: What were and still are the driving forces behind height competition and overbuilding? Is there a relation between income inequality and high-rise construction boom? How much New York do you feel in Shanghai?

Expert: Architect and project manager at the German architectural firm gmp von Gerkan Marg and Partners, Fanny Hoffmann-Loss studied at the Technical University Berlin and at Tongji University Shanghai. Having a strong interest in China, she also studied Mandarin at the Beijing Language Institute in the early 1990s and sinology at the Free University of Berlin. Learn more about her.

Date & Duration: Saturday, May 11th, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Cost: RMB 300 p.p., RMB 250 2nd person, RMB 250 p.p. for groups above 3, RMB 180 students
Meeting point: Under the Bull’s tail (Waitan, Bund near Fuzhou Rd.). (Chinese address: 外滩牛,近福州路)
Finishing point: North Huangpi Rd., corner of West Nanjing Road  (near Shanghai History Museum) (Chinese address: 黄陂北路/南京西路,近上海历史博物馆)