If you’ve made it to the Middle Kingdom than chances are high you already know about the amazing shopping in Shanghai. If you want souvenirs, we know where you need to head to avoid the cheese and come back home a gift-giving hero.
A note on bargaining. If you are at a touristy place like Yu Gardens, cut whatever their initial price is in quarters and pay 1/4th of what they originally ask. You might not always be able to achieve this price but it is a good, smart benchmark.
What to get:
Aside from the expected ‘I Heart SH’ shirts, you’ll find a wealth of potential souvenirs in Shanghai. A shopping city, Shanghai offers clothing for every budget. You’ll also find cultural replica relics like charming bronze Buddha heads and miniature brass pagodas. These make great gifts, as do the hanging wooden monkey figurines and replica revolutionary-era posters. These all make better Christmas gifts than a Shanghai snow globe.
Avoid the super-cheesey and flimsy gifts like ‘silk’ place mats and shirts, which are not actually silk and will fall apart almost immediately. Fans and simple items like this come in a wide range of quality, and the cheaper ones are essentially useless. Tea is another thing to avoid buying unless you know quite a bit about it. You could end up paying for a high-end item and walking away with little more than regular Lipton tea.
Where to go:
Yu Gardens is a great place to visit for the traditional and expected souvenirs. Here you’ll find your T-shirts, your wall paintings and even a few Tibetan booths selling clothing and artwork. You’ll find pipes, snuff boxes, scarves and, while shopping, a Starbucks to warm you back up again. It can be packed, and bargaining has become a bit harder due to increases in tourism from the Expo.
Heading to Beijing? Check out the Top Souvenirs and Gifts from China’s Capital!