Tongchuan Road Seafood Market (Tongchuan Lu)

Admission:

Free

Hours:

Early morning (7am) is the most atmospheric. Early evening (6pm) is the best time to eat.

How to get there:

The market is at 871 Tongchuan Road (Tóngchuān Lù, 铜川路) near Caoyang Road (Cáoyáng Lù, 近曹杨路) in the north of the city.

The nearest Metro station is Caoyang Lu (Line 3), but it's still a 25 minute walk north on Caoyang Lu itself. Better to take a taxi from downtown (around 30-40 RMB).

Although hardly a rival to Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market, Shanghai's Tongchuan Road (Tóngchuān Lù, 铜川路) is nevertheless a fun place to see the city's famous mercantile spirit in full throttle. If you plan on doing more than just looking, make sure someone in your party speaks Chinese and has a rough idea of reasonable pricing: this is one wet market where it's not just the products that are slippery.

Buying though, is what this place is all about, and it'd be a shame not to join in. After all, Shanghai is a port city, meaning it gets the pick of both local and international produce. Many of the city's top restaurants source their seafood here, and it's possible to pick up crabs, lobsters, and even abalone cheaper than anywhere else in town. 

The trick is to take your time: compare prices and quality before you buy. Then take what you've bought to any of the nearby restaurants and, for a small fee, have it cooked for you. Xin Jiulong Tang (Xīn Jiǔlóng Táng, 新九龙塘; 920 Tongchuan Lu) is a highly recommended place. 

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