Nanjing Road is the main shopping street of Shanghai, China, one of the world's busiest shopping streets. In a broad sense, Nanjing Road includes East-Nanjing Road and West-Nanjing Road, while in narrow sense, it only refers to the Nanjing Road before 1945 (today’s East-Nanjing Road), which is pedestrianized. Prior to 1949, the road's English name was rendered "Nanking Road" using the standard romanization of the time.
Nanjing Road is located in the city center, running in a west-east direction. Its eastern section is in Huangpu District and extends from The Bund (Wai Tan) west to People's Square. The western section begins at People's Square and continues westward towards Jing'an District. This section is known for its luxurious shopping centers. It is the world's longest shopping district, around 6 km long, and attracts over 1 million visitors daily..
The history of Nanjing Road can be traced back to the year 1851. At that time it was called “Park Lane”, which comes from the Bund to He’nan Road. In 1854, it was extended to Zhejiang Road, and eight years later, once more extended to Xizang Road. In 1865, it was named formally “Nanking Road” by the Municipal Council, which administered the International Settlement. In Chinese it was usually referred to as the Main Road (literally Great Horse Road). In 1943 the International Settlement was annulled, and after World war Two the government changed its name from Nanking Road to East-Nanjing Road, meanwhile named the former Bubbling Well Road West－Nanjing Road, and give a general name of the two roads—Nanjing Road, which with five kilometres total length.
As early as in the beginning of 20th century, eight big department stores were established along the street one after another. A series of franchised stores were set up at that time.
In 2000, as a part of the development plan held by the local government, Nanjing Road was reconstructed to be a characteristic pedestrian street. The width is about twenty-eight meters and the total length is one thousand two hundred meters, which extends from Henanzhong Road to Xizangzhong Road.
Tourists and guests often celebrate various holidays at Nanjing Road, such as the Chinese New Year, New Year's Eve, Christmas and Easter. Some parts of the buildings and shopping malls seen in front of the Nanjing Road today may host a fireworks display over the main isle of the street.
As China's most important shopping street and popular Shanghai tourist attraction, Nanjing Road is also a working place for professional con artists who are trying to rip off tourists. For men, they often offer female companionship with promises to provide sexual services and karaoke companionship. However, this is a trap. Some of them try to convince men to come with them to get "special massages" - again, sexually oriented propositions.
Another scam involves visiting "art galleries", where tourists are strong armed into purchasing low quality items.
It can be difficult to avoid these people as they might wait in front of hotels to lure unsuspecting tourists, or approach victims surprisingly while walking along the street. Often, asking to take their picture will cause them to leave. Another deterrent is to travel in a group, as they tend to favor lone travelers as targets.