Although often neglected in favor of more glamorous neighborhoods, the northern Shanghai districts of Putuo and Hongkou offer interesting sites and shouldn’t be ignored.
Hongkou District is relatively undeveloped and unchanged, and buildings from the past are visible behind cheap clothing stores. Shanghai’s old Jewish Quarter is here, too. An area with an interesting history, Hongkou has the most sights worth seeing, as well as the lush green sweep of Lu Xun Park.
In Putuo, the old buildings and warehouses around Suzhou Creek, which feeds into the Huangpu, have been turned into hip-and-happening artsy venues. Of particular note is the M50 development, which—in typical Shanghai fashion—is slated for still more renovation and development in the near future. Also in Putuo District is another one of Shanghai's main temples, the Jade Buddha Temple, which is an easy walk from Jing’an, the district just to the south.