Easy-to-Read Signs around Shanghai

I was recently walking around Shanghai near the Bund (west side of the river), and realized that a lot of the sign names there are super beginner-friendly. This is actually kind of rare, so it’s worth pointing out.

Here’s one for you, beginners!

Easy Signs New the Bund
Easy Signs New the Bundpic_hd
Easy Signs New the Bund
Easy Signs New the Bund

A few notes:

  • Having the cardinal directions (东、南、西、北) on the street signs is actually super useful. I use this constantly while walking around, and it’s actually pretty hard to get lost (even what your phone is dead!).
  • I didn’t realize this when I first came to China, but a ton of street names in many cities are just names of other cities in China. So you might assume for a long time that a street name like 九江路 is some kind of poetic “nine rivers street” made up for Shanghai, but no. You’d be wrong. Jiujiang is a city name.

John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Pat McDonald Says: November 17, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Ive found that Lots of North/South roads are named after Provinces. East/West tend to be cities.

    • Wow, very interesting! I never noticed that.

      There are way too many north-south roads to assign them all to provinces though, and off the top of my head I can think of 常德路 and 胶州路, which are also north-south but based on city names.

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