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Yuyuan Gardens picture in Shanghai
Top Photo Corporation / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Dating back to the 16th century, the 5-acre Yuyuan Garden is the city's most revered green space. The garden took nearly 20 years to completely construct and was initially intended to be the private garden for Ming-dynasty official Pan Yunduan and his family. However, the garden ended up taking some hits, enduring both British occupation during the Opium Wars and again by the French during the Taiping Rebellion. Despite the turmoil, the garden remained largely intact and is today a beautiful retreat loved by many. Here, you'll find six main scenic areas and 30 pavilions outfitted with ornate structures like decorated bridges and colorful pagodas as well intimate enclaves that are divided by "dragon walls" (partitions with stone dragons lying on top). Highlights include the Heralding Spring Hall, the Jade Magnificence Hall and the Lotus Pool. 

Recent visitors enjoyed the scenery and architecture that comprise the Yuyuan Gardens but lamented the hoards of tourists the gardens attract. Many travelers ran into crowds during their visit and strongly recommended choosing a time when there won't be as many people, as some felt the crowds took away from the peaceful nature of the gardens. And depending on the season, it's worth noting that there isn't too much cover in the park, so visiting at peak hours on a hot afternoon during the summer could easily end up being a miserable experience.

Located near the Yu Garden metro stop, the garden welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to explore. For more information, consult the Shanghai tourism board website.

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#1 The Bund Shanghai's picturesque waterfront, known as "the Bund," is where you'll find those classic skyline photo ops. With the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and ... Read more » Matteao Colombo / Getty Images

#2 Shanghai Museum Located on the People's Square near Nanjing Road, the Shanghai Museum is hard to miss thanks to its distinct architecture (a circular building atop a square foundation) and remarkable ... Read more » John W Banagan / Getty Images

#3 Zhujiajiao Located 29 miles west of downtown lies the Venice of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao. This ancient water town saw its heyday during the Ming Dynasty, when its success as a commercial hub resulted ... Read more » bernotto / Getty Images

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#5 Yuyuan Garden Dating back to the 16th century, the 5-acre Yuyuan Garden is the city's most revered green space. The garden took nearly 20 years to completely construct and was initially ... Read more » Top Photo Corporation / Getty Images

#6 Longhua Temple As Shanghai's oldest and largest religious complex, Longhua Temple is a natural tourist attraction, drawing droves of travelers. The temple was built in the 10th century and is named ... Read more » Christoph Dietrich / Getty Images

#7 Jade Buddha Temple One of the city's most popular attractions, the Jade Buddha Temple impresses visitors with its legion of statues. The temple was originally built to house two jade statues brought ... Read more » OSTILL / Getty Images

#8 Shanghai Maglev It's simple: The Shanghai Maglev is one of the fastest passenger trains in the world. Traveling at about 270 miles per hour, this train is the adult equivalent of ... Read more » Nikada / Getty Images

#9 Oriental Pearl TV Tower As Shanghai's most recognizable landmark, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower occupies a prominent place on the city's landscape. Standing tall in the Pudong district, the structure features one ... Read more » IMAGEMORE Co, Ltd. / Getty Images

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The Bund picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Museum picture in Shanghai
Zhujiajiao picture in Shanghai
Shanghai World Financial Center picture in Shanghai
Yuyuan Gardens picture in Shanghai
Longhua Temple picture in Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Maglev picture in Shanghai
Oriental Pearl TV Tower picture in Shanghai
Nanjing Road picture in Shanghai
The Bund picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Museum picture in Shanghai
Zhujiajiao picture in Shanghai
Shanghai World Financial Center picture in Shanghai
Yuyuan Gardens picture in Shanghai
Longhua Temple picture in Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Maglev picture in Shanghai
Oriental Pearl TV Tower picture in Shanghai
Nanjing Road picture in Shanghai

The Bund is a riverfront boardwalk offering the perfect photo op for Shanghai's skyline.  Matteao Colombo / Getty Images

The Shanghai Museum's interior are as interesting as its unique exterior. John W Banagan / Getty Images

You'll find charming bridges and canals around every corner in the Venice of Shanghai, or Zhujiajiao. bernotto / Getty Images

Some people say this landmark building looks like the world's largest bottle-opener. zorazhuang / Getty Images

The Yu Garden offers a respite from the city's hustle and bustle. However, make sure to come early to avoid crowds.  Top Photo Corporation / Getty Images

You'll find these curious statuettes at the Longhua Temple. Christoph Dietrich / Getty Images

There are many Buddha statues at this temple, but the jade statues (including the one pictured above) steal the show.  OSTILL / Getty Images

The Shanghai Maglev is the fastest passenger train in the world. Nikada / Getty Images

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is perhaps Shanghai's most recognizable landmark.  IMAGEMORE Co, Ltd. / Getty Images

Some recent visitors compare the flash and flare of this shopping street to Las Vegas.  Rolf Bruderer / Getty Images

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