Shanghai Travel Guide

Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar

Chinese lion statue
Chinese lion statue

The old-style buildings of the Yu Gardens bazaar are not really old, but the fanciful roofs are nevertheless very appealing. The shops here peddle everything from tourist souvenirs to traditional medicines and, despite inflated prices, the area is incredibly popular. It is best to arrive early and go straight to the beautiful and relatively peaceful Ming-dynasty Yu Gardens (Yu Yuan). A dumpling lunch, before the restaurants get too busy, will set you up for a hectic afternoon of shopping and haggling, followed by a cup of tea in the quaint Huxinting teahouse.

Yu Gardens

Huge rockery City God Temple Yu Gardens Bazaar Yu Gardens Bazaar
Huge rockery
Reputed to be one of the best Ming rockeries, it is surely one of the largest. The rockery recalls the peaks, caves, and gorges of southern China.
City God Temple
Dating back to the Ming era, the temple once housed the patron god of Shanghai and encompassed an area as large as the bazaar. Now this small restored temple is very popular with tourists
Yu Gardens Bazaar, modern shops in old-fashioned buildings Yu Gardens Bazaar
Despite being a bit of a tourist trap, there is plenty of fun to be had wandering among the stalls and haggling over prices.

Yu Gardens scenic areas Huxinting Teahouse Dragon wall
Yu Gardens scenic areas
The walls divide the garden into six scenic areas, which makes it feel like a maze and seem larger than it really is. As a result, the garden gets very busy in the afternoon and on weekends.
Huxinting Teahouse
This charming building, built in 1784 by cotton merchants, only became a teahouse in the late 19th century. The zigzag bridge protects the structure, as evil spirits can't turn corners.
Dragon wall
The white walls in the garden are topped by an undulating dragon. Note it only has four claws and not five like an imperial dragon, so as not to incur the emperor's wrath.

City God Temple

  • City God Temple
  • 8:30am–4:30pm daily

Yu Gardens

  • Yu Gardens
  • 8:30am–4:30pm daily

Huxinting Teahouse

  • Huxinting Teahouse
  • 8:30am–9pm daily
Entrance, First National Congress of the Chinese Community Party
Entrance, First National Congress
of the Chinese Community Party

Site of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

  • 374 Huangpi South Rd
  • Huangpi South Rd
  • 9am–4pm

This house in the French Concession was the venue for a historic meeting, where representatives of China's communist cells met to form a national party on July 23, 1921. Officially, there were 12 participants including Mao Zedong, but it is believed that many others also attended. The police discovered the meeting and the delegates were forced to escape to a boat on Lake Nan, in Zhejiang. The house has a reconstruction of the meeting, with the original chairs and teacups used by the delegates. The exhibition hall tells the history of the Chinese Communist Party.

Fuxing Park

  • Fuxing Zhong Rd.
  • Huangpi South Road

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Residence

  • 7 Xingshan Rd.
  • 021 6437 2954
  • 9am–4pm daily

Zhou Enlai's Former Residence

  • 73 Sinan Rd.
  • 9am–4pm daily
Statue of Sun Yat Sen, Sun Yat Sen Memorial
Statue of Sun Yat Sen,
Sun Yat Sen Memorial

The French bought this private garden, located in the French Concession, in 1908. It was known then as the "French Park," and has elements of a formal Parisian jardin, with meandering paths flanked by cherry trees. It was renamed Fuxing, meaning "revival," in 1949.

The European-style villa that was Zhou Enlai's former residence
The European-style villa that was
Zhou Enlai's former residence

Close by on Xiangshan Road is the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Residence, a typical Shanghai villa where the leader and his wife, Soong Qingling, lived between 1918 and 1924. The interior is just as it was in Sun's time, with many of his personal items such as his gramophone and books. South of the park, 73 Rue Massenet (now Sinan Road) was the Former Residence of Zhou Enlai, who lived here when he was head of the city's Communist Party in the 1940s. It is furnished in a spartan style and is another excellent example of a European-style Shanghai villa.

French Concession

  • Shaanxi South Road

The former French Concession, stretching from the western edge of the Old City to Avenue Haig (Huashan Road), comprises boulevards, shops, and cafés, and its residents were mainly White Russians and Chinese. It had its own electrical system, judiciary, and police force, whose highest ranking officer "Pockmarked Huang," was the leader of the infamous Green Gang which controlled the opium trade.

Today, the Concession is centered on Huaihai Road and Nanjing Road – vibrant streets lined with megamalls, boutiques, hair salons, restaurants, and bars – and the area around the stylish Jinjiang Hotel. The hotel's compound includes the Grosvenor Residence, pre-war Shanghai's most exclusive property. The VIP Club, in the hotel's old wing, retains its 1920s architecture. The surrounding streets, especially Tongren Road, come alive at night with lively bars and clubs (see Directory). Another interesting building is the Ruijin Guesthouse at the corner of Fuxing Zhong Road and Shaanxi South Road. This Tudor-style manor is now an inn set in a quiet compound. The Children's Palace at the western end of Yan'an Road was part of an early-1920s estate, and is now a children's arts center. The tourist office arranges tours to watch its singing and dancing shows.

Please click here to read more information about the Yu Gardens.

For more details, please visit China Tours and China Travel Information.


China Tours including trips to Yu Gardens, Shanghai