Plan your Shanghai Tour? Before your arrival at Shanghai, you’ve probably been bombarded by the images ( via TV and Internet ) of the futuristic and avant-garde megatall buildings in Pudong and the old art deco buildings on the Bund.
In the fast developing metropolitan city of Shanghai, you may wonder whether there is a place or enclave where you could still feel the old time world – Chinese traditional buildings, typical Chinese eateries, Shanghai old town and gardens. The answer is yes! The place is known as Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar.
Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar has lots of different names – Old Town, Old Shanghai, City God Temple, Yu Yuan Garden and Yuyua Bazaar and the list could be longer.
This place is part of the remaining old walled city of the old Shanghai. The bazaar surrounds the beautiful Yuyuan Garden and a plethora of narrow alleys radiate from the bazaar, a touristy, but a place full of life attracting a consistent flow of touristes each day.
How to Get to Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar?
Take subway line 10 ( transfer from Subway line 2 at East Nanjing Road ) and get off at the station of Yuyuan Garden (豫园) and exit from the Exit No.01. But the long stroll from the station to the core of the old town is a bit tricky.
The old town has been exploited commercially with more and more shopping centers and stores of various sizes springing up from all the places and some of them are built in the traditional styles, distracting you all the way to the real and authentic old town.
Basically sticking to Fuyou Road (福佑路) in the east direction, then follow the signs pointing to Yuyuan Garden. To locate the real old town, you remember the “nine-turning bridge” on a pond surrounded by the bustle bazaar and Yiyuan Garden. The Huxingting Tea House floating on the pond is a favorite place for tourists for a sip of tea and dim sum.
So if you see the Nine-Bend Bridge and the Tea House on the pond with a backdrop of the highest building ( Shanghai Tower), then you hit the right place – the core of Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar!
How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar?
First you should know the top things to do in this area. So why here? Most people would walk on the photogenic Nine-Bend Bridge which connects the bazaar area to Yuyuan Garden on the other side.
After visiting Yuyuan Garden, have a short visit to Shanghai City God Temple. Then walk around shopping and dining at the bazaar area.
Come here in the morning for lunch or afternoon for dinner. A half day is needed if you are going to visit Yuyuan Garden, having a bite of local eats and visit the City God Temple.
1. Nine-Bend Bridge and Pond
The Nine-Bend Bridge and the Pond is the core of the bustling area. Take a picture of the traditional Chinese gardening with a backdrop of the highest building – Shanghai Tower.
After lunch or dinner, you may have a cup of tea in Huxingting Tea House built on the pond.
2. Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan is the most famous garden in Shanghai. It dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1638 – 1644). Now a hot tourist destination, well known for its Taihu rockeries, Horse-head wall, Chinese gardening and traditional buildings.
Ticket Price: RMB40 (on season); RMB30 (off-season)
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00
3. Shanghai City God Temple
Exiting from your visit to Yuyuan Garden, you are recommended to visit Shanghai City God Temple on the southeast corner of the bazaar area. Entrance fee: 10 yuan.
In old China many walled cities had a temple dedicated a protector of the city. The City God Temple in Shanghai was originally built as the Jinshan God Temple.
It was converted into a Shanghai City God Temple in 1403, during the Yongle era of the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644).
Today local residents as well as tourists visit the temple to pray for good fortune and peace.
The so-called bazaar is the busy area surrounding the Nine-Bend Pond and Yuyuan Garden.
There are hundreds of small touristy shops, restaurants and tea houses in this area housed in really nice Chinese buildings that give some impressions and spirit of the old days in Shanghai.
Crowds and Starbucks
This is also the place with the rich collection of the local snacks and cuisines in Shanghai. Try the famous local snack – Nanxiang steamed buns, dumpling and more.
You even can find McDonalds and Hagaan Daz and Starbucks moving in here.
Eating Nanxiang Steamed Buns at the Nanxiang Restaurant by the Pond.
1) This is a crowded place not for everyone.
2) Watch your bag. There are pick-pockets in the crowded place.
3) Need to bargain to get a good price on some things.
4) Be ready for people watch and see of people.
5) Avoid weekend or China Holiday.
Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:
Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
Shanghai’s Top 10 Iconic Landmarks
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai
Top 10 Photo Spots in Shanghai
10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Shanghai
Any questions, just drop a line.