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Yu Yuan Garden

Step through the gate of Shanghai’s premier classical gardens and into a tranquil world of bamboo groves, koi-filled ponds and Ming Dynasty pavilions.

Yu Yuan Garden was lovingly created in the 1500s by a government officer as a retreat for his parents. Yu Yuan means “peace and comfort,” and despite the popularity of the attraction, the gardens remain a serene sanctuary. Set aside an hour or two to explore the gardens, pavilions, courtyards, chambers and halls. The ponds, bridges and streams also provide perfect spots for reflection, while the protective dragon wall that encircles the garden keeps Shanghai’s bustling Old Town at bay.

The gardens are a firm favorite with tour groups, so arrive early if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds. Set over 5 acres (2 hectares), the gardens are arranged into six main scenic areas. When you first enter the garden, head to the top of the Great Rockery for views of the whole garden. Then follow the main path in a clockwise direction to visit the garden’s main sections before arriving at the Inner Garden.

You’ll find that the garden’s pavilions have poetic names. Three Ears of Corn Hall is the largest of the garden’s grand pavilions and features intricate carvings depicting a bountiful harvest. While nearby at the smaller Pavilion for Viewing Frolicking Fish, gaze down at the teeming schools of koi, just as visitors have for centuries. At the Pavilion of Ten Thousand Flowers, look for a giant maidenhair tree, reputed to be planted 400 years ago.

Not far from the Inner Garden is the Hall of Jade Magnificence, home to one of the garden’s star attractions, the Exquisite Jade Rock. The Inner Garden is the final and quietest section of the complex and contains the aptly named Hall of Serenity and the Tower for Watching Waves. Pause to admire the works of local calligraphers who often display and sell their works in these and other pavilions throughout the garden.

When it’s finally time to leave the tranquility of the koi ponds and pavilions, step back out into the teeming markets and stores that surround the garden.

There is a small admission fee to visit Yu Yuan Garden, which is open daily and is just a 30-minute walk from downtown Shanghai. The area is serviced by public transport.

We know you really want to get the most out of your visit to Yu Garden. So, we've rounded up some of the coolest things you can do on your visit:

If you're seeking more options, check out our Shanghai things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Yu Garden


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Yu Garden

See all 1,457 Properties near Yu Garden
Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel $125
Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel

Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel

159 South He Nan Road, Shanghai, Shanghai
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Shanghai, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Yu Garden and The Bund. Nanjing Road Shopping District and Shanghai Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Yuyuan Garden Station is 10 minutes by foot and East Nanjing Road Station is 16 minutes.

    Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre $141
    Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre

    Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre

    555 Middle Xizang Road, (Close to Nanjing), Huangpu District, Shanghai, Shanghai
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Shanghai, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Nanjing Road Shopping District, People's Square, and The Bund. People's Square Station is only a 5-minute walk and Dashijie Station is 13 minutes.

      Grand Central Hotel Shanghai $123
      Grand Central Hotel Shanghai

      Grand Central Hotel Shanghai

      505 Jiujiang Road, Shanghai, Shanghai
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Shanghai, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nanjing Road Shopping District and Old Chinese City. The Bund and Shanghai Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). East Nanjing Road Station is 7 minutes by foot and Yuyuan Garden Station is 7 minutes.

        Hao Du Hotel $32
        Hao Du Hotel

        Hao Du Hotel

        No. 41 South Guangxi Road, Shanghai
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Shanghai, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Old Chinese City, Shanghai Museum, and Nanjing Road Shopping District. The Bund and Yu Garden are also within 15 minutes. Yuyuan Garden Station is only a 4-minute walk and Dashijie Station is 12 minutes.

          Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai $137
          Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai

          Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai

          1 East Jinling Road, Shanghai, Shanghai
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Shanghai, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Yuyuan Bazaar, Old Chinese City, and Shanghai Museum. The Bund and Shanghai Old Street are also within 1 mi (2 km). Yuyuan Garden Station is 11 minutes by foot and East Nanjing Road Station is 18 minutes.

            Mercure Shanghai Yu Garden $74
            Mercure Shanghai Yu Garden

            Mercure Shanghai Yu Garden

            789 East FuXing Rd., Huangpu District, Shanghai, Shanghai
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Shanghai, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of City God Temple, Yu Garden, and Shanghai Old Street. Old Chinese City and The Bund are also within 1 mi (2 km). Xiaonanmen Station is 10 minutes by foot and Lujiabang Road Station is 16 minutes.

              New Harbour Service Apartments $79
              New Harbour Service Apartments

              New Harbour Service Apartments

              No 88 Yongshou Road Huang Pu D, Shanghai, Shanghai
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Shanghai, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Old Chinese City, Shanghai Museum, and Nanjing Road Shopping District. The Bund and Yu Garden are also within 15 minutes. Yuyuan Garden Station is only a 4-minute walk and Dashijie Station is 12 minutes.

                Grand Hyatt Shanghai $147
                Grand Hyatt Shanghai

                Grand Hyatt Shanghai

                88 Century Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, Shanghai
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Shanghai, this luxury hotel is steps from IFC Mall and Shanghai World Financial Center. Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Tower are also within 10 minutes. Lujiazui Station is 8 minutes by foot and Dongchang Road Station is 9 minutes.