Yuyuan Gardens © Jakub Halun
The Yuyuan Gardens or the Gardens of Contentment, date back to 1559 during the Ming Dynasty, and are the best example of Chinese classical gardens in Shanghai. While Yuyuan is a popular tourist attraction, it is still a peaceful refuge from the city, with koi ponds amidst the trees and pagodas. The relatively small gardens are laid out in an intricate design with pavilions, rockeries, ponds, and a traditional theatre arranged in an ornate maze. The gardens consist of six sections: The Grand Rockery, the Hall of Heralding Spring, the Hall of Jade Magnificence, Ten Thousand Flower Pavilion, Inner Garden and Lotus Pool.
The gardens are on Yuyuan Street in downtown Shanghai and can be reached via the Town God Temple Market, a warren of shops and stalls that is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist bazaar. The market boasts both international staples like Starbucks and Dairy Queen, as well as unique local stalls. After the bustle of the market, the gardens provide welcome shade and calm. It is best to visit the gardens during the week because they are very busy during weekends and the crowds can detract from the spirit of the place.
Address: 218 Anren St, Huangpu, Shanghai
Telephone: 021 6326 0830