Finding peaceful gardens in the bustling metropolis of Shanghai – at 17 million people, the largest in the world.
Tucked away in Old Shanghai City lies Yuyuan Garden, a five-acre oasis in the midst of an otherwise sprawling metropolis. It's only a short walk from Line 10 of the Shanghai Metro, and you’ll be glad you visited.
Yuyuan means "happiness" or "peace"; thus Yuyuan Garden translates to Garden of Happiness or Garden of Peace – appropriately named, as you’ll find respite if you’re willing to venture past the shopping bazaar, Tea House and Zigzag Bridge, also known as the Nine-Turn Bridge.
Most visitors stop at the Zigzag Bridge believing that’s it – they’ve seen all there is to see – but inside the walls of the inner garden you’ll find a labyrinth of jagged rock gardens, ponds, pavilions and uniquely shaped doorways.
Each doorway has its own shape. You might enter through a round doorway, but the doorway you exit through will be rectangular, swirled, or even vase-shaped, even if it’s only five feet away at the other end of the hallway.
Not only is every doorway shaped differently, but every view within Yuyuan Garden offers a distinct perspective. It’s a maze within a maze. The twists and turns may bring you back to the same spot you left, but it will look entirely different. You’ll believe the stone sculpture you’re admiring is new, only to realize it’s the same one you saw five minutes ago.
An hour or two is all you need to enjoy the tranquility of this place, although you might spend hours, especially if you lose your way. It's open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and located at 218 Anren Street. Admission is 40 RMB.