This towering symbol of Shanghai’s modern renaissance offers history lessons, fine dining and stunning city views.
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is one of the world’s highest transmission towers. Since its completion in 1994, the tower has become Shanghai’s most recognizable landmark. More than just a TV tower, this multifunction marvel offers unique shopping, an informative museum, a revolving restaurant and some of the best views in Shanghai.
The tower rises 1,500 feet (468 meters) from Pudong Park. Consisting of 11 spheres linked by three columns, the tower blends futuristic and ancient Chinese aesthetics and has been likened to “a series of pearls falling onto a jade plate.”
Before climbing the tower, spend a couple of hours in the Shanghai Municipal History Museum at the tower’s base. When it’s time to head skyward, hop aboard the tower’s double-decker lifts in which bilingual attendants await to share facts and insights into the tower’s history and construction.
The largest and lowest of the main spheres contains a dance hall, karaoke bar and observation deck. On the second sphere, enjoy a meal in the rotating restaurant as the Shanghai skyline revolves slowly around you. The highest and smallest sphere contains the uppermost observation deck. Test your nerves as you step out onto the glass-floored deck, which gives the sensation that you are floating above the city. On a clear day, see all the way to the mighty Yangtze River in the north.
Oriental Pearl TV Tower is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, a 10-minute drive from downtown Shanghai. Lujiazui Station is only a short walk from the tower. Plan your visit for a weekday and arrive early to avoid the crowds. Entrance fees apply for the museum and various tower experiences.
While you’re in the area, check out the neighboring Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. If you have time, a Huangpu River cruise is a perfect way to end the day and watch the tower as it lights up in ever-changing colors.