Your Insiders Guide to The Yu Garden Shanghai
Are you looking for a place to relax? Maybe somewhere scenic, with historic buildings?
The Yu Garden, or Yuyuan Garden (豫园), just might be the place to visit! As one of the most famous scenic areas in Shanghai (#3 on TripAdvisor!), it’s a must-see, even if you’ll only be in the city for a few days.
Yu Garden – How Do I Get There?
Yu Garden – Key Details
Yu Garden – What’s Inside?
Yu Garden – History
Yu Garden – Tips For Visiting
Yu Garden – Conclusion
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Yu Garden – How do I get there?
The garden’s address is No. 279 Yuyuan Old Street in Shanghai’s Huangpu District (上海市 黄浦区 豫园老街279号).
You can get there by taking the metro and getting off at Yuyuan Garden station (豫园), located on Line 10. From there, take exit 1, and it should only be a short, 10 minute walk to the garden.
The garden is located in the middle of an area where the famous Chenghuang Miao (城隍庙) or Chenghuang Temple can be found. This area has tons of small shops and restaurants selling all kinds of snacks and souvenirs.
Chenghuang Miao deserves a blog post all to itself, so I’ll leave that for another time!
But navigating the narrow (and generally crowded) streets of can make it difficult to find the garden. Follow the street signs! The entrance to the garden has a ticket booth and is near a pond.
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Yu Garden – Key Details
The garden is open every day except Mondays from 8:45 in the morning to 4:45 in the afternoon, but they don’t allow visitors in past 4:20 PM.
Tickets cost 30 RMB each, but senior visitors over 60 years old and students can get a half-off discount.
If you are a university student or recently graduated but still have your university ID, I would highly recommend bringing it along!
You can only get the discount if you have your ID. In my personal experience, many places in Shanghai offer similar student discounts, and I’ve never had a problem showing them my American university ID card.
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Yu Garden – What’s Inside?
The word 豫 (yu) in Chinese means “pleasing” and “comfortable”, which is exactly how you’ll feel when you visit!
The garden is filled with artfully arranged ponds, trees, flowers, rock structures, pavilions, pagodas, and old historical buildings with placards that explain a little bit about the building or the architecture.
Areas of the garden are separated by walls or buildings, and (at least to me and my poor sense of direction), signs can be a little confusing.
The layout of the garden isn’t very straightforward, because the landscaping is so complex.
If you’re like me and you want to make sure you see everything in the garden, take a picture of the map at the entrance or grab a paper map!
The ponds and small streams throughout the garden were some of my favorite parts of the scenery.
Not only were there bridges everywhere (I’m a sucker for a pretty bridge), but the ponds are packed with orange-gold, white, and black koi that crowd together when people throw food into the water.
I also peeked into many of the old buildings. Some of them you can only look into and not walk into, but the architecture and furniture are beautiful and classic.
One of my favorite parts of the garden was the art gallery.
The gallery is located inside the Ting Tao Tower Exhibit Hall (听涛阁展厅), a bit out of the way, so there weren’t many people inside.
However, there were two floors of paintings on long scrolls, all by different artists.
It was relaxing to step inside the heated building and appreciate the different styles of art.
The areas closer to the entrance of the garden were more crowded, but as I explored deeper in, there were fewer people.
I’d recommend making the trek all the way to the end of the garden. There you’ll find a large, open square with an ancient stage, adorned with gilded gold decorations.
The garden has a lot to offer, and if you take the time to really explore, you won’t regret it!
Yu Garden – It’s History
The garden has a 400 year history!
It was originally built between 1559 and 1578, during the Ming Dynasty.
Throughout the years, it was bombed once and suffered through military clashes.
In 1959, the garden began reconstruction, which lasted 20 years, and it finally re-opened to the public in 1961.
So visiting the garden can mean learning a little bit of history in addition to enjoying the nature and scenery!
To learn more about history of the garden, visit this site: https://chinawayz.com/shanghai/yu-garden
Yu Garden – Tips for visiting
- Plan to spend somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour in the garden. The garden isn’t extremely big. I spent about an hour there, and I’m pretty thorough when I visit an area!
- Choose your day carefully! I visited on a beautiful cloudless day. But picking a sunny day also meant that there were many other visitors. Weekends and sunny days will definitely be peak visiting times. On the other hand, a cloudy or rainy day might be less crowded, but it would also dull the beauty of the garden.
- Be careful as you explore! There are a lot of slippery rock surfaces in and around the garden. I slipped once even on a dry, sunny day, let alone a rainy one. There are also a lot of small bridges without railings that can become crowded with people, so be careful not to lose your balance!
- The garden is still worth visiting in the fall/winter months! I visited the garden at the beginning of December, and I was worried that maybe the garden wouldn’t look as nice, now that many trees are starting to lose their leaves. However, I was wrong! The garden was stunning! Many of the trees had flaming yellow, orange, or red leaves.
Yu Garden – In conclusion…
I absolutely loved visiting the garden!
It was peaceful, stunningly beautiful, and a wonderful way to spend a couple hours of my day.
The garden is one of the most well-known scenic areas of Shanghai, and for good reason!
So if you’re getting tired of the Shanghai’s metropolitan buildings and concrete, try visiting the garden for a little bit of nature.
If you’d like, you can visit the Yu Garden website at this link: but know that the entire page is in Chinese with no English translation available!
Remember, Shanghai is full of gardens, Yuyuan is just the tip of the iceberg, we even sent one of our students, Tina, to visit one, Guyi Garden… here’s how it looked and what she thought.
Have you visited the garden? What was your favorite area? Let us know in the comment section!
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