One of the tallest buildings in the world, the Shanghai Towe has a twisting silhouette that dominates the skyline. Standing 137 stories and 2,073 feet (632 meters) high, the building features some of the world’s fastest elevators, which race to a viewing platform 1,841 feet (561 meters) above the city. On a clear day, the views are spectacular.
Shanghai Tower tours typically focus on the observation deck, which can be very popular; it’s well worth securing tickets in advance. Particularly at night, the panoramic views across Shanghai’s surrealist skyline are epic, making the Shanghai Tower observation deck a popular stop on private and custom Shanghai tours.
As there is only so long one can spend looking at the view, any Shanghai Tower observation deck visit is typically just one component of a more comprehensive exploration of the city. Tours that pair a historic water town with the hyper-modern tower offer a lovely sense of the region’s dualities.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Although enclosed, the Shanghai Tower Observation Deck features a lot of glass—acrophobes, this probably isn’t for you.
- Built at a cost of over $2 billion, the Shanghai Tower boasts more than 100 lifts.
- The Shanghai Tower is an eco-friendly building with 270 wind turbines and built-in rainwater- and wastewater-recycling systems.
How to Get There
A landmark that’s visible for miles around, the Shanghai Tower is hard to miss. To get there on public transit, take metro Line 2 to Lujiazui station and walk 15 minutes. You might also choose to cross the river from the Bund by ferry, or simply join a tour that provides transport to the Shanghai Tower and other key sights.
When to Get There
From the bubble-gum pink spaceship of the Oriental Pearl Tower to the glistening lights of river cruises, Shanghai’s skyline comes into its own at night. While the observation deck doesn’t stay open as late as some American tower viewing decks, going after sunset is hugely rewarding. Needless to say, look for a clear day for maximum viewing potential.
The Race to the Top
Construction on the Shanghai Tower began in 2008. After several false starts, it finally opened to the public in 2017. Designed by American architectural firm Gensler, the tower makes a 120-degree rotation to help minimize wind loads. When it opened, it became the world’s second tallest tower after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and the highest building in China. A project underway in Shenzhen may take its crown in the next decade.