A massive multilevel complex devoted to all things tea, Tianshan Tea City is a tea-lover’s paradise. With over 150 shops and stalls selling thousands of varieties of Chinese tea and tea wares, it’s the largest concentration of tea shops in Shanghai and a must-visit for tea enthusiasts and those who wish to learn more about tea.
Find all types of Chinese tea on the first floor: from basic jasmine tea and blooming flower tea to different varieties of white, red, green, and black tea, including prized and rare Tie Guan Yin and Pu’er varietals. The second and third floors are mostly devoted to tea sets, porcelain, and other tea wares, but some of the shops on the second floor also sell tea.
Try before you buy; most shops will allow you to have a free tasting, though often with the expectation of a purchase afterwards. Enjoy the traditional Gong Fu Cha tea ceremony as you sample different teas and learn about tea cultivation, tea making, and tea culture in the process.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Not all shopkeepers speak English; if you do not speak Mandarin, it’s best to go with someone who does.
- Expect to spend a few hours here if you plan on sampling different teas.
- Tea will usually be sold in loose-leaf or brick format, and minimum quantities can vary from 1.76 ounces (50 grams) to 17.6 ounces (500 grams).
- Be prepared to bargain over the price, which can range from modest to astronomical.
How to Get There
Tianshan Tea City is located in the Changning district of Shanghai. It’s easiest to take a taxi directly there. By metro, take line 2 or 3 to Zhongshan Park Station, then walk about 15 minutes.
When to Get There
Tianshan Tea City can get busy on weekends and afternoons. Visit earlier in the day and during the week for smaller crowds. Different shops and stalls have different opening hours and different levels of popularity.
Other Tea Cities and Villages
Ardent tea lovers may want to check out other tea cities in Shanghai, or even visit a tea plantation. Besides Tianshan Tea City, Shanghai is also home to Daning International Tea City and Jinqiao International Tea City. The closest tea plantations are around Hangzhou, about two to three hours away from Shanghai by car, including Meijiawu Tea Village, Dragon Well Tea Village, and Hangzhou Longjing Tea Culture Village.