Oriental Pearl TV Tower

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower cops a lot of ridicule for its gaudiness and odd shape. The criticism is unfair. Its supposedly futuristic design might look bizarre, it might not be the most beautiful structure around, but the tower is unashamed. It stands in pompously in Pudong, adorned in pink, purple and grey, with its pearl-shaped bubblesOriental Pearl TV Tower protruding proudly and it has become an iconic symbol of Shanghai. Its brazenness is perfectly suited to city of Shanghai. Built from 1991-95 and standing at 463 meters, it is the tallest tower in Asia and the third tallest tower in the world.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower’s proximity to the river means that it offers some the best views of Shanghai available. There are a number of ticket options for sightseers, with a whole lot of awful attractions in the tower. The top-priced ticket of ¥135 garners access to the space module, which at 350 meters is the highest floor. Those who buy this ticket can also visit the upper sphere (at 263 meters) where there is also an outdoor viewing area, the lower sphere which hosts the ‘space city’ (a kitschy waste of time with a few poor amusement park type diversions) and the Shanghai History Museum (a rather average museum). The ¥100 ticket is the same except you can’t go to the top floor, while the ¥85 ticket buys access to the upper sphere and the museum. This third option is the best bet. The views aren’t any better from the space module – it’s only worth going up there if you get a kick out of heights. It’s only really worth going up the tower during clear weather – otherwise you won’t see much at all.

Admission: ¥135 or ¥100 or ¥85. Open: 8am-9pm.

Address: 1 Shiji Da Dao. Subway: Lujiazui. Tel: +86 (021) 5879 8888.

Directions: A couple of minutes walk from Lujiazui subway station. It’s pretty hard to miss – just follow your nose.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去东方明珠电视塔,谢谢。 (Please take me to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Thank you.)