Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar

This is probably the only must-see tourist attraction in Shanghai, especially if you don’t plan to visit any of Suzhou’s Yuyuan Gardenclassical gardens. Considered one of the four finest gardens in China, Yuyuan is a tranquil and beautiful place. Established in 1559 as the private garden of an administrator named Pan Yunduan, the gardens took 18 years to complete. They fell to rack and ruin on several occasions and were renovated most recently in 1961. The two hectare gardens are dotted with rockeries, ponds, pavilions, bridges and ornate dragon heads along the white, curved walls. Allow at least one hour (two would be better) to wander around and relax in the garden.

Outside the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar. A hectic place, packed with people, this is one of those shopping districts that have been recently built in an ancient Chinese style. Such places are appearing rapidly throughout China and attract throngs of Chinese tourists. But as far as these sorts of places go, the Yuyuan Bazaar is quite attractive and has a number of quality Chinese restaurants.

Admission: ¥40. Open: 8:30am-5pm.

Tel: +86 (021) 6328 2465. Website: www.yugarden.com.cn

Subway: Yuyuan Garden (Line 10).

Directions: From Yuyuan subway station, take Exit 1 and you’ll be deposited right at the garden.

If you’re coming by foot or taxi from the north, the Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar is about 10 minutes walk south of Yan’an Lu along Sichuan Nan Lu. With the entrance tucked away inside the bazaar, the gardens can be tricky to find. The easiest way to reach them is to take the first entrance to the bazaar west of Anren Jie on Fuyou Lu. When you reach the central area with the zig-zag bridge crossing the pond, the entrance is on the east side this area.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去豫园,谢谢。 (Please take me to Yuyuan Garden. Thank you.)