People’s Square Park is the colorful town square of Shanghai, its main public square and park, and Shanghai’s most central landmark. It is surrounded by green zones, museums, amazing and cheap local restaurants and street food stalls, all kinds of shopping, and several tourist attractions. The Square never sleeps, and on weekends it is abuzz with activity.
In the early morning and during the day, residents sit on the several benches placed there, or stroll in the green lawns of the Park, walk or jog on the tracks, practice tai chi and martial arts, fly kites, and roller-skate. The park has walking paths flanked by trees, a small amusement park and lake, fountains, and rock gardens. A dovecot in the southwest side of the Square is home to thousands of doves flocking around the park. It is a well-loved place for children, adults, elders, couples, families, and friends to meet up.
The Square includes some parts of a former race course: a 600m long avenue, and spectator stands. People’s Avenue bisects the square into the northern part and southern part. The Central Plaza is located in the southern side of People’s Avenue, flanked by two smaller squares, the Rising Sun Square in the eastern section and the Light Moon Square in the southern section. A circular musical fountain, surrounded by colored glass sidesteps, sits in the center of the Central Plaza.
Zero Point of Shanghai
People’s Square is Shanghai’s soul and nucleus of economy, history, social and cultural activity, art, entertainment, politics, transportation, and tourism. It is set right in geographical midpoint of Shanghai; the Zero Point of almost all highways in the Shanghai municipality begins from the north of the square. With the bustling Nanjing Road to its north, Yan’an Gaojia Road in the south, Huangpi North Road to the west, and Tibetan Central Road to its east, People’s Square is the epicenter of Shanghai.
The Square is one of the city’s major transportation hubs: several of the city’s main metro lines converge here, bringing masses of local and foreign tourists in and out of the area every day to see imposing government buildings and museums, go shopping and eat at some of Shanghai’s most famous food centers. The spillover of tourists from the Bund and Nanjing nearby, and Shanghai locals who live and work in the many residential and office high-rises around it, adds to its hectic streets.
5 Things to Do on People’s Square
- Walk through the Square, especially at night when it is lit up, for a great view of many of Shanghai’s most iconic skyscrapers.
- Join the locals in the park for early morning Tai chi practice
- Besides enjoying the park and its many features and activities, you can also try out any of the several food, shopping and tourist attractions available all around the Square.
- Do try to visit the “1930s Charms Street” to see Shanghai’s old-style architecture, and Yunnan Street for its delicious local foods.
- A unique feature of the Square to see is the Marriage Market, one of the last remaining vestiges of arranged marriages in Shanghai. Every weekend from 12-5pm, parents and grandparents line up marriage resumes of their children and grandchildren attached to umbrellas, in the hopes of finding a suitable match for them.
7 Key Attractions on People’s Square
The Northern Square
- People’s Park
- Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
- The Shanghai Municipal Government Building
- Shanghai Grand Theater
The Southern Square
- Shanghai Museum
- Shanghai Underground Shopping Mall
- Hong Kong Shopping Center
Tips for People’s Square
- The best way to get to Shanghai People’s Square is by using the fast and safe metro system.
- Beware of overly friendly locals offering dubious services and say NO to them firmly.
- In summer daytime, the sun may cause discomfort to visitors in the open air Square.
- The Square is the most lively in the evenings from 19:00 to 22:00
- Use a map of the Square to understand its layout and locate all places of interest so you can explore it better
Recommended Hotels on People’s Square
Getting to The People’s Square
Take Metro Line 1, Line 2 or Line 8 and get off at People’s Square Station.
1. Take City Sightseeing Bus Line 1 or Line 2 to get there.
2. Take bus 46, 49, 123, 145, 312, 451, or Shangchuan Special Line and get off at Renmin Guangchang (People’s Square) Station.