Yuyuan Garden, or Garden of Happiness, was a private garden of the Pan family built more than 400 years ago in the times of the Ming Dynasty. It was the largest and most famed garden of its times in ancient Shanghai.
Yuyuan Garden Features
Today it is spread over 5 acres of land and is composed of six major scenic areas with distinct features. Each area is separated by ‘dragon walls’ or undulating stone walls finished off with a dragon’s head. Sansui Hall is a 12m high rockery made of huangshi stone, showcasing peaks, cliffs, winding caves, and gorges. Wanhua Chamber is the ‘Chamber of Ten Thousand Flowers’; Dianchun Hall is the ‘Heralding Spring Hall’, Huijing Hall includes the Three-Turn Bridge, the Nine Lion Study and the Jade Water Corridor; Yuhua Hall, or the Jade Magnificence Hall, is one of the most renowned areas of the garden where the magnificent Jade Rock Sculpture is situated. The Inner Garden is full of rockeries, ponds, pavilions, and towers.
The garden has many other features such as an Acting and Singing Stage, and Stone Boat.
It is a collection of ornamental halls, decorated pavilions, sparkling pools, many-turn bridges, pagodas, corridors, archways, and imposing rockeries. The enchanting layout, beautifully designed scenery, classical Chinese garden architecture, and the artistic style of the garden have made it a unique emblem of ancient China as depicted in books and movies.
Closed on Mondays (except national holidays)
Entrance fee: 30 – 40 yuan, depending on season
5 Things to Do in Yuyuan Garden
- Visit the Exquisite Jade Rock, a 3.5m, 5-ton, porous, beautifully-shaped, spiky boulder.
- Climb to the top of the 14m high Great Rockery built with thousands of tons of stone
- Walk to the Jiu Qu Bridge, or the Nine-Turn Bridge, for good luck (the number nine is said to be auspicious)
- Drink tea at the Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse, the oldest tea house in Shanghai.
- Admire and photograph the ancient architecture of the buildings and bridges, and observe the details including the exquisite tiny brick carvings and clay sculptures, the calligraphy and paintings of famous artists, and the couplet and verse inscriptions.
Tips for Yuyuan Garden
- Wear comfortable shoes, keep a map of the gardens, and set aside a couple of hours to be able to do justice to exploring the gardens
- The best season to visit Yuyuan Gardens is in spring when the trees and flowers are in full bloom. If you are okay with crowds, the garden draws hundreds of tourists during the Spring Festival when it is decorated with beautiful lanterns of dragons and phoenix.
- If you want to avoid crowds, visit the garden on a weekday instead of on a weekend.
Recommended Hotels Near Yuyuan Garden
Getting to Yuyuan Garden
Take Metro Line 10 and get off at Yuyuan Station. Leave from Exit 1.
1. Take bus 11, 26, 64, 304, 805, 920, 926, or 930 and get off at Xinbeimen Station, and then walk along Anren Street to reach the garden.
2. Take City Sightseeing Bus Line 1, 3 or 5 to get there.