China is home to six of the ten tallest buildings in the world. Shanghai Tower, which we also visit during the Shanghai Summer School, is not only China’s tallest building but the second tallest in the world! At 632 meters (2073 feet) tall, you can’t possibly miss it while enjoying the view of the Shanghai skyline.
Before heading to the tower, read up on the fascinating information about its construction and features, and how to get there!
The Construction of Shanghai Tower:
Construction started in 2008, and the building officially opened in 2016. Shanghai Tower was constructed with a unique glass façade which rotates 120 degrees all the way up. While this makes for a fascinating appearance, it’s functional too, reducing wind loads and requiring fewer materials to build than traditional construction. Shanghai Tower has other sustainable features as well, including capturing and reusing rainwater, recycling wastewater, and wind turbines that produce approximately 10% of the building’s energy.
Inside, the tower’s 128 stories are divided into different functional areas, with floor after floor of 24-hour offices for multinational and finance companies, followed by hotels, banquet halls, high-end retail shops, restaurants, and of course the tourist viewing areas. There is even a museum – the Shanghai Guanfu Museum – on the 37th floor which features gold wares, ceramics, and other pieces representing Chinese history.
Visiting Shanghai Tower:
When visiting Shanghai Tower, you’ll want to take one of the fastest elevators in the world up to the 118th floor. It only takes 55 seconds to get to one of the world’s highest observation decks, at 562 meters. It is actually tied for first place with the observation deck in the Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen!
The observation decks, found on the 118th and 119th floors, give you an incredible 360-degree view of Shanghai, including the Bund, Huangpu River, and other notable Shanghai buildings including the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Building. The view is especially breathtaking at night when the skyline is lit up. In order to reclaim the record for the highest observation deck, a new stop will be added on the 121st floor in the future.
Skip the long line by ordering tickets for the observation deck online. The building is open from 8:30 am to 10:00 pm, and the last tickets are at 9:30 pm, so plan your day accordingly, especially if you’re planning to see the skyline at night.
After seeing the observation deck of Shanghai Tower, you can head up to the 125th and 126th floors, to see the Shanghai Eye, where you can see the 1000 ton damper used to stabilize the building.
You can take metro line 2 to Lujiazui, then take exit 6. The metro stop is only a 5-minute walk from the tower.
If you’re already near the Bund, take a 2 kuai ferry ride across the river on the Dongjin or Dongfu line to Dongchang Road. From there it’s only a 10-minute walk to the tower.
Shanghai Summer School strives to provide you with a summer experience unlike any other. The summer school is primarily about learning the Chinese language in an immersive way, but it’s also about going out and discovering a new culture and making meaningful connections with its people. We would even go as far as to say that delving headfirst into the bustling metropolis of Shanghai will allow one to adopt a new and expanded worldview, and a deeper understanding of cultures different than our own.
The knowledge of new languages combined with heightened cultural sensitivity and awareness has become ever more important in the global world we live in today.