Photos: SmSh Photographers
It’s summer. Time for green space, weekend picnics and catching a bit of shade on a bench. Back in June, I picked my favorite parks
around town — the stand-out parks — but these are the everyday, trusted all-around parks. Interesting note: many of them were originally cemeteries before New China decided they would be better off as parks.
A good sized French-inspired park on Huaihai Zhong Lu, nice for coffee breaks. Lots of trees and shaded areas to sit (though not on the grass) including the tree-lined boulevard starting at the entrance facing IAPM mall
and ending at a hexagonal pavilion.
The park is open 24 hours. Grandparents with their grandkids congregate, as do people playing badminton, doing taiji, painting water calligraphy and even the outdoor yogis.
Evening times there’s ballroom dancing. A classic Chinese park then.
This park right across from the temple is guarded by an armored rhino statue and a few official buskers banging it out on the sax most days. Inside, there are winding rocky trails and several families of stray cats, plus a restaurant facing the pond (it’s just average).
On the other side, towards the Puli Hotel
, there’s a big lawn (but no sitting) which has been home to many music festivals. Open 5am-10pm during the summer.
This French park, built in 1909, has a big grassy lawn that, yes!, you can sit on most days, when it’s not roped off to allow the grass to re-grow (usually in spring). There is a well-manicured sunken garden next to a statue of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
The rose garden is a highlight of the park with a cherub fountain and vine covered iron walkway that makes for a shaded resting spot.
Come after a stroll around the Xintiandi
area, or Huaihai Lu or poking around Sinan Mansions
. Open 5am-9pm in the summer.
Surrounded on all sides by museums and landmarks old and new, People’s Park is the site of the old Shanghai racecourse. The current Shanghai History Museum
used to be its clubhouse. Inside, the park is home to the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art
, long-running restaurant-lounge Barbarossa
and relative newcomer the Ministry of Crab
, a Sri Lankan restaurant serving monster-sized seafood.
Lots of buskers and dancers on the fringes. Summer hours are 5am-9pm.
Zhongshan Park gets major points for allowing people on the grass. The park is named after Sun Yat-sen; Zhongshan is an alternative spelling for his name. So good they named the area after it.
There’s a museum, a tea shop, blah blah blah… really you come here to sit on the grass. And it’s open 24 hours!
This destination park has a white sand beach, fishing hole, and tulip beds complete with red windmill, cows and statue of kissing Dutch kids. The big lake draws waterfowl and waterfowl photographers.
The massive park closes late AND you can sit on the grass. Open 5am-10pm in summer.
Named for revolutionary writer Lu Xun, his mausoleum and a museum of his work are located within the park.
This one draws a lot of the older generation living in the area, who come to chat and do things that old people like to do. Like chat. And chat some more.
Summer hours are 5am-9pm.
This is the "Dada
" park for some of us, near where the old club used to be. It’s got basketball courts, a running track, a square to dance with the grandmas.
This one is also really good for dogs when the grassy area is open, though it seems to close abruptly and without notice when it’s time to “regrow the grass”. Open 24 hours.
The Chinese-style garden was originally the family tomb and garden for the Cao family, who were in the clothing business. Now it’s popular with saxophone players.
Summer hours are 5am-9pm.
Xuijiahui Park is a pleasant surprise, designed as a mini-Shanghai with a stream evoking the Huangpu River. An elevated walkway starts at the old rubber factory chimney. Plus there are a few historical buildings (including the one-time site of Spanish chef Martin Berasetegui’s failed venture into China).
Basketball courts here are especially popular; The Park Tavern
is just across the street. Open 24 hours.
This traditional Chinese garden charges a whopping two rmb entrance. Inside its peaceful and famous for the Osmanthus trees in the garden. This place was originally built as the residence of Shanghai pre-war gangster Huang Jinrong
Open until 7pm in summer.