Lu Xun Park

Formerly known as Hongkou Park, this is one of the city's most pleasant green spaces.

TravelCurious Tip

Like anywhere in Shanghai, at the wrong time the park can be choked with throngs of people, which rather defeats the point. Go during a weekday and you can really relax

Lu Xun Park sprawls out right behind Hongkou Football Stadium and is a delight to behold in spring and summer when its trees are in blossom. It makes a lovely change from the glass and steel skyscrapers along the Huangpu River. Take a stroll, and perhaps engage in a little tai chi with the elderly practitioners who pepper the park.

The park was initially simply Hongkou park, but it was renamed after the Chinese writer Lu Xun who lived nearby during the last years of his life, before being buried in the park when he died in 1936. He was a popular intellectual and his coffin was draped in a flag bearing the words “The Soul of the Nation” on it. He was later canonised by the Communist Party, who liked to quote him rather selectively for their own ends.

Astonishingly, the park was not even open to Chinese visitors until 1928; it was founded by the foreign community and its design was based on a park in Glasgow, Scotland, with a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool and bowling green — in short, everything you needed for a swell expat life.

Unsurprisingly, these policies were pretty controversial and did not last long under the Republic of China. In the film “Fist of Fury,” Bruce Lee famously tries to enter a public garden and is barred, resulting in him kicking and snapping the sign displaying the ban. Understandable, really!

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
Lu Xun Museum
This former residence charts the life of one of China's most celebrated literary figures.
Duolun Road Cultural Street
This picturesque street was once the home of many of China's most famous writers.
Hongde Temple
This church is built in a Chinese style and features a grey-brick interior and high wooden ceilings.
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art
Expand your knowledge at this lesser known art museum focusing on experimental contemporary art.
Jewish Refugees Museum
Formerly the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, the exhibitions displays stories of Shanghai Jews in words and pictures.
Egg Pancake
Experience the joy of tasting Jianbing (egg pancake), one of China's best-kept culinary secrets.

Related Tours

Hongkou District: Private Tour of Shanghai’s Cultural Hub with Tickets
Explore the fascinating Hongkou district, former home to leftwing writers, Jewish refugees and Anglo-American colonizers on this private full-day walking tour with tickets to the Lu Xun, Modern Art and Jewish Refugees Museums, and the Hongde Temple. On your private tour you will: 

  • Take a step back from the tourist trail and enjoy the personalised attention of your private tour guide through Hongkou.
  • Commence your tour at the Lu Xun Museum, with skip-the-line access. Dedicated to the life and work of Lu Xun – the writer considered the founder of modern Chinese literature and leader of the Chinese League of Left-Wing Writers in Shanghai in the turbulent 1920s and 30s. 
  • Enjoy a relaxing stroll through Lu Xun Park.
  • Walk down Duolun Road cultural street.
  • Pass by the Hongde Temple – a unique Christian church built in the Chinese temple style.
  • See the old Lilong alleys where the Chinese lived in squalid housing during the war.  
  • Wander through the Museum of Modern Art – admiring the birthplace of Shanghai’s style. 
  • Visit the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue - now the Jewish Refugees Museum and learn about the Jewish community here, who called it ‘Little Vienna’ during WW2. 
In the northeast corner of downtown Shanghai, you’ll find the captivating, off the beaten path district of Hongkou, a living, breathing museum to Shanghai’s complex political and cultural history. You’ll find relics of its colonial past, its left-wing art and culture scene, the Memorial Site of the 4th National Congress of the CPC, museums to modern art, the Jewish community and refugees of many backgrounds, through many wars, as well as the plethora of homages to Lu Xun, the author, essayist and translator. Famous for writing in the vernacular of the common Chinese man, he is considered by many to be the founder of modern Chinese literature.  Both the park and the Museum (his former home) are named for him. Your guide will also point out the many houses of renowned left-wing rebel intellectuals from the early twentieth century. 

Hongkou is situated at the confluence of the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek and was part of the American and British settlement, the so-called ‘Shanghailanders’ in the mid-nineteenth century, who refused to pay taxes to the Quing government of the day. During the First World War Japanese troops and civilians moved in and it became known as ‘Little Tokyo’, and by the beginning of the Second World War, it officially fell to Japan. The remaining Brits and Americans were put into the internment camp at Lunghua Civilian Assembly Centre alongside the Chinese prisoners.

The Chinese who were allowed to stay in Hongkou lived in squalor, in Lilong – narrow, claustrophobic alleys, the remnants of which your guide will show you.

With its focus on experimental contemporary art, you will get a taste of Shanghai’s modern cultural scene on Duolun Cultural road where you’ll venture inside the Museum of Modern Art and see the unique Hongde Temple – a Chinese styled Christian church.

Finally, your tour guide will take you to the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue - now the Jewish Refugees Museum. If Hongkou was Little Tokyo at the beginning of the war, by the middle years, it became the Jewish Ghetto or ‘Little Vienna’ as the Jewish Community called it, and is where your tour ends. 


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