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People's Square

This spectacular space in the heart of the city is a hub of activity.

TravelCurious Tip

Check out Godly Vegetarian Restaurant, which was opened by a Buddhist monk at the start of the 20th century and imitates popular meat dishes with vegan ingredients really quite well

Before 1949 and the birth of the People’s Republic of China, the land where People’s Square now stands was a horse racing course. But when the new Communist government came to power it quickly banned gambling and horse racing and began enforcing party enthusiasm, so a new arena was a must.


With Nanjing Road just to the North, People’s Square is both literally and figuratively the very centre of Shanghai. Since its renovation, key buildings have sprouted up alongside it. The Municipal Government Mansion can be found there, for example, as can the monumental Shanghai Museum. To the northwest sits the Shanghai Grand Theatre, an audacious and stunning building made almost entirely from glass.


In the centre of the square there is a circular musical fountain, the red, yellow and blue lights of which give out a sort of stained glass aura below the sometimes heavy, grey sky of Shanghai. Come early in the morning and you can watch people practicing Tai Chi around it. Or if you come on a Saturday you can witness the weekly ‘marriage market,’ a rather unique event where parents make and flaunt large posters advertising their son or daughter’s qualities in the hope of finding a partner for them.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
Shanghai Museum
The museum has over 120,000 pieces of ancient chinese art and is arranged in line with Feng Shui principles,
Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar
Visit the garden then get lost in the bustling bazaar where vendors sell their wares in hidden lanes.
The Bund
As the city's stand out landmark, this remarkable waterfront is perfect for strolling and people-watching.
Heavenly Light Lane
Learn more about Shanghai's history here on the first street to have public electronic light in the city.
Grey Gardens
Also known as 'The Secluded Library', these enchanting gardens were built for the Lu family in 1763.
Anren Street
Stroll through the few remaining laneway houses and see traditional community living that is fast disappearing.

Related Tours

Private Full Day Tour of Shanghai
Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Shanghai is steeped in culture, history and glamour in equal measure. Get to the heart of this fascinating city in our best of Shanghai full day tour.

  • Commence your tour at the iconic Jade Buddha Temple 
  • Take in your tranquil surroundings by People's Square 
  • Venture through Shanghai Old Town, and get lost in Yuyuan Garden 
  • Visit the revered Old City of God Temple 
  • Learn about Shanghai in the 21st century, at Tianzifang
  • Walk along the picturesque Bund 
  • Enjoy a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east
Temple, Museum and The Square

Your day begins at the famous Jade Buddha Temple, home to a priceless collection of jade statues. The temple is designed in the breathtaking architectural style of the Song Dynasty and is the base of the Shanghai Buddhist Institute. Continue on to People’s Square. This beautiful green spacer is a hub of daily activity and you will be surrounded by other well-known attractions, such as the great Shanghai Museum. 

Old Shanghai

Your adventure moves on to Shanghai Old Town and the enchanting Yuyuan Garden. You will see the old style buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasty and have the chance to stop and try delicious local delicacies recommended by your guide. You will also visit the revered  Old City of God Temple and learn about its status in Taoism.

Shanghai Today

Move on the from the traditional and learn more about Shanghai’s present as you head down to the exciting Tianzifang - the ‘Soho of Shanghai’. Then walk along the most famous landmark, the Bund. From this beautiful waterfront, enjoy a perfect end to your day as you take a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east. 
Private Half-Day Tour of Shanghai
 As China's largest and most affluent city Shanghai is rarely static, a city of mind-blowing proportions and an ever-changing urban footprint. Sky-bound superstructures, gleaming designer malls and sweeping, futuristic bridges characterise this modern megalopolis yet Shanghai - meaning City of The Sea - has a history that spans over a thousand years. On your private guided tour of Shanghai, you will enjoy the old, the new, and everything spanning in between. 
 
  • Enjoy the quietude of the iconic Jade Buddha Temple built in 1882.
  • Yield to the buzz of the city in leafy People's Square
  • Relish Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture and the hallowed Old City of God Temple 
  • Stroll historic Shanghai Old Town to Yuyuan Garden and the bustling Bazaar 
  • Soak up views across the Huangpu River at the Bund, a waterfront promenade.
Beginning life as a tiny fishing village, the city now represents China’s 21st showcase of dynamism in art and design. Upscale apartments, glitzy bars and restaurants overshadow Shanghai’s humble origins. Yet the city owes much to the Yangzi River delta where China's main waterway completes its 5,500-km journey to the Pacific - the trade route on which Shanghai blended East-meets-West culture was born. 

Parts of Shanghai were once independently ruled by British, French, and American colonists and each presence has left its telltale mark on the architectural and societal character of the city. This  contrasting mix of cultures has paved the way for an openness to Western influences found in modern Shanghai. See the ancient and the modern, beginning with the Jade Buddha Temple, a beautiful Song Dynasty-era building flanked by statues. Denoting the geographical heart of the city, leafy People’s Square forms a lively daily hub in the thick of it. In Old Shanghai you see the enchanting Yuyuan Garden and the city’s historic Bazaar amidst a storied buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The 15th century Old City of God Temple is a grand place of Taoist worship while the Bund, a mesmerizing 1.5km esplanade along the Huangpu River, cafes, restaurants and chichi boutiques boast prized views of the Lujiazui skyline.
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