Oriental Pearl Tower is one of the tallest towers in the world, it's the most renowned landmark of the city of Shanghai, the TV & Broadcasting tower is widely regarded as the symbol of modern Shanghai, while the historical buildings of western styles seen along the Bund represent the historical Shanghai.
As the symbol of modern Shanghai, Oriental Pearl Tower is one the most visited attractions in Shanghai, the tower has multiple observation decks at high altitudes inside its iconic sphere structures, allowing visitors to access and see the aerial views of the Huangpu River, the Bund and most area of the city, the tower also provides many interesting entertainment facilities for visitors, such as the VR roller coaster.
To visit the observation decks on Oriental Pearl Tower, it's highly recommended to book the admission ticket online in advance, because you will be offered a discount, and more importantly, the lines for purchasing the tickets in the tower's ticket hall are always very long due to the tower's high notability, it may takes half an hour to wait in the queue for a ticket. So you can book the ticket online to avoid the long line, there are many Chinese sites offering tickets for the observation deck, for English speakers, currently the admission ticket can only be booked from this site, they will send you a e-ticket via email, which can be used to get the paper ticket in the ticket hall of Oriental Pearl Tower.
Location & How to get there
The address of Oriental Pearl Tower is 1 Century Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai.
The most used way to access there is by taking Metro Line 2, stop at Lujiazui Station, and then walk for a few minutes towards the tower.
The opening hours of Oriental Pearl Tower is 8:00 am to 9:30 pm every day, don't go too late, as the closing time is earlier than the observation decks in America or other countries. And it's better to visit it by the dusk time, as you will be able to enjoy both day views and night views of Shanghai with a single visit.
Facts of observation decks and revolving restaurant:
Oriental Pearl Tower is mostly comprised of spheres of different sizes, two of these spheres are significantly larger than the rest ones and contain the observation decks, the main observation deck is in the upper large sphere, at a height of 263 meters, another deck is slightly below it at 259 meters, and maybe is the most interesting one, as it has a circular glass floor on the edge, allowing visitors to walk on it to look down at the views below.
A revolving buffet restaurant is at 267 meter high on the tower, which is 4 meters higher than the main deck. The restaurant can accommodate up to 350 guests in the same time, the admission for dining need to be booked together with the observation admission.
The highest observation deck is on the tower's uppermost sphere at 351 meters, this sphere is not as large as the one mentioned above, only 14 meters in diameter, but about 90 meters higher than the main observation deck.
The lower large sphere also has observation deck, at a height of 90 meters.
The process of visit:
Once you arrived Oriental Pearl Tower, go find the ticket hall, where you need to use the e-ticket you booked to get the paper entry ticket, you can deposit your luggage in a dedicated place there for free. After get the paper ticket, you will be escorted to wait for the elevator for a few minutes.
The elevator will whisk visitors to the main observation deck at 263 meters first, with a speed of 7 meter per second, the observation deck can be accessed within less than a minute.
At the main observation deck, you will be presented with impressive aerial views of the city from all directions, the views of skylines and the river can be totally different seen from such a high perspective to that seen from street level, usually much more impressive.
To the west, you will see the panorama view of the Bund, the Huangpu River, Suzhou River (a smaller river which can be found on the right of the Bund), and numerous buildings around the city center.
To the east, you will see the city's modern skyscrapers in Pudong, the skyscrapers here are more densely packed and clearly seen than that of Puxi district.
The most distinctive buildings among them are no doubt the Giant Three Towers, which are Shanghai World Financial Center (the one resembles a bottle opener), Jin Mao Tower, and the newly built and the tallest one, Shanghai Tower.
There are some telescopes on this floor, allowing visitors to get the close views of the scenery in the distance, but watching for half a minute cost 1 Chinese Yuan.
If you want to access to the tallest sphere of the tower, you need to purchase the admission on site at there with an extra cost of 80 Chinese Yuan, but it's just not worth it, the scenery seen from there has no distinct difference with that of the main observation deck. And the platform is very narrow, only 14 meters in diameter.
The revolving buffet restaurant is more interesting, it's right above the main observation deck at 267 meters. The restaurant will rotate once every one and half an hour, you will be able to enjoy the meal and spectacular views in the same time. There are not only Chinese foods, but a variety of flavors found around the world, some foods are shaped in the appearance of Oriental Pearl Tower. Aside from tasting foods, you also can enjoy live cooking shows.
If you didn't book the ticket that has buffet admission contained, you can then access another observation deck which is slight lower than the main deck, by walking through a stairway that connects the two floors.
The views seen from this floor is almost same as from the main observation deck, but the interesting thing is that there's a transparent glass floor circled around the whole floor, a good place for the people who wish to seek stimulation.
The city looks more fantastic when night comes, as the skylines is decorated with colorful city lights.
After visited the observation deck on the upper large sphere, elevator will take you to the floor in the lower sphere, there's a ring screen displaying videos that depict the future planning of Shanghai city, visitors will be standing on a conveyor belt to view the video. And the floor at 90 meter has a VR roller coaster. The lowest observation deck is also located there.
The final destination is the Museum of the History of Shanghai at the ground floor of the tower, the museum has a wide variety of collections, including the models of some historical buildings and sites of Shanghai, more than one hundred of lifesize wax figures, thousands of smaller wax figures, hundreds of historical artifacts, these collections vividly show the history and development of the city of Shanghai.