Guide to visiting the Shanghai Tower Observation Deck

Shanghai Tower is the tallest building in China and the 2nd tallest building in the whole world, only after Burj Khalifa, which contains a long spire.
Like the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower which are the two other skyscrapers that situated adjacent to it, there's an observation deck at the upper floors of Shanghai Tower, named Top of Shanghai, the observation deck launched a trial opening in June 2016, only opened to some groups of visitors. On April 27th 2017, it officially opened to the public.

Shanghai Tower
Shanghai Tower (the tallest one on the right)

Currently, visitors can get access to the 118th floor and 119th floor, which are 546m and 552m high respectively, the 119th floor of the tower is currently the second highest observation deck in the world, only 3 meters less than the secondary observation deck of Burj Khalifa, which is 555m high (note the 119th floor only opens on the weekends), in the future, the 121st floor will also open, by then it will become the highest observation deck in the world.
Although the highest viewing platform hasn't been opened, it's alright as there comes the advantage that the ticket price is lower, the normal entry price is only 180 Chinese Yuan or 28 US Dollars, this price is same as the observatory on Shanghai World Financial Center, and lower than that of some other skyscrapers around the world like Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and far less than At The Top Sky on Burj Khalifa, of which a ticket could cost as much as 134 Dollars. The price will surely increase significantly if it becomes world's highest observation deck after the 121st floor is opened.

Chinese can book the tickets on some local websites that only available in Chinese, for foreigners, the admission ticket can be booked by clicking here. You can also purchase the ticket on site at the ticket hall of Shanghai Tower, but it is highly recommended to book online in advance, as a discount will be offered and you will save quite a long time for waiting in the line to just buy a ticket.

For foreigners, it's better to take your passport before arriving the tower, as sometimes it will be used either when purchasing the ticket or picking the ticket in case the ticket is booked online.(Update: Now they will not check your passport, but a picture of you will be taken after security check.)
Don't go too late, the opening hours of Shanghai Tower is 8:30 am to 10:00 pm and tickets stop selling at 9:30.
This is much earlier compared to the observation decks in the United States, which usually close after midnight.
And you'd better visit there during the time of dusk since both the day views and night views can be seen in a single visit.
Shanghai tower has two addresses referring to the same location, one is 479 Lujiazui Ring Road, the other is 501 Yincheng Middle Road. The tower's significant height makes it standing out among all the buildings in Pudong district, anyone can easily pick it out without even knowing its address.

Shanghai Tower seen from the Bund
Shanghai Tower (the tallest one in the picture) seen from the Bund

There are many ways to get there, the most used option is by subway, take Line 2 and get off at Lujiazui station, get out the station at exit 6, then the tower will be arrived. If you are near the Bund, then take a ferry is a good option, simply buy a ticket that costs only 2 Chinese Yuan you can cross the river and enjoy the river view in the same time, after getting off the ferry just have a 10 minutes walk you will reach the tower.
If you haven't booked the ticket then head to the ticket hall, which is at the northwest corner of the base of the building, near the intersection of Yincheng Road and Huayuanshiqiao Road. You must pay in cash or by Tenpay or Alipay, which are two Chinese online payment systems similar to Paypal. Credit card can't be used.
If you have bought the admission ticket online, you can directly go to the entrance of the observatory to pick up the ticket on a dedicated device, which can be found at the level B1 after you get in from the main entrance by the street.

The entry ticket of Shanghai Tower Observation Deck
The entry ticket of Shanghai Tower Observation Deck

After entering into the secondary entrance, the first place prepared for visitors is known as the preface hall of the observatory, there are some pictures or videos show the development of Shanghai Tower and some diagrams and models that introduce some other tallest buildings around the world.


A model of Petronas Towers, which were once the tallest buildings in the world
A model of Petronas Towers, which were once the tallest buildings in the world

After watching the exhibition in preface hall, visitors will take the escalator to the level B2, you will then wait for the high-speed elevator in a queue, queuing time depends on the number of visitors, usually it takes about 5 to 10 minutes while it can also take up to half an hour in the holidays and weekends. On May 19th the chinese travel festival, the admission was set at half of the ordinary price, it attracted 11,000 visitors.

The escalator leads to the high-speed elevators in level B2


The highest speed of the elevator of Shanghai tower is 18 meters per second, even the average speed is no less than 10m per second, it's the fastest elevator in the world, it takes only 55 seconds to reach the observation deck on 118th floor at 546m off the ground.
This is an annular viewing platform, occupying more than 1,000 square meters or more than 10000 square feet, it offers 360 degree views of Shanghai.

Standing by the windows, visitors can enjoy the spectacular views of the city and the beautiful river under the feet, you will have a commanding view of many landmarks of the city such as the historic buildings with different architectural styles along the Bund and the Oriental Pearl Tower, which has long been seen as the icon of modern Shanghai.

The charming night view of the Bund
The charming night view of the Bund

You will also see the view of Suzhou river flowing into Huangpu river and if weather is fine you can also see the estuary of Huangpu river at yellow sea.

Maybe because of the weather, the buildings in Puxi can not be seen clearly when I visited there. But all the buildings in Lujiazui can be fully seen.
The most shocking views belong to Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower, these two supertall skyscrapers were the tallest buildings in Shanghai before the completion of Shanghai Tower, now you can look down at them.

Looking down at Jin Mao Tower
Looking down at Jin Mao Tower
Looking down at Shanghai World Financial Center
Looking down at Shanghai World Financial Center

There are some telescopes beside the windows, but these telescopes are not free of charge, so you'd better to bring one of yourself, as telescope is a must-have equipment for travelers.


It is highly recommended to check the weather of the day of visit, as observation activities can be influenced by weathers, it's better to choose a clear day to visit as the visibility will be good, if not then the worst case is that nothing else can be seen but only fog.
If you have to visit Shanghai Tower observation deck on a day of bad weather, I recommend you to visit by the night time, by night time the cityscape will still be visible due to the city lights have higher penetrability.
There's a souvenir store on 118th floor, selling some artworks and some other products based on Shanghai Tower, even the bottled water is shaped with the appearance of Shanghai Tower.
There's an artificial tree known as wishing tree, visitors can buy a card priced 18 Chinese Yuan to write down the wishing on it and hang it onto the tree. A sky post office is set near the wishing tree, it's currently highest post office, sending a post card from a height of over 500m can be a different experience.

Sky post office on Shanghai Tower
Sky post office on Shanghai Tower

The observation deck on 118th floor of Shanghai Tower has a washing room, in contrast, the highest viewing platform on 100th floor of Shanghai World Financial Center doesn't have washing room, and the staffs don't inform visitors that, visitors have to leave there even they still haven't seen enough.
The 119th floor can be accessed through a stairway connecting two floors, unlike 118th floor this floor is not fully opened, and only opens in weekends, there are some seats for visitors to have a rest and a cafe can be found there, the coffee is not very expensive, but the snacks are much more expensive than the outside. Having a cup of coffee while looking at the impressive cityscape outside the window can be an excellent experience.
To leave the observatory, the elevator is at 118th floor, after descend to the first floor, visitors must get out of the building through another store that sells souvenirs.
Then the whole trip is finished.

Are you planning to visit Shanghai Tower in person? You can book the admission ticket at here.

Aside from Shanghai Tower, there are many other interesting places also worth to visit in Shanghai, if you have no idea about which other places to visit in Shanghai, check out this 10 best tourist attractions to visit in Shanghai.

Never been to China before? China is very different from other countries, you should know a little extra things before you travel to China, this 10 tips of traveling in China might help you a lot.

If you have any questions regarding the tour please contact us.

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