Exploring twists and turns of famous tower

Li Fei Ma Xuefeng
iDEALShanghai reporters guide to know more about Shanghai Tower. 
Li Fei Ma Xuefeng
Shot by Ma Xuefeng. Edited by Ma Xuefeng. Subtitles by Liu Lin, Wang Xinzhou and Andy Boreham.

The opening of the highest bookshop in town, Duoyun Books, has the Shanghai Tower in the spotlight again.

As China’s tallest building and the world’s second-tallest, the 632-meter-high Shanghai Tower is also one of the most distinctive.

“The shape of the outside reduces structural loads on the building and creates the beautiful spiraling curve,” Marshall Strabala, chief architect of the Shanghai Tower, told iDEALShanghai.

“The special double-skin design preserves energy.”

The building is divided into nine zones, with amenity floors for people to have lunch, instead of having to go down to the ground floor.

The amenity floors also provide space for museums, cafes, restaurants and even indoor gardens.

With a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, it is a truly green building.

A useful tip shared by Strabala is that the sky lobbies on the 22nd and 52nd floors are open to visitors to enjoy the view without payment.

iDEALShanghai has taken more than 10 hours to fully explore the building and presents a detailed guide, pictures and video.

The Floor Guide

126F 632 Summit

125F Trip of Wisdom, High-tech Multimedia Interactive Exhibition

118F-119F Top of Shanghai Observatory

84F-105F The world’s tallest super five-star hotel — J Hotel (not open yet)

68F Zeniya Shanghai

52F Duoyun Books

38F Baoku Dak Town Teahouse, Baoku Jiangxin Art Center

37F Shanghai Guanfu Museum, Baoku Art Center Half Garden

22F Sky lobby

5F Conference Center, Garden Cafe·Restaurant

4F-B2 Mall, Dining

1F-3F Shanghai Tower Exhibition Hall

B5 Baiku Treasury

125F &126F

Shanghai Eye on the 632 Summit

If Shanghai Tower is likened to a dragon lying in Shanghai, then Shanghai Eye, located on the 125th and 126th floors, can very well be likened to the eyes of the dragon. Its design inspiration comes from Chinese ancient tales.

The skylight above the Shanghai Eye is actually the top of the Shanghai Tower. As the sunlight comes through the glass and falls onto the Shanghai Eye you’ll be overwhelmed by the magical scene.

Visiting the 126th floor requires a reservation. If you want to learn more about the Shanghai Eye, you can visit the Trip of Wisdom and the High-tech Multimedia Interactive Exhibition on 125F.

On the 125th floor, the operation system of the 1,000-ton damper will be explained to visitors through interactive high-tech devices.

Visitors can also listen to 4D music masterpieces, which is a top-notch audio-visual experience.

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Fiona Li (right) and Shirlene Gu in front of the Shanghai Eye

118F & 119F

Top of Shanghai Observatory

After passing the ticket gate, there are five exhibition areas such as “skyscraper dream,” “skyscraper city” and “world-famous skyscrapers.”

These cool interactive devices, alongside awesome high-definition images, will improve your knowledge of famous skyscrapers.

The observatory is on the 118th floor. The world’s fastest elevator will take you to this 546-meter-high observatory where you will have a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of Shanghai’s renowned buildings, natural beauties and ever-changing sky.

There is a mailbox on the 118th floor so you can send a postcard from above the clouds. On the 119th floor, you can take a seat in the city’s highest coffee shop, and enjoy the view with coffee and gelato. There’s a variety of gelato flavors available, including Belgian chocolate, matcha and rum, and each one is only 42 yuan (US$5.9).

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

iDEALShanghai reporters observe through a telescope. 

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

A bird‘s-eye view of the city landscape 


Zeniya Shanghai

You can try the signature Kaiseki cuisine from the Michelin two-starred Zeniya.

On the 68th floor, it has super charming scenery both inside and outside.

The menu includes highlights such as pan-fried abalone, lobster with matsutake rice, and a trio of yellow fin tuna, sea urchin and lobster cloaked in a punchy chirizu sauce.

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

A window of the 68 floor

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Pan-fried Abalone

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

A waitress serves Japanese food. 

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Japanese sushi served at Zeniya Shanghai


Duoyun Books

People queued for up to four hours to be the first to enter the highest bookstore in the city when it opened this month. Duoyun Books has more than 16,000 books, including 1,150 foreign titles and more than 100 foreign journals.

The store has three special bookshelves, each displaying books selected from the London Review of Books, reviews on Douban, a Chinese social media website recommending books, movies and music, and “a bookshelf with attitude” where more than 20 cultural celebrities recommend books.

The most attractive area is the south and north “Cape of Good Hope,” with breathtaking scenery and two coffee shops. One in Tiffany blue to the south, and one in pink to the north to be opened soon.


Baoku Jiangxin Art Center

As a platform for Chinese crafts and intangible cultural heritage, Baoku Jiangxin Art Center contains the Craftmanship Museum and the Master Space.

It showcases 300 top Chinese contemporary artists’ masterpieces, including the master works of miniature carving, azure stone handicrafts, Jingdezhen porcelain and ceramics, Su embroidery.

Entrance is free, you only need to make a reservation on its WeChat platform.

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Books at Duoyun Books

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

The interiors of Duoyun Books


Baoku Dak Town Tea House

A window seat at this elegant Chinese teahouse will give you a full view of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai International Financial Center.

We recommend the Ripe Pu’er tea, with a price of 188 yuan per person. They also offer take-away tea at a good price of 18 yuan.

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Fiona Li (right) and Shirlene Gu drink tea at Baoku Dak Town Tea House

Baoku Half Garden

Perched mid-air, Half Garden, an indoor Chinese garden, sets the world record for its breathtaking elevation. An intriguing path meanders through a view that is straight out of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) paintings. It is beautifully set off by artificial waterfalls, a gold-lined wooden pavilion, Wukang bricks based on the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties designs, thousand-year-old Chinese wisteria and alpine rhododendron.

Oriental beauty and modern design became one.

Unfortunately, the Half Garden is only open to members now, but will open to the public during exhibitions.


Garden Patio

The garden patio on the fifth floor bridges the cafe and the VIP lounge and serves as the “green lung” of the Shanghai Tower.

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Fiona Li (right) and Shirlene Gu at Garden Patio


Shanghai Tower Exhibition Hall

The Exhibition Hall is on the 1st floor of the Shanghai Tower. Currently on show is “Silk Road-Dunhuang,” an exhibition of the Dunhuang Grottoes.

Organized by famous artist Mi Qiu, the exhibition displays 117 pieces (sets) of relics and three duplicated Dunhuang Mogao grottoes, including cave No. 29. It brings the Dunhuang culture of 1,600 years ago to life.

Exhibition will run through August 31.

Price: 30 yuan for children; 120 yuan for students and elderly; 180 yuan for adults

Exploring twists and turns of famous tower
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Fiona Li (right) and Shirlene Gu visit the “Silk Road-Dunhuang” exhibition

Good to Know Before You Go

• Guide to the express lifts:

There are three express lifts to the Sky Retail, you may get lost if you get on the wrong one. The express lift to the observatory is located on B1.

Baoku Art Center: 4X express lifts to 37F

Baoku Dak Town Teahouse: 37F transfer to 38F-49F

Duoyun Books: 5X express lifts to 52F

Zeniya Shanghai: 6X express lifts to 68F

Address: 501 Yincheng Rd, M., Pudong New Area

• How to get there:

1. Take Metro Line 2 and stop at Lujiazui. Take Exit 6.

2. Take the ferry to Dongchang Road and then walk about 800 meters.

3. If driving, there is a 15 yuan parking fee per hour.

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