The spring season which seems to last, oh, all of about two weeks here in Shanghai is upon us, so now is the time to jump on that age old tradition we all know and love from childhood – going on a picnic! Admittedly it can be difficult to find a patch of green grass large enough to fit a few people and a spread of food (and even harder to find a patch of grass you’re allowed to sit on!), but they are out there. Here is a round up of the top five best places in Shanghai to settle down for some al fresco dining on the cheap.
1) Zhongshan ParkView In Map
One of the more popular parks in the city, Zhongshan Park can get a bit crowded (especially on the weekends). But it is possible to steal a spot away just for yourself in either one of the two large fields or underneath one of the many fragrant trees. It is likely that you will have to share some greenery with various kite fliers, tai chi enthusiasts, and children, but the people watching is partly what makes this such a great place to camp out. After you enjoy your leisurely picnic, you can extend your outdoor adventures by renting paddle boats or checking out the mini amusement park on the left side.
Add: 780 Changning Lu (near Dingxi Lu), Changning District, Shanghai
Opening hours: 06:00-18:00
Entrance fee: Free
2) Sunny BeachView In Map
In case you haven’t heard, Shanghai officially has a beach. Or should that be “beach”? Whatever you want to call it, Sunny Beach consists of a healthy strip of sand with plenty of lounge chairs overlooking the southern end of the Bund. You are allowed to bring in whatever food or drink you like, which makes this the perfect place to lie back and pretend you’re on vacation. Rumors that the owners are preparing to install a swimming pool later this year makes this spot even more appealing, so get there while the masses still haven’t discovered it!
Add: Waima Lu, near Maojiayuan Lu, Shanghai
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
Entrance fee: 20 RMB
3) Century ParkView In Map
One of the bigger parks in Shanghai, Century Park gives you plenty of space to find the perfect grassy picnic spot. Choose an area overlooking the gardens, or explore the various paths to find somewhere with a water view. Like Zhongshan Park, this park is a multi-purpose venue, so after you’ve finished eating there are still plenty of activities left to try. Cycling (technically you’re supposed to rent the bicycles on the spot, but no one seems to really care if you bring your own – surprise, surprise) and boating are particularly popular, but never underestimate the healing power of a good stroll.
Add: 1001 Jinxiu Lu, Pudong New District, Shanghai
Opening hours: 7:00 – 18:00
Entrance fee: Adults – 10 RMB; Children (under 1.2m) - free
4) Gongqing Forest Park
This is for all of you who are willing to explore the outskirts of Shanghai in search of the perfect picnic spot – trust me, it’s worth it. Located in northeastern Shanghai, Gongqing Forest Park is by far the largest of any you could find in the middle of the city. For those looking for space, space, and more space, you’ll find plenty of forest areas and green fields on which to spread out. If you grow tired of all the quietness, stroll over to the kiddie section where you’ll find an open-air train that runs through parts of the park, a playground, amusement park rides, and boats.
5) Huashan Park View In Map
This is the perfect example of a place being hidden in plain sight. At the intersection of bustling Huashan Lu and nightlife loving Xingfu Lu, there lies a small but ample park, perfect for a mid-week picnic in the middle of downtown. Shady paths lead to small covered gazebos, while lakes lined with stepping stones appear suddenly and frequently. While some areas of grass are portioned off, there are plenty of seating areas and small patches that make perfect picnic spots. Somehow, Huashan Park manages to remain so quiet and insulated that you can easily forget you’re in the middle of the city.
Add: At the corner of Huashan Lu and Xingfu Lu (across from Dada Bar)
Opening hours: 05:00 - 19:00
Entrance fee: Free
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Keywords: picnic spots Shanghai Picnic in Shanghai Shanghai sunny beach Parks in Shanghai
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