The Oriental Pearl Tower

The Landmark of Shanghai
The Oriental Pearl Tower

As Shanghai's most recognizable landmark, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower occupies a prominent place in the city's landscape. Standing tall in the Pudong district, the structure features one revolving restaurant, three legs, 11 spheres, and multiple observatory levels. The most thrilling viewpoints are from the “Space Module” – the highest observation deck, sitting at a staggering 351 meters (1,148 feet) above the ground. The designer took 11 different sizes of pearls from the blue sky down to the green grass, which gives an impression from a line from a Tang Dynasty poem "pearls of all sizes falling into a jade plate". Besides serving as a Radio & TV Tower, the tower offers a variety of activities and entertainment including sightseeing, catering, shopping, exhibition, and accommodation.

Construction began in 1991, and the tower was completed in 1994. It was the tallest building in China from 1994 to 2007 when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center. The total height of the tower spire is 468 meters (1,535 ft), which makes it the world’s sixth tallest TV and Radio Tower.

Quick Facts
  • Chinese name: 东方明珠塔 Dōng Fāng Míng Zhū Tǎ
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Entrance Fee: RMB 220 (including the space capsule, the higher sphere, the lower sphere, and the history museum)
  • Opening hours: 9:00 am to 9:30 pm
  • Best time to visit All year round
  • How to get there:
    Bus Lines: Take Bus No.81, 82, 85, 583, 774, 795, 798, 799, 870 or the Lujiazui sightseeing tour line and get off at the Lujiazui Station.
    Subway lines: Take Line No.2 and get off at the Lujiazui Station (Exit 1).

Highlights of Oriental Pearl Tower

You can appreciate the urban scenery of both banks of Huangpu River from the three main spheres at different heights. You can also enjoy the full view of Shanghai in a unique like “walking in the air” when standing on the 259-meter-high transparent observatory. When night falls, you can climb up to the sightseeing floor to look out over the sleepless city. Or you can have a meal in the Revolving Restaurant at 267 meters.

Photo by orientalpearltower.com

Fast elevators

Visitors travel up and down the Oriental Pearl Tower in double-decker elevators that can hold up to 50 people at the rate of 7 meters per second. It takes only 55 seconds to get to the Space Capsule at 351 meters.

Shanghai History Museum at the base of the tower

This museum explores the history of the city of Shanghai from around 1850 to 1950, starting with the opening of Shanghai and ending with the revolution in 1949. You’ll find fascinating black and white photos of early 20th century Shanghai, a display of the city’s transportation over the years, and lifelike wax figures taking visitors through early 20th century Shanghai when international settlements had been established in the port city.

The Lower Sphere

Fixed 98 meters above the ground level, the Lower Sphere houses the Space Recreation City with abundant activities such as multi-dimensional movies, 360° holographic 5D movies, VR roller coaster, and Namco Electronic Entertainment World, and animation specialty stores that are popular among the young.

The Upper Sphere

The main observation deck is known as the Sightseeing Floor, which occupies two floors inside the upper large sphere at 263 meters and 259 meters. The 259-meter-high Transparent Observatory in the Upper Sphere is the world's unique 360-degree transparent sightseeing corridor. Here, visitors are encouraged to walk around to experience the feeling of strolling over clouds. You can imagine stepping into prosperous Lujiazui, a new financial district of Shanghai.

The 230 Sphere Hotel- is surrounded by 360-degree beautiful landscapes of Shanghai

Located inside a 230-meter independent sphere between the upper and lower spheres of the tower, the 230 Sphere Hotel hangs in the air and is held by three pillars. The hotel provides 24-hour full-time customized butler service for every guest. You’ll be surrounded by 360-degree beautiful landscapes of Shanghai. The hotel includes just one suite with two bedrooms, a living room, a SPA, a dining room, and a video and audio entertainment room. It can accommodate a maximum of 4 people. Its rack rate is US$10,000 per night. The hotel can host an exclusive small party with a maximum of 20 attendees during your stay on your demand.

Oriental Pearl Tower Revolving Restaurant at 267 (876ft)

It can accommodate 360 guests. It provides a buffet featuring Southeast Asian cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Chinese cuisine, and European and American cuisines. You can have a commanding view of Huangpu River when looking out of the spacious and bright French sphere glazed window. It is designed to turn a full circle every 2 hours presenting you with a magnificent view of Shanghai.

Space Capsule at 351 meters (1,148 feet)

The 351-meter-high Space Capsule demonstrates the scientific charm of space scenery and China’s space exploration program by technological means. It is also the highest sightseeing floor of the Oriental Pearl Tower. On a clear day, you can look out over the Sheshan Mountain and Chongming Island.

The Oriental Pearl Tower Travel Tips:

  1. As the Oriental Pearl Tower is a popular tourist destination, you may have to queue, especially during the holidays. It is advisable to get there in the morning and highly recommended to select a clear day for a better view.
  2. The Oriental Pearl Tower has wheelchairs available (a deposit is required).
  3. If you are planning to visit the Bund before or after, consider using the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, if only for convenience. Electric tram cars whisk you under the river in about five minutes, making the trip faster than a taxi. It’s also more entertaining, with light displays meant to emulate a trip through the earth’s center.
  4. You can enjoy the splendid tower light show during the Shanghai Tourism Festival in Mid-September, on New Year’s Eve, and on other major festivals. It is another wonderful experience to tour the Bund or appreciate the Oriental Pearl Tower by sightseeing on a boat along the Huangpu River.
  5. The check-in hall of the Oriental Pearl Tower sets 20 ㎡ cloakrooms for tourists to deposit ordinary items (carry your valuables with you).
  6. Catering: if you do not want to experience the Revolving Restaurant, there are other restaurant options. You can consider the Old Shanghai No.8 Restaurant which offers authentic Shanghainese cuisine, or Oriental Pearl Coca-Cola Happy Restaurant which offers a full range of Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine, European and American cuisines, Southeast Asian cuisine, and various kinds of western-style snacks.