Yu Gardens

Yu Gardens

Located at the heart of Shanghai’s old town, the Yu Garden (‘Garden of Happiness’) is a prime example of a classical Chinese garden. Started in 1559, during the Ming Dynasty, it took 18 years to complete and eventually bankrupted the family, Pan, who commissioned it. It became the largest and most prestigious garden in the city. Damaged during both the First Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion, the park today is just 2 hectares but is packed full of rockeries, bridges, gates, alcoves, pavilions and ponds full of fish.

Designated a National Monument in 1982, the garden is exceptionally popular – a small respite from Shanghai’s bustle. A wander through its maze of classical features, spread through six main garden areas in the Suzhou style, allows you to catch a glimpse of the horticultural trends of the Ming Dynasty. The garden is particularly pleasant to explore in the spring and summer, when blossom adds colour and fragrance to the air. By the entrance to the garden you will find the Huxinting Teahouse – one of the most famous in China.

Popular Tours Visiting Yu Gardens

holiday duration 14 Days from
holiday price 2,290pp

Combining the contrasting urban splendour of Shanghai, Beijing and Xian with the majestic sights of the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and extraordinary landscapes of the Li River, this tour showcases China’s most glorious highlights.

holiday duration 14 Days from
holiday price 2,790pp

Savour the natural grandeur of the Three Gorges on a relaxing Yangtze River Cruise – just one part of a wonderful tour that also includes China’s enthralling cities of Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, and of course the unforgettable Giant Pandas of Chengdu.

holiday duration 16 Days from
holiday price 2,990pp

China is a land of many wonders – ancient and modern, natural and man-made. This hugely popular tour is a comprehensive journey through China’s most iconic sights from the magnificent Great Wall to the mighty Yangtze River.

View all Yu Gardens tours
Yu Gardens Map

Six Facts About The Yu Gardens

The garden was specially built by Pan Yunduan for his parents to enjoy in their old age

There are 30 pavilions throughout the garden

The Grand Rockery, one of the garden’s most prominent features, is thousands of tons of rare yellow stones held together with rice glue – it was designed by the famous Ming artist Zhang Nanyang

Dian Chun Tang Hall was used as the secret base of the Small Sword Society who plotted the Taiping Rebellion to overthrow the Qing Dynasty

The garden is also home to a number of cultural relics, including old furniture, calligraphy, sculptures and paintings

There are many fascinating legends around the Exquisite Jade Rock – a five-ton uniquely-formed rock that stands in the garden


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