Looking down on Shanghai

The Jin Mao Tower is an 88 storey skyscraper in Shanghai. Completed in 1999, it was then the tallest building in China and remained so until 2007 when the adjacent Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) was completed. Currently under construction nearby is the Shanghai Tower, which at 128 stories tall will dwarf both the Jin Mao Tower and the SWFC. Yet, when I visited the city, the Shanghai Tower was no more than half erected.

Jin Mao Tower at night with the Shanghai World Financial Center
Jin Mao Tower at night with the Shanghai World Financial Center

Walking around Lujiazui at night gives you a great opportunity to see these amazing skyscrapers up close and illuminated. According to the Shanghai Star newspaper, the Jin Mao Tower has a daily maintenance cost of £121k per day!

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At the base of Jin Mao
At the base of Jin Mao

At first I found it a little confusing to find the entrance to the actual viewing platform. You need to take a few escalators from the entrance of the Jin Mao Tower to buy your tickets and then queue for the elevators to take you to the top. I stood for around 30 minutes waiting for the elevator, although, as I recall, this was actually quicker than when I waited at Taipei 101.

At the top
At the top

As ever at the top of supertall skyscrapers, there is a frenzy of activity. Many people crowding around for the best views, and, with this being in China, there were more aggressive scrums than usual. However, in addition to the views out of the windows, there were also impressive miniatures and information letting us know about how the Jin Mao Tower was built.

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The SWFC Tower over the road...
The SWFC Tower over the road…
Looking down on Shanghai - specifically Lujiazui Ring Road.
Looking down on Shanghai – specifically Lujiazui Ring Road.

Speaking of the views from the top of the tower, well unlike Beijing, Shanghai is not yet COMPLETELY under the cover of dangerous smog, although there is still a lot of pollution in the air around here which does scupper the possibility of seeing views across the city. However, I did enjoy my look down over Lujiazui, and my glance at the SWFC across the street, which looked even more impressive now that I was so high in the air! The Grand Hyatt Hotel is situated in the Jin Mao Tower, and I did once consider staying here during my trip to Shanghai. However, from the top of the tower, you can glance down the inside towards the hotel lobby. It is a long way down!

Looking down inside the Tower at the Grand Hyatt hotel lobby
Looking down inside the Tower at the Grand Hyatt hotel lobby

I enjoyed my time in the Jin Mao Tower. I could only afford to go in one of Shanghai’s main skyscrapers and I chose Jin Mao over the SWFC because of its architecture, even though it is not quite as high as the adjacent SWFC.

For more of my blogs on tall buildings, check out my entries for the KL Menara Tower and Taipei 101!

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7 thoughts on “Looking down on Shanghai

  1. Great site, I’ve enjoyed reading through – I like Nishiki Market in Tokyo for what it’s worth – or, even better – get the Shinkansen to Kyoto (I know, you were writing about Tokyo!) All the best.

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