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The best places to see spring blossoms in Shanghai

The top spots in Shanghai for viewing sakura

Cherry blossom in Tongji University. Credit: atiger

Most parks in Shanghai are pretty places to hang out in when spring flowers are coming into bloom, and several even go all out in the blossom stakes by holding dedicated festivals. These events may not be as big as Japan's Hanami Festival, the blooms on display in Shanghai still draw significant crowds to smell the flowers and snap a quick sakura selfie. Here are some of the best spots in town to see the blossoms this season.


Gucun Forest Park

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20RMB/adult, 10RMB/child

Gucun Park, accessible from the Line 7 metro stop of the same name, is a prime location to view new flowers this season. They're aiming to cash in on the blossoms' popularity by throwing their annual 'Blossom Festival' that runs from Friday 18 March to Wednesday 15 April. Last year saw Gucun Forest Park (entry 20RMB) set up 41 special ticket windows, 500 toilet cubicles, 5,400 car parking spaces, and negotiate a more frequent metro train service for their Line 7 stop during peak times due to the huge popularity of their Cherry Blossom Festival. You can expect similar hordes this time around, so it’s worth picking your visiting time carefully.


Gucun Forest Park 1 Huandao Lu, near Zhenhutai Lu, Baoshan district. See full details.


Shanghai Botanical Gardens

15RMB for regular admission

The city’s original botanical gardens have imported cherry varieties from all over the country as well as sakura plants from Japan in previous years and while there's often a hefty additional entrance fee to gain access to the blossoms, the park is a pleasant space to while away a few hours when the sun shines. Plans for 2016 are still yet to be announced; check back here soon.

Shanghai Botanical Garden 1111 Longwu Lu, near Baise Lu, Xuhui district. See full details.


Chenshan Botanical Gardens

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60RMB/adult, 20RMB/child

Shanghai's newer botanical gardens is another top place to view blossoms this spring. The sprawling site in Songjiang district isn't hosting a dedicated festival this year due to crowd control issues, but you can nevertheless expect significant hordes at peak times for their pretty pink flowers. Fortunately, the gardens are big enough for it not to feel too crowded. For a full guide to the gardens click here.

Chenshan Botanical Gardens 3888 Chenhua Lu, near Jiasong Lu, Songjiang district. See full details.


Lu Xun Park

Free

One of the city's oldest public gardens, the brilliant Lu Xun Park is a firm Time Out favourite with myriad dances, live music performances and exercise groups to be found throughout the landscaped grounds. And now you have one more reason to go there - inside the park there's a small spring blossom garden where you can enjoy the blooms for free.

Lu Xun Park 2288 Sichuan Bei Lu, near Dong Jiangwan Lu, Hongkou district. See full details.


Century Park

10RMB

This fantastic park in Pudong is one of the best green spots in the city all year round, but come blossom season it's even more beautiful with a dedicated plum tree garden featuring 3,000 trees in 30 varieties, plus lovely pink cherry blossoms slightly later in March.


Daning Park

20RMB

Daning Park, aka 'that park with the fake beach next to Shanghai Circus World', is hosting their Tulip Festival again this year until April 10, featuring 'countless activities and performances for everybody' on weekends including climbing walls, VR booths and various arts and crafts activites. There'll also be a range of market stalls and food vendors including La Coyota, Melrose Pizza, Haya's. Oh, and there's some nice looking tulips as well.


Zhongshan Park

Free

Another of our favourite green spaces in the city, Changning's Zhongshan Park is also one of the top places to view spring blossoms. It's also another free option, with the blooms viewable from a stroll along the main path that runs the circumference of the park. If the sun is shining, there's also a great central stretch of grass that's one of the few in the city you're actually allowed to sit (or run about) on.

Zhongshan Park is at 780 Changning Lu, near Dingxi Lu, Changning district. See full details.


Tongji University

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Free

Tongji University's main campus in the traditional college district of Shanghai is a wonderfully leafy spot throughout much of the year, but during the spring it also becomes home to picturesque blossom-lined streets that are open to the public and students alike to wander along. Expect them to be at their peak from late March to mid-April.

Tongji University 50 Chifeng Lu, near Siping Lu, Yangpu district. See full details.


Shanghai Haiwan National Forest Park

50RMB for regular admission, 80RMB for the blossom festival

Fengxian is going big on spring blossoms this year, with a number of different events focused on new blooms in the area. Haiwan forest park's blossom festival promises to be one of the biggest of these, with 126 varieties of plum tree on show until the end of March. After that, the district's 'Spring Flower Festival' will continue until mid-April.

Shanghai Haiwan National Forest Park Haiwan National Forest Park, 1,677 Suitanghe Road, Fengxian district. See full details.


Xinzhuang Park

Free

Having been under extensive renovations for the previous 12 months, Xinzhuang's dedicated Plum Blossom Park opened just after 2016's Spring Festival holidays with what they're touting as the most environmentally-friendly approach to gardening in the city, with rainwater collection systems for irrigation and other eco-conscious initiatives. As for the flowers themselves, 1,000 trees featuring 30 different types of plum blossom will be on show until mid-April.

Xinzhuang Park 421 Xinbang Rd, Minhang District. See full address details.


Nanhui

50RMB/adult, 35RMB/child

If you're a fully-fledged blossom aficionado, then you'll likely be heading to Nanhui over the coming weeks. The outer-lying area of Shanghai hosts a major Peach Blossom Festival every year with huge fields of trees in full blossom. This year's runs from Friday 15 March-Saturday 15 April, though you'll need to make it to Nanhui first - your best bet from downtown is to take metro Line 16 to Huinan and catch one of the free shuttle buses to Datuan Peach Park (大团桃园).

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