Shanghai by bike: Longhua

Pedal past southern rock gardens and canals with our Shanghai cycle route

Distance Around 15km
Time 2 hours
Difficulty Easy
Highlights The lotus marshes at Kangjianyuan and Guilin Park’s 1,000 golden osmanthus trees


If you don’t have your own, pick up a Forever bike rental (Find out how to rent a bike here) at 2557 Longhua Lu, five-minutes walk east of Chuanchang Lu metro station (Line 7), and follow the road southwest, turning right onto Longhua Xi Lu and right again where this dissects Tianyaoqiao Lu. If you’re coming on your own two wheels, head due south on Wulumuqi Lu (which turns into Dongan Lu) until you reach Xietu Lu. Here, take a right and follow Xietu Lu until it meets Tianyaoqiao Lu, just north of Shanghai Stadium, following this south.

Your first stop is the Tianyaoqiao Lu entrance of Longhua Cemetery of Revolutionary Martyrs. Leave your wheels at the gate and wander the grounds, which were used as a prison and execution area for Chinese communists by the Kuomintang (KMT) from 1928-37. The Communists used it as a prison too, before it was repurposed as the Martyr’s Cemetery in 1995. In addition to Soviet-style sculptures, preserved prison cells and a museum (open 9am-3.30pm, Tue-Sun, 5RMB), the cemetery houses a room full of locked boxes where the ashes of elite cadres are kept.

Hop back on your bike and follow the road south to the next interchange; take a sharp right onto Longshui Bei Lu, which quickly spits you onto the smoggy arterial Longcao Lu. Stay with it until you reach Caobao Lu metro station located beneath the elevated highway. Cross over, and continue west on Caobao Lu. After a couple of blocks you hit the canal; cross the humpback bridge and take a left onto Qinzhou Lu. This is where the ride becomes pretty again. Keep your eyes peeled for snoozing pensioners on park benches and fiery-coloured irises shooting from the water. Cross the canal and take an immediate right onto Guanshengyuan Lu, looking out for the art deco apartments at No 6.

After a couple of blocks you’ll hit gate 1 of Kangjianyuan Park on your right. Dismount and enter this sleepy ‘low carbon’ park. Old folk can regularly be found practicing their ballroom dancing; there’s a small jetty with rental boats from 20RMB; a kids’ fairground; and in the centre a raised rock sculpture with a pagoda perched on top, a good place to eat your sandwiches. The green lawn below is also a pleasant spot for a break, one of the few grassy areas in town where you are allowed to picnic and play ball games.

Guilin Park

Back on the road, continue west until you hit Guilin Lu. Then it’s a sharp right toward Guilin Park. The entrance to the park is 100 yards on your left at No 128 (2RMB/entry), with the white walls concealing a beautiful 35,509sqm classical Chinese garden. Originally owned by the city’s most famous bent cop ‘Pockmarked’ Huang Jinrong, in 1937 it became a Japanese barracks following their occupation of Shanghai. It opened to the public in 1958 and nowadays the most action it sees is from the local Bird Association who meet on Saturday afternoons.

For a bike drop off (or direct route back) head east on Caobao Lu, there is a Forever bike dock at No 27, on the left just before the metro station (Line 1). For those on their own bikes wanting a less polluted pedal home, stay northwards on Guilin Lu until you reach the junction with Tianlin Lu. Follow this east, looking out for the flower market on your left, to return to the Caoxi Lu interchange beside IKEA.

More cycle routes