The best adventure sports in and around Shanghai

Push your body to its limits with parkour, master the basics of scuba diving, set sail on the open(ish) waters and much more

Photograph: courtesy Big Blue Scuba Diving International

There's no need to venture too far from Shanghai to get your thrills (no, we're not talking about theme parks). Whether you've got a need for speed or want to get back to the great outdoors, here are the top adventure sport activities that you can do without leaving the city centre or as part of an easy weekend getaway.

Looking for a more 'chill' way to keep fit? Check out Shanghai's top gyms and workout studios or get into the fighting spirit at the city's best martial arts studios.

RECOMMENDED: Find more on keeping fit and healthy in Shanghai

By Heng Hui Mei

Sailing with Shanghai Sailing Club at Dishui Lake

While most people go to Dishui Lake to take pictures of the clear waters, there's more to this area than some pretty Insta-feed fodder. Shanghai Sailing Club runs sailing courses – ranging from total beginner to advanced training – and offers boat rental on these waters. The club has a decent selection of boats to suit different levels with a range of dinghys and Fareast keelboats.

Price: Contact the club for lesson prices and boat rental.

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880 Huanhu Dong Yi Lu

Parkour at LINK Parkour

Make like Spiderman, leaping off and running up walls at LINK Parkour. The school provides full-body training through the use of four fundamentals of sport and human movement: running; climbing; jumping; balancing. Instructors teach the essentials of safe practice, like the how-tos of jumping the correct way – which makes all the different between injuring yourself and landing lightly. The training centres are kitted out with a load of crash mats to break any falls and have plenty of space for you to master the forward roll without kneeing yourself in the face. 

Price: 3,000RMB for 20 classes; 8,800RMB for unlimited classes (valid for one year in any of the three locations).

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433 Yuyuan Lu

Scuba diving with Big Blue Scuba Diving International

The first step to getting a diving licence, Big Blue's one-day Discover Scuba Diving programme takes things nice and slow, getting you used to the basics of scuba at a swimming pool in Qibao. From there, Big Blue runs PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Divemaster, Rescue Diver courses and more in Qiandao Lake and the Philippines. 

Price: 400RMB (discovery dive); for more information on PADI course prices, visit

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10 Jinbang Lu

Rock climbing at Park Climbing Gym

Discover muscles you never knew existed scaling walls at this tall and open climbing gym. Park's high rope-climbing wall has 15 ropes and plenty of routes, plus theres a sky ladder, slack lines, a mezzanine training area and a glass ceiling that feels great on a warm, sunny day. For more seasoned climbers, try the bouldering area which is a side room with walls about three to four metres high.

Price: 95RMB for a day pass; 980RMB for a 13-time pass; 1,850RMB for a 26-times pass; 3,250RMB for a 50-time pass; 900RMB for a one-month pass; 2,200RMB for a three-month pass; 3,300RMB for a six-month card; 4,500RMB for a one-year pass. 20RMB for daily shoe and harness rental.

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199 Yangzhai Lu, near Kaixuan Lu

Mountain biking with Prodigy Outdoor

Mountain biking for 33 kilometres around Zhouzhuang (just over an hour from Shanghai via high-speed train in Jiangsu province) is one of Prodigy's more 'chill' activities. The mountain bike enthusiasts run regular weekend adventure trips to the likes of Moganshan and Qiandaohu and often combine mountain biking with some sort of other outdoor activity, like kayaking or canoeing. 

Price: Around 1,000RMB per person (a membership fee of 1,000RMB for the year entitles participants to discounts).

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833 HuaiHai Zhong Lu

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