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People's Square Area 人民广场


As Shanghai's political and cultural center. People's Square is situated in the very center of Shanghai. It is the largest square in this city, with a total area of 140,000 sq.m. On the north side stand Shanghai Grand Theatre 上海大舞台, Shanghai Municipal Government Building 上海巿政府 and Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center 上海城市规划展览馆. The famous Shanghai Museum 上海博物館 sits on the south side. The world famed Nanjing Road 南京路 lies to its north and Huaihai Road 淮海 to its south. Around the square are big shops, department stores and numerous time honored and deluxe shops, restaurants, recreational centers and modern hotels.

In the center of the area is People's Park 人民公园, which was the well known Race Course, opened by foreigners in Shanghai. Race Course Club, which Shanghai people generally called "Pao Ma Ting" ("Pao Ma" means "horse racing", and "Ting" means "Hall" in Chinese), was in fact a 4 storied building with a big clock at its northwest corner which used to be a landmark of the past Shanghai, and today it has been turned into Shanghai Art Gallery 上海美术馆. In the early 1950s, the whole area was turned into People's Square,which used to be the stage for large mass gatherings and important activities. The 1990s were seeing a major facelift of the square. With the Municipal Government Building completed, the municipal government moved its office from an old building on the Bund 外滩 to this spot.

Square Pigeons

The ground of the square is covered with large tracts of green lawns and planted with trees and flowers. Amidst the lawns and flower beds are a 320 sq.m. round shaped fountain, sculptures, artistic lantern posts, stone chairs, benches and stools. Hundreds of snow white pigeons perch on the lawn, pecking grains strewn by tourists or local children. They are called diminutively: Square Pigeons. All these pure pigeons and colorful flowers and green lawns form a peaceful and beautiful picture symbolizing Shanghai's harmony and flourish.

It is generally said that People's Square is an epitome of Shanghai people's life. In fact, if you are interested in Shanghai's history, culture, art or entertainment, just go to the square, where you are sure to find everything you wish to know. What's more, every minute you spend on the square will give you something interesting though it is not larger than two or three football fields.

In the early morning, people, especially the old, gather there to do physical exercises. Some groups practise taiji, some do aerobics, and some dance. Near the entrance of the Metro, rows of middle aged women dressed sometimes in white shirts and blue trousers practise waist-drum dance or fan dance.

Before lunch, crowds of people rush to the fountain" to enjoy the dazzling pictures formed by the curved streams of water, and some are attracted by the patches of lawn and those lovely pigeons. At noon dozens of restaurants and snack shops around are full of people. Visitors have a very wide range of choice food. After the meal some people return to the square and begin to fly kites of various forms and colors.

Fountain on the square

When night has fallen, the square takes on a different air. Parents go there with their children to take a stroll, while couples of lovers sit on stone benches cooling and kissing.

How to get in this place:
subway station "People's Square 人民广圽站" (1, 2 or 8-th line)
bus 20,37,49,330,921, etc

All points are given in WGS 84:
  1. Shanghai Museum 上海博物館 - 31°13,816'N, 121°28,234'E
  2. Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center 上海城市规划展览馆 - 31°14,002'N, 121°28,233'E
  3. Shanghai Art Museum 上海美术馆 - 31°13,956'N, 121°27,970'E
  4. Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai - MOCA Shanghai - 31°14,000'N, 121°28,019'E
  5. Shanghai Municipal Government 上海巿政府 - 31°13,935'N, 121°28,132'E
  6. Shanghai Grand Theater 上海大舞台 - 31°13,878'N, 121°27,998'E
  7. Great World Amusement Center 大世界 - 31°13,816'N, 121°28,457'E
  8. Muen Church 沐恩堂 - 31°14,117'N, 121°28,263'E
  9. JW Marriott tower (Tomorrow Square) 明天广场 - 31°13,942'N, 121°27,907'E
  10. Crossroad of Huanghe Road 黄河路 and NanJing Road 南京路. If you will go on Huanghe Road, you can see so-called Old Shanghai (do not mix up with Old City) - 31°14,117'N, 121°28,033'E
  11. Subway station "People's Square 人民广圽站" (1, 2 or 8-th line). This is beginning of pedestrians part of Nanjing Road - 31°14,074'N, 121°28,228'E
  12. Public toilet - 31°14,114'N, 121°28,054'E

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