SHANGHAI, CHINA - MAY 28: Oriental Pearl Tower over river on May 28, 2012 in Shanghai, China. The tower was the tallest structure in China excluding Taiwan from 1994~2007 and the landmark of Shanghai.; Shutterstock ID 126669962; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

Shutterstock / Songquan Deng

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Top choice in Shanghai

This 468m-tall globe-on-a-tripod tower is the most iconic contemporary building in the city, and its image is omnipresent around town – from postcards to figurines and T-shirts. The highlight at this retro futurist Deng Xiaoping–era building is the Transparent Observatory (259m), where you can peer way down through the glass-bottomed walkway. To start your tour, take the lift to the 263m-high Sightseeing Floor for 360-degree views across to the Bund and its heritage buildings.

Other features of the tower include a revolving restaurant at 267m, a Space Capsule Sightseeing floor, a 5D cinema and an indoor roller coaster – all of which can be skipped, though they're good options if you have kids in tow.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shanghai attractions

1. Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

0.13 MILES

Education meets entertainment in this slick and intelligently designed aquarium that children will love. Join them on a tour through the aquatic…

2. Bund Sightseeing Tunnel

0.16 MILES

A 647m voyage with entertainment from budget effects, garish lighting and dreadful props, the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel links Pudong with the Bund and…

3. Riverside Promenade

0.27 MILES

Hands down the best stroll in Pudong. The sections of promenade alongside Riverside Ave on the eastern bank of the Huangpu River offer splendid dusk and…

4. Aurora Museum

0.43 MILES

Designed by renowned Japanese architect Ando Tadao, the Aurora Museum is set over six floors of the Aurora building and houses a stunning collection of…

5. Wu Changshuo Memorial Hall

0.48 MILES

The lack of English captions badly hobbles the displays of this small museum detailing the life and work of artist, poet, calligrapher and seal carver Wu…

6. Jinmao Tower

0.49 MILES

Resembling an art deco take on a pagoda, this crystalline edifice is a beauty. It’s essentially an office block with the high-altitude Grand Hyatt renting…

7. Bund History Museum

0.51 MILES

Beneath the Monument to the People's Heroes, this underground museum has some interesting info and photos on the history of the Bund. It's a good starting…

8. Monument to the People's Heroes

0.52 MILES

Up from Huangpu Park, this anachronistic monument stands above the Bund History Museum. Its socialist realism friezes depict the postwar triumphs of…