Although trumped by the adjacent Shanghai Tower as the city’s most stratospheric building, the awe-inspiring 492m-high Shanghai World Financial Center is an astonishing sight, even more so come nightfall when its ‘bottle opener’ top dances with lights. There are three observation decks – on levels 94, 97 and 100 – with altitude-adjusted ticket prices and wow-factor lifts thrown in.
A clear, smog-free day is imperative, so check the weather and pollution index beforehand.
The top two decks (at the bottom and top of the trapezoid) are known as Sky Walks. It’s debatable whether the top Sky Walk (474m) is the best spot for Shang-high views, though. The hexagonal space is bright and futuristic, and some of the floor is transparent glass, but the lack of a 360-degree sweep – windows only face west or east – detracts somewhat. But you get to look down on the top of the Jinmao Tower, which might be worth the ticket price alone.
Access to the observation deck is on the west side of the building off Dongtai Rd; access to the Park Hyatt is on the south side of the building. If you want to make a meal (or a cocktail) of it, or if lines are long, you can sashay into the Park Hyatt's restaurant/bar 100 Century Avenue on the 91st floor instead.