1 Shiji Dadao, near Lujiazui Huan Lu
HOURS: Daily 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
METRO: Lujiazui (Line 2)
In the eyes of some Shanghai residents, the Oriental Pearl is a pink monstrosity. Others find it futuristically attractive. One thing’s for sure: It’s impossible to miss.
At 468 meters (5,040 ft.) tall, the Pearl was Shanghai’s first skyscraper back in 1995. Local legend holds that its design was inspired by a Tang Dynasty poem about pearls falling onto a jade plate, but architect Jiang Huancheng denies it. Each of the main pink spheres contains an observation deck, and the best views are to be had from the Space Module in the highest pod.
The sightseeing level at 263 meters (2,830 ft.) has a stomach-churning glass floor, and there’s a hotel between the bottom two spheres.