Fuxing Park（Fùxīng gōngyuán，复兴公园)
The former French Concession has a plethora of pretty little parks hidden in plain sight, but Fuxing Park is one of the best in the center of the city. Built in 1909 by the French, this pretty spot features rambling pathways, tall trees, and an open lawn where older residents can often be found flying kites, dancing in groups, or playing in bands. There’s also a lovely rose garden in the back that is particularly beautiful come mid-spring. When the weather is fair, pack a picnic and join the neighborhood, it’s an incredibly festive affair.
Luxun Park (Lǔxùn gōngyuán, 鲁迅公园)
For a dose of history with the outdoors, head to the sprawling Luxun Park in Hongkou District. Here, you’ll find the tomb of the writer Luxun, the father of modern Chinese literature. You’ll also find a small memorial hall dedicated to a Korean independence activist, Yun Bong-gil. In 1932, when Shanghai and Korea were under occupation, Yun detonated a bomb in Luxun Park during a birthday ceremony for Emperor Hirohito, killing two Japanese officials and injuring others. The memorial hall was erected by the South Korean and Chinese government in 2003. For lighter distractions, the lovely park is also still a gathering place of artists, calligraphers, and musicians, and you will find them practicing their craft around the park.
Zhongshan Park (Zhōngshān gōngyuán, 中山公园）
When established in 1914, this plot of land was known as Jessfield Park and was the largest park in Shanghai (Luxun Park was second). In 1944, it was renamed in honor of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China (whose Chinese name is Zhōngshān, 中山). Today, the sprawling park is still a welcome oasis in the decidedly chaotic concrete jungle that has sprung up around it. You’ll also find kites, a small amusement park, and lots of space to roam.
Jing’an Sculpture Park（Jìng’ān diāosù gōngyuán，静安雕塑公园）
This pretty, family-friendly outdoor area offers exactly what the name might suggest. The 30,000 square meters of land are peppered with statues and sculptures from more than 61 cities, many of which awe from their sheer size and ingenuity. Children and adults alike will love the larger-than-life bulls that recline in the fields, the huge tubas, and more to be discovered around every corner. The Shanghai Natural History Museum is also located right behind the park, and is worth a gander.
Xuhui Riverside Greenspace（Xúhuì bīnjiāng lǜdì， 徐汇滨江绿地）
Located in the South Bund area of Shanghai, this recently opened spot features a promenade down the Huangpu River’s less populated bank. This park is another one where an industrial past meets its green future. During your walk, you’ll come across towering rusted cranes and beached boats, plus a hip climbing wall, skating park and lots of art. Keep an eye out, events like the Shanghai Christmas Market and several music festivals are also held here throughout the year.
Xujiahui Park（Xújiāhuì gōngyuán, 徐家汇公园)
This open space is truly where urban and green space meet. Built on what was formerly a brick factory, the park (which was completed in 2002) still pays homage to the Xuhui District’s industrial past. The architects left a factory chimney sticking out strikingly from the center of the park. The rest is all about the gr