5 best Shanghai running routes
Although you could pay to run around Century Park or on the track at Luwan Stadium, why would you when urban Shanghai running routes are so much more interesting? From Jing’an to Pudong, here are some of the best outdoor routes around the city.
What to expect: This run takes you to the Jade Buddha Temple and Moganshan art street, as well as along Suzhou Creek. The streets will be bustling, but there’s plenty of space to run on the sidewalk.
Distance: 5.6 miles/9.01 km
Level of difficulty: Medium to hard
How to get there: Start at the Portman Ritz-Carlton. The closest metro station is Jing’an Temple (Line 2, Exit 3).
Reward: Run this route between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday to witness the Muslim Market. End at Apsara for a post-run massage.
Changde Muslim Market, Fridays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Aomen Lu, near Changde Lu 澳门路，近常德路; Apsara, 457 Shanxi Bei Lu, near Beijing Lu 陕西北路, 北京西路, +86 21 6258 5580, www.apsara.com.cn; Jade Buddha Temple, 999 Jiangning Lu, near Anyuan Lu 江宁路999号, 近安远路
Where: Zhongshan Park and the French Concession
What to expect: A run through Zhongshan Park and the French Concession is at times frenzied and at times serene. This route starts on Dingxi Lu before taking you along Wukang Lu (Ferguson Lane) and finally stopping at Shanghai’s developing art space Red Town.
Distance: 5.58 miles/8.98 km
Level of difficulty: Medium
How to get there: This run begins at Zhongshan Park Metro Station (Line 2, Exit 1)
Reward: The run ends at Red Town, home to Shanghai’s Sculpture Space, but you can also take a break during the run and pop into Baker & Spice for a muffin should you get hungry.
Red Town (红坊国际文化艺术社区) 570 Huaihai Xi Lu, near Kaixuan Lu 淮海西路570号, 近凯旋路, +86 21 6281 7382, www.redtown570.com; Baker & Spice, 1/F, 195 Anfu Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu 安福路195号1楼, 近乌鲁木齐路,+86 21 5404 2733
Where: Xintiandi/People’s Square
What to expect: This run combines traditional and modern Shanghai, going through the traditional neighborhoods of Taikang Lu/Tianzifang as well as the newer development Xintiandi before stopping at the Shanghai Museum. Expect a busy route, but with enough diversions onto less busy streets to keep you from being overwhelmed by people.
Distance: 3.63 miles/5.83 km
Level of difficulty: Medium
How to get there: Start at the Zhaojiabang Lu Metro Station (Line 9) and take Exit 2
Reward: If going to the Shanghai Museum, home to some of China’s oldest relics, isn’t what you desire after a run, you can cross People’s Park to get a post-run drink at Barbarossa. Run between 5 p.m and 8 p.m. to get buy-one-get-one-free happy hour drinks to reward yourself for a workout well done.
Shanghai Museum 201 Renmin Dadao, in People's Park 人民大道201号, 在人民公园内, +86 21 6372 3500, hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Barbarossa, inside People's Park, 231 Nanjing Xi Lu, 南京西路231号人民公园内, +86 21 6318 0220, www.barbarossa.com.cn
Where: The Bund
What to expect: A route that gives you the best part of the Bund -- namely, a panoramic view -- without any of the tourists, before continuing onto the hectic Yu Gardens. There are occasional crowds, but if you stay away from main streets you’ll be more than able to outrun them.
Distance: 4.4 miles/7.09 km
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium
How to get there: Get off at Yangshupu Metro Station (Line 4) at Exit 3 and begin running west from there.
Reward: Wake up early and run this route in the morning to see Shanghai’s skyline at its best.
Yuyuan, 218 Anren Lu 安仁路218号, +86 21 6328 2465
What to expect: A straight route along the wide sidewalks of Century Avenue that takes you past Shanghai’s iconic landmark buildings from the Pudong side. This run has plenty of space, few people (by Shanghai standards) and ends at Century Park.
Distance: 4.07 miles/6.55 km
Level of difficulty: Easy
How to get there: Start at Lujiazui Metro Station (Line 2)
Reward: Besides breathtaking views of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jinmao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, this run has plenty of space, leafy trees and dozens of stands selling water should you get parched during your run.
Century Park, 1001 Jinxiu Lu, near Minsheng Lu 锦绣路1001号, 近民生路 +86 21 3876 0588; Shanghai World Financial Center, 100 Century Avenue, near Dongtai Lu 世纪大道100号环球金融中心, 近东泰路
There is both a running and a walking group, and the run culminates in a variety of beverages as well as a meal. Shanghai Hash House Harriers, Sunday afternoons, 2:30 p.m. in winter, 3:30 p.m., check website for weekly run locations, www.shanghai-hhh.com