Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan)

Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan): Hours, Address, Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan) Reviews: 3.5/5

Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan)

Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan)
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Write a review
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

631 reviews
Very good

Shanghai, China7 contributions
Shanghai Zoo itself is not as depressing as other reviewers have villainized it as. I think *any* zoo is "depressing" when you consider that these animals are locked in cages their whole lives, though admittedly some zoos actually research wild life behavior or help endangered animals procreate. Shanghai Zoo is strictly for profit and is quite obviously not interested in the more humane aspects of zoology, but it is not quite the “animal prison” westerners make it out to be.

The grounds are gorgeous; a massive, sprawling park with lush glades, dense woodlands and reflective ponds; it’s a great place for a family picnic or to let your kids explore, and you’ll need a solid day to see it all. And be sure to go on a weekday to avoid the throngs of weekend visitors.

Some of the animal sections *are* sparse and in some instances completely empty, but there is at least one of every critter you can think of encompassing the entire animal kingdom, so your children will at least leave satisfied to have seen their favorites. True, some of the animals appear to have been neglected or mistreated or are slowly rotting away – e.g. none of the peacocks have their plumes, and the vulture is missing his talons – but the tiger section is quite grand and there are more species of monkeys here than I’ve seen anywhere else.

The most despicable thing I saw here, however, was the Chinese tourists themselves, who take great delight in throwing plastic water bottles and trash at the animals, especially the monkeys. They howl with laughter and encourage their kids to also throw stuff at any animal not protected by a glass partition. I witnessed a grown man in his 40s spray a jet of water with a supersoaker right into a bear’s face (the bear was sitting directly below him begging for food). The man was with his entire family and they all thought watching this poor bear be tortured was a riot. There are no guards or security cameras to stop this kind of behavior; my wife had to physically restrain me from confronting him.

We as westerners have to remind ourselves that in Chinese culture there is no such thing as “animal rights”; eating dogs is commonplace; killing tigers and bears for their testicles and bile is a time-honored tradition, and sharks are slaughtered by the dozens just for their fins. So when at a zoo in China, it might be difficult to tell which side of the fence the real animals are on. But if you can get past this, I still think Shanghai Zoo is a nice place to visit.
Written October 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tamworth, UK220 contributions
Shanghai Zoo - very easy to get to from the city by Subway Metro
(underground system) and the Subway day pass costs just £1.80- you do need to purchase this from a person in a kiosk so some Chinese speaking of having what you want written down for you is necessary (concierge service at your hotel will do this for you).
They do have ticket machines in subway stations in English - but you can only buy single trip tickets from them.

The Zoo is very large with lots of nice gardens and seating areas for visitors. Many of the animal cages are outdated, small and basic - not uk standard.
However the main attraction the Giant Pandas have a great area and seem very happy and active.
Entrance to the Zoo is equivalent of just £4 per person, be careful the sign posts don't match the paper maps handed out - so don't get lost. We found this funny added to the novelty. Disappointed there is no gift shop.
In general well worth the visit, but don't book a tour excursion go by Metro or Taxi and buy your ticket at the gate (English speakers in ticket booths) to save cost. Suggest you plan about 2 hours to see the major attractions.
Written July 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stockholm68 contributions
But it wasn't that enjoyable for a person that has any understanding for animals feelings and well-being. It's a huge park that you can stroll around for many hours. We skipped the bird area and went straight to the pandas. It was a very hot/humid day so most animals were very sleepy.
What I got most upset with was how Chinese people treat the animals. It's big signs everywhere that says "Do not feed the animals", but they don't give a sh**. They through bread and other stuff to the animals. Even worse was a jaguar that got some metallic chain that it was biting on.
The worst was when a guy, around 18 years old, just stand and look down on a animal and from nowhere he SPIT ON THE ANIMAL! I couldn't shut up so I scolded him and said that he should have more respect for the animals.
Written October 9, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shanghai, China164 contributions
I am very much a fan of zoos, and have been since I was a child. I don't subscribe to the view that zoos are cruel and torturous places where animals are made to suffer for human amusement.

However, if I did, Shanghai Zoo would be the first example on my list of a zoo that needs to be shut down.

1) Many animals appear sick, bedraggled with matted coats, malnourished or exhausted.

2) Enclosures are often small and filled with litter.

3) Visitors (exclusively locals, I am sorry to say) feed the animals trash, unsuitable items or throw things at the animals. Nobody seems keen to stop them.

4) The rides in the zoo for children are poorly-maintained and unsafe - I saw one child who was clinging to the side of a plane ride as he had nearly fallen in to the water. I called for someone to stop the ride and they did, but it carried on operating immediately after.

I would say protest this place by not opening your wallet, but I doubt that it would do much good. The zoo is always full of people spitting, throwing objects into the enclosures and treating the animals with disrespect. It has been this way for years, so what you and I do will have little impact. Avoid.
Written August 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

London, UK7 contributions
I visited Shanghai Zoo in May. I wish I never paid money to this park, as this only encourages them to keep their animals in such appalling conditions.

Firstly the panda enclosure. I only saw one giant panda and he/she was so sad. He was on his own, in a large concrete room/box with a glass window for the visitors to see him. All he had for stimulation was a few bamboo sticks. He looked incredibly depressed and it saddened me to see people banging on the glass at him.

Tourists were throwing rubbish at the animals (plastic water bottles, packets of biscuits, and other inappropriate things). NO respect for the animals. The zoo staff did nothing to discourage this whatsoever. I find this disgusting.

> The lion enclosure is at a level lower than the level for visitors. (Visitors stand on a platform above the enclosure)...The lions were sleeping in the sun. Tourists were THROWING THINGS AT THE LIONS in an attempt to cause a reaction and get the lions to 'do something'.

> The ape enclosure sits behind a fence and deep moat which prevents the apes from leaving. But people were able to throw human wrapped food and bottles of water at the apes. People seemed to get enjoyment out of the apes eating through plastic wrapping to get to the chocolate bar underneath.

The orangutan enclosure was similar to the panda. They were housed inside a concrete building with hardly any natural daylight, and a glass window for visitors to see them. Orangutans are incredible intelligent animals and it is just atrocious how little stimulation they were provided in their prison cell.

It felt as though the poor animals here are in prison.

Written August 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Josh Barnes-Welsenaer
Milton Keynes, UK44 contributions
I have been to a lot of zoos and have never been so disappointed and distressed by one such zoo before!

First of all, the animals inside the zoo were impressive but the treatment of them was quite the opposite! The animals were probably having a better life being hunted than in this so called "zoo". Zoo keepers were non existent throughout the park, the environments in which the animals were in were not adequate enough and the Chinese peoples behaviour was disgusting! They were taunting all the animals by banging on the glass panels, throwing litter and bottles into the enclosure, even throwing a rope into one of the monkey areas which the animal could have killed itself with! In the crocodile enclosure, there were coins all in the water they swum in and even an umbrella! It was at this point we all decided to leave. An absolute disgrace of a zoo and I imagine the rest of the zoos in the country are run in the same shoddy way.

It is supposed to be a place of conservation, not a jail!
Written July 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Suzhou, China7 contributions
This zoo is quite beautiful with so many animal types to see....lots of grassy areas and paths covered with gorgeous landscaping and trees. My family and I enjoyed seeing such a variety of animals, so overall I think it's a good stop during a family trip to Shanghai.
That being said, I rated it "poor" because I left here feeling so disgusted by the other visitors I encountered during the visit. The locals were openly feeding animals and throwing plastic/trash directly towards the animals.....I've never seen anything like it! I am not typically an "animal activist" or anything like that, but seriously someone needs to CRACK down on this type of behavior and punish these people. Mark down their social credit score or give them a fine! Surveillance cameras with facial recognition.....SOMEthing!
Written June 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Melbourne, Australia74 contributions
This zoo is a depressing torture place for animals and should not be in operation. A few lowlights:

- A demented concept of a ‘Domestic Dog Zoo’ where every breed of dog imaginable is kept isolated in cement cages (without air conditioning for dogs from arctic climates). Puppies only a few months old were sleeping on top of cages with metal bar floors. See photos.
- The zoo previously sold live baby chicks for visitors to throw at the crocodiles.
- Animal enclosures comprising of only cement, filled with rubbish visitors had thrown in trying to get the animals attention.
- A ‘Catch a Goldfish’ activity where children rent fishing lines per minute and use rusted hooks to catch as many Goldfish as they can in the time. The many fish are then packed into a tiny tank with no room to move and are carried around in the hot sun for the rest of the day.
- Numerous fish tank displays in the scorching hot sun.

It’s a pity because the zoo ground and gardens are really beautiful, hiding the real truth of this place. If you are an animal lover this place will leave you in tears, knowing there is nothing you can do about it.
Written October 16, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

2 contributions
All the animals were neglected. Like legit, on the sign, it said no feeding. Did any of the people give a sh**? No. I saw at least 30 people feeding the animals. One of them was feeding them a cheese puff. I took a picture of the no feeding sign and showed it to her while saying, no feeding allowed. And do you know what she said to me? " If you don't want me to feed, why are you looking?"
You can guess how pissed I was. I called 2 zoo officials to catch people like her.

Next subject, the zoo legit prioritize the animals. Like for example, the pandas are given air conditioning and an indoor place full of bamboo. Their relatives the brown bears and the grizzly? Their water pool looks like it has never been cleaned before. And they look like they never have been fed before.

Moving on, the people there have no manners. Like in the aquarium it was so darn loud.
Like, imagine this, a bunch of kids and adults yelling about a pufferfish!
It was so MISERABLE, especially for animals.
Written July 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dublin, Ireland324 contributions
My wife and I made our way out to Shanghai Zoo to see the Pandas and also the collection of wonderful animals that they have. Unfortunately the behaviour of the other customers resulted in us leaving early, vowing never to return.

The place is of a decent size and some of the animals are looked after. It is possible to see that the staff are trying but they need to try harder.

The Bear enclosures are far too small for the animals and it is possible to clearly see that they are in distress. While the Panda bears have a good sized enclosure with a large house, the other bears seem to get a front yard with no shade or shelter.

The biggest concern and complaint would be the lack of respect from people towards the animals. I saw a lady throwing stones and plastic bottles at the Lion as it wasn't doing anything for her. I verbally complained but she didn't speak English. Another man I saw pouring Orange Fizzy drink into the Sun bears mouth. The poor animal is now aware of its begging behaviour getting results.

Finally a lot of the enclosures were filthy with rubbish thrown in from patrons. While I assume the enclosures are cleaned out every day the amount of plastic bottles, bags and even nappies we saw thrown into the enclosures was truly horrifying.

Personally if the zoo is unwilling to protect its animals from these behaviours I think they should lose their licence.

Do not go to this Zoo; do not provide money to allow poor animals to be mistreated and abused.
Written August 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 309
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan)

Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan) is open:
  • Sun - Sat 6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan) tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 22 Shanghai Zoo (Shanghai Dongwu Yuan) tours on Tripadvisor