The best views of the city are from the observation deck at the top of the 492m Shanghai World Financial Centre, China’s tallest building (at least until the neighbouring Shanghai Tower is complete). In contrast to nearby Jinmao Tower, its lines are simple: it’s just a tapering slab whose most distinctive feature is the hole in the top, and locals call it “the bottle opener”. That hole was originally meant to be circular, but was redesigned as an oblong when the mayor complained that it would look like a Japanese flag hovering over the city.
The entrance and ticket office is in the southwest side. The top level – the top bar of the bottle opener – features hardened glass tiles in the floor that allow you to look right down between your feet. Landmarks are pointed out in the booklet that comes with your ticket, and you can get a photo printed for ¥50. The view is at least as impressive at night.