Best Shanghai Tea City

Best Shanghai Tea City

If you are into tea or just curious, Shanghai has it all. There are thousands of tea shops ranging from simple street stands to huge labyrinthine “tea cities”.  For brevity, this article focuses on two of the largest tea markets, Tianshan Tea City and DaNing International Tea City. Both are very similar in scale and products although Tianshan is more well known.

Tianshan Tea City

Tianshan (天山茶城) is a huge complex with at least 150 shops selling tea and tea wares. The vendors are friendly and there isn’t that “hard sell” you might find at more touristy places so feel free to walk around and explore. For me, the best fun is sitting down in a shop to sample teas and chat with the owner. They are very happy to share their tea knowledge and culture so it’s totally worth the time.

The main gate for Tianshan Tea City is on Zhongshan West Road. The first floor is almost all tea, the second has both tea and tea wares while the third floor has some very interesting, and expensive, curious for sale.

Tianshan Main Gate
The main gate to Tianshan Tea City is on Zhongshan West Road


Tianshan first floor
On the first floor are many shops displaying teas.

I highly recommend setting aside a few hours to visit the tea city so you can sit down for a tasting. If you want to experience a “tea ceremony” then this is the best way.  The ceremony is really just a proper method for making the best tea to share with friends and clients. At Sara’s shop (Room 3307) you can journey through the finest teas of Fujian Provence among others. I recommend trying out several of the white teas on offer as they are really special.

tea tasting
A group gathers to sample tea at Sara’s shop at Tianshan Tea City, room 3307.

Many shop owners speak English and at Story of Tea (Room 2070) Mrs. Hong Ze can guide you through the discovery of Pu’er tea. She has a relationship with tea producers in Yunan, were Pu’er comes from, and sells top quality products. I have purchased quite a few pu’er cakes here.

Story of Tea shop, room 2070
Story of Tea shop, room 2070 specializes selling select Pu’er teas.


Handmade teawares
Hand made teaware made by Hou Lingjin. His shop is at room #2028

How to Get There

Tianshan Tea City map
Tianshan Tea City
518 Zhongshan West Rd.

Tianshan Tea City
520 Zhongshan West Road, near Yuping Road
中山西路520号, 近玉屏路

Take Metro Line 2, 3  to Zhongshan Park Station then it’s a 15-minute walk.
Google Map

Open daily, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Daning International Tea City

Daning Tea City (大宁国际茶城) is very much like Tianshan except that it’s not as well know among tourist visitors. Just like Tianshan there are many shops to sit and sample tea, however, I feel this market is a bit more local and requires some experience. One thing that defiantly stands out is the tea wares here are better presented and perhaps even more of a selection. So, if you want to find that perfect tea set then Daning Tea City is a great place to shop.

Daning Tea City main entrance
The main entrance for Daning is at the corner between Laohutai Rd. and Luochuan Middle Rd.
Tea tray shop
I bought my tea tray from this shop at Daning Tea City. Room 2318.
Yellow flower shop
Many shops specialize in something like this one selling flowers which is used for some teas.
Cluttered tea shop
Among the clutter you may find a treasure.

How to Get There

Daning Tea City map
Daning International Tea City
1536 Gonghexin Rd.

Daning International Tea City
1536 Gonghexin Road, near Laohutai Road
共和新路 1536号, 近老沪太路

Take Metro Line 1 to Yangchang Road Station then its a 5-10 minute walk.
Google Map

Open daily, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.