Travel Report: Zifeng Tower – Nanjing, China.
October 2018. Wherever I am in the world, I often like to squeeze a skyscraper into my city trips. Built in 2010, Nanjing’s tallest building is Zifeng Tower, which stands at an impressive 1480 feet. Actually, this is the 6th tallest skyscraper in China and the 14th highest in the world! The tower is home to a luxury six-floor shopping mall, as well as The Nanjing Greenland InterContintental Hotel. Furthermore, thousands of people come here daily just to take the journey up to its 72nd floor observation deck. Somewhat foolishly, this is what I was hoping to do during the insane crowds of Golden Week.
The area around the base of the tower was so busy it took forty five minutes simply to shuffle around one side of the building and onto the switched off elevator that led to the tower’s main entrance. When I finally made it to those doors, I found myself suddenly accosted by a Chinese man!
Shouting right into my face, he threw his arm across my chest and accused me of cutting into the queue! First of all I was bewildered, then I became furious! Luckily, a group of grandmothers in front of me came to my rescue and firmly told the guy that he’d been completely mistaken. Red faced and shaking with a mixture of anger and embarrassment, he finally slunk away and I was able to duck inside.
The ground floor lobby at Zifeng Tower was absolute chaos! There was a long line of people waiting to get into a packed waiting room. Inside, a man with a loudspeaker blared out mysterious information. Realising that I obviously had no idea what was going on, one of the grandmothers grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into her group as they got called into the waiting room
Zifeng Tower, Nanjing.
I’d read that you need to buy an 80RMB ticket (£9/€10/$11.50) to get up to the 72nd floor. However, from what I could gather entrance was free that day as a Golden Week gesture. Subsequently, I realised that the dude with the speaker was actually calling out the names of people who’d pre-booked a time slot. I was just starting to fear the worst when the grandmothers’ numbers came up. Suddenly, I’d been taken by the arm again and led into the elevator. And then we were whooshing up, as Chief Grandma shot me a playful wink!
The observation deck was certainly fancy! Exiting the elevator, I walked into a scene of dense carpet, dripping chandeliers, leather sofas and a grand piano. Having thanked the grandmas a thousand times over, all that was left to do was soak up the views!
As with just about everything in Nanjing during Golden Week, the process of getting up Zifeng Tower was long, complicated and tiring. However, in the end it had all been worth it!
Zifeng Tower is located at 2 Zhongshan North Road. It’s open daily from 08:00-21:00. The nearest subway stop is Gulou Station (Line 1). Follow the exit signs for Zifeng Tower and it’s literally a five minute walk from there. You can’t miss it, just keep your eyes open for a massive blue skyscraper.
I dedicate this travel report to the trio of Nanjing grandmas who rescued me from the false accusations of Mr. Asshole and invited me into their group.
For more about the design and construction of Zifeng Tower, have a look at this page from the architectural firm SOM.
Like this? Check out my many other pieces from around Nanjing.
Want to delve further afield? Why not tap into my stacks of articles from across China.
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