Where to play tennis, badminton and squash in Shanghai

The best sports clubs and courts for racket sports in Shanghai

Photograph: Daniel Wu

Has your racket been collecting dust in the closet ever since you brought it with you here? Every tennis, badminton or squash player knows the struggle of finding a place to play in the big city, and Shanghai, where the most sporting activity you’ll usually see downtown is old couples square-dancing in People’s Square, might seem like no exception at first.


Worry not, though – Shanghai’s courts are out there, scattered across various gyms and sports clubs all over the city, and we took to the streets to find the best ones. Here you'll find both cheaper, membership-free options for players looking for a quick hit, and bigger membership-based clubs.


Need to shake off the rust? Check out our roundup of Shanghai's best tennis classes, or hit up one of the new fitness studios in town for a workout less taxing on hand-eye coordination.

Ambassy Club (Huaihai Lu)
Daniel Wu

Ambassy Club (Huaihai Lu)

This club, popular with expats, is centrally located in Xuhui and easily accessible by metro. Two squash courts are tucked away in its basement gym, which can be booked by members for 40RMB per hour. The court ceilings are a little low, though. Membership starts at 7,000RMB for a year and will also get you access to the club’s two pools, aerobic room and fitness centre.

Courts Two squash courts (40RMB/hour).
Membership needed? Yes (7,000RMB/year).
Also here An indoor and outdoor swimming pool, aerobic room and gym.

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1500 Huaihai Zhong Lu
Luwan Stadium Sports Centre
Daniel Wu

Luwan Stadium Sports Centre

Luwan Sports Stadium houses a number of excellent tennis and badminton courts open to the public at impressively low prices. Badminton is played inside a grand indoor stadium within the complex – schedule your grudge match here with that mate who won’t stop going on about the last time they beat you.

Courts Two indoor tennis courts (280RMB/hour), four outdoor tennis courts (50-90RMB/hour Mon-Fri; 60RMB/hour Sat-Sun), badminton courts (20-60RMB/hour Mon-Fri; 60RMB/hour Sat-Sun).
Membership needed? No.
Also here A football pitch.

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128 Zhaojiabang Lu
Noble Center Health Club
Daniel Wu

Noble Center Health Club

A huge sports complex just outside downtown, the Noble Centre boasts tidy courts and great prices that more than justify a slightly longer trip on the metro. Both squash and badminton courts are available here – even for non-members! – for 100RMB and 60RMB per hour, respectively. Membership, which grants access to the large indoor swimming pool and gym, is a decent 5,000RMB per year. You won’t be able to book if you’re not a member, so call ahead to check if courts are available.

Courts Two squash courts (100RMB/hour), badminton courts (60RMB/hour).
Membership needed? No.
Also here An indoor swimming pool, aerobic room, gym and spin room.

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1688 Caobao Lu
Cages Bar and Sports

Cages Bar and Sports

Cages is best known for its batting cages, football and bar games, but that’s not all this popular sports bar has to offer. Hidden away between the baseball bats and widescreen TVs is a squash court that can be booked as long as the bar is open (quick 1am hit, insomniacs?). Cages’ squash court costs 180RMB per hour to use, but doesn’t require any membership and is easily reachable downtown. Plus, annoy everyone else at the bar when you remind them squash is a way healthier sport than baseball.

Courts One squash court (180RMB/hour).
Membership needed? No.
Also here Batting cages, an indoor turf pitch and restaurant and bar.

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428 Jiangning Lu
Jingan Gymnasium
Daniel Wu

Jingan Gymnasium

Shanghai’s many public sports facilities are often overlooked, which is a shame – they’re often the best option for players looking to avoid the exorbitant membership costs of the city’s posher clubs. Jingan Gymnasium has a large indoor hall for badminton and two well-maintained indoor tennis courts, and it wasn’t too crowded on our visit. Court booking is conveniently managed online or through WeChat.

Courts Two indoor tennis courts (300RMB/hour), badminton courts (60RMB/hour).
Membership needed? No.
Also here A basketball court and table tennis.

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No 123 Nanyang Lu
Shanghai International Tennis Centre Club
Daniel Wu

Shanghai International Tennis Centre Club

The swanky Shanghai International Tennis Centre Club features a huge range of top-notch sports facilities but comes with a price to match. Among the club’s many amenities are a squash court, four indoor tennis courts and seven outdoor tennis courts. These are probably some of the nicest courts you’ll find downtown, and are frequented by Western coaches and development programs if you’re looking for lessons or higher-level play.

Courts One squash court (100RMB/hour), four indoor tennis courts (280RMB/hour), seven outdoor tennis courts (100RMB/hour; 120RMB/hour evenings).
Membership needed? Yes (32,000RMB/year).
Also here An indoor swimming pool, aerobic room, gym, bowling alley and spa.

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516 Hengshan Lu

Shanghai Racquet Club

Located out in Minhang’s expat-filled suburbs, the ultra-luxurious Shanghai Racket Club is just about the last word on tennis in the city. Thirteen tennis courts – including six green clay courts, an absolute rarity in China – are accessible to its members, along with countless lessons, programs and community tournaments organised by the club’s coaches. The club also houses a squash court, badminton court, gym, spa and large indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Of course, you’ll pay though the nose, and then some, to join – one for the diehards.

Courts Six indoor tennis courts, seven outdoor tennis courts, two squash courts, one badminton court (free for members).
Membership needed? Yes (80,000RMB/year).
Also here A gym, spa, aerobic room, indoor swimming pool, outdoor swimming pool and football pitch.

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555 Jinfeng Lu

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