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Shanghai Museum picture in Shanghai
John W Banagan / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Museums, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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Located on the People's Square near Nanjing Road, the Shanghai Museum is hard to miss thanks to its distinct architecture (a circular building atop a square foundation) and remarkable size. And you really shouldn't skip this historical gem. Frequently called one of the best museums in China, this expansive museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts (more than 1,000,000 to be exact) that chart the nation's history. Highlights include ornate calligraphy, exquisite jade carvings, thousand-year-old bronze works and traditional Chinese garb. 

English-speaking travelers, in particular, praised the museum for its presentation of both Chinese and English exhibit descriptions. Others loved the vast amount of historical articles available for view and appreciated the comprehensive history lesson they were able to get out of it. Keep in mind: Since there is no entrance fee, you're likely to encounter many others looking to take advantage of this freebie, so come early if you can.

The Shanghai Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with last entry at 4 p.m. You can easily reach the museum by hopping off the metro at People's Square Station. Admission is free; however, some special exhibits may require a nominal fee. For more information, check out the Shanghai Museum's website.

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#1 The Bund Shanghai's picturesque waterfront, known as "the Bund," is where you'll find those classic skyline photo ops. With the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and ... Read more » Matteao Colombo / Getty Images

#2 Shanghai Museum Located on the People's Square near Nanjing Road, the Shanghai Museum is hard to miss thanks to its distinct architecture (a circular building atop a square foundation) and remarkable ... Read more » John W Banagan / Getty Images

#3 Zhujiajiao Located 29 miles west of downtown lies the Venice of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao. This ancient water town saw its heyday during the Ming Dynasty, when its success as a commercial hub resulted ... Read more » bernotto / Getty Images

#4 Shanghai World Financial Center Resembling a gigantic bottle opener, the Shanghai World Financial Center stands as one of the world's tallest buildings, glittering majestically on the skyline. Competing with the Oriental Pearl TV ... Read more » zorazhuang / Getty Images

#5 Yuyuan Garden Dating back to the 16th century, the 5-acre Yuyuan Garden is the city's most revered green space. The garden took nearly 20 years to completely construct and was initially ... Read more » Top Photo Corporation / Getty Images

#6 Longhua Temple As Shanghai's oldest and largest religious complex, Longhua Temple is a natural tourist attraction, drawing droves of travelers. The temple was built in the 10th century and is named ... Read more » Christoph Dietrich / Getty Images

#7 Jade Buddha Temple One of the city's most popular attractions, the Jade Buddha Temple impresses visitors with its legion of statues. The temple was originally built to house two jade statues brought ... Read more » OSTILL / Getty Images

#8 Shanghai Maglev It's simple: The Shanghai Maglev is one of the fastest passenger trains in the world. Traveling at about 270 miles per hour, this train is the adult equivalent of ... Read more » Nikada / Getty Images

#9 Oriental Pearl TV Tower As Shanghai's most recognizable landmark, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower occupies a prominent place on the city's landscape. Standing tall in the Pudong district, the structure features one ... Read more » IMAGEMORE Co, Ltd. / Getty Images

#10 Nanjing Road Whether or not you have money to burn, consider visiting Nanjing Road to witness the hustle and bustle of Chinese commerce. The Shanghai equivalent of New York's Fifth Avenue ... Read more » Rolf Bruderer / Getty Images

The Bund picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Museum picture in Shanghai
Zhujiajiao picture in Shanghai
Shanghai World Financial Center picture in Shanghai
Yuyuan Gardens picture in Shanghai
Longhua Temple picture in Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Maglev picture in Shanghai
Oriental Pearl TV Tower picture in Shanghai
Nanjing Road picture in Shanghai
The Bund picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Museum picture in Shanghai
Zhujiajiao picture in Shanghai
Shanghai World Financial Center picture in Shanghai
Yuyuan Gardens picture in Shanghai
Longhua Temple picture in Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple picture in Shanghai
Shanghai Maglev picture in Shanghai
Oriental Pearl TV Tower picture in Shanghai
Nanjing Road picture in Shanghai

The Bund is a riverfront boardwalk offering the perfect photo op for Shanghai's skyline.  Matteao Colombo / Getty Images

The Shanghai Museum's interior are as interesting as its unique exterior. John W Banagan / Getty Images

You'll find charming bridges and canals around every corner in the Venice of Shanghai, or Zhujiajiao. bernotto / Getty Images

Some people say this landmark building looks like the world's largest bottle-opener. zorazhuang / Getty Images

The Yu Garden offers a respite from the city's hustle and bustle. However, make sure to come early to avoid crowds.  Top Photo Corporation / Getty Images

You'll find these curious statuettes at the Longhua Temple. Christoph Dietrich / Getty Images

There are many Buddha statues at this temple, but the jade statues (including the one pictured above) steal the show.  OSTILL / Getty Images

The Shanghai Maglev is the fastest passenger train in the world. Nikada / Getty Images

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is perhaps Shanghai's most recognizable landmark.  IMAGEMORE Co, Ltd. / Getty Images

Some recent visitors compare the flash and flare of this shopping street to Las Vegas.  Rolf Bruderer / Getty Images

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