Must-See Museums in Shanghai
Like many large cities, Shanghai has an extensive collection of museums that cover topics, ranging from art and culture to science and history. Here are some of the must-see museums in the city.
Considered one of the finest museums in China, the Shanghai Museum exhibits more than 120,000 Chinese artifacts from the Neolithic period onward. Across 11 galleries, you can admire ancient bronze, ceramics, jade, paintings, calligraphy, sculptures, and furniture. Located at People’s Square, entry is free and new exhibits are added monthly.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Also on People’s Square is the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. The museum documents Shanghai’s development from a small fishing village to the metropolis it is today—as well as its plans for the future—through photos, videos, models, and interactive displays. Don’t miss the huge scale model of the city on the third floor.
Propaganda Poster Art Center
A must-see for anyone interested in recent Chinese culture and history, the Propaganda Poster Art Center features a collection of more than 5,000 Chinese propaganda posters from 1949 to 1979. Still located in its original location in the basement of a Changning apartment, it was officially recognized as a museum in 2017. Prints and copies of Mao’s Little Red Book are available in the gift shop.
Shanghai Natural History Museum
Learn all about the natural world at the Shanghai Natural History Museum, located in Jing’an Sculpture Park in a futuristic building. You can easily spend most of the day at this comprehensive museum, which exhibits more than 10,000 artifacts from across all seven continents.
Rockbund Art Museum
Located at the north end of the Bund, the Rockbund Art Museum is one of Shanghai’s premier venues for modern art and regularly showcases groundbreaking work from some of China’s top contemporary artists. At the very least, stop by to admire the minimalist, Art Deco design of the building, formerly the Royal Asiatic Society building.