Shanghai Museum of Public Security

Top choice


in French Concession

This offbeat and macabre museum over three floors details how the Chinese authorities keep control. Display cases depict the illicit activities local cops have encountered, the equipment police use to aid their work and the punishments given for such crimes. On display are tasers, lots of guns (one concealed in a violin case), seized gambling tables, restraining equipment (handcuffs, stocks and shackles), and a model-scale replica of the room in which war criminals were hung, among other eye-opening displays.

There's a full-sized seized amphetamine lab and confiscated bags of opium, hash, cocaine and ecstasy tablets. Meanwhile, there are cabinets with police uniforms from throughout the decades, plus the drones used for surveillance and iconic vintage police cars from the mid-20th century. There's even a stuffed police dog. You need your passport to enter. Exhibition description boards are in Chinese only (bring a translation app).