Shanghai,People's Square,Shanghai

Getty Images/Best View Stock RF

Shanghai Museum

Top choice in The Bund & People's Square

This must-see museum escorts you through the craft of millennia and the pages of Chinese history. It's home to one of the most impressive collections in the land: take your pick from the archaic green patinas of the Ancient Chinese Bronzes Gallery through to the silent solemnity of the Ancient Chinese Sculpture Gallery and from the exquisite beauty of the ceramics in the Zande Lou Gallery to the measured and timeless flourishes captured in the Chinese Calligraphy Gallery.

Chinese painting, seals, jade, Ming and Qing furniture, coins and ethnic costumes are also on offer, intelligently displayed in well-lit galleries. The building itself is designed to resemble the shape of an ancient Chinese dǐng (three-legged cooking vessel). The excellent museum shop sells postcards, a rich array of books, and faithful replicas of the museum's ceramics and other pieces.

The audio guide is well worth the ¥40 (deposit ¥400 or your passport). Expect to spend half, if not most of, a day here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Bund & People's Square attractions

1. Great World

0.19 MILES

At the corner of East Yan’an Rd and Middle Xizang Rd stands the building of the former Great World, a place for acrobats and nightlife stars that was…

3. Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art

0.24 MILES

Nonprofit MOCA Shanghai has an all-glass home to maximise natural sunlight (when it cuts through the clouds), a tip-top location in People’s Park and a…

4. People’s Park

0.27 MILES

Occupying the site of the colonial racetrack (which became a holding camp during WWII), People’s Park is the city centre's green refuge. It's home to the…

5. Moore Memorial Church

0.34 MILES

Designed by notable Hungarian architect Ladislaus Hudec, the Moore Memorial Church (c 1931) is a standout red-brick Christian edifice east of People’s…

6. Shanghai History Museum

0.35 MILES

Originally opened as the Shanghai Race Club in 1934, and having undergone several incarnations since, this iconic building now houses the Shanghai History…

7. Tomorrow Square

0.38 MILES

This stupendous tower seizes the Shanghai zeitgeist with dramatic aplomb. Resembling a sci-fi corporation headquarters, the stratospheric building is…

8. Good Eighth Company Mural

0.43 MILES

A fine example of socialist realism sculpture, the Good Eighth Company Mural is in the plaza at People's Square metro exit near the underpass of the West…