Shanghai Museum used to be near the Bund. It is now situated in People's Square and its new buildings were built in 1996, designed by a Shanghai architect named Xing Tonghe. The new design symbolizes China's ancient understanding of the world: round sky and square earth. The museum has a circular roof and rectangular base. It stores 120,000 precious artifacts, which narrate a story of China's 5,000-year civilization.
Even though it opens eight hours a day, it's difficult to see every corner of the museum in one day. Sculpture, furniture, calligraphy, coins, ceramics, jade-ware, minority ethnic handicrafts and ancient bronzes are on display.
It's easy to look around on your own, since labels in English are arranged beside every piece. You can also rent an audio commentary machine, but you need to pay a deposit. A free double-page tour guide is available.
You don't have to wait for a special exhibition for a reason to go the Shanghai Museum. Every visitor to Shanghai should try to pop in for at least an hour, but it's easy to spend five or six. Shanghai reputedly holds China's best collection of treasures from ancient bronzes, exquisitely carved jades and Ming and Qing dynasty antique furniture.
The museum has 10 showrooms featuring bronze wares, ceramics, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy works, sculptures, seals, coins, jade wares, furniture and handicrafts of Chinese minorities. The museum is highly acclaimed internationally.
The main galleries in this museum include:
The Gallery of Ancient Chinese Bronze
The Gallery of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy
The Gallery of Ancient Chinese Ceramics
The Gallery of Ancient Chinese Paintings
The Gallery of Ancient Chinese Sculpture
Address: No. 201, People's Ave, People's Square
Tel: 6372-3500 (Chinese and English services)
Hours: 9am-5pm (last entry 4pm)
Tickets: 20 yuan (US$2.50); student tickets are free, but free student-group tickets must be booked in advance. Dial 6372-3500 extension 132. Tickets for retired people, soldiers and people aged over 70 or under 18 are free. A 45-yuan discount package is available (Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Grand Theater).
To get there: Metro line 1and Metro line 2 (People's Square Station)
Tours to the Shanghai Museum