Track Shanghai’s vibrant past and present by visiting one of its many museums and galleries
For centuries Shanghai has been a vibrant meeting point between East and West, leading to a rich heritage of art, history and culture that has been preserved in the city’s numerous museums. We round up a selection of the quirkiest, biggest and best museums to visit on your next trip.
To get a deeper understanding of Chinese culture, head over to the Shanghai Museum. Opened in 1952, it holds one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese art in the country with around one million pieces. There are ten permanent galleries and three temporary exhibition spaces. You’ll find precious relics, bronzes, ceramics, paintings, calligraphy and more. Seeing everything is impossible – if you’re pressed for time, take the two-hour Masterpiece Journey, which highlights the ten must-see items in each room.
Open Tue-Sun 9am to 4pm; free admission; 201 Renmin Da Dao; shanghaimuseum.net
Nestled in the crowded Bund area is a “peaceful” sanctuary for reflection. Located on the first floor wing of the grand Fairmont Peace Hotel, the Peace Museum holds an intriguing collection of artefacts from the hotel’s long history. The iconic grand dame has been standing for almost a century, first as The Cathay Hotel in the 1930s and 40s, renamed The Peace Hotel from the 1950s, and now the restored Fairmont Peace Hotel, which opened in 2010.
On display is a collection of silverware, porcelain, crystal and antiques that once decorated the rooms and halls, along with newspaper clippings and photographs of the hotel through the ages, plus details of celebrity guests, old room records and advertising brochures from back in the day. The artefacts bring the hotel’s past to life and give visitors a sense of Shanghai through the 20th century.
Open daily 10am to 7pm, closed on public holidays; free admission; 20 Nanjing Road East; fairmont.com
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