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Things to do in Shanghai

Clustered around People's Square are a host of top museums like the Shanghai Museum, the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Pudong is the place to scale huge modern buildings like the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Jin Mao Tower. The Yu Yuan Garden in the Old City offers a glimpse of Ming Dynasty China.

Huangpu River Cruise, Shanghai. Photo by Toby Skinner

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. ShanghART - Museums and Galleries

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    ShanghART, Shanghai. Courtesy of Yang Fudong/ShanghART Gallery

    The ShanghART warehouse and gallery are situated in Shanghai's cutting-edge artistic hub in Jingan, which houses over 100 galleries. The ShanghART gallery is the oldest modern art space in Shanghai, while the warehouse hosts bigger works and installations.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-6pm

    Address

    50, Moganshan Lu, Shanghai 200060

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 6359 3923

    Transport

    Taxi

    Website

    Official website

  2. 2. Shanghai Science and Technology Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Shanghai. © Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

    The enormous futuristic space of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in Pudong contains 12 exhibition areas, all with interactive displays including laser musical instruments. As well as an IMAX 3D cinema, there's a '4D' cinema, where seats move and wind blows through the auditorium.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB60 (IMAX costs extra)

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 9am-5.15pm

    Address

    2000, Century Avenue, Shanghai 200120

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 6862 2000

    Transport

    Science and Technology Museum metro

    Website

    Shanghai Science And Technology Museum

  3. 3. Shanghai Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Shanghai Museum, Shanghai. Courtesy of China Tourist Office

    The Shanghai Museum on People's Square is one of the city's must-sees. More than 120,000 exhibits show Chinese history from the Neolithic Age to the present. The collections of jade, calligraphy, sculptures and coins are among the best in China.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free; special exhibitions RMB20

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-5pm

    Address

    201, Renmin Da Dao, People's Square, Shanghai 200002

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 6372 3500

    Transport

    People's Square metro.

    Website

    Shanghai Museum Website

  4. 4. Museum of Contemporary Art - Museums and Galleries

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    Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai. © MOCA

    Shanghai's coolest museum is an airy all-glass space in the middle of People's Park. The temporary shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) are always fresh, exciting and accessible, and worth a visit for panoramic views across the city.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB20

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-6pm (Wed until 10pm)

    Address

    Gate 7, People's Park, Shanghai 200003

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 6327 9900

    Transport

    Metro to People's Square

    Website

    Museum Of Contemporary Art Website

  5. 5. Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party - Museums and Galleries

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    Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Shanghai. Photo by Toby Skinner

    This small, red-brick Xintiandi house in Huangpi Nan Lu is the spot where the Communist Party was formed in July 1921. The centrepiece is a wax diorama of the First Congress, with Mao centre-stage. Displays set the historical context.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB3 (free on Sundays)

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-4pm

    Address

    76, Xigye Lu, Shanghai 200020

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 5383 2171

    Transport

    Huangpi Nan Lu metro

  6. 6. Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre - Museums and Galleries

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    Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, Shanghai. © Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre

    Even weary expatriates get excited by the giant scale model of how Shanghai will look in 2020, the biggest of its kind in the world. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre on People's Square showcases Shanghai's development through models and multimedia displays.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB30

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-5pm (until 6pm Fri-Sun)

    Address

    100, Renmin Dadao, People's Square, Shanghai 200002

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 63722077

    Transport

    People's Square metro

    Website

    Official website

Attractions

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  1. 7. Yu Yuan Gardens - Attractions

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    Yu Yuan Garden, Shanghai. Photo by Breeze Robertson, © Whatsonwhen

    Yu Yuan Garden in the Old City features 30 Ming and Qing dynasty pavilions surrounded by lotus ponds and ornate bridges. The traditional bazaar sells kitsch souvenirs and the dumplings at Nan Xiang restaurant have attracted numerous visiting celebrities.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB30; RMB40 Apr-Jun & Sep-Nov

    Opening hours

    Daily 8.30am-5.30pm

    Address

    Around Fuyou Lu, Dongtai Lu and Henan Lu, Shanghai 200011

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 6326 0830

    Transport

    Taxi

    Website

    Yu Garden website

  2. 8. Jin Mao Tower - Attractions

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    Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai. © Jin Mao Tower

    Pudong's Jin Mao Tower in Lujiazui may have lost its place as Shanghai's tallest building to the Shanghai World Financial Center but the view from the 88th floor remains the best. Enjoy cocktails at the 87th-floor Cloud 9 bar.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB88

    Opening hours

    Daily 8.30am-10pm

    Address

    88, Century Boulevard, Shanghai 200120

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 5047 5101

    Transport

    Taxi

    Website

    Official website

  3. 9. Oriental Pearl Tower - Attractions

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    Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai. Photo by Toby Skinner

    The 468-metre Oriental Pearl Tower with its view towards Pudong is Shanghai's defining image. The space-age building shimmers inside and out with technicolour lighting. Inside, there's a sightseeing floor, revolving restaurant, disco hall and karaoke bars.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB35-RMB280

    Opening hours

    Daily 8.30am-9.30pm

    Address

    Feng He Lu, Shanghai 200120

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 5879 1888

    Transport

    Lujiazui metro

    Website

    Official website

  4. 10. Sun Yat-sen's Residence - Attractions

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    Sun Yat-sen's Residence, Shanghai. © Sun Yat-sen's Residence

    The Chinese Nationalist Party founder, Sun Yat-sen, lived in this villa in Shanxi Nan Lu with his wife between 1919 and 1925. The house is as it was when he died, with 2,700 fascinating volumes and photos of key figures.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB8

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-4.30pm

    Address

    7, Xiangshan Lu, Shanghai 200020

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 6437 2954

    Transport

    Shanxi Nan Lu metro

    Website

    Sun Yat Sen's Residence Website

  5. 11. Shanghai Ocean Aquarium - Attractions

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    Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Shanghai. © entobox

    Asia's largest aquarium in Pudong is home to sharks, penguins and 10,000 other sea creatures. There are nine sea life zones from around the world, including Antarctica and Africa. It has the world's longest underwater viewing tunnel at 55 metres.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB120; children RMB80

    Opening hours

    Daily 9am-6pm

    Address

    1388, Lujiazui Ring Road, Shanghai 200120

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 5877 9988

    Transport

    Lujiazui metro

    Website

    Shanghai Ocean Aquarium Website

Special things to do

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  1. 12. Huangpu River Cruise - Special things to do

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    Huangpu River Cruise, Shanghai. Photo by Toby Skinner

    Many companies run cruises from the Bund area and it's a great way to see Shanghai. The Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise Company runs hour-long cruises throughout the day, and a three-hour afternoon cruise. There's commentary, drinks and snacks on board.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB35-RMB70

    Opening hours

    Daily 9.30am-4.30pm

    Address

    219/153, Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, Shanghai 200002

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 54106831

    Transport

    Taxi

    Website

    Huangpu River Cruise Company Website

  2. 13. Shanghai Sculpture Space - Special things to do

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    Shanghai Sculpture Space, Shanghai. © Shanghai Sculpture Space

    Few people know about this relaxing and surreal haven in the western tip of the French Concession quarter. The green parkland is dotted with giant contemporary sculptures such as Transformers robots, giant legs and a mechanical bull.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Address

    570, Huaihai Xi Lu, Shanghai 200030

    Transport

    Hongqiao Lu metro

    Website

    Red Town Website

  3. 14. Bund Sightseeing Tunnel - Special things to do

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    If you like your tourist experiences kitsch, you'll love this bizarre train transporting tourists under the river from the Bund area to Pudong. Psychedelic lights blink, strange models appear and there's a meaningless but hypnotic commentary.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB30 single; RMB40 return

    Opening hours

    Daily 8am-10pm

    Address

    18, Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (Bund side), or Riverside Avenue (Pudong side), Shanghai 200002/200120

    Transport

    Taxi (Bund side) or metro to Lujiazui (Pudong side)

  4. 15. Dragonfly Spa - Special things to do

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    Dragonfly Spa, Shanghai. © Dragonfly Spa

    Dragonfly Spa is among Shanghai's best-known. Spas around Shanghai offer Japanese shiatsu and aromatic oil massages as well as facials, manicures and waxing. Couples at this branch in the French Concession quarter can try 'The Love Nest'.Show this on map

    Cost

    RMB225 (1 hour aroma oil massage)

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-2am

    Address

    206, Xinle Lu, Shanghai 200030

    Telephone

    +86 (0) 21 5403 9982

    Transport

    Changshu Lu metro

    Website

    Dragonfly Spa Website

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