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.
(Shanghai Museum's Timeline of Buddhist Art/Wang Zhiyong)
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.
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)
Related gallery: Shanghai Museum's Timeline of Buddhist Art
Plan your schedule well and leave time for the museum’s gift shop which sells many interesting souvenirs.
No cameras and no mobile phones allowed.
(Shanghai Daily July 25, 2007)