Shanghai Museum - the Best Museum in China

Shanghai Museum, one of the best museums in China, is mainly a museum for ancient arts.

  • Established in 1952, the Shanghai Museum has a collection of more than 120,00 rare cultural pieces. The new building was completed in 1996 at a cost of RMB 570 million.
  • At present, it is divided into ten sections. These are ancient Chinese bronzes, sculpture, ceramics, jades, seals, calligraphy, coin and currency, paintings, Ming and Qing-dynasty furniture, and crafts of China's national minorities.
  • In addition to these ten permanent exhibitions, the museum often holds small-scale exhibitions and also exhibits articles from elsewhere on a short-term basis. The Museum also exhibits its material in museums both within China and abroad.
  • The museum also has a library collection of more than 200,000 books on Chinese art and history.

Exhibition Halls 
- Ancient Bronzes Hall
- Calligraphy Hall
- Chinese Painting Hall
- Ming and Qing Furniture Hall

  • China's Shang and Zhou-period bronzes are an important testimony to the ancient civilization of the country. When visitors enter the Ancient Bronzes Hall, the presentation and atmosphere of the rooms express the cultural atmosphere of the Bronze Age. The subdued dark-green tone of the walls imparts an ancient atmosphere, the simple and elegant display cases and the lighting are carefully designed to enhance the experience. Some 400 exquisite bronze items are displayed in a space of 1,200 square meters, perfectly reflecting the history of the development of China's ancient bronze arts.
  • The Calligraphy Hall includes works from many dynasties; in chronological order, it displays the history of the marvelous genius of Chinese calligraphic arts. The aura of the hall is scholarly and elegant, assisted by automatic lighting in display cases that protects the art by shining only when the visitor is viewing a work. Among these works are a number of unique world treasures.
  • The Chinese Painting Hall of the Museum similarly has a touch of traditional architectural style to it, combined with an atmosphere of Confucian elegance. Around 120 masterpieces are displayed in the 1,200 square-meter exhibition space. These date from the Tang dynasty to modern times but do not include contemporary works.
  • The apex of Chinese furniture creation occurred during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Walking into the Ming and Qing Furniture Hall is like walking back into the gardens and rooms of the Ming and Qing dynasty. In some 700 square meters of space are exhibited some 100 pieces of superlative Chinese Ming and Qing-dynasty furniture. Among these are Ming pieces that are fluid in line and harmonious in proportion. The Qing pieces have more complex ornamentation and are often made of thicker, heavier wood.

Tour Features
-What is special there?

  • China's Greatest Display of Art and Artifacts 
    Shanghai Museum has a collection of more than 120,00 rare cultural pieces.
  • Enjoy Works of Art
    Among the holdings of the Museum, many items are superlative works of art and are unique in the entire country. These include in particular the bronzes, calligraphy, paintings, and Ming and Qing furniture. The underground part of the Shanghai Museum also has some courtyard gardens that imitate authentic Chinese traditions. Although these are hidden deep underground, their architecture and environment seem light and airy.


  • Address: 201 Renmin Dadao
  • The museum is situated in the centre of Shanghai
  • Near People's Square metro station

- how to get there?

  • By subway: Line 1, Line2, Line 8, and get off at People's Square Station

Visiting Time
- How long should I stay there?
- When is the best time to visit there?

  • Opening hours: 9:00am- 5:00pm, (last entry at 4:00pm)
  • Normally, visitors will spend at least 1.5 hours there, and some visitors found themselves spend a half day there. For history lovers, a whole day will be just enough.
  • Try to avoid holidays

Costs/ Entrance Tickets

  • Free, but you still need to get a ticket before you go in.
  • An extra 40 RMB you can hire an audio guide handset (400RMB, or your passport, required as a deposit on each handset).

Review & Tips
- What do tour experts/visitors say about this place?

  • Signs introducing the objects are in English as well as in Chinese.
  • You are allowed to use the camera without the flash.
  • I would suggest that you buy the guide, decide which exhibits interest you the most and then just visit these rooms. ( Quote from Trip Advisor )
  • I would advise you to be fed and watered before your visit. A thoroughly enjoyable and educational way to spend an afternoon. ( Quote from Trip Advisor )
  • In my experience, the Shanghai Museum is the most thoughtfully designed, comprehensive, and treasure-filled museum I have ever been to. ( Quote from Trip Advisor )

Other tour attractions nearby

Tours with this attraction

  • If you are interested in taking a Shanghai tour with a visit to Shanghai Museum; if you need a private tour and an English speaking tour guide to show you around Shanghai; China Odyssey Tours is here and ready to help.

     Welcome to contact us to customize a China tour including this attraction.

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