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Shanghai Arts and Culture

Shanghai Arts and Culture


A gorgeous mix of turn of the century architecture and glittering high-rises, Shanghai has architecture to delight everyone. It also boasts a number of the country's finest cultural institutions, cutting-edge galleries, and fascinating smaller collections.

The stunning, world-class Shanghai Museum (201 Renmin Ave.; +86-21-6372-5300; has an incredible collection of jade, furniture, sculpture, ceramics, and bronze in its portfolio. It's situated in Renmin (People's) Square, also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art , a pleasant 12-hectare park, and plenty of places to sit and watch and wonder as the Shanghainese go about their days.

The newly redeveloping Bund is a must. Shanghai's magnificent mile boasts impressive European architectural marvels from the turn of the last century, and had lain dormant for decades until recent years. It's a shining example of Shanghai's recent bust-to-boom growth.

If you want to walk off the dealings of the day, the leafy, residential French Concession and its art deco architecture may surprise many visitors with its distinctive European feel. On the other side of the Huangpu River, the Pudong district lures locals and tourists alike with top-notch hotels, glitzy shopping malls, the 1,535-foot-tall gaudily playful Oriental Pearl TV Tower (note: the ascent to the top is done in stages and very slow), and a quieter and less crowded feel than Puxi on the other side of the river. It's also the best perch for catching gorgeous views of the Bund, especially at sunset.

A fascinating collection of erotica is on display at the Museum of Ancient Chinese Sex Culture (1133 Wuding Rd.; +86-21-6230-1243). Among these fine assets there's a corner with homoerotic materials.

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Aefa Mulholland