Shanghai Natural History Museum
Image via ArchDaily
Located in the beautiful surrounds of Jing’An Sculpture Park, you could get lost for days in the Shanghai Natural History Museum. We’re talking a collection of 240,000 samples, including rare species which cannot be found outside China, such as a Yellow River mammoth, a giant salamander and Yangtze Alligator. Explore the universe from the Big Bang onward, see robot dinosaurs, and animal taxidermy from arctic seals to lions (including a very odd looking one that has become a Shanghai legend) to long-extinct creatures that will have young imaginations running wild.
Shanghai Natural History Museum, see listing here.
Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom
Image via 唯有爱和美食不可辜负/Dianping
This is a lesser known hidden gem in the Shanghai museum repertoire. While insects get the kingdom named after them, what you’ll find here is an eclectic, eccentrically put together yet glorious myriad of creepy crawlies, small mammals and reptiles, making for a risk-free safe bet for children of all ages. Set over two floors, with an amazing array of animals on display, downstairs also has a play area, and a small but well-stocked gift shop that will prove particularly popular with fans of lizards and dinosaurs.
Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom, see listing here.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Image by Mandy Tie
Don’t let the rather dull-sounding name fool you, we challenge anyone not to nerd out at the giant diorama of Shanghai, which is, allegedly, the largest city model in the world. Located centrally in People’s Square, and with four floors of detailed city plans, this behemoth covers everything from the geological underbelly of the city to how the cities' skyscrapers are built. While architecture lovers will be in heaven, this is an exciting place for anyone who is interested in how the city was created and what it will look like in the future. Trust us.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, see listing here.
Shanghai Animation and Comics Museum
Image by Nuna Atadja/Urban Family
Heaven for all comic book loving families, the Shanghai Animation and Comics Museum gives an in-depth history of comics and cartoons in China. The museum also features many short movies to show you how comics are developed, and the process of marketing them worldwide. The large superhero figures suspending from the ceilings make for great photo opportunities, and there’s also a children’s play area upstairs to keep the little ones entertained.
Shanghai Animation and Comics Museum, see listing here.
Image via Travel and Sport
Want a one stop shop which covers just about everything in China’s 5,000 year history? Centrally located in People’s Square, Shanghai Museum is a goliath of classical Chinese art and artifacts, and boasts approximately 14,000 pieces to view. While it is great to go when there is a visiting show, the permanent collection is impressive enough for you to spend a day here. With beautiful cabinets of jade, ceramics, bronze and other historical pieces, you are guaranteed to stumble upon something that you hadn’t paid attention to before.
Shanghai Museum, see listing here.
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
Image via Explore Shanghai
How could we forget this old classic? As the name would suggest, the museum is dedicated to the popularization of science and technology, and has 14 permanent exhibitions (as well as regular guest ones) and four science-themed cinemas. It’s the only place in Shanghai where you can look at an exhibition about robots and then go into a room filled with mini waterfalls and beautiful flowers. Oh, and when you’re finished with the museum, you’re in the perfect location to go to the fake market and splurge on whatever items you’ve been looking for.
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, see listing here.
[Cover image via ArchDaily, Mandy Tie and Nuna Atadja]