Today beauty and charm coexist with kitsch and commercialism. From the colonial architecture of the Former French Concession to the forest of cranes and the neon-lit high-rises of Pudong, Shanghai is a city of paradox and change.

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  • 1. China Art Museum

    Pudong | Museum/Gallery

    Housed inside the China Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo (which had sites on both sides of the river in Pudong and Puxi), this gleaming...Read More

  • 2. m97 Gallery

    Jing'an | Museum/Gallery

    Situated in the M50 arts district for about 10 years before moving to this location in 2016, this gallery and project space specializes in...Read More

  • 3. People's Square

    City Center | City Park

    Home of the Shanghai Museum, the city's enormous main square is a social center for locals. During the day, residents stroll, practice tai chi...Read More

  • 4. Power Station of Art

    Old City | Museum/Gallery

    The site of the Shanghai World Expo was a barren wasteland until this massive contemporary art museum, housed in a former power plant, opened...Read More

  • 5. Rockbund Art Museum

    The Bund | Museum/Gallery

    The detailing on this 1932 art deco building is as enticing as the artwork inside. Rockbund has no permanent collection, which keeps things...Read More

  • 6. Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum

    Hongkou | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Built in 1927, the Ohel Moishe Synagogue was the spiritual center of Shanghai's Jewish ghetto in the '30s and '40s, and now houses the excellent...Read More

  • 7. Shanghai Museum

    City Center | Museum/Gallery

    Look past the eyesore of an exterior—this museum holds the country's premier collection of relics and artifacts. Eleven galleries exhibit Chinese...Read More

  • 8. Shanghai Urban Planning Center

    City Center | Museum/Gallery

    To understand the true scale of Shanghai and its ongoing building boom, visit the Master Plan Hall of this museum. Sprawled out on the third...Read More

  • 9. The Bund

    The Bund | Neighborhood/Street

    Shanghai's waterfront boulevard best shows both the city's pre-1949 past and its focus on the future. Both the northern and southern ends of...Read More

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  • 10. Xintiandi

    Xintiandi | Store/Mall

    By World War II, more than two-thirds of Shanghai's residents lived in a shikumen (stone gatehouse). Most have been razed in the name of progress...Read More

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  • 11. Yu Garden

    Old City | Garden

    Since the 18th century, this complex, with its traditional red walls and upturned tile roofs, has been a marketplace and social center where...Read More

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  • 12. Yuz Museum

    Old City | Museum/Gallery

    In a former airport hangar and within walking distance of the Long Museum, the Yuz Museum is the brainchild of Chinese-Indonesian art collector...Read More

  • 13. Bank of China

    The Bund | Notable Building

    British art deco and Chinese elements combine in this 1937 building, which was designed to be the tallest in the city. However, opium magnate...Read More

  • 14. Cathay Theatre

    French Concession | Arts/Performance Venue

    The art deco–style Cathay Cinema was one of the first movie theaters in Shanghai and, indeed, still shows a mix of Chinese and Western films...Read More

  • 15. Century Park

    Pudong | City Park

    If you're staying in Pudong, this giant swath of green is a great place to take kids, as it has a variety of bicycles for hire, good flat paths...Read More

  • 16. Chen Xiangge Temple

    Old City | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    If you find yourself passing by this tiny temple on your exploration of the Old City, you can make an offering to Buddha with the free incense...Read More

  • 17. City God Temple

    Old City | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    At the southeast end of the Yu Gardens bazaar stands this Taoist temple, built during the early part of the Ming Dynasty and destroyed by fire...Read More

  • 18. Double Rainbow Massage House

    French Concession | Spa–Sight

    With instructions clearly spelled out in English, Double Rainbow Massage House provides an inexpensive introduction to traditional Chinese massage...Read More

  • 19. Dragonfly

    French Concession | Spa–Sight

    This local spa chain has claimed the middle ground between expensive hotel spas and workmanlike blind-man massage parlors. Don the suede-soft...Read More

  • 20. Duolun Lu

    Hongkou | Historic District/Site

    Although this road has been heavily restored, its architecture and general ambience takes you back in time to the 1930s, when the 1-km (½-mile...Read More

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