Located in the basement of the Pearl TV tower, the Shanghai History Museum displays more than 30,000 cultural relics and artifacts covering 100 years of Shanghai’s modern history, from the opening of the port of Shanghai to the world in 1843 to the Cultural Revolution in 1949.
If you’ve ever wondered what Shanghai might have looked like before its massive modernization, head down to the basement level of the museum, where you’ll find wax dioramas depicting street scenes from Shanghai’s past. Exhibits show life when Shanghai was primarily a farming and fishing town as well as city scenes from its Opium War days. You’ll also find a hall full of scale models of Shanghai’s most iconic buildings, many of them located on the Bund.
The museum is very easy to miss but well worth an hour or two of your time, particularly if you’re traveling with children. If you’d like a deeper insight into Shanghai’s history, pick up an English audio guide when you purchase your tickets.