Located within People’s Square, the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall may not sound like something a tourist would be interested in, but it’s actually one of the city’s best museums. Opened in 2000, the exhibition space within the modern, fives-story building showcases Shanghai’s development from ancient times well into the future.
The museum’s crowning jewel is a massive scale model of the city as it might look come 2020 (with the inclusion of buildings green-lighted for construction) and a wraparound 3D theater that gives visitors a glimpse into Future Shanghai. The museum space also features art and design exhibitions by Chinese and international artists.
To fully appreciate your time in Shanghai, kick off your time with a morning or afternoon at the museum. Be sure to pick up an English audio guide -- well worth the extra fee -- to help you understand each of the exhibits.