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Top Rated Attractions in Shanghai

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Shanghai Museum

This museum boasts 120,000 Chinese art pieces and archaeological findings. Permanent exhibits feature bronze, ceramics and paintings, among other artifacts. Other facilities include a library with 20,000 books, a conservation laboratory and a lecture room. There is a gift shop on the first floor, a tea house and several antique and curio stalls. The building itself is an architectural showpiece, resembling an ancient tripod when viewed sideways. The rooftop with glassed dome is modeled on a Han Dynasty mirror.

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People's Square

People's Square (Ren Min Guang Chang) is a vast public square surrounded by government buildings. Truly an urban park, it features manicured greenery and, at its heart, the architecturally impressive Shanghai Museum. Other features include a 320-square-meter (385-yard) water fountain, subway station and an underground shopping mall. Because the square attracts many people, it makes an ideal venue for people watching. Add a carefree afternoon of kite flying to your itinerary; great for the young and the young at heart.

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Plaza 66

Crane your neck to marvel at the second tallest building in Shanghai, the tallest in Jing An District and a major tourist hotspot. 945 feet tall, the magnificent structure also hosts a massive shopping center, housing some of the biggest brand names in clothing, fashion, electronics, furnishing, gifts and every imaginable household appliance. With prices as high as the structure that houses them, it's no wonder that most tourists stick to window shopping in here!

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The Bund

A concrete riverfront walkway that is built around a bend on the Huangpu River, the iconic Bund is dotted with a collection of Shanghai's most monumental landmarks. An labyrinth of nearly 52 buildings of varying shapes, sizes and architectural styles – from Romanesque Revival and Baroque, to Neoclassical and Art Deco – guards the riverfront area from the rest of the city, almost like an open-air repository of structures woven together by the forces of history, culture and commerce. Influenced by the brief colonial era that settled over Shanghai before it became a trading port in 1846, behind the buildings' facade existed a slew of trading houses, banks and even consulates. Some of the most prominent buildings that line the picturesque riverfront include the HSBC Building, which once housed the Shanghai headquarters of the eponymous bank, the Russo-Chinese Bank Building, the Asia Building, the Bank of China building, and the Gutzlaff Signal Tower. While some buildings serve an official purpose even today, some others form cultural and retail hubs in this commercial city.

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Oriental Pearl TV Tower

At a height of 468 meters (1,535 feet), the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is the world's sixth tallest and possibly one of it's most unique. Set on the banks of the Huangpu River, this stunning landmark is an intriguing silhouette of magnanimous spheres balanced on slender columns that soar high above the city streets. Each of the three largest spheres feature an observation deck that grants panoramic views of Shanghai from varying heights, while the glass-bottomed walkway promises to thrill. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower also houses shops, entertainment venues and a hotel as well as the Revolving Restaurant and the Municipal History Museum. Often likened to pearls on a string, this iconic landmark adorns Shanghai's glittering city skyline like a radiant jewel of spectacular proportions.

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Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

This museum has five floors that detail the ambitious plans of Shanghai's urban planners. Visitors are provided with a glimpse of how Shanghai will look like in a couple of decades. The centerpiece on the third floor is a huge model of the city as it is now. Check out the map on the first half floor, where the districts scheduled to be cleared for new constructions and green areas are marked. In the basement, old Shanghai is rebuilt with house entrances, cobbled stone-ways and operating shops and tea-houses.

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