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Shanghai’s two best free museums at the Power Station of Art and Shanghai Museum.
Shanghai Museum is designed to look like an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding. The museum is home to more than 120,000 pieces ranging from ancient coins and seals to bronze and ceramic pieces. There’s intricately carved furniture, jade, minority art, and even a few pieces of foreign art. You could spend several hours getting lost in here. The museum can be reached by taking metro lines 1, 2, and 8 to People’s Square.
Down at the former World Expo site is the Power Station of Art, Shanghai’s newest contemporary art museum. A complete 180° from Shanghai Museum, the Power Station of Art plays host to rotating exhibitions that bring the best of the West to the east. Past shows include an Andy Warhol retrospective, on until the end of July, Electric Fields, a loaner from Paris’s Centre Pompidou, and the 2012 Shanghai Biennale.