Welcome to Shanghai People’s Square
Located at the very center of the city, People's Square is a garden-type open space surrounded by buildings and facilities for administration, cultural activities, transportation and commerce. The total green areas in the square reach 80,000 square meters. Seemingly the only broad expanse in the city, spreading before the newly built Museum, People's Square is now perhaps the most popular place for city residents to unwind.
To the west, the Shanghai Grand Theatre updates the traditional upturned Chinese roof in stunning fashion, while a touch of the past remains in the building on the square's northwestern corner. Today, it is home to the Shanghai Art Museum, which focuses on modern and contemporary Chinese work; before 1949, when the square was a horse track, it was the site of the Shanghai Racing Club.
On the north side of the square, another museum awaits: the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. Its sleek contemporary design creates a fine contrast with a lily pond flanked by paths and shady pavilions. To its northeast is the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, where optimistic projections of boundless—yet carefully managed and controlled—growth take the form of an enormous scale model of future Shanghai and a 360-degree computer-generated city starring a manic animated flying pixie guide.
On the southern side, the Shanghai Museum houses a quality collection of artifacts, from ancient jades to classical calligraphy and paintings in a building loosely designed on the model of a bronze-age cooking vessel.
Regardless, after a few hours wandering on the square, you can discuss urban planning, contemporary art, Chinese park etiquette or whatever else suits your fancy over a bite of food and a drink at great indoor-outdoor restaurants like Kathleen's 5 and Barbarossa or, if you're on a budget, at one of the cheap food stalls lining the east and northwest edges of the square.
Admission fee: Free
Opening hours: The whole day
The large tract of land with People's Avenue (Renmin Dadao) to the north, Huangpi Lu to the west, Yan'an Lu to the south, and Xizang Nan Lu to the east; People's Square Metro Station of Line 1, 2.
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