Unlike most of Shanghai's museums, which are glossy and modern, this museum, like its contents, has seemingly been frozen in time (specifically 1956, when the museum was first located here), which perversely makes it a rather delightful visit. There is the usual collection of animals, mummies, and fossils, including in the central atrium a complete specimen of a 140-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton from Sichuan Province. The top floor houses a gallery of stuffed creatures, which have been known to scare some of the young ones (and a few adults, too). Much more interesting for adults is the building itself, a beautiful classical structure that used to be the Cotton Exchange in colonial days. The mosaic floors and stained-glass windows in the lobby only hint at the grand building that once was.
- © Frommer's 2013