Shikumen Open House Museum (Wulixiang Shikumen Bowuguan)
The 2-story museum recreates typical rooms in shikumen houses, including a main bedroom, family room, son’s room, daughter’s room, sitting room, study, room for elderly family members, and a kitchen. It also features a tiny tingzijian room, which was sometimes rented out to poor, aspiring writers. The rooms include period furniture, photos, and memorabilia sourced from actual shikumen houses, including a gramophone, sewing machine, toys, clothes, and makeup. Information boards and sound effects help to provide a comprehensive picture of life in a shikumen, while videos provide additional background.
Visit the Shikumen Open House Museum independently, or join a tour that includes other popular attractions, such as Fuxing Park, the Bund, or Tianzifang. Customizable private tours are also available.
Things to Know Before You Go
The museum is well suited for those with an interest in Shanghai history or architecture.
Expect to spend no more than 30 minutes here.
The museum is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Shikumen Open House Museum is located in the North block of Xintiandi. By metro, take Line 1 to South Huangpi Road Station (Exit 2), or Lines 10 or 13 to Xintiandi Station (Exit 6). Or take bus No. 109, 146, 781, 805, or 932, or City Sightseeing Bus Line 1.
When to Get There
The Shikumen Open House Museum is open daily. It’s open very late, so it’s a good option to explore after other attractions have closed. Many visitors combine a visit to the Shikumen Open House Museum with a visit to the nearby Museum of the First Congress Hall of the Communist Party of China, also in Xintiandi.
During the 1920s and 1930s, many scholars and artists moved to Shanghai to escape unrest elsewhere in China. At the same time, shikumen owners were encouraged to take in boarders, to help with the housing shortage. A number of famous Chinese writers lived in tingzijians at one point, including Lu Xun, Cai Yuanpei, Mao Dun, and Ba Jing. Their works often reflected on life in shikumens and tingzijiangs, and became known as “Tingzijian Literature.”
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