Whether you're interested in local history, dinosaurs or ceramics, a museum is a great way to burn a couple hours on a miserable day. To help you decide what institution you should check out, we have compiled this list of 11 fascinating Shenzhen museums:
Shenzhen Museum 深圳博物馆 (pictured above)
Paleobiological fossils and ancient art treasures are among the 20,000 pieces that make up this museum’s permanent collection. Rather than casting a wide net, it specifically targets the evolution of Shenzhen, taking visitors all the way back to the Neolithic era, through the creation of a marine economy, up to the present day. Who said Shenzhen was only born in the 90s? Audio guides are available in English, Mandarin, French, Japanese and Korean.
With the picturesque backdrop of the Shenzhen Reservoir Scenic Area of East Lake Park, the delightfully situated Shenzhen Art Museum predominantly displays contemporary works. Founded in 1976, it is one of the city’s older public institutions and as such has a substantial collection of 20th-century pieces by local artists.
Pterodactyls and brontosauruses sing ghostly prehistoric choruses at the Shenzhen Palaeontology Museum, where dinosaur fossils and models delight children. Those more interested in flora can examine the petrified wood collection. Located within Xianhu Botanical Garden, a trip here can be turned into a whole-day excursion.
Occupying an historic Hakka roundhouse dwelling by Crane Lake in Longgang, this museum provides an introduction to the culture of the indigenous Hakka people, recounting their old traditions and cultural pastimes.
One of the city’s more unusual offerings, the Shenzhen Piano Museum was only the second piano museum in the nation when it opened in 2008 (amazing, we know). Pianos from all over the world made between the 18th and 20th century have enticed more than 30,000 visitors since it opened.
Positioning itself on the avant-garde end of the spectrum, this spot only opened in 2014. Despite what the ‘e’ might suggest, it is indeed a brick-and-mortar space, boasting a video room and an outdoor display space, in addition to multiple exhibition rooms.
Ensconced inside OCT and surrounded by green scenery, the gallery functions dually as an exhibition of beautiful pottery as well as a shop where visitors can buy pieces made by masters in the famed porcelain kilns of Jingdezhen.
Are you partial to a big Louis IV secretaire and baroque bureaus? Long Life Museum is an antique furniture museum located inside a shopping mall where centuries-old furni-ture supplies a unique perspective on French culture and the taste in decor of long-gone royals.
Named for the renowned Chinese ink painter, educator and master of the Lingnan painting school Guan Shanyue, this art museum’s second floor is dedicated to the eponymous artist’s works, which are regularly rotated. Elsewhere, various temporary exhibits span time periods and styles, from traditional scrollwork to poster festivals.
Dating back to the Song Dynasty and located in a former temple, the Tianhou Museum looks at the history of the Maritime Silk Road. Tianhou is a divinity that soothes the waters and grants seafarers safe passage, and this shrine was originally constructed to honor her.
Every day, 8am-5.30pm; RMB15. See listing for Tianhou Museum.
Although He Xiangning Art Museum closed for renovation last year, it has now reopened with a vengeance and renewed drive to spread modern Chinese artwork.