While the Shanghainese are known more for their fondness for food and browsing shops than for their love of culture, there’s actually plenty to do and see that doesn’t involve eating or shopping. An array of great museums, fantastic concert venues, and lovely parks are scattered throughout the city.
China’s cultural heritage was decimated by the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s. In order to create what he believed would be a brand new state, free from the shackles of the past, Chairman Mao decreed that all old literature, art, drama, and opera be purged and replaced with pro-Socialist, anti-Rightist propaganda. Although many works were hidden and saved, much was lost.
The art scene came back with a vengeance in the late 1980s and early 1990s and is now flourishing. The M50  factory complex on Moganshan Road is now a series of galleries, while the Old French Concession is dotted with exhibition spaces. For music, state-built concert halls stand alongside independently run livehouses.
Although Shanghai looks very much like an urban sprawl, the municipality is broken up by frequent green spaces. From the wilderness of Gongqing Forest Park  to the neat, French-style Fuxing Park, there’s plenty of opportunity to get a break from the traffic and endless pavement. There are also some excellent museums ranging from the sublime (the well-stocked Shanghai Museum ) to the slightly ridiculous (the Tobacco Museum).