Most visitors take in an acrobatics show, but equally worthy of note are the flourishing contemporary art and music scenes. The Shanghai Arts Festival ( is held from mid-October to mid-November – though you’d be forgiven for not noticing it – when the city receives a lot of visiting shows. For listings of big cultural spectaculars such as visiting ballet troupes, check the China Daily, but for the lowdown on punk gigs, underground art shows and the like, get an up-to-date expat magazine such as cityweekend, or check The simplest way to buy tickets is at the box office before the show starts, or a few days earlier if there’s any danger that it will sell out. You can also buy tickets from the booking centre behind the Westgate Mall on Nanjing Xi Lu. The contemporary art scene can be conveniently checked out at the Moganshan Art District. The Shanghai Biennale, held in venues all over town, is held on even-numbered years.

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