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The Bund: Things to Do, Tips, Map

the Bund, Shanghai's most popular place (aka Waitan), with its colonial buildings and skyscraper views, It is the scenery of Shanghai and a must-see place for tourists who visit Shanghai.

The Bund, also known as Zhongshan East Road, is about 1.5 kilometers long. It faces the Huangpu River in the east and 52 buildings of different styles in the west, such as Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, and Chinese and Western walls, which is known as the "International Architecture Exhibition Group".

In this new travel guide to the Bund, you will get a comprehensive introduction to the history and present of the Bund. Getting what to see and things to do in the Bund will help you better plan a regretless Bund tour.

The Bund Facts

About The Bund

The Bund(Shanghai)

The Bund reputed as "An Exhibition of International Buildings", is located on the west bank of the Huangpu River, facing the dominating Oriental Pearl Tower. Travelers can feel the charm of the exotic old Shanghai, as well as witness the modern Shanghai over the river at the Bund.

Type: Historic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Sights & Landmarks

Best Seasons: All seasons

Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 Hours

Opening Hours: Whole day

Light Opening: 17:00-23:00 during summer, 17:00-21:00 during winter

Address: On the bank of Huangpu River, Shanghai, Huangpu District, Shanghai 上海市黄浦区中山东一路(临黄浦江)

The Bund History

The Shanghai Bund has dozens of historical buildings, lining the Huangpu River, that once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, Russia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as the consulates of Russia and Britain, a newspaper, the Shanghai Club and the Masonic Club. The Bund lies north of the old, walled city of Shanghai. It was initially a British settlement; later the British and American settlements were combined in the International Settlement. Magnificent commercial buildings in the Beaux Arts style sprang up in the years around the turn of the 20th century as the Bund developed into a major financial center of east Asia. Directly to the south, and just northeast of the old walled city, the former French Bund (the quai de France, part of the Shanghai French Concession) was of comparable size to the Bund but functioned more as a working harbourside.

By the 1940s, the Bund housed the headquarters of many, if not most, of the major financial institutions operating in China, including the "big four" national banks in the Republic of China era. However, with the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, many of these financial institutions were gradually moved to Hong Kong in the 1950s. Hotels and clubs were closed or converted to other uses. The statues of colonial figures and foreign worthies which had dotted the riverside were also removed.

What to See in The Bund (Attractions & Things to Do)

When it comes to dining, the area around The Bund does not disappoint. You'll find numerous restaurants and food stalls serving up local Shanghainese cuisine, as well as dishes from other regions of China.

Symbol of Shanghai

The Bund is a well-known symbol of Shanghai. With its iconic skyline, the Bund has come to represent the vibrant spirit and dynamic energy of this cosmopolitan city.

The Bund reflects the dynamic transformation and rapid development of Shanghai, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a glimpse into China's modern history and urban evolution.

Only when you take a photo with the Oriental Pearl Tower in the background on the eastern side of the Bund, you can truly say that you have arrived in Shanghai.

Distinctive Historical Buildings

The 52 buildings along the Bund represent the epitome of Western architectural design from the Renaissance period, creating a magnificent showcase of global architecture. Each building stands out with its unique style, captivating design, and distinctive characteristics, coming together to form a true "International Architecture Museum"

This collection of iconic buildings includes the Asia Building, which once housed the offices of the Asiatic Petroleum Company; the Union Building, which initially housed multiple insurance companies but is now a shopping complex; and the old HSBC Building, which is now home to the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.

Unparalleled Riverside Promenade

The Riverside Promenade on the Bund in Shanghai is a captivating waterfront destination that offers a mesmerizing blend of history, culture, and modernity.

As you stroll along the promenade, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the Pudong skyline. Whether you visit during the day or at night when the buildings are illuminated, the Riverside Promenade on the Bund offers an enchanting experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the heart of Shanghai's dynamic waterfront culture.

Cultural and Commercial Hub

The Bund has transformed into a vibrant cultural and commercial hub over the years. It houses luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, upscale boutiques, and art galleries, attracting visitors seeking fine dining, entertainment, and shopping experiences.

The Bund in Shanghai offers a variety of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. The luxury hotels provide stunning views of the river and skyline with attentive service at higher prices. The boutique hotels fulfill most tourists' dream of staying overnight on the Bund and enjoying the most fantastic night view of Shanghai.

The Bund in the 1930s
The Bund Night view

How to Plan A The Bund Visit During Shanghai Tour

When planning a The Bund visit during your Shanghai tour, consider spending at least half a day exploring its surrounding areas thoroughly. It's ideal to visit in the Afternoon when it's less crowded, giving you ample time to soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Things to Do at the Bund Shanghai

Explore the Historical Buildings with City Walk

Taking a city walk along the Bund provides an immersive experience to fully explore the historical buildings in Shanghai . Here's a suggested itinerary to make the most of your experience:

Start at the northern end of the Bund, near Waibaidu Bridge. Begin your walk by visiting the Peace Hotel with its distinctive green roof and intricate architectural details. Continue southward and encounter the impressive neoclassical structure Customs House, and appreciate its clock tower and grand colonnades. Move along the promenade and reach the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank building, which has an elegant combination of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. Keep walking and arrive at the Bank of Communications Building, a symbol of Shanghai's banking heritage. Finally, conclude your city walk at the Shanghai Club building. Admire its blend of architectural styles, including influences from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Don't forget to capture photos with the stunning views of the Huangpu River and the modern skyline of Pudong as you explore the historical gems of the Bund.

Take a Huangpu River Cruise or Ferry

The Bund, situated on the west bank of the Huangpu River, harmoniously complements the Lujiazui Financial District on the east bank, forming the captivating cityscape of Shanghai. Here, visitors can admire an exceptional collection of international architecture while immersing themselves in the charm of a modern metropolis through either a Huangpu River Cruise or a Ferry ride.

The Huangpu River Cruise is a paid sightseeing tour that exclusively operates at night, offering a more in-depth exploration of Shanghai's skyline and landmarks. Cruise ships are typically multi-level, allowing tourists to not only marvel at the breathtaking night view but also indulge in delectable meals and beverages on the upper decks. Departing from the Shiliupu Wharf (十六铺码头), the cruise returns to the same location after approximately one hour of sailing.

In contrast, the Bund Ferry serves as a daily transportation option for residents and visitors traveling between the Pudong and Puxi sides of the Huangpu River. With a one-way ticket priced at just 2 yuan per person, the ferry provides a convenient and affordable mode of crossing the river, taking a mere 5-10 minutes. The Dongjin (东金线) route operates exclusively during the daytime, while the Dongfu (东复线) route runs both day and night.

Overall, the Huangpu River Cruise offers a comprehensive and luxurious night-time experience, while the Bund Ferry serves as a practical and economical means of transportation for crossing the Huangpu River.

Enjoy the Fantastic Shanghai Skyline Night

The Shanghai skyline at night is a breathtaking sight that captivates visitors with its dazzling lights and futuristic ambiance.

Located on the east bank of the Huangpu River, Lujiazui is home to some of Shanghai's most iconic skyscrapers. The illuminated structures, such as the Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, Jin Mao Tower, and Oriental Pearl Tower, create a stunning backdrop against the night sky. The Huangpu River provides a shimmering reflection of the city's lights. It offers an enchanting perspective of the skyline, with the illuminated buildings casting vibrant reflections on the water.

Explore the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel

The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel in Shanghai is an underground passageway that spans across the Huangpu River, connecting the Bund with the Oriental Pearl Tower. It was opened in the year 2000 and has been in operation for over 20 years.

The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel provides a fascinating journey through a tunnel that combines light, sound, and visual effects. Passengers are transported in a small tram-like vehicle that travels through a tunnel adorned with colorful lights, projections, and music.

The ticket prices for the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel are 50 yuan for a one-way trip and 70 yuan for a round trip. The entire journey through the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel takes around 5 minutes.

Shopping at the Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road in Shanghai is a bustling shopping street, renowned worldwide. Spanning six kilometers, it offers a mix of luxury boutiques, department stores, and traditional Chinese shops. Nanjing Road East showcases high-end brands, while Nanjing Road West features local boutiques and international retailers.

The street is a shopper's paradise, with options ranging from fashion and electronics to cosmetics and souvenirs. The vibrant atmosphere, colorful storefronts, and neon lights create an exciting ambiance.

Alongside shopping, visitors can enjoy a variety of delicious cuisines from restaurants and street food stalls. Nanjing Road is a must-visit destination, offering a diverse and thrilling shopping experience at the heart of Shanghai.

the Bund in the Daytime
Night View of the Bund

Best Time to Visit The Bund Shanghai

The best time to visit The Bund is during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November). During these seasons, Spring brings blooming flowers and cherry blossoms, adding a touch of natural beauty to the Bund's surroundings. Autumn offers clear skies and cooler temperatures, creating a pleasant atmosphere for exploring the area. You can enjoy the sunset over the Huangpu River and stay until late evening to gaze at Shanghai's spectacular skyline. making these ideal times for a visit during your Shanghai tour.

Distinctive historical buildings standing along the Bund
Explore the Historical Buildings with City Walk

Nearby Attractions

Yu Garden : houses a wonderful collection of classic Chinese traditional buildings and it is an oasis in the bustling city.

Nanjing Road is Shanghai's busiest shopping street lined with top-end shopping malls, old-brand shops, and traditional eateries.

City God Temple: It is one of the most popular scenic areas as well as a shopping center for travelers.

Tour The Bund with Us

The Bund is a landmark of Shanghai and is full of history and culture. Travel with a professional guide is necessary and helpful if you want to learn the story behind it. English signage and introductions in the Bund are limited. Traveling with a professional guide is advisable. You might also want to know more about the history and the design philosophy behind The Bund. Our local guide is knowledgeable and happy to share these with you. We are more than happy to offer a guide service and tailor-make a tour for you.

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