Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

Dec 1, 2023


  • History of the Bund
  • Things to see and do in The Bund
  • Walk along the Bund
  • East Wind Hotel (No.2)
  • Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (No.12)
  • North & South Building of Peace Hotel (No 19 & 20)
  • Huangpu River Cruise
  • Bund Sight Seeing Tunnel
  • Huangpu Park
  • Morning Exercise
  • Shopping
  • Photography
  • Best Time to Visit
  • Places to Eat
  • Location of The Bund
  • Getting to the Bund
  • Metro
  • Bus
  • Ferry
  • Accommodation
  • Show More

Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

The Bund, which is also known as Waitan, is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. The Bund is famously known for the grand western-style buildings that were built in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The main feature of this place is its architectural style, which is from old colonial-era like the neoclassical, Beaux-Arts, Gothic, and Baroque. It is flanked by 22 heritage art deco buildings built in the concession era between 1920 and 1930. We also get to see the modern skyscrapers of Lujiazui in the Pudong District along the river bank. For centuries now it has been the most famous tourist destination in Shanghai, making The Bund a must-visit place and the pride of Shanghai.

The Bund has a very controversial history attached to it. China did not want the Western powers to settle and do the trade in China, but Shanghai lost the first opium war in 1842; hence, it was forced to open under the Treaty of Nanking. As per the treaty, the Western powers demanded trading rights in China, after which they were granted settlements or concessions. Post their settlement, the wharves and trading houses were built along the Huangpu River. During that, the area was more of farmland and wetlands. The treaty, which was a triumph for the British who came with the intention of dominating the people became a humiliation for the Chinese. In 1863 The British and American joined hands to create the International Settlement, after which The Bund grew further.

During the first few decades, The Bund had only a few small offices. It was only in the late 19th century in which the larger neo-classical and British colonial-style buildings were built. In its initial days trading companies dominated the Bund, but soon as trade in Shanghai increased it gave way to the financial institutions. The financial institutions were the biggest industry in the city by the early 20th century. The Imperial Bank of China, which was the first Chinese bank, opened in 1897, and after that, banks like the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) opened at the Bund.

Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

The Bund, with its rich history, culture, and tradition, has a lot of things to offer for people of all age and spectre, who comes from all around the world to see the beauty of this place. Some of the best things to do in The Bund are:

To the west of The Bund are many buildings and is often referred to as "the museum of grandiose buildings." The buildings are of various architectural styles, including Gothic, baroque, and neoclassical styles. The best way to appreciate the buildings is to walk along The Bund, where you'll have a better understanding of the century-long charm and culture of this city.

It was formerly called the Shanghai Club which was the social club for British nationals in Shanghai. Constructed in 1861, originally the club was a three-storey red-brick building. It was rebuilt in 1910 with reinforced concrete in a neo-classical design.

The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was formerly the HSBC Building and later the People's Government of the Municipality of Shanghai Building. This building was constructed from May 1921 to June 1923. It was built in the neo-classicism style and was designed by the British architecture firm, Palmer & Turner Architects and Surveyors. It was the second-largest building in the world at that time. The base of the central dome is decorated with a triangular structure imitating Greek temples. Below the dome are six Ionic columns penetrating from the second to the fourth storey.

The Southside of the Peace Hotel was founded in 1850 when it was known as the Central Hotel. It was restructured in 1906 and was renamed as The Palace Hotel. When it was rebuilt it was the tallest building in Nanjing Road. The Northside of the Peace Hotel was the former Sassoon House which was designed by Palmer and Turner Architects Limited. It was constructed from 1926 to 1929.

Some of the other known buildings are the Boardway Mansions, Union Church, Bund 18, etc.

After a walk, you can consider taking the Huangpu River cruise. The benefit of the cruise is you will get to see the historical architecture on The Bund along with the modern skyscrapers opposite the Huangpu River. This will give you a distinctive contrast between modern life and the past. You can choose to cruise from 30 minutes to 31/2 hour cruise. Usually, the ships are well equipped with restaurants and bars, and few even offer the audio guide of the sights in English and Mandarin.

Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

Note: There are two kinds of cruises currently available Highlight Cruise and Classic Cruise. You can buy the tickets at Shiliupu Wharf which is a 15 minutes’ walk south of the central area of the Bund. They cost between 75 to 150 RMB depending on the duration.

If you have limited time and would like to save some money, then you can opt for a ferry-rede across Pudong. It costs as less as 2 yuan and still provides an opportunity to see the scenery on both sides of the river.

Tip: The best time to take the ferry or cruise is in the evening post-sunset where you can enjoy the lights on both sides.

Bund Sight Seeing Tunnel is a subterranean passageway connecting The Bund to the Pudong District. It is a great way to get to the other side of the river and is a popular tourist attraction. In a transparent rail, it will take you slowly through the tunnel. The special effects are often referred to as “trippy” as it is bathed in colorful, psychedelic projections. Usually, kids will love the Technicolor light show and the atmospheric sound effects.

On northernmost tip overlooking the Riverbend of The Bund is Shanghai’s oldest park. It is a triangle of green in the urban jungle. There is the Shanghai People’s Heroes Monument built, a grandiose edifice which is dedicated to its local revolutionary heroes. Beneath the monument, there is the Bund Historical Museum, where you can journey to the Bund’s past through photographs and artifacts.

The Bund is also known for keeping the Shanghai locals fit and healthy. You will see many people doing various kinds of exercises in the early morning. You can especially get to see “Tai Chi” Practitioners at work early in the morning, which is a sight to behold because of its tranquil background.

Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

Shanghai, which is called the “Paris of the East” Or the “New York of the Orient” and like Paris and New York, Shanghai also has some prime shopping experiences to offer. The Bund does not fail in this respect and is one of the best places to shop. A great number of luxury designer boutiques and shops are located along the Bund which includes, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Ermenegildo Zegna, Prada, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and many more high-end, well-known stores. Also, there are several domestic brands available which offer anything from handcrafted silk slippers to porcelain tableware and antiques.

Tip: You can buy silk scarves or hand-painted, decorative souvenirs. China is known for its green tea which you can also buy from here.

The Bund which overlooks the Huangpu River, you get to gaze upon massive and gleaming financial towers in Pudong. This image is a symbol of Shanghai’s modernity. By now, it has become a symbol for China itself. The Shanghai travel guidebook lauds this place as a photography hot spot. In fact the first things that travelers do when they arrive in Shanghai are head over to The Bund and get their pictures clicked. There are many photo stalls where a professional will take a picture o you and give you an instant print of it.

If you are carrying your own camera there are three ideal locations to see the full view of the Bund where you can take a picture of the panoramic view of this place, namely Pudong Binjiang Avenue, on a Huangpu River Cruise, and one of the skyscrapers in Pudong like Shanghai World Financial Center, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai Tower.

Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

The best time to visit is after sunset when you will get to enjoy the lights across the skyline, but usually, it is most crowded at that time. You can even visit early morning when Sunrise makes the view even more beautiful. The best months to visit Shanghai is from October to November, which boasts comfortable temperatures, and you get to enjoy the heavenly views of autumn in Shanghai.

There are many options for dining in The Bund, from luxurious restaurants to the ones with best views. Some restaurants with good views are The Fellas, The Captain, Mercato etc. You can even dine on the cruise restaurants and bars. There are a lot of nice places that offer delicious local cuisines which you can check out, like Shanghai Grandmother. Yueyue is another one of the affordable restaurants which you can try. You can even carry your own snacks to The Bund.

Note : Some of the dishes you must try are the Pecking Duck, Dumpling Soup, Braised Pork and Steamed Crab. Few drinks to try are Chivas mixed with green tea, The jasmine tea, Jiuniang (Fermented sweet rice wine) etc.

The Bund is a raised promenade on the western bank of the river Huangpu in Shanghai. It is one kilometer long strip which starts from the eastern tip of Yan’an Road on the south and passes through Waibaidu Bridge on the north. It runs parallel from north to south to the Zhongshan East Road.

Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

There are many ways to reach The Bund. You can hire a car or take public transport. Hiring a car can get very expensive and difficult as well since parking is not easily available here. The best thing is to opt for is the public transport which is very convenient and inexpensive.

Top 10 Things to see and do In the Bund, Shanghai

The Shanghai Metro line is well known for its connectivity and convenience. This is an affordable and faster option to reach The Bund. There are no metro stations directly connecting the Bund, but there are a few which are nearest. The nearest metro station is the Nanjing Road East station which is on line 2 & 10 and is on 5 to 10 minutes walking distance. Xiaonanmen station, which is Line 9 is at the southern end of the Bund, but it is 3 km away making it further from the Nanjing Road one.

There are a few buses which will get you to The Bund. The best way is the bus line #20 & #30, which, are from Zhongshan Park to the Bund via Nanjing Road West & the Jiujiang Road.

There is also a ferry terminal on the southern end of the Bund, and there is one ferry every 10 minutes from Pudong.

There are many hotels which give a direct view of The Bund. Some of the good hotels that you can try are Metropolo Classiq, Wanina's Shanghai Skyline Apartment & Sunrise on the Bund Hotel. The Mingtown Nanjing Road Youth Hostel is one of the most popular and affordable option available, which is at the walking distance from The Bund. If you are traveling on a budget, then you can choose to stay in other parts of Shanghai and travel to the Bund via metro or bus. Some of the budgeted hotels are Charms hotel, Shanghai Chi Chen Hotel, etc. There many home-stay options available, which will even give you an up-close experience of the Chinese tradition and culture.Bottom of Form

There are many exciting things to see and do in The Bund. It will be helpful for you to plan your visit and book your tickets in advance on to have a hassle-free experience in Shanghai, China.

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