Coming to Shanghai and missing the Bund (外滩) is like visiting Beijing and bypassing the Forbidden City (紫禁城) or the Great Wall. The Bund is the iconic landmark of Shanghai and the area around the Bund is the tourist center of Shanghai and is the city’s most famous mile.
What impress travelers most should be the 52 buildings with various international architectural styles which makes the Bund “An Exhibition of International Buildings”. There is no doubt that the Bund is the fusion of Western and Chinese Culture, an epitome of Shanghai’s history, and a great place to explore Shanghai’s today and see the future of Shanghai.
The Bund stretches 1.5km on the west bank of Huangpu River (黄浦江). It begins at Waibaidu Bridge (外白渡桥) in the north and ends at Yan’an Road (延安路) in the south, which crosses Suzhou Creek (苏州河). The area centers on East Zhongshan No. 1 Road (中山东一路), facing the highly modern skyscrapers of Pudong (浦东), in the eastern part of Huangpu District.
Distance from other main Shanghai attractions:
For the geographic location, it is recommended to cover The Bund and nearby attractions like Nanjing Road, Yu Garden & Bazaar and Jinmao Tower/Oriental Pearl TV Tower in one day.
The name “Bund” in Anglo-Indian term means “the embankment of a muddy waterfront”. To know Shanghai, you must come to Shanghai Bund. Before the 1840s, Shanghai was a small seaside town and the Bund was once a muddy towpath for boats along Huangpu River. After First Opium War in 1842, Shanghai began to be an open port and later the Bund was the first settlement of Great Britain. Many foreign powers entered Shanghai and erected their distinct Western-style 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, etc. In the later of 19th Century and 20th Century, Shanghai grew into Asia’s leading city, a cosmopolitan and thriving commercial and financial center. Known as “Oriental Wall Street”, the Bund was a historical miniature of colonial-era Shanghai.
Travelers could visit the Bund either from north to south or from south to north. It is recommended to walk along the Bund which takes 1-2 hours.
At the northern end of the Bund, on the north bank of Suzhou Creek, rises the brick pile of Broadway Mansions, Russian Consulates, Astor House Hotel. Head south over Waibaidu Bridge and turn west to walk along Suzhou Creek until you reach the area known as the Back Bund. You won’t miss the Union Church which dates to 1885. Behind the church, you can catch a glimpse of the Former British Consulate and gardens, the first foreign building to go up in Shanghai. Follow to a row of beautiful old buildings, beginning with the Gothamesque China Baptist Publication Building. Turn left on Beijing East Road and head back towards to the Bund waterfront. Then, head down Zhongshan East Road to see Jardine Matheson, Bank of China, and Peace Hotel. Reach Promenade to catch good view of the Pudong skyline. Continue to head down to see North China Daily News, Customs House, Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Shanghai Club, etc. Just across the street is the 49m-tall Meteorogical Signal Tower, originally built in 1908 opposite the French Consulate. Later, you’ll reach Yan’an Road which marks the end of the walk.
Exploring the Bund in the daytime is quite different from that in the evening. From very early in the morning, before tourists gather here, local Shanghai people come to the riverbank to enjoy walking, jogging, doing exercises and flying kites.
Moreover, during the daytime, travelers could overlook the modern Shanghai on the east bank of Huangpu River and see the landmarks and other buildings clearly. If time permits, get into some buildings and learn the background of the splendid architectures and history of Shanghai. Take a stroll along the Bund in the daytime, and you can explore the Lover’s Wall of 1,700 meters long, Monument to the People’s Heroes dedicated to Chinese patriots beginning in the 1840s, the Bund History Museum (09:00-16:15, free admission), Huangpu Park which originally was the British Public Gardens built in 1868, and the Statue of Chenyi (陈毅) – Shanghai’s first mayor after 1949.
During the evening the buildings are closed but the Bund is spectacularly illuminated and the nocturnal views of Pudong are delicious. There are many riverboats cruising on the Huangpu River which makes the scene even more stunning.
Travelers can walk along either the west side of East Zhongshan No. 1 Rd or the elevated promenade on the other side of the road overlooking the Huangpu River and Pudong Area. Taking a cruise sailing on Huangpu River is also recommended. It is very relaxing to feel the old Shanghai on one side and view the modern side on the other side.
Lujiazui (陆家嘴) is located on the east side of the Huangpu River in Pudong, and sits directly across Huangpu River from the Bund. On this modern land, there are many landmark buildings, like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jinmao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Shanghai Tower.
To appreciate the art of buildings, travelers could overlook the skyline of Pudong Area from the Bund. For in-depth exploration, travelers could take the Bund Sightseeing Channel, Huangpu River Ferry, and metro Line 2 to reach Lujiazui Area.
You are strongly suggested to take a relaxing Huangpu River Cruise along the Bund. It is the best way to see how the West meets East, tradition mixes with modernity in Shanghai. The skyscrapers view, especially in the night is breathtaking. The cruise usually takes about 50 minutes to cruise in a round trip along the Huangpu River from upper section of the Bund to downriver areas. It is available both in daytime and night, usually from 11:00 to 21:30. You can conveniently board the ship on the Shiliupu Pier (十六铺码头) or Qinhuangdao Pier (秦皇岛码头). The cruise charges only 120 RMB but very valuable. Learn more about Huangpu River Cruise >>
By Subway: Take Subway Line 2 or Line 10 to East Nanjing Road Station (南京东路站). Then, walk east along Nanjing East Road for 600 meters to the Bund.
By Bus: Take Bus 147, 305, 307, 330, 33, 37, 55, 65, 921 and get off at East Zhongshan 1st Road / East Nanjing Road; Take 123, 135, 145, 576, 934 and get off at East Zhongshan 1st Road / Hankou Road (汉口路); Take Bus 42, 71, 311, 316, 320 and get off at East Yan’an Road / East Zhongshan 1st Road; Take City Sightseeing Bus Line 1 and get off at the Bund; and more buses can reach the Bund.
The Promenade and Monument to the People’s Heroes are the best spots to shoot the amazing skyline of Pudong Area. If you want to shoot sunrise over Pudong, you should get up early, come and wait. If you want to catch the amazing night view, you’d better come before 17:00 and find a good location for photography.
Bund Sightseeing Channel is 646.7 meters, running under Huangpu River connecting the Bund and Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Lujiazui Area of Pudong District. It only takes 2.5-5 minutes to travel through the tunnel and allows 360 degrees view.
Opening Hours: 08:00-22:30 during Summer; 08:00-22:00 during winter;
Tickets: 50 Yuan / person per way; 70 Yuan for a round trip.
Travelers could get East Jinling Road (金陵东路) and take a ferry to Dongchang Road (东昌路) at Lujiazui Area of Pudong District. The line opens during 07:00-22:00 for every 15 minutes’ intervals.
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