The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

Dec 12, 2019


  • History of the Bund Shanghai
  • Things to do at the Bund
  • 1. Day walks through the Bund
  • 2. Shanghai Bund Night view
  • 3. Shanghai Lujiazui: glitzy financial district
  • 4. Huangpu River cruise
  • 5. Morning at the Bund
  • 6. Shopping at the Bund
  • 7. Bars & Restaurants to get the best view
  • How to get to Shanghai Bund
  • Useful tips while visiting the Bund
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A visit to Shanghai without a visit to the Bund? That sounds incomplete.

The Bund or Wai Tan is one of the most remarkable landmarks of one of the biggest cities of China and the financial hub - Shanghai. The waterfront is 1.5 kilometers long starting from the Waibaidu Bridge in the north, crossing the Suzhou Creek to the Yan’an Road in the south in the Huangpu District, which is the center of Shanghai.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

The architecture of the buildings at the Bund teleports you to the golden age of exotic old Shanghai. This mile-long stretch of buildings created in different styles of architecture on the western banks of the Huangpu River is the highlight of a visit to this amazing oriental city.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

This great landmark offers a breathtaking view of the majestic Oriental Pearl TV Tower - the 468-meter-long radio and TV tower that defines the Shanghai skyline, which is on the eastern banks of the Huangpu River.

The Bund was a marshy land on the banks of the Huangpu River up until the first half of the 19th century. Shanghai was a small coastal town. After the First Opium War in 1842, Shanghai became an open port and the Bund became the initial settlement of the British fleet. Many foreign nations came and created their consulates and buildings in their unique architectural styles - France, Japan, the USA, Italy, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium following suite which made Shanghai one of the busiest cities of the oriental world from the second half of the 19th century onwards. The coming of the different colonial powers and the setting up of various buildings in their unique styles has resulted in Shanghai in becoming the cosmopolitan city that it is today. The Bund is a reflection of Shanghai from the colonial era. This is also the biggest reason why the Bund has resulted to be an exhibition of the various forms of architecture that each building on it.

There are a variety of activities that you can do at the Bund when visiting Shanghai:

You can take a stroll through the 1.5 kilometer stretch of the Bund exploring the amazing architectural treat and the rich history it has in store for you. A typical day walks through the Bund will take around 2 to 3 hours.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

You can start early in the morning for a healthy jog through the stretch of THE BUND, which is preferred by most of the locals as it gets extremely crowded during the day.

For a day walk, you can start at the Waibaidu Bridge on the north side and explore the historical buildings like the Astor Hotel, the old British Consulate, and the Peace Hotel. The architectural styles that you get to witness include Romanesque Revival, Gothic Revival, Eclecticist, Renaissance Revival, Baroque Revival, Chinese, Neo-Classical, and Art Deco, among others. There are other beautiful places for sightseeing such as the Lovers’ Wall which is 1700 meters long, the Bund History Museum, and the Huangpu Park.

Although the day view of the Bund is phenomenal, the night view is simply breathtaking. Although the buildings are closed for entering, all these architectural beauties are well-lit making it an amazing night view. Moreover, at night, the Bund offers an amazing view of the defining skyline of Shanghai with the skyscrapers of the Lujiazui region in the Pudong area, including the Oriental Pearl TV Tower on the other side of the Huangpu River.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

The best place to get this view will be on the west side of the East Zhongshan No. 1 Road or the elevated Promenade on the other side on the banks of the Huangpu River. The fountain at the end of the Bund illuminated with multi-colored lights is also a treat for the eyes only to be enjoyed at night.

Some of the best lit buildings in the area include the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Building, the Peace Hotel, the Bund Financial Center, and the Customs House.You can also go to the Lujiazui region by the evening to enjoy the sunset over the Bund.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

Overall, it is a highly recommended and relaxing experience to take a night stroll through the stretch of the Bund and enjoy the well-lit architectural buildings. A romantic night walk through the Waibaidu Bridge is also something that couples can do at night, as the Bridge offers a breathtaking view of both the Shanghai skyline in the Pudong area and the well-lit buildings of the Bund.

The Luijazui region embodies the modern architectural marvel that Shanghai has to offer. Some of the prominent buildings in this area include the Shanghai Tower, which stands at a whopping 632 metres as the second tallest building in the world after Burj Khalifa; the Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the most beautiful buildings embodying modern architecture with a trapezoid aperture at the top and standing tall at 492 metres as the eleventh tallest building in Asia; and the Jin Mao Tower, another architectural beauty standing tall at 421 metres. Together, they make up three of the tallest skyscrapers in Asia standing adjacent to each other!

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

Needless to say that all these buildings are well lit at night and offer a treat for your eyes (especially the Oriental Pearl Tower, as it is lit up by well-synchronized LED light sequences every night. A trip to Lujiazui is easy from THE BUND, as all of these landmarks are less than 3 kilometers away from the Bund if you prefer to walk or take a cab.

The Huangpu River cruise is a worthwhile experience that you can pursue when you are at the Bund. There are a number of companies that offer a cruise along the beautiful Huangpu River,where it offers a breathtaking view of the old financial business district of the Bund with its unique forms of architecture from the colonial period on one side and the modern skyscrapers and the Oriental Pearl Tower defining the Shanghai skyline and the new financial power center of Shanghai on the other side of the river.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

The cruises are usually for 50 minutes, covering the northern part of the Bund to the southern parts. You can board from the Shiliupu Pier or the Qinhuangdao Pier. They can be conveniently taken both during the daytime as well as night, operating between 11 AM to 9.30 PM. It is highly recommended to take the cruise during the nighttime to enjoy the breathtaking view of the well-lit Bund as well as the skyline of the Lujiazui area. At a price point of just 120 Yuan for a cruise, these rides are worth a try!

Another beautiful experience you can have at the Bund is the early morning exercises you can do at the banks of the Huangpu River. The locals come here early in the morning to exercise, ride bikes and fly kites, which is a beautiful experience in itself. You can also witness small groups practicing Kung Fu or large groups of people performing Tai Chi as well. You can try and join in an unofficial Tai Chi class to make the most out of the early morning experience.

Also, do not forget to carry your camera. You can stroll to the Promenade for a good frame for the holiday picture postcards - sunrise over the Shanghai skyline.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

The Bund is like a crown jewel to the shopping scenario of Shanghai. With most of the world-renowned designers having their outlets at the Bund, it is a holy grail for the fashion shopper when in Asia. Some of the luxury brands at the Bund include Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Cartier, Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Ermenegildo Zegna, among others. There are also a lot of options to explore authentic Chinese artisanal brands as well, wherein you can shop anything from silk slippers to porcelain tableware.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

Some of the classy shopping experience malls on the Bund include Bund18 and Three on the Bund If luxury or local shopping is not for you, there are several brands that you can go to for shopping on the Nanjing East Road. Burberry, H&M, Forever 21, Nike and United Colours of Benetton are just some of the brands are available for the shopper in you on this street.

Somehow the bund gathers most of the fancy bars and restaurant in Shanghai. You could enjoy a fine dining or a glass of wine on the rooftop while admiring the wonderful night view. Here are some best choices near the bund.

Sir Elly's Terrace: 270-degree evening experience with magnificent panoramas in Shanghai Peninsula rooftop.

Bar Rough: Nice night view and terrific night life.

Wet Bar: The W Shanghai’s seasonal poolside bar with a decent menu.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

Flair: On the top of Ritz Calton, Flair takes al fresco dining to new levels with views of Pearl Tower, The Bund and Hongkou shor.

There are multiple ways in which you can reach the Bund.

Take subway to the bund: line 2 or line 10 to reach the East Nanjing Road Station. Once you get out of the station, walk east along the Nanjing East Road for 600 meters approximately to reach the Bund.

Take bus to the bund: to East Zhongshan 1st Road, East Nanjing Road, East Yan’an Road or Hankou Road and walk for a short stretch. Some of the common bus lines that you can catch being 147, 305, 307, 330,123, 135, 145, 576, 42, 71, 311, or 316 from different routes. There is also a City Sightseeing Line 1 Bus that takes you directly to the Bund.

Sightseeing Channel: the channel is an automated carriage service through a tunnel underneath the Huangpu River that takes you from Lujiazui to the Bund in a matter of 3 minutes!

Take ferry from Lijuazui to the bund: the ferry plies between piers on the Huangpu River at an interval of every 15 minutes.

These tips might come in handy when you are visiting the Bund

1. There are a lot of amazing restaurants like The House of Roosevelt and Dragon Phoenix on The Bund, covering a wide array of palettes. There are also options for small snack places to catch a quick bite. But all these options are a bit on the expensive side. Therefore, it may be advisable to pack food and water with you, if you are on a budget trip.

2. The best time to get the lit, night-time view of the Bund from May to October is between 7 PM to 11 PM and between 6 PM to 9 PM from November to April. You should plan your visit accordingly.

3. You can find pay-per-use toilets on the Bund. The hotels on the Bund can also be used in case of an emergency.

4. The best locations to get the most amazing snaps of the Bund and the Pudong Area are the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the rooftop bar at the Fairmont Peace Hotel, and the Promenade. Many of these public areas are dotted with eco-friendly mobile charging units using solar photovoltaic cells, to ensure that you never run out of juice in a sustainable,eco-friendly manner.

5. It is always a great tip for couples to witness the sunset on the Waibaidu Bridge, which is a beautiful and romantic location to spend the evening with your significant other.

6. Always beware and steer clear of strangers offering services or products to make sure you do not fall victim to scam activities like trickery, fraud or pickpocketing. Make it a point to try and not buy products from street hawkers as much as possible.

7. Also, make it a point to visit Astor House Hotel,the Bund History Museum, and Union Church if time permits.

8. Always try to visit the Bund at night, even if you visited the landmarks during the day. You can witness breathtaking, well-lit views of Lijuazui region as well as the Bund at night time. Try the Hakkanan in Building Number 18 for a great dinner as well as a well-lit,night-time panoramic view of the Shanghai skyline.

The Bund: Shanghai Landmarks

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