The Bund, Shanghai
Located on the banks of the Huangpu River in the Huangpu District of Shanghai, the Bund (Waitan) is one of the most symbolic attractions in Shanghai. It was once classified as the British Concession, which was the starting point of the old Shanghai Concession and the whole modern city of Shanghai.
There are 52 classical revival buildings with different styles on the Bund, which are important historical sites and representative buildings in modern China. Located across the river from the Bund, Lujiazui has Shanghai’s iconic Oriental Pearl, Jinmao Tower, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, etc., which have become a symbol of China’s reform and opening up and a microcosm of Shanghai’s modernization.
At night, ships shuttle across the river, and skyscrapers stand on the other side of the river. Walking along the Bund with colorful and blooming lights on both sides of the Huangpu River, visitors can feel the charm and romance of the "city that never sleeps".
Best time to visit the Bund
Shanghai has four distinct seasons, mild and humid, abundant rainfall, a long frost-free period, a subtropical monsoon climate. The Bund has shorter spring and autumn and longer summer and winter, with more than 60% of the annual rainfall concentrated in the flood season from May to September. The best time to visit the Bund is at night, any time of the year (except for heavy rains and typhoons). Centuries-old historical buildings and modern skyscrapers with the radiance of brilliant lights, making the night view of the Bund more gorgeous and spectacular.
Main attractions and things to do at the Bund
Built-in 1868 in the Qing Dynasty, Huangpu park is the first public garden in China and the earliest European-style garden in Shanghai, and a historical witness to the vicissitudes of the Bund. The park integrates the Shanghai People’s Heroes Memorial Tower, the Bund Historical Memorial, and large reliefs with the park landscape, and is one of the important scenic spots of the bund. Huangpu Park Square is recommended by the Bund Reconstruction Headquarters as the best place to enjoy the views of both sides of the Huangpu River.
Garden Bridge of Shanghai
One of the landmark buildings of old Shanghai. Located on the west side of Huangpu Park, it was originally a wooden bridge built-in 1856. In 1907, the Construction Engineering department of the concession period decided to build a new bridge instead, and this resulted in the existing steel structure Waibaidu Bridge, which has been in use today. With a span of 52.16 meters and a width of 18.3 meters, it is an important passage connecting downtown Shanghai City to North Shanghai and East Shanghai.
Chen Yi Square
Built-to commemorates Chen Yi, Shanghai's first mayor. It has now become a tourist attraction and local folks' morning exercise place (martial arts, Tai Chi, and various sword-dancing exercises). Every Saturday night, there will be a square concert here, attracting many local people and travelers to watch, enriching the nightlife of the citizens.
The Bund Source
Located at the confluence of the Huangpu River and the Suzhou River, this area retains a number of modern Western buildings built between 1920 and 1936 including the original British consulate, United Church, Ampire & Co. Building, etc. This is the core area of the Bund’s historical and cultural landscape, and China's modern and modern financial and trading industries have grown and developed from here.
The most famous wharf on the Bund, with a history of 150 years. It used to be the largest dock in the Far East and Shanghai's water gateway, carrying many historical and cultural memories of Shanghai. There’s a 730-meter-long viewing platform with a 270-degree field of view. You can see the Bund World Architecture Exposition Group, the Oriental Pearl Tower, World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower, etc. The Huangpu River Cruise terminal is also set up here.
The Bund Love Wall
A 1,700-meter reinforced concrete flood-control wall built along the Huangpu River from Huangpu Park to Xinkaihe Road. The observation platform is built on the floodwall of the empty box structure extending over the river, and the ground is paved with 140,000 colored floor tiles and granite. It used to be a dating place for youngsters in Shanghai, carrying the romantic memories of a generation of Shanghainese.
The tunnel's Puxi entrance and exit are located on the north side of the Bund Chen Yi Square, and facing the Huangpu River. While the Pudong entrance and exit are located on the south side of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, facing the International Convention Center. As China's first cross-river pedestrian tunnel, it connects the Puxi Bund sightseeing area and Pudong Small Lujiazui emerging tourist area into one, forming the most beautiful scenery in Shanghai's tourist landscape. The total length is 646.7 meters and takes only 5 minutes to cross the river, visitors will pass through eight scenic spots with different scenery and connotations with a great visual and auditory experience.
- Opening hour: 08:00 - 22:30 (1 May to 31 October), 08:00 - 22:00 (1 November to 30 April).
- Admission fee: CN¥ 50 per person for single and CN¥ 70 per person for the return journey.
Shopping in Nanjing Road
About 1 km from the Bund is the famous Nanjing Road, which is the most important commercial and tourist area in Shanghai. It’s a gathering place of department stores and shopping malls, with a complete range of goods, which is a shopper's paradise. Travelers can also find a restaurant here to enjoy authentic cuisine, including Chinese food, Western food, Japanese food, etc., as well as various local snacks.
Huangpu River Night Cruise
It’s a wonderful experience for taking a night cruise on the Huangpu River to enjoy the scenery of the Bund. The sailing time of the cruise ship is about 45 minutes, and there are several piers that can be landed.
- Opening hour: 12:00 - 21:30. Before 18:00, basically, every cruise company runs a cruise every hour. After 18:00, different companies will operate a cruise every 20 to 30 minutes according to the passenger flow.
- Admission fee: From CN¥ 120 per person.
- Note: Some cruise ships have VIP rooms, and some cruise ships will provide meals and buffets, with various prices and types.
Main buildings and architectural Styles at the Bund
There are 33 historic buildings on the Bund, some of which are still requisitioned by the government or organizations, such as the Customs House built in 1927, which still houses the Shanghai Customs. The Bund is also home to the headquarters of banks and insurance companies, as well as luxury hotels. Today, several buildings here have been renovated and developed into top-grade shopping and entertainment venues, which are the coordinates of Shanghai's luxury consumption.
Most of the historical buildings on the Bund are in the balanced and symmetrical architectural style of the Renaissance, but they are decorated with baroque swirling patterns. There are also many buildings that imitate British classicism in design, as well as the Empire State Building of Japan.
Useful travel tips
- The opening hours of Bund landscape lights are 19:00 - 23:00 from 1 May to 31 October, and 18:00 - 22:00 from 1 November to 30 April.
- The Bund platform is free all day. The 7 classic historical buildings along the Bund are open to the public for a free reservation: Bund Source 1, Peace Hotel, Bank of China Building, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Building, Shanghai Archives Bund Museum, Shanghai Telecom Museum, and Shanghai Bund Historical Memorial Hall.