The Bund, customs house.

Custom House

The Bund & People's Square

The neoclassical Custom House, established at this site in 1857 and rebuilt in 1927, is one of the most important buildings on the Bund. Capping it is Big Ching, a bell modelled on London’s Big Ben. Clocks were by no means new to China, but Shanghai was the first city in which they gained widespread acceptance and the lives of many became dictated by a standardised, common schedule.

During the Cultural Revolution, Big Ching was replaced with loudspeakers that blasted out revolutionary songs (‘The East is Red’) and slogans. Look for the socialist realism plaque outside its front door, depicting scenes from the 'liberation' of Shanghai.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Bund & People's Square attractions

1. Bank of Communications Building

0.03 MILES

With the Bund offering a showcase of the world's great architecture styles, representing art deco is the Bank of Communications Building with its classic…

2. Hongkong & Shanghai Bank Building

0.05 MILES

Adjacent to the Custom House, the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank Building was constructed in 1923. The bank was first established in Hong Kong in 1864 and in…

3. The Bund


Symbolic of concession-era Shanghai, the Bund was the city’s Wall Street, a place of feverish trading and fortunes made and lost. Originally a towpath for…

4. North China Daily News Building


The former building of Shanghai-based English newspaper North China Daily, this 1921 neoclassical building is notable for its top-level Atlas art-nouveau…

5. Bund 5

0.16 MILES

Built in 1925 for a Japanese shipping company, this building's design features a mix of Western neoclassical and Japanese styles. Upstairs is luxury…

6. Peace Gallery

0.17 MILES

This intriguing little museum, in essence a long room stuffed with period objects and photos relating to the colourful history of the Peace Hotel, is an…

7. Three on the Bund

0.18 MILES

When it opened in 2004, Three on the Bund was the strip’s first lifestyle destination and the model that many other venues have since followed. It's now…

8. Shanghai Gallery of Art

0.18 MILES

Take the lift up to the 3rd floor of Three on the Bund to this neat, minimalist art gallery showcasing current highbrow and conceptual Chinese art. It's…