Sunrise on Bund Shanghai with walking man

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The Bund

Top choice in The Bund & People's Square

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 dragging barges of rice, the Bund (an Anglo-Indian term for the embankment of a muddy waterfront) was gradually transformed into a grandiose sweep of the most powerful banks and trading houses in Shanghai. The optimal activity here is to simply stroll, contrasting the bones of the past with the futuristic geometry of Pudong’s skyline.

The majority of the art deco and neoclassical buildings here were built in the early 20th century and presented an imposing – if strikingly un-Chinese – view for those nosing by boat into the busy port city. Today it has emerged as a designer retail and restaurant zone, and the city’s most exclusive boutiques, restaurants and hotels see the Bund as the only place to be. Evening visits are rewarded by electric views of Pudong and the illuminated grandeur of the Bund. Other options include taking a boat tour on the Huangpu River or relaxing at some fabulous bars and restaurants. Huangpu Park, at the north end of the promenade, features the modest Bund History Museum, which contains a collection of old photographs and maps.

Get here early for the intriguing sight of the morning exercises.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Bund & People's Square attractions

1. North China Daily News Building

0.05 MILES

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

2. Bank of Communications Building

0.07 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…

3. Custom House


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…

4. Peace Gallery


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…

5. Bank of China Building

0.12 MILES

Originally established in 1897, the Bank of China relocated its headquarters from Beijing to Shanghai in the 1920s. Although the bank has occupied this…

6. Yokohama Specie Bank

0.13 MILES

One of several buildings along the Bund designed by British architecture firm Palmer & Turner, the Yokohama Specie Bank was built in 1924 mixing…

7. Bund Sightseeing Tunnel

0.14 MILES

A 647m voyage with entertainment including budget effects, garish lighting and dreadful props, the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is a transport mode guaranteed…

8. Hongkong & Shanghai Bank Building

0.14 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…