Discover the beauty and history of the Bund, one of Shanghai’s most iconic waterfront destinations. Explore its famous skyline, historic buildings, and vibrant atmosphere.
The Bund, located along the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China, is an iconic waterfront area that has become a symbol of the city. With its stunning views of Shanghai’s modern skyline and its historic buildings from the colonial era, the Bund is a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. In this article, we will explore the history, attractions, and experiences that make the Bund such a unique and captivating place.
The Bund: A Brief History
The Bund has a rich history dating back to the 19th century when it served as the international settlement of Shanghai. During this time, it was dominated by the foreign powers that occupied the area, including the British, French, and Americans. These foreign powers brought with them their architectural styles, resulting in an eclectic mix of buildings along the Bund.
From Wharf to Promenade
Originally, the Bund was a simple waterfront area with wharves and docks where ships would unload their cargo. However, in the early 20th century, it was transformed into a promenade with beautifully landscaped gardens, wide boulevards, and luxurious buildings. This transformation was part of Shanghai’s modernization efforts and aimed to showcase the city as a vibrant and prosperous international metropolis.
Attractions on the Bund
The Bund is home to numerous attractions that offer a wide range of experiences for visitors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the must-see sights on the Bund.
Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower is one of Shanghai’s most recognizable landmarks and stands as a testament to the city’s modernity. With its distinct futuristic design and height of 468 meters, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of Shanghai from its observation decks. Visitors can also enjoy various attractions within the tower, including a museum and a revolving restaurant.
The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
For a unique way to cross the Huangpu River, visitors can take a ride through the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. This underground tunnel showcases a mesmerizing light and sound show, immersing passengers in a surreal experience as they travel from one side of the river to the other.
Shanghai World Financial Center
Standing at 492 meters tall, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the second tallest building in Shanghai and offers spectacular views of the city. The building’s observation deck on the 100th floor provides an unparalleled vantage point to admire the Bund and its surroundings.
The Waibaidu Bridge, also known as the Garden Bridge, is a historic landmark on the Bund. Built in 1907, it is the oldest surviving bridge in Shanghai and offers a picturesque view of the Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline. It is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts and a romantic spot for couples.
The Bund is renowned for its historic buildings that showcase a fusion of architectural styles from various countries. Some of the notable buildings include the Peace Hotel, the HSBC Building, the Customs House, and the Bank of China Building. These buildings are a testament to Shanghai’s past as an international hub of commerce and culture.
Experiences on the Bund
Apart from the attractions, the Bund offers a range of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or a shopaholic, the Bund has something to offer for everyone.
Historical Walking Tour
Embark on a historical walking tour along the Bund to dive deep into the area’s heritage. Explore the grand architecture, learn about the foreign influence, and hear stories of the city’s past. Many tour companies offer guided tours that provide fascinating insights into the history and culture of the Bund.
Take a river cruise along the Huangpu River to fully appreciate the beauty of the Bund skyline. Whether it’s a daytime cruise or an evening cruise, the views of the modern skyscrapers illuminated against the night sky are simply breathtaking. Many cruises also include dinner and entertainment options for a complete experience.
Shopping and Dining
Indulge in a shopping spree at the high-end luxury brands and boutique stores that line the Bund. From fashion to accessories, you’ll find a wide range of options. After shopping, explore the diverse culinary scene along the Bund, with restaurants serving both international and local cuisines. Whether you’re craving for Chinese delicacies or international flavors, you won’t be disappointed.
Nightlife and Entertainment
As night falls, the Bund transforms into a vibrant nightlife hub. Enjoy a drink at one of the rooftop bars with stunning views of the cityscape or dance the night away at one of the trendy nightclubs. The Bund exudes an electric atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a lively and unforgettable night out.
The Bund offers endless opportunities for photographers to capture stunning images. From the iconic skyline of Pudong to the intricate architectural details of the historic buildings, there is no shortage of subjects to photograph. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, the Bund is a paradise for capturing memorable shots.
The Bund is a captivating destination that combines history, culture, and modernity. With its iconic skyline, historic buildings, and a wide range of attractions and experiences, it offers a truly unique and memorable visit for anyone traveling to Shanghai. Whether you’re interested in architecture, photography, history, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, the Bund will not disappoint. So make sure to include a visit to the Bund in your travel itinerary and immerse yourself in one of Shanghai’s most iconic waterfront destinations.
How do I get to the Bund?
The Bund is easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the Shanghai Metro Line 2 or Line 10 and get off at East Nanjing Road station, which is located near the Bund. From there, it’s a short walk to the waterfront area.
Is there an entrance fee for the Bund?
No, there is no entrance fee to visit the Bund. It is a public area that can be freely accessed by anyone.
What is the best time to visit the Bund?
The Bund can be visited at any time of the year, but the best time to appreciate its beauty is during the evening when the buildings are illuminated. The view is particularly stunning around sunset and after dark when the lights create a magical atmosphere.
Are there any hotels near the Bund?
Yes, there are several hotels located near the Bund that offer convenient accommodation options for visitors. Some of the popular choices include The Peninsula Shanghai, The Fairmont Peace Hotel, and The Bund Riverside Hotel.
Can I take a boat tour to explore the Bund and the Huangpu River?
Yes, there are boat tours available that offer a unique perspective of the Bund and the Huangpu River. These tours allow you to admire the skyline of both sides of the river and offer a different vantage point compared to viewing it from the land.
Can I visit the observation decks of the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center?
Yes, both the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center have observation decks that are open to the public. These decks provide stunning views of the Bund and the entire city of Shanghai.