Overview: This tour shows the quintessential views of Shanghai contrasting the modern with the colonial past. If there is one place you cannot... more »
This tour shows the quintessential views of Shanghai contrasting the modern with the colonial past. If there is one place you cannot... more » miss in Shanghai, this is it. It especially appeals to photographers and enthusiasts of architecture.
The Bund is where the trading heart of the International Settlement was located and the grand buildings seen today are the result of the fortunes made. On the other side of the water lies the Lujiazui district of Pudong representing the modern face of Shanghai.
The Huangpu River dividing the two areas is a busy waterway and there is always a constant stream of river traffic.
Much of the tour’s route was extensively restored and renovated in the lead up to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. less «
A good place to start this tour is at Tiantong lu subway station on Line 10. At the moment they are still building Line 12 and so... more » until that opens the best exit is No 5. This will take you out just to the south Qipu Lu, an area of stalls selling cheap, fashionable clothing.
Head south and walk along Beisuzhou lu beside the river.
At the end of the tour if you choose to take the ferry to Pudong you can get Line 2 from Lujiazui. Alternatively if you stay on the Puxi side you could use Nanjing East Road (Nanjing Donglu) also on Line 2.
There is often quite a breeze by the river and so it can feel significantly cooler than in the rest of the city, which is something to bear in mind during the colder months. less «
If you come walking along the riverside path beside Beisuzhou Lu, you cannot miss this imposing building. It was built between 1922 and 1924 and designed by Stewardson & Spence in a very British classical style.
Until 2003 it served as Shanghai’s main post office. Whilst it is still a partly functioning post office, the building since 2006... More has largely been made into the Shanghai Post Museum. With its 100 years worth of stamps, it is a philatelist’s dream. However, even for those with absolutely no interest in the postal service it is worth going in for the view from the roof and the impressive atrium.
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday only.
9am-5pm (last entry 4pm).
Tel: (0086) 021 6393 6666 extension 1280
250 North Suzhou Road (Beisuzhou lu) 北苏州路250号 at the intersection with Sichuan Beilu. Entrance to the museum is on the other side of the building at the intersection of Tiantong lu and Sichuan BeiluLess
This is credited as being the first western style hotel in Shanghai. Its origins lie in a boarding house opened in 1846 known as the Richards Hotel. Founded by Scottish merchant Peter Richards, the original establishment was in what became the French Concession and was largely patronised by seafarers.
In 1858 it relocated to its present location... More and became an altogether far grander establishment known as the Astor House Hotel. For much of the 19th Century it was the premier hotel in Shanghai. In 1882 it became the first building in China to have electric lighting and then in 1883 the first building in Shanghai to have running water.
Much of what can externally be seen today is thanks to extensive renovations which led to the hotel reopening in 1911. Between 1920 and 1949 it housed the Shanghai Stock Exchange. However, by the 1930s the hotel was well and truly in decline.
In 1954 the hotel was confiscated by the Chinese Communist government and was used as offices and dormitories before being reopened in 1959 as the Pujiang Hotel. Between 1990 and 1998 it once again housed the Shanghai Stock Exchange. During the 1990s it was largely seen as a backpackers hangout and in 1998 became part of the International Youth Hostel Federation.
Renovations between 2002 and 2004 have led the hotel to regain some of its former glory and it is once again known as the Astor House. Still, though, it is far from its glory years when notables such as Charlie Chaplin and Einstein stayed here.
15 Huangpu Road (lu) 黄浦路15号Less
Directly opposite the Astor House Hotel, the Russian Consulate is once again back in its original location. It originally opened as the Soviet Consulate in 1917. Later it became a seaman’s club before in 1987 reverting to its former use. After the break up of the Soviet Union it became the Russian Consulate.
20 Huangpu Road黄浦路20号
The current bridge is the fourth to rest on this site; the other three were wooden structures. Built in 1907 and opened in 1908 it is said to be the first all-steel bridge and the only remaining camelback truss style bridge in China.
It is one of the landmarks of Shanghai and marks the beginning of the Bund. It has been featured in many films... More and works of literature, including Steven Spielberg’s "Empire of the Sun." As the Japanese increased their influence and aggression in China in the 1930s the bridge was scene to thousands trying to cross into the International Settlement. From 1937 until the Japanese took the whole city, it marked the de facto border with Japanese occupied Hongkou and Zhabei districts and a place of much friction.
In 2008 the bridge was split in two and removed for extensive restoration. It reopened in April 2009.
The best places to photograph the bridge are from the roof of the Post Office building, the next bridge along Suzhou Creek at Huqiu Road, and from Huangpu Park.Less
This has good views back at the Garden Bridge and also of Pudong across the Huangpu River. As a park, though, it is more concrete than greenery.
Head for the Monument to the People’s Heroes - the 24-metre-high structure is meant to symbolise three rifles standing against each other. Surrounding it in the hollow is the free Bund Historical Museum... More which has a good photographic history of the buildings and development of the area (open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm, closed on holidays).
There are some restaurants and cafes in this area.Less
Make a diversion along South Suzhou Road (南苏州路 Nansuzhoulu) just beside the Garden Bridge.
As you go down the street you will see the main building of the Former Shanghai Rowing Club and the Former Union Church. The church, built in 1885 to a design by William Dowdall, was expanded in 1901. With its 33-meter-high octagonal tower, it was once the... More highest building on the south bank of Suzhou Creek. A fire badly damaged the structure in 2007 but it was restored (read: pulled down and rebuilt) as part of the area's renovations in 2010. Today it is a popular spot for wedding photos.
At the church head down Yuanmingyuan Road 圆明园路. Here you will find a whole row of historic buildings that were given a facelift as part of the cleanup of the city for the 2010 World Expo. Structures include the art deco China Baptist Publishing Building by prolific Shanghai-based architect Hudec, and the Lyceum Building.
The area was meant to open in 2010 but even in 2012 finishing touches were still being put into this row of buildings and the old British Consulate Gardens. The project overseen by architect Ben Wood, the man behind Xintiandi, seems destined to be another upmarket development. Already some high end shops and restaurants have moved in and the street lies just behind the Peninsula Hotel.Less
This is where old Shanghai meets new Shanghai with only the Huangpu River acting as buffer. On the west side (Puxi), lie the temples of grandiose wealth created by banks and trading institutions built in the first few decades of the 20th century. Across the river on the east side (Pudong) you can see the bold modern buildings of 21st century... More Shanghai.
Pronounced ‘bunned’ the Bund stretches along the western waterfront. The word is an anglicised version of the Hindi word "band" meaning an embankment. Originally there was an embankment that went down to the riverfront from all these buildings and ships would have been busy loading and unloading cargo. Today the river level is actually above Nanjing Road, so there is a wall built to protect the city.
All the buildings in this area have their histories to tell. Ones worth noting are the Peace Hotel, Customs House, and the former Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Building.
The Peace Hotel stands at the corner of the Bund and Nanjing East Road (Nanjing donglu). Number 20, The Bund, is also known as Sassoon House and originally opened as the Cathay Hotel in 1929. Built by Sir Victor Sassoon, from the family that dominated Shanghai at the time, it was acclaimed as the most luxurious hotel in the Far East. In 1956 it was renamed the Peace Hotel. Three years of renovations from 2007 restored much of the hotel’s former grandeur. It is well worth wandering into the foyer area. Note that there are two Peace Hotels. The one you want is the one containing Citibank – the Fairmont Peace Hotel. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel was at one point run as part of the same hotel but was built earlier and is now run separately.
At No 13 lies the Customs House. Built in 1927 it remains in use today as a customs house. Perhaps the most noticeable feature is the clock tower. The design of the clock and bell mechanisms are based on Big Ben in London. It is said to be still the largest clock in Asia and rings out on every quarter hour.
The former Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Building at No 12 is now a branch of the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. Opened in 1923 it was at the time the second largest bank building in the world. The opulent interior can still be seen in banking hours. The building has a magnificent ceiling mosaic and paintings. These pictures include depictions of the eight cities in which HSBC at the time had offices. No photographs are allowed inside the building.Less
The promenade runs the way along the Bund. It was extensively redone in time for the 2010 Shanghai Expo. This is the most popular place for Chinese tourists to take pictures looking over to the skyline of Pudong.
The building that looks like a Christmas tree decoration with its bauble-like structure is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. The second... More tallest skyscraper which is meant to resemble bamboo is the Jinmao Tower. The building behind towering over it is the Shanghai World Financial Center – one of the tallest buildings in the world at 490 odd meters and containing 101 floors. The 79th to 93rd floors are taken by the Park Hyatt Hotel. Both buildings however will be dwarfed by the Shanghai Tower currently under construction. Built near the other two towers it will be around 632 meters (2,073ft) high and be 121 stories. Completion is set for 2014.
Along the Bund there are a number of bars and restaurants that offer views. Glamour Bar is a popular establishment which has windows overlooking the waterfront. Bars with terraces include Bar Rouge and New Heights (food has mediocre reputation at best). All these are quite expensive, probably the cheapest place with a view is Captain’s Hostel Bar.
6/F, No.5 The Bund – entrance is on Guangdong Road
Telephone: (0086) 021 6329 3751
7/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
Telephone: (0086) 021 6339-1199
Open: Thu-Sat 6pm - late
Sun-Wed 6pm – 3am
7/F, Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu,
Telephone: (0086) 021 6321 0909
Open: 11.30am – 1am
Captain’s Hostel Bar
6/F, 37 Fuzhou Lu
Telephone: (0086) 021 6323 7869
Open 11am – 2amLess
Just past the old Meteorological Signal Tower on street level is the ferry. This offers a much cheaper alternative to river cruises for seeing the city from the water. It drops you off at Pudong on the other side which then allows you to look back at the Bund from across the water.
Hours: Ferries run every 15 minutes from Puxi and... More Pudong sides 7am-10pmLess