The Bund picture
Matteao Colombo/Getty Images

Key Info

5 blocks of Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (between Jinling Lu and Suzhou Creek, Huangpu)

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.7

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Shanghai's picturesque waterfront, known as "the Bund," is where you'll find those classic skyline photo ops. With the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and other skyscrapers standing across the Huangpu River, the view (on a clear day) stuns. And behind you, gorgeous European-style buildings housing restaurants and shops (Nanjing Road is just around the corner) line the waterfront boulevard, affording plenty of activities.

Though a gateway to other attractions, the views from the Bund were the only thing on most travelers minds. Visitors consistently report being in complete awe of Shanghai's skyline, so much so that some said skipping this attraction would be like skipping the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Most agreed the best time is to go at night  the skyscrapers illuminated in different colors create an unbeatable photo op. Not only that, but smog can occur during the day, and depending on the weather, can hinder one's first-time viewing experience. But whichever time you decide to visit, know that many other people want to experience this picture perfect moment too  so expect crowds around the clock. And considering the immense tourist traffic the Bund receives, vendors and pesky hawkers set up shop here too. 

You have a variety of ways to reach the Bund, which occupies the west riverbank in central Shanghai. You can walk from the East Nanjing Road or the Yuyuan Garden metro stations or hail a taxi, as every driver will know where it is. One picturesque alternative: Taking a river cruise from the Pudong side of the river to the Puxi side, where the Bund resides. You can visit anytime, day or night, and there is no charge. For more information, consult the Shanghai Tourism Board's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Shanghai

Shanghai Museum1 of 9
Zhujiajiao2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#2 Shanghai Museum

Located on the People's Square near Nanjing Road, the Shanghai Museum is hard to miss thanks to its distinct architecture (a circular building atop a square foundation) and remarkable size. And you really shouldn't skip this historical gem. Frequently called one of the best museums in China, this expansive museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts (more than 1,000,000 to be exact) that chart the nation's history. Highlights include ornate calligraphy, exquisite jade carvings, thousand-year-old bronze works and traditional Chinese garb. 

English-speaking travelers, in particular, praised the museum for its presentation of both Chinese and English exhibit descriptions. Others loved the vast amount of historical articles available for view and appreciated the comprehensive history lesson they were able to get out of it. Keep in mind: Since there is no entrance fee, you're likely to encounter many others looking to take advantage of this freebie, so come early if you can.

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John W Banagan/Getty Images
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