Shanghai is one of the most populous cities in the world with around 23 million people calling it home, however the city displays to the world that it is certainly loveable and easily liveable. The sheer grand scale of Shanghai is something you can gaze at for an eternity but inside there are many hidden gems including numerous towers, brilliant museums, lovely gardens, historical sites and lots of shopping and entertainment to experience.
The best area to stay in Shanghai is The Bund, which has everything a tourist could ever want. This area neighbours the financial district of Pudong, though is split by the Huangpu River and therefore offers some of the most stunning views of the tall skyscrapers that are located in Pudong. In The Bund, you will find the scenic and picturesque riverside promenade with outstanding views wherever you look. There are also many cruises along the river, historic buildings, museums, parks and much more. You are also only a stone-throws away from the Old Town in the city and The Bund is home to many shops, restaurants, bars and gorgeous hotels.
BEST LOCATED HOTELS IN SHANGHAI
Price per night
Narada Boutique Hotel Shanghai Bund
No.839 Renmin Road, Huangpu District
106€ - 124$
Shanghai Fish Inn Bund
No.639 Henan Middle Road, Huangpu District
54€ - 63$
Price per night
The Bund Riverside Hotel
No.398 Beijing East Road, Huangpu District
RECOMMENDED / BEST VALUE
78€ - 91$
Jinjiang Metropolo Classiq Hotel
98 East Nanjing Road
136€ - 159$
Price per night
Howard Johnson Plaza Shanghai
No.595 Jiujiang Road
RECOMMENDED / BEST VALUE
127€ - 149$
Les Suites Orient, Bund Shanghai
No.1 East Jinling Road, Huangpu District
126€ - 147$
The Peninsula Shanghai
No.32 Zhongshan East First Road
330€ - 386$
Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund Save
No.585 Zhongshan East Second Road, Huangpu District
The Bund is beautifully set by the Huangpu River, which runs throughout the city and the majority of visitors head straight down to the riverside promenade to get their first look of Shanghai. What greets them is a wonderfully made walking area that offers the best views of the city with ample photo opportunities all along it. One way you can look at the financial district of Pudong, which is across the river and is full of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings but is a mesmerising sight. When you look towards the Bund, you will walk past various old colonial buildings that are designed in different European styles and are lit up elegantly during the night. Main buildings to look out for along the Bund, is the HSBC Building and the Customs House and both stick out due to their height and are seen as symbols of the area. If you walk to the south of the Bund, you will eventually arrive at the ferry port and from here you can either take a river cruise along the river that can vary in length but have a maximum of three hours. You can also take the ferry to get to the other side of the river where the Pudong district is located. To the north of the Bund is the Huangpu Park, which is superbly laid out and serves as a great place to relax and have some lunch, whilst seeing the crazy world go by.
There are also a couple of museums in the area with the Art Museum in the north, which has a great collection of Chinese art from regional as well as national artists. The Natural History Museum is found in the south and has many artefacts and objects from the city and you should allow a few hours to see it all. There are a good amount of shops in the area that combine modern and traditional Chinese fashion and various garments like handbags, shoes, and hand-embroidered clothing can be purchased.
There are a good amount of restaurants along the promenade as well as behind the first street and they have Chinese, American and other western cuisines and it is worth checking out Number 3 and 18 along the waterfront. These two have huge flagship stores like Armani, Gucci and Chanel as well as having highly-rated bars and some of the best food. The Bund is home to a huge number of hotels and most of them have staff that can speak English. The hotels along the promenade obviously have the best views but if it’s in your budget try the Peace Hotel, which is one of Shanghai’s most prized possessions due to its famous 1930s Art Deco and has been renovated inside and outside to the origins. Bars and pubs dot the waterfront and Bar Rouge has a massive dance floor and even has a rooftop terrace that overlooks the river beneath you.
Other areas to stay in Shanghai
This area of Shanghai has been dubbed the “Paris of the East” and once you see one of the many French-style streets, you will understand. The old streets are very popular between tourists and they are generally quiet with trees all along it and so it feels that you have been transported to France. You will find old former residences of important Chinese political people that were to do with the Communist revolution and many of them have informative museums that display the ex-owners possessions as well as the history of the revolution. Other things in the area to see and do include Fuxing Park, which is a European-style place and has wide open green spaces, gardens and cafes. The park is usually busy as it Is used as a meeting place and there are various dancers and performers on show most of the time. The Longhua Temple is one of the city’s most beautiful temples and has a pagoda and close by you will find the moving Longhua Martyrs’ Cemetery. The cemetery acts more like a garden and museum due to very few people buried here and who died during the civil war and were executed by non-communist forces. There is shopping all over the place and the best areas are Times Square and Xujiahui, which have shopping malls that are home to a wide range of stores and you will be sure to find what you’re after. Restaurants generally cater for European and Asian cuisines but they are in abundance and there is an excellent selection of bars and nightclubs. This neighbourhood has many luxury hotels and many have rooftop gardens with bars as well as swimming pools, gyms and other great facilities.