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Magnificent commercial buildings in the Beaux Arts style sprung up in the years around the turn of the 20th century as the Bund developed into a major financial center of east Asia.Directly to the south, and just northeast of the old walled city, the former French Bund (the quai de France, part of the Shanghai French Concession) was of comparable size to the Bund but functioned more as a working harbourside.It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. The word bund means an embankment or an embanked quay.The word comes from the Persian word band, through Hindustani, meaning an embankment, levee or dam (a cognate of English terms "bind", "bond" and "band", and the German word "Bund").There are numerous sites in India, China, and Japan that are called "bunds" (e.g., the Yokohama Bund).However, "The Bund", without qualification to location, usually refers to this stretch of embanked riverfront in Shanghai.

In a third stage, the former 10-lane Bund roadway was reconstructed in two levels, with six lanes carried in a new tunnel.

, literally: "Outer Beach") is a waterfront area in central Shanghai.

The area centers on a section of Zhongshan Road (East-1 Zhongshan Road) within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River in the eastern part of Huangpu District.

The Chinese name for the Bund is unrelated in meaning: it means literally the "outer bank", referring to the Huangpu River, because this part of the riverfront was located farther downstream than the "inner bank" area adjacent to the old walled city of Shanghai.

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Building (left), the Customs House (center), the former Bank of Communications (right) in the foreground; the Bund Financial Center in the background The Shanghai Bund has dozens of historical buildings, lining the Huangpu River, that once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, Russia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as the consulates of Russia and Britain, a newspaper, the Shanghai Club and the Masonic Club.

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The area along the river faces the modern skyscrapers of Lujiazui in the Pudong District.