Photo: Strip of buildings along river

Symbol of Shanghai’s international heritage, the river-skirting Bund area has been a popular site for European and U.S. businesses since the late 19th century, when it grew into a major Asian financial center.

Photograph by Justin Guariglia

Today’s Shanghai is a model of progress—not just in China but in all the world. In just a few short decades, the city—known in pre-communist years for its glitz and glamour—has reestablished itself as one of Asia’s most vibrant, forward-thinking, and cosmopolitan places to visit. “This is a city with its foot on the accelerator 24 hours a day, blasting off into the future at speeds that leave little time for nostalgia,” says local journalist Richard Baimbridge. But if you really want nostalgia, among the thrumming nightlife and gourmet restaurants, Shanghai has that, too: Neoclassical architecture, Mao memorabilia, historic museums, authentic food down gritty alleyways—all these and more await.

Shanghai Photos and Quiz

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