Run along the river with spectacular views of the Pudong skyline and some of the world’s tallest buildings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Terrain: Paved paths and side walk
- Length: 3km each way (but possibility to extend into the city streets beyond)
- Flow: A few streets to cross
- Scenery: The stunning skyline of the Pudong district, which includes some of the worlds tallest buildings!
- Safety Issues: None
- Bathrooms: No
- Drinking water: There was bottle water for sale at street stands for a reasonable price.
- Transit Access: Yes
- Parking: No
- Night Access: Yes
- Special Features:
- Nearby Attractions: Check out the recently opened observation deck at the Shanghai Tower in Pudong, it is currently the second tallest building in the world and the boasts the highest observation deck in the world!
Shanghai was our landing city in China. We were instantly taken in by it. Recovering from jetlag, I knew I needed to run, but nothing too challenging, just something to stretch my legs. (As an aside I find short runs of 5-10km help me get over jetlag and reset my biorhythms more quickly.) So, as we strolled around on our first day I was searching for possible running routes, and it didn’t take me long to find The Bund
The Bund is a popular tourist destination, a pedestrian boardwalk area on the waterfront beside the Huangpu River. While it’s described as a 1.5km walkway, it extends further in both directions along the water and without crossing major streets or rivers I was able to find a 3km route (6km back and forth). In the early morning, Shanghai is a sleepy city and it was easy to run in most of the streets around the Bund area as well, watching as people opened stores, swept streets, and started their days. So, I started out from my hotel and managed to get in an easy 10km run including the 6km up and down on the bund and an extra 4km in the streets in the area between the Bund and my hotel.
It was easy to find the Bund, I just headed in on direction until saw the skyscrapers of Pudong across the water! Once I was in the Bund area, it would be very hard to get lost, the Pudong skyline makes a pretty distinct landmark and gives you a sense of direction at all times. Other than the larger street that runs parallel to the Bund there weren’t any major streets to cross, so the run had pretty good flow.
The cement paths and sidewalk were easy to navigate and this area of the city is flat. I didn’t see any water fountains (you can’t drink tap water in China) and no street vendors were out in the early morning. However, later in the day there are street vendors selling bottled water for a reasonable price. I didn’t notice any toilets along the way, but they have been there and I just didn’t see them. There are restaurants close by though, so you would have options in a bathroom emergency!
It’s really a beautiful area to run; the water and the skyline on the opposite shore and nothing short of spectacular. Both the architecture and the sheer height of the buildings is stunning. As Shanghai was our first stop in China, it was the first time I saw all the people out exercising in the early morning. This was something I was to see all over China, and it is really neat. They were all along the Bund and I also saw people exercising in little city parks I passed on the way from my hotel out to the Bund. Even when I went out on a second run and it was drizzling rain, people were out exercising either ignoring the wet weather or finding shelter under canopies and overhangs.
You won’t have trouble finding hotels in the area around the Bund; it’s a very popular tourist area. Hotels range in price and quality.
My tourist suggestion is to go check out the new observation deck on the Shanghai Tower. It is currently the highest observation deck in the world and it’s the highest building in China (second highest in the world!)
Shanghai is a wonderful, clean, modern city. We had no pollution issues during our trip in early July (pollution was virtually nil) and it was a wonderful city to run in. I really enjoyed the cityscapes and the people watching. I don’t think its somewhere I would go just to run, but if you are in Shanghai, it’s definitely a city where you can enjoy a nice run.