Shanghai is the financial center of China and the most populous city proper in the world. For centuries a major administrative, shipping, and trading town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to European recognition of its favorable port location and economic potential. The city then flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became the undisputed financial hub of the Asia Pacific in the 1930s. The huge number of foreign architectures is the heritage of that history of Shanghai, which add a peculiar flavor to the charm of the city.
Nowadays Shanghai is a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, City God Temple and Yu Garden, as well as the extensive and growing Lujiazui skyline. It has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of China.