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Shanghai Nightlife

Shanghai has been called the Paris of the east, now they're saying it's China's New York. But it should be unique. Shanghai is one of the world's greatest cities with an entertainment scene to match. Stylish restaurants, quality cuisine and a nightlife that's full of surprises. Shanghai has always had healthy cultural scene, with cinemas showing foreign and Chinese films, and theatres featuring opera, dance, drama, acrobatics and puppets. as a common understanding, Shanghai has the most colorful nightlife in China. But if you have ever participated, you may feel it is probably the most colorful one in the world!

Nightclubs and bars are always booming, with joints opening and closing faster than night can turn into day. Barflies now have a choice of everything from glamorous art deco lounges to the seediest watering hole; live rock and jazz can be heard into the wee hours and the dance club scene now employs djs, foreign and local, to keep the younger set raving.

The Top 10 Shanghai bars

Aptly called the “Paris of the East”, Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city with a huge selection of bars, clubs, lounges, and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for an upscale wine bar, a place to meet expats, a bouncing dance club, brunch, or something more specific, Shanghai has you covered.

Funk A Deli

Funk A Deli is a big, popular bar with expats. It’s a good place for dinner, brunch, drinks, and atmosphere. Guests will find a long list of drinks including wines and cocktails, and quality Italian food. Funk A deli is perfect for relaxed brunches or after work dinner and drinks with a relaxed ambiance.


As you might imagine, VUE Bar is a high-end establishment, and the atmosphere and prices reflect as much. You will have a great view of the Bund while you sip professionally made cocktails. Expect a cover-fee of about 100 CNY that will include a drink. This is the place to take someone you want to impress.


Dada is a dive bar and club that features local DJs Thursdays-Saturdays. The atmosphere is less pretentious than a lot of the high-end places, and the crowd is mostly younger Chinese and expats. Prices are moderate-to-low with various drink specials.

Bar Rouge

The gorgeous view of the Bund greets you at this rooftop bar and lounge. On weekdays come for a relaxed vibe to have a drink or two. This is one of the city’s iconic bars, and on weekends it gets packed, so make reservations if you want a table. Unfortunately, it’s become more of a tourist destination than a place where locals hang out, but it’s definitely still worth a visit. Bar Rouge serves a mix of beer/wine, champaign, and cocktails.

Speak Low

Not so secret anymore, Speak Low used to be accessible only by telling the doorman you were looking for it and then going through a hidden entrance. Although it’s pretty crowded these days, this bar is a must-go if you are visiting Shanghai. Speak Low focuses on unique and strong cocktails primarily, and has been listed as one of the world’s top 50 bars.

Revolucion Cocktail Shanghai

Good food, good cocktails, and a good vibe all add up to make Revolucion Cocktail Shanghai a great all-around experience. Come for quality specialty cocktails as well as Latin/Western food, stay for the great atmosphere and music with a Cuban flair.

Flair Bar

Boasting the highest rooftop venue in Shanghai, Flair Bar offers a luxurious view of the city that is second to none with a chic, stylish atmosphere. With contemporary and décor and architecture, and amazing service, Flair offers a high-end experience at the top of the city. Flair serves food, cocktails, beer, and wine- come for dinner and watch the sun go down and the lights come on.

CJW Jazz Bar/CJW Jueshi Pub

CJW stands for cigars, jazz, and wine...what’s more to ask? For those looking for something outside the normal bar/lounge circuit, CJW offers something different in a Shanghai bar. Primarily serving whiskeys, wine, and beer, you will pay a little extra for the atmosphere and the view, but it’s worth it to experience one of the last hole-in-the-wall jazz bars in Shanghai. You can also listen to live soul, funk, and blues at CJW.

The Tipsy Fiddler Irish Pub

Live music, Western food, a good beer selection, and a homey vibe make this bar a nice hang-out spot for locals, tourists, and expats alike. The Tipsy Fiddler feels like a slice of home for many from the UK. You won’t find a more appropriate place to have a pint in Shanghai.


Those looking for a bit nightlife off the beaten path should look no further. Riink is a roller bar. Have a drink, skate around the floor (yes, it’s shaped like a skating rink), or just take it all in from a seat. Riinks beers, cocktails, neon lighting and unique theme make this bar a one-of-a-kind experience.

Huangpu River Night Cruise

Huangpu River Night CruiseHuangpu river cruises run from 10am until 9pm and the cruises after 6pm are most popular. They provide a spectacular view of the Bund and Pudong District by night. It is rated by some as equal to that of Hong Kong harbor at night.

The regular cruise ships start from the Bund and pass the Oriental Pearl TV & Radio Tower, Binjiang Avenue and return to the Bund after reaching Yangpu Bridge. This is the most spectacular view. This allows passengers to appreciate the contrast of modern skyscrapers with the classical European buildings which are beautifully lit. Cruises including dinner are available for about 200 Yuan/person or just take in the sights for 100 Yuan/person. The cruises last for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

The cruise ships are operated by 3 cruise companies. Routes and prices may vary a little but all ships include the main sights.

Shanghai Service Travel Center

Watch a Night Show

Shanghai Acrobatic ShowNight shows are a highlight of Shanghai nightlife and Shanghai has many to offer. The most special and popular ones for foreigners are Shangcheng Acrobatic Show and Era Intersection of Time.

Shangcheng Acrobatic Show 商城杂技

Era Intersection of Time 时空之旅

Explore Night Markets

Night markets are definitely a good way to see a city and experience local life. Shanghai is no exception. The night markets are usually local food streets and grocery streets.

Local Food Streets

Shanghai Street FoodsStreet food is very popular with locals, especially the young people. Good food is very easy to sell. Most night markets starts at about 8:00 pm and close at almost 1:00 am.

Changli Road 昌里路

There are many different goods sold on this street but the street food is most famous. The most popular food is Zhou Bin Chou Tofu (Smelly Tofu). 2 hours is enough time to explore the market.

Tongbei Road 通北路

The main offering is seafood. It starts at 5:00 pm and close at 3:00 am. The most famous restaurant is Lao Si Shao Kao Restaurant(老四烧烤馆). 2 1/2 hours is recommended for the visit.

Shouning Road 寿宁路

Barbecue is a major highlight of Shouning Road and especially crayfish. Er Zi Barbecue Restaurant (二子烧烤店) is very popular. It provides take-way service so that visitors could enjoy crayfishes in other restaurants and taste barbecues from Er Zi Shan Kao Restaurant also.

Other Night Markets

These night markets are very popular with locals because they provide almost everything cheaply. Clothing, hats, shoes, flowers, animals, books and CD are all available. Street food is also available.

Linfen Road 临汾路

Zhongyuan Road 中原路

Dongchang Road 东昌路

Zhongshan Park Station of Metro Line 2 地铁二号线中山公园站出口

Night Walks

The Bund at NightShanghai by night can be simply enjoyed by yourself and combined with dinner or a drink. The French Concession, the Bund, Xintiandi and Sinan Mansions are quite easy to enjoy by yourself. Road signs are good. These areas provide good photo opportunities.

Former French Concession has many cafes and specialty stores which sell interesting items. The French Concession is a very popular and trendy area.

Hengshan Road, in another part of the French Concession has a pub culture and is a great place to watch a football game, listen to live music, dance etc.

With many good restaurants, outdoor seating and live tunes music, Xintiandi has become the hub for nightlife in Shanghai and Sinan Mansions has a number of high end cocktail bars.

On the other side of the road is the Bund where bars of all sorts abound. Bar Rouge is considered the must-go place for first timers. It has a great view but is expensive. Reservations may be required.

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