Shanghai Nightlife

Offerings range from world-class swank to dark and dingy dens or from young Shanghainese kids screaming experimental punk to Filipino cover bands singing "Hotel California" in a hotel basement. Prices, scenes, crowds, and ambience range just as wildly.

For an array of pleasant but pricey bars, head to Xintiandi, which every year sees swank new destinations debuting in its historic halls.

Farther east, The Bund is also a good place for upscale bars.

Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Lu, once the top destination for the city’s expats, is still lined with bars, including the excellent el Coctel. A dozen blocks to the east, the tiny watering holes along Yongkang Lu are most popular in the summer, when the street becomes so thronged with young revelers that no vehicles can pass.

Shanghai’s seedy bar strips are going the way of dial-up Internet connections. Huashan Lu still has a few bars for those who like their nightlife more on the wild side. They feature "fishing girls" who ask gents to give them money to buy drinks in exchange for their company (or something more). They either pocket the money or take a cut from the bar.

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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Former French Concession 14

The Bund and Nanjing Dong Lu 13

Xintiandi and City Center 12

Jing'an and Changing 12

Xujiahui, Hongqiao and Gubei 7

Pudong 4

Hongkou and Putuo 2

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Category

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Bars/ Pubs 33

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 3

Cafes–Nightlife 1

Dance Clubs 12

Gathering Places 1

Music Clubs 10

Piano Bars/ Lounges 4

Tapas Bars 2

Wine Bars–Nightlife 3

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Best For

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Business 1

Family 2

Gay and Lesbian 6

Historical 1

Romantic 3

Service 1

Trendy 1

Views 1

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Shanghai Nightlife

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  • Fodor's Choice

288/The Melting Pot

  • Music Clubs

With live performers of varying styles nightly, and up-and-coming rockers on weekend, this laid-back bar is a favorite with music lovers,...

390 Bar

  • Music Clubs

Shanghai's only gay live music venue, 390 bar is also popular with Shanghai's straight club-goers. The decor is outrageous and flaming,...

Bandu Music

  • Music Clubs

An unpretentious café and bar in the M50 art compound, Bandu sells hard-to-find CDs and occasionally holds concerts of traditional Chinese...

Bar Rouge

  • Bars/Pubs

In the trendy Bund 18 complex, Bar Rouge is the destination du jour of Shanghai's beautiful people. Pouting models and visiting celebrities...

Barbarossa

  • Bars/Pubs

This is a popular evening destination especially with nearby office workers who come by for happy hour. The interior is straight out...

Cashbox Party World

  • Bars/Pubs

This giant establishment is one of Shanghai's most popular Karaoke TV (KTV) bars, and among the few that are dedicated to KTV instead...

Chalet

  • Bars/Pubs

This is the Yu Gardens outpost of a popular French Concession bar known for its deep couches and mulled wine. A neighborhood bar with...

Char

  • Bars/Pubs

Hotel Indigo's dark, sexy rooftop bar and steak house offers panoramic views of the Pudong skyline and Huangpu River. The hotel's location...

Cloud 9

  • Bars/Pubs

Perched on the 87th floor of the Grand Hyatt, Cloud 9 is among the city's loftiest bars. It has unparalleled views of Shanghai from among—and...

Constellation

  • Bars/Pubs

The fourth sibling in the growing Constellation bar family, this branch is just south of Xintiandi, a stone's throw from the metro station.

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