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

The Former French Concession is full of small cocktail bars and speakeasies shrouded in varying degrees of secrecy. Farther east, The Bund is also a good place for upscale bars.

Nightlife streets are constantly changing, subject to government regulations, renovation plans, and the like. Just as there is a move to push restaurants into malls, there's also seemingly an initiative to concentrate bars and clubs where possible. Found 158 on Julu Lu on the edge of the Former French Concession is the major example of this, though areas like Xintiandi and Columbia Circle similarly boast clusters of places to go for a drink alongside their restaurants.

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  • 1. Barbarossa

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 2. Constellation

    Xintiandi | Bars/Pubs

    The fourth sibling in the ever-growing Constellation bar family is just south of Xintiandi, a stone's throw from the metro station. It sticks...Read More

  • 3. Haoledi

    City Center | Bars/Pubs

    Crowded at all hours with locals of all ages crooning pop favorites, the popular Haoledi chain has branches virtually everywhere. A few of the...Read More

  • 4. M2

    City Center | Dance Clubs

    The original and most popular location of the Muse chain offers a Chinese-style megaclub experience, with theme parties and a musical line-up...Read More

  • 5. MAO Livehouse

    City Center | Live Music

    To the west and south of Xintiandi is one of Shanghai's best live-music venues, with foreign as well as up-and-coming local bands taking to...Read More

  • 6. Cashbox Party World

    City Center | 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 of KTV...Read More

  • 7. de Bellotas

    Xintiandi | Wine Bars

    Tucked away outside Xintiandi proper, this quaint self-titled "jamon y vino" bar has a rich hardwood ceiling, sunlight streaming through the...Read More

  • 8. TMSK

    Xintiandi | Bars/Pubs

    Short for Tou Ming Si Kao, this exquisitely designed little bar is an aesthete's dream. Glisteningly modern, TMSK is stunning—as are the prices...Read More

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