If you're looking for nightlife in Hangzhou, Shuguang Lu is the best place for bars, but there's also a bunch of watering holes near Ming Town Youth Hostel on Nanshan Lu (towards the southern end of the eastern shore of West Lake).
For details of cultural events and live music, pick up a copy of the free weekly entertainment magazine More Hangzhou (www.morehangzhou.com).
Bars in Hangzhou
Loud, brash and just as popular with the locals as it is the expats, 1944 Bar is the perfect sized spot to settle down for a few cold drinks. With comfortable barstools and great nooks and crannies, it’s easy to lose track of time once settled in its comfy booths and sofas. The owners are avid travellers, and have decked out parts of the bar with tasteful souvenirs they've picked up from various parts of China. This place also has live music from time to time.Address: Xihu, 119 Shuguang Road, Hangzhou, 310000
One of Hangzhou's prettier bars, this place just northwest of the lake is done up beautifully, with plenty of flower-filled patio seating. The Western food menu (with English translations) is extensive, so this is a smart choice for a lunchtime pit stop or early evening drink, before heading somewhere livelier. The bar has two large outdoor seating areas, but such is the design that even the tables inside get plenty of natural light.Address: Xihu, 8 Yugu Road, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone: +86 571 8880 9599
One of Hangzhou's hottest cocktail bars, Aurora has secured the services of Jojo, one of the city's best-loved and most talented mixologists. The drinks are a class above other cocktail bars in town (it's one of those places where you get a single, large, hand-carved chunk of ice to keep your cocktail cool) and it has the clientele, decor and atmosphere to match. The bar is about 2km (1.2 miles) east of West Lake, just behind the main train station.Address: Xiacheng, 85 East Huancheng Road, Hangzhou, 310016
Telephone: +86 156 5805 3155
With wooden beam floors and low hanging lanterns, Eudora Station is another great looking watering hole. Perched on the eastern shore of West Lake, it makes excellent use of its prime location and affords sublime views from its roof terrace. The Western food menu is decent and they sometimes fire up the barbecue, so this has become one of the city's most popular drinking spots. Pull up a stool; it looks as if it will be staying strong for some time.Address: Xihu, 101-107 Nanshan Lu, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone: +86 571 8791 4760.
On the Northern tip of West Lake, this dance club has a good mix of foreigners and locals. International DJs occasionally come to play music and give a proper clubbing experience. Truly a great place to drink the night away.
Address: Shangcheng, 55 Hubin Road, Hangzhou, 310002
Telephone: +86 571 2819 5888
Old Captain Lounge Bar
Offering a cosier atmosphere than other bars on Shuguang Lu, Old Captain stands beside its noisier neighbour 1944 Bar, and is a more laidback alternative for this side of town. Like many of the bars here, they have occasional live acts, but here they enhance the Paris-of-the-East theme by sometimes singing 1930s Shanghai classics. Old Captain has some outdoor seating too.Address: Xihu, 113 Shuguang Lu, Hangzhou, 310000
Clubs in Hangzhou
Live music in Hangzhou
Huanglou JZ Club
Run by the same people behind JZ Club in Shanghai, this place has Hangzhou's jazz scene sewn up. Located in a neat and cultured three-floor villa near the lake, there's live jazz nightly with some international names on the billing. The first floor is non-smoking (an unusual bonus for a music venue in China) and the wine list, plus whisky selection, is one of the best in the city.Address: Shangcheng, 6 Liuying Lu, Hangzhou, 310001
Telephone: +86 571 8702 8298.
A new concept for a bar in Hangzhou, this one sold 100 shares at ¥5000 a pop, and invited punters to become part-owners in the business. It seems to have worked so far, the place is usually full, despite being a bit of a trek away from the main nightlife scene. Found south of the river, close to Jiangling Road metro station, its main pull is its live music. They have some decent local acts here (and the occasional international band on the Shanghai warm-up circuit), plus the odd comedy night. Drinks are well priced too, including its good whisky selection.Address: Binjiang, 1785 Jianghan Road, Hangzhou, 310000
Telephone: +86 153 2588 4469
Classical music in Hangzhou
Dance in Hangzhou
Theatres in Hangzhou
Hangzhou Grand Theatre
The Hangzhou Grand Theatre is the city's top venue for quality acting performances. It has the best acoustics of any theatre in town, pulls in the biggest names and is housed in an eye-catching, space-age venue, which is almost worth the trip into the city centre alone. As China’s second largest theatre, there is room for everything from ballet, opera, chamber music and dance to the odd orchestra now and then.Address: Jianggan, 39 Xinye Road, Hangzhou, 310016
Telephone: +86 571 8685 5118