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Shanghai Nightlife

Awash with watering holes, Shanghai has an inventive and wide-ranging concoction of different bar types, from gritty student dives, solid Irish pubs and sports bars to jazzy cocktail bars, seductive wine lounges and elegant, fashion-conscious establishments operating from grandiose concession-era buildings. Drinks are pricier here than in the rest of China, so happy hour visits (typically 1700-2000) are worth considering.

Details of the best nightlife and cultural venues in Shanghai are carried in listings magazines such as City Weekend (

Bars in Shanghai

Bar Rouge

This bar is all about its rooftop patio. Nestled on top of the Bund, it offers stunning views across to Pudong and is widely recognised as Shanghai’s best nightspot. It’s great for an early evening drink and can get pretty lively after 2100, when the sound system cranks up. International DJs regularly get behind the decks here.

Address: , 18 Zhongshan East 1st Road, Shanghai, 200000
Telephone: +86 21 6339 1199.

Boxing Cat Brewery

This deservedly popular microbrewery, with three branches in Shanghai, does a fine range of ales as well as decent Southern-style American food. There are usually at least seven beers on tap at any one time. Its other branches are at Unit 26A, 519-521 Fuxing Road and 100 Zun Yi Road.

Address: , 82 West Fuxing Road, Shanghai, 200085
Telephone: +86 21 6431 2091

Cloud 9

Housed above the Grand Hyatt hotel on the 87th floor of the magnificent Jinmao Tower, Cloud 9 is no longer the highest bar in Shanghai, but it’s still, arguably, the trendiest. Grab a cocktail and drink in the view.

Address: , 88 Century Ave, Shanghai, 200121
Telephone: +86 21 5047 1234.

Clubs in Shanghai


Popular with young Chinese looking for the a great night out with live music and DJ parties.

Address: , Found 158, 158 Julu Lu, ,


A hip mega-club with awesome dance music. This place is frequented by expats and local professionals; and club goers are required to wear presentable outfits (no shorts and sandals).

Address: , 98 Huaihai Zhong Lu, ,


The epitome of Shanghai’s love of bling, M1NT is the go–to place if you want an opulent night out. The tunes are loud, the drinks are sensational and if it all gets too much you can take some time out and check out the shark tank, which dominates the main room. Throw in a 24th floor location with city–wide views and you’ll struggle to find somewhere cooler.

Address: , 318 Fuzhou Road, Shanghai, 200000
Telephone: +86 21 6391 2811.

Live music in Shanghai

House of Blues & Jazz

The clue is in the name, but jazz and blues lovers will love a visit to this classy restaurant and bar where the in-house band, which changes every few months, performs live music from between 2200-0100.

Address: , 60 Fuzhou Road, Shanghai, 200000
Telephone: +86 21 6323 2779.

Mao Livehouse

Large Mao Livehouse, which also has a very successful venue in Beijing, is a great place to take in live music, particularly local rock bands. It's located in the Lu Wan district, having moved from its original home in the Red Town arts complex.

Address: , 308 Chongqing S Road, Shanghai, 200000
Telephone: +86 21 6445 0086.


Small enough to feel intimate, but big enough for a pulsating atmosphere if the band is right, Yuyintang has long been the place in Shanghai to see live music. Rock is the staple diet, but anything goes, from hard punk to gypsy jazz. It’s west of the city, on metro lines 3 and 4.

Address: Changning Qu, 851 Kaixuan Road, Shanghai, 200000
Telephone: +86 21 5237 8662.

Classical music in Shanghai

Dance in Shanghai

Theatres in Shanghai

Music and Dance in Shanghai

Culture in Shanghai

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Featured Hotels



In the heart of the French Concession, the spotless rooms, great service and attention to detail at Quintet has been winning over visitors. As the name suggests, there are just five rooms, each individually designed to a standard you’d expect from pricier stays. The staff are super friendly too, with a wealth of knowledge about the area.

The Waterhouse at South Bund

Once a dockyard factory, The Waterhouse is now one of Shanghai’s sharpest boutique hotels. Lavish furnishings and the odd nod to the city’s shipping heritage offset its industrial chic. There are just 19 rooms, 11 of which are suites. Thanks to its location, views across the river to Pudong are stunning whichever one you bed up in.

Magnolia Bed & Breakfast

This cosy little bed and breakfast located in a 1930s French Concession home has art deco features as well as modern comfort and design. There are only five rooms so book well in advance.

Fairmont Peace Hotel

After more than three years of renovations, Shanghai’s definitive art deco building reopened in 2010 under the direction of the Fairmont group. The main challenge in modernising the building was balancing out the architectural integrity of its history with the need to upgrade a building that was not originally designed to be a hotel. Connoisseurs of old Shanghai will be pleased to know that the famous antediluvian jazz band is back in action.

Mansion Hotel

Combining historic charm and modern luxury like no other Shanghai hotel, this truly exceptional stay is housed in a beautiful 1930s building and was originally the residence and office of a trio of Shanghai gangsters. The lobby, corridors and even the rooms are filled with 20th-century memorabilia, but there's exquisite luxury too with super-soft carpets, beautifully upholstered wood furniture, big-screen satellite TVs, Wi-Fi and private Jacuzzis.

Pudi Boutique Hotel

This exquisite 52-room boutique hotel in Shanghai has trendy, ultra-modern rooms, professional staff and an elite, but accessible, atmosphere. The interior is super stylish and alluringly dark hued, while rooms are beautifully attired and spacious.