The city is fast paced, full of young and old expats and locals who love their nightlife filled with socializing and partying. As the world’s fastest growing city, Shanghai is no stranger to world-class clubbing and pubbing, with a string of international party destinations across the city. The list spans across popular pubs and clubs that are a must-see if you are a night owl. Shanghai’s decadent nightlife of the 1930s era has now transformed into a modern, progressive, and dynamic party culture.
1. The Geisha
This venue is owned by Collective Concepts, and is a restaurant and club with 3 floors that offer different things. You can enjoy their Japanese restaurant, the floorcof their club, or their Sake lounge or the rooftop. Their cocktail menu is unique and well-served. Do note they have a dress code, so no open-toed footwear for men.
Address: 390 South Shaanxi Lu, near Fuxing Lu
Open hours: Mon. to Sat. 5pm-11pm; Sun. 12pm-11pm
If you’re looking for underground dance music, this is the place where you might want to go to. This spot is right next to The Apartment and is an underground club in a space that was actually a bomb shelter before. Its got the type of vibe that makes you want to lose yourself a little and brings some heavy bass Hip Hop to the floor.
If you are lucky, you might catch some international alternative music DJ in action.
Drinks are quite cheap, but it can get way too smoky inside.
Address: Basement of 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu
Open hours: Wed.-Sat., 9pm-late
Close to The Shelter, in the same area on Yongfu Lu, you will find a new tech house music club which has gained a faithful following of fans. The atmosphere inside is perfect, if electronic/ house music is your thing. This place has a very cult-ish underground feel to it without coming across as smoky or shady (which is what The Shelter becomes after midnight). It has a futuristic interior decor theme, with reasonably priced drinks (30 RMB for beers, 50 RMB for cocktails).
Address: 449 Huashan Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu
Open hours: Daily; 10pm to 5am
This is one of the most popular clubs on the bund, and well known for great music, great service and a wicked night out. Their drinks are pretty good, too. It also offers a great terrace view, but it is not always open. This place is a must-visit for out-of-towners who want to sample the city’s nightlife, as this bar pretty much sets the standard of partying at the bund. Drinks are expensive and the decor is quite slick.
Address: Bund 18, 7/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu
Open hours: Sun-Wed 6pm-3am; Thu-Sat 6pm-late
This is a huge underground space with a dedocated following. They are best known for live acts by visiting DJs and the music is almost always some shade of EDM and house. Drinks are cheap and does the trick. This place on a concert night can get extremely crowded and not ideal if you suffer from claustrophobia.
Address: 1 Wulumuqi Lu, near Hengshan Lu
Open hours: Thu – Sat, 10pm – 5am
6. House of Blues and Jazz
It looks like an old European bar. Wooden tables, wooden chairs and big black and white photos of famous Jazz singers. The live music sets here are very good, and hits the spot if you are a Jazz lover. This is a great place to unwind with a few drinks, after dinner, and sway to the melodies of jazz.
Address: 60 Fuzhou Lu, near the Bund
Open hours: Tue to Sun; 2pm-2am
If you are looking to hang out at a German bar that serves up some great beers, live music and food, then Paulaner is the place to go! This place has become the most well-known and successful German bar/restaurant in Shanghai, and is across four locations — Fengyang Lu, Expo Village, Xintiandi and Binjiang Da Dao. We recommend the branch in Xintiandi.
They have live bands on most weekdays and weekends. A very warm, cozy atmosphere, this place is perfect for beer lovers. You’d also find some of the best German food at Paulaner.
Address: Xintiandi North Block, Lane 181 Taicang Lu
Open hours: Daily 5pm-2am