A Guide To Shanghai's Nightlife
Shanghai ranks as one of the world's fastest growing cities and a top-tier destination in Asia, and its nightlife resume is equally decorated, diverse, and dynamic, running the spectrum of all budgets, ages, and hours. You could start your night by partying at the decadent clubs of The Bund and end it with eating BBQ from a street side vendor, so dress up - or don't - and head out. Here are the best things around town for night owls.
Congregate at Found 158
"The Pit," as it's colloquially called, has risen from the ashes of bygone bar street Yong Kang Street to concentrate all the expats in the city looking for a night out. In its past life, Found 158 was a seedier bar maze, but gentrification and the addition of new venues has revamped its image. Start at Cafe des Stragiaries or Zapfler before making your rounds to the other bars and lounges. Save time for popular pizza joint Homeslice, which (smartly) stays open until 3am.
Rub Shoulders with the Glitterati at Bund Clubs
It might come as no surprise that Shanghai's beautiful and wealthy flock to The Bund for all their dining and entertainment needs. If you've got the itch for a more elevated club, we recommend Bar Rouge, M1NT, or Unico. Some might argue that Bar Rouge sets the standard for Bund's party hotspots: great music, excellent service, and a terrace view of the skyline to beat. Drinks are expensive; ready your wallets.
Dance for Cheaper at Mainstream Clubs
Can't afford The Bund? Join the club - or, more precisely, any club further into the center of Puxi. There's Dada, Le Baron, or Elevator around the downtown area, or head a little further west to Mansion for a guaranteed dance party. Meanwhile, Shanghai's developing LGBTQ scene offers up Roxie and Lucca. True night owls will like Celia's, which gets busy around 2am and stays open until 9am. Cover charges can vary, but a good time remains invariably priceless.
Chase the Sunrise at The Bund
We lied. There is one affordable thing available at The Bund: catching the sunrise. Free, uncrowded, and scenic, this might actually be the perfect ending to a night out. Stop at any convenience store on your way over for snacks, and hang out until the sun starts to peek over the horizon. You'll see the sky lighten long before that though, brushing that famous Pudong skyline in golden- and purple-hued swatches.
Power Hour Every Hour with the Beer Lady
With the opening of a second store (and the first 24-hour one she has), the iconic Beer Lady brings you a staggering yet affordable selection at any hour of the day. You could power hour if you wanted, but you could also just kick back with a beer or two for an easier night. What's the difference between this and a convenience store hang-out, you ask? Two words: imported beer. 3,000 brands of it. Plus, they have a bakery and outdoor seating. What's not to like?
Find a Park Bench
As of May 2017, there are now 43 parks across Shanghai that are open around the clock, which makes finding a patch of green to hang out a far easier task. A picnic blanket, some xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings), and a bottle of wine works at all hours of the day - or night. Try Xujiahui Park or Xiangyang Park in Xuhui District or Zhongshan Park in Changning District.
Follow the Smell of Streetside BBQ
Is there anything better than spending the night eating? Luckily, late-night options don't shutter with the rest of the locals. Streetside BBQ stalls and stir-fried noodle stands are ubiquitous, serving up skewers of all kinds of meats and vegetables. For a sit-down experience, look for any Hai Di Lao Hot Pot chain. As a last resort, there's always Family Mart, McDonald's, or KFC.