Located in the center of southwestern China, the city of Chengdu is a very prosperous regional hub with all of the modern, broad-ranging nighttime activities that one would expect of a successful metropolis of the size of Chengdu. In fact, the city's nightlife is on par with that of many of China's larger coastal cities. Chengdu has traditionally been a city of active, culturally involved people who are fond of music, art and theatre (mainly Sichuan Opera). Sichuaners also have a long tradition of dining out, visiting tea houses and shopping at large, open-air markets, though today, much of this is being replaced by Western-inspired shopping malls, upmarket restaurants and the ubiquitous bars & night clubs where you can dance 'til you drop' or sing along to Japanese inspired karaoke.
In the following you can find out more about what Chengdu has to offer in the way of after-hours activities, with something to suit every taste, from cultural to recreational activities to nighttime forays to bars & night clubs, as well as visits to tea houses & coffee shops. Welcome to Chengdu after dark!
The Best Western-Style Bars
After the sun goes down you can get a real understanding of the Chinese concept of “yin and yang”. Buildings that during the day are filled with people empty out, but at night these buildings become dazzling electronic art displays. The rivers and many famous places are also brightly decorated with beautiful neon lights. Indeed even the traffic quiets down and you can find a calm place to rest. And if you are looking for exciting places to delve deep into the night, then here they are.
This is undisputedly one of the most established Western-style bar/restaurants in Chengdu. This Irish pub has a sports bar kind of feeling. It is located just around the corner from the American consulate. Although it has a reputation for being a bar for the more “settled-down” crowd, this is still a nice place to go to meet new people and have interesting conversations. There are occasional theme parties and live bands.
- Chinese Name: 三叶草爱尔兰西餐酒吧
- Address: 15 Renmin Nan Lu, Section 4, Chengdu成都人民南路四段15号附1号
Le Café Paname
This bar blurs the line between a Western-style bar and a Chinese-style bar. Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy an expensive bottle of liquor or a dozen beers at a time. Also you won’t find much dancing. There is loud music, but not to the point of “MAN! IT’S SO LOUD IN HERE!”. They have pool and foosball tables so this is another clear indicator that this is not a night club. Here you will a healthy mix of local and expat patrons. There is usually a DJ providing auditory entertainment, but this bar also hosts some live bands.
- Chinese Name: 巴黎咖啡
- Address: Lanse Jialebi, 143 Kehua Bei Lu, Chengdu成都科华北路143号蓝色加勒比
This is another bar a few steps away from a night club, but basically all that means is that it is more exciting than some of the other bars. It is relatively new so many new people go there to explore. They occasionally have live bands.
- Chinese Name: 水母酒吧
- Address: Lanse Jialebi, 143 Kehua Bei Lu, Chengdu成都市科华北路143号蓝色加勒比
As the name suggests this bar has a more relaxed atmosphere. You’ll be pleasantly surprised if you choose one of the beers from the microbrewery. There are also some live bands that perform here on weekends.
- Chinese Name: 麻糖
- Address: Dongmen Daqiao, Oriental Times Plaza, 3rd Floor, Chengdu, 成都东门大桥东方时代商城三楼
This is the bar in Shangrila Hotel. There is sometimes a live band, but usually not any dancing. It is a good place to meet people and mix with a younger crowd.
- Chinese Name: 香格里拉大酒店爱尔兰吧
- Address: 9 Binjiang Dong Lu, Chengdu 成都滨江东路号
Although this bar has quite the modest name, it has been one of the key places for Chinese rock. Over the years Little Bar has expanded and now has a total of three locations. Even though it doesn’t have live performances anymore it is worth checking out the original Little Bar. Nowadays the clientele is mostly Chinese, but it don’t be surprised if someone from the expat communities drops in.
- Chinese Name: 小酒馆
- Address (new): 87 Fang Qin Jie, Yulin Shang Wu Gang, 1st Fl., Chengdu 成都芳沁街号附号丰尚玉林商务港1楼
- Address (original): 55 Yulin Xi Lu, Chengdu成都玉林西路55号
This is definitely one of the best bars, but relatively unknown. It is a cozy little place to relax and chat with interesting people. The owner is a very friendly Dutchman. They sometimes have performances.
- Chinese Name: 马丘比丘咖啡馆
- Address: 14 Fang Hua Heng Jie, Chengdu成都芳华横街14号
Questions and Answers About Chengdu Nightlife
I updated this article on February 12, 2014
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