Shanghai's nightlife needs no introduction. The city is fast paced, full of young and old expats and locals who love their nightlife 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. We, at China Highlights, decided to hop to the most 'happening' spots in town, and prepare a list of the very best places for you to party at when you are in Shanghai. Our 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.
This is a super posh place so it will be an expensive spot for drinks, but it is totally worth it. Mint is divided up into different sections for pop, hip-hop, house music, has some really talented bartenders with a very classy, rich decor. The best bit about Mint is their very long shark tank, and is quite mesmerizing to stare at with a drink in hand. You need to call in advance to enter Mint, but it is worth it.
This venue is by Collective Concepts, and is a restaurant and club with 3 floors that offer different things. You can enjoy their Japanese restaurant, their club with a DJ, or their Sake lounge or the rooftop. Their cocktails menu is unique. Do note they have a dress code, so no open-toed footwear for men.
This venue, also by Collective Concepts, is a hugely popular club, and you haven't seen Shanghai's nightlife if you haven't been to The Apartment. Divided into two areas for hip-hop and house/ pop music, this club tends to get very crowded on weekends, an expat central. There is a rooftop patio as well. If you want to have a meal here, that's possible too. Don't miss some tasty street food from the stall outside or a yummy burger from the mini burger van after hours of partying here.
If you're looking for underground dance music, this is it. This is right next to The Apartment and is an underground club in a place that was actually a bomb shelter once upon a time. It almost feels like being part of a cult while you are here. With heavy bass hip hop, this is the spot to let your hair down to some good rap music. If you are lucky, you might catch some international alternative music DJ in action. Oh, and the drinks are quite cheap.
This is a lounge bar and tapas restaurant. They host different international DJs frequently. Their cocktails are pretty good, especially their Mojitos. Don't miss their daily happy hour from 8pm to 11pm. They also have a small dance floor, perfect to get onto, after a few rounds at the bar.
Right next to Lola (above) is this venue. Better as a drinks-at-the-bar and dancing venue, this place is Blue Frog's attempt at a cocktail lounge. Great cocktails and a fabulour decor, this place can feel a tad crunched for space. However, they do play some very good music on the dance floor, and promise a great night out.
Apparently this is the branch of the popular Milan club with the same name. This is hugely popular and it is usual to see long lines of party clad expats snaking out the entrance. This is more of an after-party zone, with late party animals filling in to extend their night of merry making with more drinks on a large dance floor.
This is one of the most popular clubs on the bund, and well known for great music, great service and a great night out. Their drinks are prety good too. It also offers a great terrace view, but the terrace 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, the decor is quite slick.
If you are on the hunt for a fun, popular, large sports bar to catch a game or just get some beers and great burgers 'n fries, then The Camel won't disappoint. With an Australian feel to it, they have more than multiple screens with all the major sports being displayed live. There are pool tables and Foosball tables for entertainment. 4pm-8pm is the happy hour here. Their beer selection is impressive.
This is a massive indoor concert venue, hosting artists and DJs from China and across the globe frequently. Very popular for house music fans. This place on a concert night can get extremely crowded and not ideal if you suffer from claustrophobia. Drinks are not too pricey. Crowds usually go wild without inhibition.
Situated on the 87th floor of Grand Hyatt, the world's tallest hotel, Cloud 9 Bar is one of the more popular bars in Shanghai for visitors from all around the world. It offers a romantic rooftop setting if you are looking for a date spot. The view is stunning of the city below. You can also pop into the Sky Lounge which is one floor above for some nice cocktails.
B.A.T.S. is like a big storehouse. Every month there is a topical party. Every 9:30 a band begins to perform. Every four months a new band performs there. Great for live music lovers. Also do note that these bands are American or Canadian, not local.
It is a Rock 'n' Roll Bar and a great spot to go for drinks and dancing with your group. The best bit about this place is the location — right on the Bund. The lights are very impressive at this bar. More than 600 CDs are at your disposal, and no, no Chinese music CDs. To add to this, Goodfellas also offers great Italian food, and you must try one of their pastas or pizzas.
Paulaner is the most popular and successful German bar/restaurant in Shanghai with four locations — Fengyang Lu, Expo Village, Xintiandi and Binjiang Da Dao. We went to the one 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.
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.