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How to Spend a Night in Shanghai: Top 10 Things to Do

Shanghai by night is one of the most exhilarating metropolises in the world. Your Shanghai tour will not be complete without some night activities. Here we've listed 10 things you should not miss to experience the colorful nightlife in Shanghai.

1. Stroll Along the Bund

During the evening, the Bund is spectacularly illuminated. The historic colonial-era buildings across from the Bund promenade are enchanting.

Across the Huangpu River are many skyscrapers, including the Oriental Pearl Tower, which keeps changing the color of its lights. Several boats are on the river and they too are all lit up.

It is a pleasant way to spend an evening strolling along the riverside promenade admiring the impressive Shanghai skyline.

The walk can also be done by day. Learn detailed information about the Bund through our In-Depth Bund Culture Discovery Tour.

2. Cruise Along the Huangpu River

The Huangpu River divides the city of Shanghai into two regions: Pudong ("East Bank") and Puxi ("West Bank"). The best way to see Shanghai's skyline lit up in magnificent colors is to take an evening boat cruise along the Huangpu River.

The Cruise on the Huangpu RiverThe Huangpu River cruise

There are several tour lengths you can choose from, from a 30-minute cruise to a 3½ hour cruise.

On the cruise, you will see the beautiful contrasts between the classical European buildings and soaring modern skyscrapers from the two sides of the Huangpu River. Learn more information on Huangpu River night cruise.

3. Watch an Acrobatic Show

An acrobatic show at Shanghai Circus WorldAn acrobatic show at Shanghai Circus World

One of the popular nightlife activities in Shanghai for tourists is to see an acrobatic show and there are many acrobatic show theaters around the city, such as Shanghai Circus World, Shanghai Centre Theatre, and Shanghai Huxi Grand Theatre.

The shows are amazing with various acts like juggling, balancing, acrobats, and cycles in the air on high wires. These high quality acts will provide you with an enjoyable evening.

4. Walk and Shop Along Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road is Shanghai's busiest shopping street lined with top-end shopping malls, old-brand shops, and traditional eateries.

Nanjing RoadNanjing Road

When nighttime approaches, the street is lit up and becomes crowded with shoppers and tourists. Whether it's just going for a walk among the hustle and bustle of Shanghai, shopping, bar hopping, or dining in restaurants, this is the ideal place to find everything in one area.

5. View Shanghai from the Top of Shanghai World Financial Center

Located in Pudong District across the Huangpu River, Shanghai World Financial Center is one of the best places to see a nighttime view of Shanghai.

There are three observation decks on floors 94, 97, and 100. The 100th floor deck is recommended because there is a 55-meter-long viewing gallery with a skywalk made of glass where you can look down through the floor to the scenery below.

6. Relax in a Bar at Xintiandi


Xintiandi features old Shikumen stone houses and numerous Western restaurants, bars, and pubs. It is especially lovely in the evening, as dusk falls and the streetlamps turn on.

This area perfectly blends history, culture and, of course, a grand celebration of food and drinks. You can have a European-like experience in the zone where you can see a lot of foreigners.

7. Roam Around the Alleys of Tianzifang

Hidden in the old French Concession, Tianzifang is definitely worth a visit. It is unique for its traditional Shikumen buildings and small alleys.

The maze-like alleyways are crammed with plenty of boutique gift shops, clothing stores, galleries, and craft shops.

Roaming around the alleys paved with stones will make you go at a slower pace than in the bustling streets of Shanghai and absorb the art and culture of this city.

8. Taste Local Snacks at City God Temple

Enjoy local snacks at the City God TempleEnjoy local snacks at the City God Temple.

City God Temple is a Taoist temple located next to Yuyuan Garden in the old city of Shanghai. The area around the temple is famous for its traditional Chinese architectures and various local snacks.

In the concrete jungle, this area has a unique existence with temples, pavilions, halls, and hanging lanterns.

There are many street stalls with a random assortment of Shanghai's foods and snacks, such as crab shell cakes, begonia cakes, and pan-fried buns.

You can also find a lot of shops with handmade crafts, counterfeit goods, and folk art, among other items.

9. Discover Old Shanghai at Old Street

Shanghai Old StreetShanghai Old Street

Shanghai Old Street, or more officially Fangbang Road, is an ideal place to discover what Shanghai was like in the past.

Many buildings can be traced back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. A number of century-old traditional restaurants, money shops, and tea houses have witnessed the development of Shanghai.

Walk along the street or take a tea break at a tea house to feel the culture and history of old Shanghai.

10. Have Fun at Shanghai Happy Valley

If traveling with children, you can opt to spend several hours in Happy Valley at night.

From May 28 to October 7, 2016, 20 entertainment facilities and about 10 night performances are on offer at nighttime. The night program begins at 5:30pm every day and costs 100 yuan per person. Read more on Shanghai Happy Valley theme park.

Tour Shanghai with China Highlights

Tour Shanghai with China HighlightsTour Shanghai with China Highlights

Apart from the awesome skyline, traditional architecture, small alleys, and local snacks make Shanghai unique and attractive. Your Shanghai tour will be more interesting and enjoyable with some nighttime activities.

Travel with China Highlights and you will be escorted by a local guide who will lead you to explore the real Shanghai.

Our most popular Shanghai tours, for your reference:

We have many more Shanghai tours and our tours can be customized. You can just tell us your interests and requirements, and China Highlights will create a Shanghai tour for you.

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

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