Answers from Our Experts (1)
The nightlife scene in Shanghai is as fragmented as the groups of people who partake in it. There's live music for those who like to rock out or boogie down, raucous nightclubs for the all-night-long revelers and neighborhood bars for those who want an aperitif (the city is a hotbed of happy hours). It just depends on how you like to party.
The live music scene in Shanghai may not be as well developed as it is in Beijing, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in spirit. Venues like MAO Livehouse and Yuyintang exclusively host live music and pack the house several times a week with local acts and foreign bands that play everything from techno-pop to hard rock/grunge.
No list of Shanghai nightlife would be complete without a mention of the infamous Yongfu Lu. This tree-lined street in the heart of the popular French Concession area is home to some of the best-known bars in the city. From an underground former bomb-shelter-turned-nightclub (appropriately called The Shelter) to a trendy New York loft-themed locale (ditto here, with The Apartment), this street has a little bit of everything and draws a consistent crowd.
If you like your nightlife with a steady stream of alcohol, gaudy, gleaming houses of booze abound in this city. A Chinese nightclub is a bit like a house of mirrors, complete with fog machines, trance music and the ability to transport you somewhere beyond the furthest ethers of your imagination. They're worth a trip, particularly if like to dance or have a taste for whiskey and green tea (as that tends to be the drink of choice here). Club 88 is a favorite among expats and locals alike.
The most upscale after-hours destinations in Shanghai are all clustered along the Bund. The half-dozen or so nightlife outlets here serve up classy cocktails and gorgeous river views. Mainstays like Glamour Bar have long since been places to see and be seen in a city that prides itself on image. At times, these spots like to play at exclusivity with a bouncer manning the door, but for the most part, you should have no problem getting in. Shanghai's so-called members-only clubs, including M1NT, may adhere to slightly stricter entrance requirements (after all, not everyone can party with China's nouveau riche and famous), but calling ahead should be enough to get you in the door.