Since more than a decade ago, Shanghai’s nightlife has become one of the most renowned in the world. With the rise of foreigners arriving in the city for business purposes and tourists flocking every city corner, Shanghai’s club scene has evolved just as fast as its skyline. For an open-minded night owl, there’s something for everyone’s appetite here, from massive clubs, hidden speakeasys, or a good old English pub. What we’ve filtered down to are 5 hotspots that will guarantee a great time. Each carries a reputable image as the “IT” place to go, so you simply can’t go wrong. Raise your glass, let’s rule Waitan (the Bund) – it’s where all the hippest spots are.
As the most famous night club in Shanghai, Bar Rouge overlooks the Bund encompassing a stylish crowd and chic interior. There are always theme parties on Thursday nights and on weekends, the soirees continue ’til dawn. Pumped up music includes: hip hop, house and Latin dance tunes. As a traveler, here’s where you’ll run into expats and fellow visitors. Get dressed up or the bouncer won’t let you in.
Here’s a favorite among savvy night crawlers. Senator Saloon is a speakeasy, cocktail lounge known for its bourbon-based drinks. There’s a menu full of American-style tapas, which makes a romantic evening or a very hip night out without the hassle of a crowd losing control. The vibe inside is cozy and sophisticated, exactly what you’d expect from a modern cocktail bar.
For many years, M1NT has remained as one of the most posh night clubs in Shanghai. Anyone who’s visited Shanghai has been to this hotspot situated on top of a building in Waitan. The entire space is massive, including: a restaurant, shark tanks, a club and a lounge. My friends used to DJ at M1NT, spinning hip hop and R&B jams. Though the crowd can get wild despite the interior decor oozing of elegance. Again, you want to dress up for M1NT. Gents: no shorts or sandals! Why would you anyway, on a stylish night out in Shanghai?
We really try to leave hotel bars off of this list, but this one is simply too special. It may be on every travel list out there, but it IS that unique so you’ve got to save a night, a cocktail or two inside the Jazz Club at the Peace Hotel. Also located in Waitan, the Fairmont Peace Hotel is a nostalgic throwback of Shanghai’s glamorous days during 1930’s when jazz ruled the music scene in town. From 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. everyday, there’s a legendary jazz band accompanying a female singer chanting Shanghai tunes. Sometimes, it’s okay to do something touristic, just enough old-school to kick off the night!
Speak Low 彼楼- Best Hidden Gem
579 Fuxing Middle Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000 (map)
One more speakeasy to flash on your radar. Speak Low has four floors, each exudes a different vibe. The second floor will feel like a house party while the fourth floor welcomes luxury alcohol seekers. Make sure you book a table, even if you want to stop by for a cocktail, know that this place gets booked quick!
Where’s your favorite bar in Shanghai? Share with us in the comments.
SHOP OUR CHINA PACKING LIST: