Night Life in Shanghai

Night life in Shanghai? Nick commented:

I have been using your site for awhile and you have some of the best info on the city there is. All you lack is a nightlife guide.

I see two forms of night life expat night life and Chinese night life. The difference being the places cater to expats so staff speaks English etc. The Chinese night life you definitely need a Chinese friend with you. On my last trip in April my Chinese friends showed me their side and I showed them mine so Shanghai has much to offer especially if you have a Chinese friend. This was probably the most fun I had had ever!

It is a very interesting comment. From what I see, there are three types of night lifes in Shanghai:

  • western
  • modern
  • traditional

Western night style starts with bars and parties and full of expats. (Am I right here?)

Traditional style is for traditional older Shanghai people, who almost barely have any nightlife. Most them don’t go out. A short distance walk on the street will be good enough for the old and the poor.

Modern Night Life

This is the style most local young people choose. Here are a list of activities I can think of.

Over Time Working

Well. If you ask anyone in my circle (25-30 in age, good income, good education) about what do they do at night, most of them will say “Working” or Jia Ban (overtime working). It is true.


Restaurant is the No. 1 choice if night life starts at around 6:00 PM. Eating is everyone’s favorite. There are many good restaurants in Shanghai with varied food style.


There are some very nice cinemas in Shanghai. I would recommend:

  • Kodak Super Cinema, Metro City, Xujiahui
  • Shanghai Film and Art Center, Xinhua Rd
  • UME Cinema, in Xin Tian Di


It is not easy to find a country where its people like Karaoke better than China. Whenever we gather and ask where to go, the most possible choice that everyone agrees is Karaoke. Maybe singing is just part of the attraction – it offers a big comfortable room where friends can gather and enjoy snacks, drinks and ice creams.

Tea House

Tea house was traditional Chinese social place before it almost distinct in the last decade. However, it becomes more and more popular again. Inviting some friends and spend the whole night at tea house is very relaxing. Once we talked at a tea house till 2:00 AM in the morning. These tea houses open all night.


Drama is also a good place to go. The only place I know to serve good drama frequently is the Drama Center at Anfu Rd.


For girls, shopping are the top choice. Major shopping centers are:


Huai Hai Rd.

Nanjing Rd. (well, no. Nanjing Rd. attracts visitors better than Shanghai residents. Local people won’t go to Nanjing Rd. as night life)


Many people will go gym after work. Gyms are built near office buildings. For example, Physical opens in Metro City and Alexander opens in Xintiandi.

Did I forget anything?

P.S. A new business website is launched.

8 thoughts on “Night Life in Shanghai

  1. You used my quote! Somehow I dont consider working late much of a night life but its true my friends never finish work before 9 PM. I guess I was looking at night life as a visitor/business person. The fact is places like Xintiandi, Heng Shen Lu, Park 97, etc are well outside the affordable price range of most people in the city. So a walk, movie, or window shopping is where most people probably find night life.

    There is no cultural barrier I think women like shopping no matter what country. My shopping saga with my girlfriend Wei trying to pick out her Christmas present was a complete tour of the shopping centers near the Grand Gateway. After seeing the prices no wonder people like Xiang Yang Market.




  3. Fri, 9th June : X-Tract > Get sauced BBQ party – BBQ, bands, waterfights, snooker, cheap drinks, the World Cup on the big screen and more. Live bands performing S4M (Japan), No Named (Japan), and DJs spinning the tunes: Ben Huang (minimal electro house), Micrometropolis (boogy funk), and Fly (dnb). 50rmb/presale, or 60rmb/door – includes one drink and one skewer (meat or vegetable). From 6pm.

    Micrometropolis was born in ’78 and lives in zurich, Switzerland after several years of playing in a punk band he startet turntablism in 1997. First styles electro to techno. DJ sets under webradio (deminiagogo). STREET PARADE, ZURICH, SWITZERLAND favourite styles 05 fuckedupfunktohiphouse.:If you love music it’s a sin to miss him play.

    DJ Fly is a Frenchman from Paris, who has built his way up in the Shanghai scene playing Drum’n’Bass.

    related DJ PROFILES

    DJ Ben Huang

    style: Minimal Tech House, Minimal techno, Electroclash. Experimental Electronic.

    age: 33

    nation: China (Shanghai)

    played at: Park 97, Fabrique, New heights, Laris, YY’s, Jade on 36, Mix & Match, Barbarrossa, Bar Rouge.

    favourite tracks: Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Ryuichi Sakamoto.

    Widely regarded as China’s number #DJ, Ben Huang kick-started Beijing’s club scene back in the mid-nineties, before anyone knew what a club or underground music was. After building his fame in Beijing, he caught the attention of several promoters in Europe. Soon Huang was the first Chinese DJ to play there, playing gigs in France, Germany, and Switzerland. Along with gigs in far-out places like The Great Wall, his current mix work for artists like Faye Wong keep him one of the most in-demand DJ’..

  4. Hey there

    I’m in a band that plays heavy rock from Australia and we are thinking of touring in China – with a major desire to play Shanghai. Can anyone recommend venues to play, or better yet, some booking agents with whom we can speak.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!



  5. I have been live in Ireland for the past 8 years, but in compare to China, there are so much more going on than just night club and pub here.

  6. Parkyard Hotel and Community Center Shanghai will be conducting the first annual Charity Fun Run

    Date and Time – Sept. 25, 2009, 7:30am, race begins at 8:30am

    Location – Parkyard Hotel, Zhang Jiang, Bibo Road, Shanghai

    Raising money for two local outreach programs, Giving Tree and River of Hearts

    asking runners to donate 200RMB but, any amount is welcome

    give back to the city that has given so much to you

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