Shanghai Night Life

Shanghai's nightlife and entertainment scene has now recovered from the moral clampdown following the Communist takeover where at that time entertainment was limited to fancy hotels. Since then China's economic boom has brought countless entertainment venues offering something for all tastes from bars, discos, karaoke, and teahouses, to form the backbone of Shanghai's rich and colorful nightlife.

  • Cinemas
  • Karaoke
  • Music
  • Teahouses
  • Club Scene

  • Cinemas

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    There are plenty of movie theatres playing Chinese and foreign films. Most of the films have subtitles. The cinemas are much like those in North America. The only difference is you can choose whether you want sweet or salty popcorn.


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    Shanghai is loaded with karaokes where one can sing Chinese, Korean, Japanese and English songs, with friends in private settings. Like a living room, nicely decorated with a sound system in place, all you have to do is pick up the microphone. Drinks and snacks are served. They are generally open from 7pm to 2am, sometimes later


    Providing an array of venues, bars have given a huge boost to the city's music scene. You can now hear classical music, bamboo tunes, jazz, blues, pop or other music anytime of the week. Various hotels offer evening music performances. Traditional Chinese music using instruments like the erhu and pipa can also be heard.


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    Recently teahouses have seen a big comeback in China. It is now quite fashionable to go to a traditional teahouse to savour and appreciate tea. The atmosphere in teahouses is usually calm and tranquil. Some teahouses offer instrumental Chinese music or Peking Opera performances.

    Club Scene

    Nightclubs and bars are booming, with joints opening and closing here and there. Barflies now have a choice of everything from glamorous Art Deco lounges to the seediest watering hole; live rock and jazz can be heard into the wee hours. Shanghai's trendiest upscale pedestrian mall, Xintiandi (New Heaven and Earth), is famous for its upscale restaurants and international shops. But this impressive development comes truly alive only after dark when Shanghai's hip and wealthy spill out of its pretty bars and lounges.


    Babyface is as popular and crowded as its original location in Maoming Lu.
    Address: Unit 101, Shanghai Square, East of Songshan Lu at Pu'an Lu, Luwan, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 6375-6667
    Opening hours: Daily 8:30pm - 2:00 am

    CJW (Xuejia Jueshi Hongjiu)
    Located on the top floor of the Bund Center is one of the most expensive clubs in Shanghai. Happy hour runs from 5:30 pm to 7:30pm, an international jazz band plays from 9pm to midnight, the lounge is open until 2:00 am, and there's a small dance floor.
    Address: 50 Floor, 222 Yan'an Dong Lu, Waitan Zhong Xin, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 6339-1777
    Opening hours: Lounge 6:00 pm 2:00 am

    California Club (Jiazhou Julebu)
    Very upscale dance club with international DJs and brash red decor.
    Address: 2 Gaolan Lu, Lan Kwai Fong at Park 97, Fuxing Gongyuan, Luwa, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 5383-2328
    Opening hours: Sunday through Thursday 9:00 pm to 2:00 am (to 4:00 am Fri-Sat).

    Club JZ
    Established by two musicians as a kind of informal jazz "living room," this is one of Shanghai's more popular venues for live jazz.
    Address: 46 between Yongfu Lu, Crossing Wulumuqi Lu, Xuhui, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 6431-0269
    Opening hours: Daily 8:00 pm - 2:00 am; band plays 9:30pm - 1:00 am

    Fabrique got excellent sound system and dance floor. Furthermore, they have some of the world's most famous DJs.
    Address: 8 Jianguo Zhong Lu,Ba Hao Qiao, just west of Chongqing Nan Lu, Luwan, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 6415-0700
    Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 pm - 2:00 am (to 4:00 am Fri-Sat)

    One of Shanghai's most popular and sweaty dance and clubbing venues,
    Address: 2nd Floor, 98 Huaihai Zhong Lu, Jin Zhong Guangchang, Luwan, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 5385-8189
    Opening hours: Daily 6:00 pm to late

    Rojam (Long Shu)
    This has a giant dance floor, with guest DJs spinning techno and trance music.
    Address: 4th Floor, 283 Huaihai Zhong Lu, Xianggang Guangchang by Songshan Lu, Luwan
    Tel: (8621) 6390-7181
    Opening hours: Daily 8:30 pm to 2:00 am

    ARK Live House
    A lively rock, jazz, and pop music venue with balcony seating, bar, restaurant, and cover for special events.
    Address: House 15, North Block Xintiandi, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 6326-8008.
    Opening hours: Daily 5:30 pm-1:00 am

    Peace Hotel Old Jazz Bar
    This bar is specialized in playing the popular music of the '30s and '40s, with a repertory of over 300 world-famous pieces.
    Address: Peace Hotel on the Bund, Huangpu, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 6321-6888

    Shuffle Bar
    Best known for having live music every night, from foreign metal bands to indie rock to open-mic nights.
    Address: North of Fahuazhen Lu, Changning, Shanghai
    Tel: (8621) 6283 2769
    Opening hours: Daily 8:00 pm to 2:00 am

    NOTE: Although this information is correct at the time of our web publication, it is still advised that you call the phone number and confirm the address before going to the venue because some venues may have changed their telephone numbers or address locations.