We've gotten Shanghai'd.
And now, so can you!
The following post is a narrative about some of the best ways to spend a night out in Shanghai. It is common knowledge that Shanghai is mainland China's most cosmopolitan city, but most people have no idea just how cool this place really is. Whether you are looking for glitz and glamour or grungy chic, Shanghai has something for you.
The evening is the best time to arrive.
Shanghai comes to life at night, the bright lights illuminating the collision of commerce and culture. Modern China is on display and there is no better way to take in the show than on the bank of the Huangpu river with a cold Tsingtao and 10,000 other - mostly domestic - tourists snapping photos.
Behind you is the elegance of the Bund. Sophisticated and a symbol of status, the Bund is a reflection of Shanghai’s multi-national history. As such, it is a conglomeration of impressive architectural styles.
Looking at the Bund may make you want to drink wine on a rooftop.
And you can do just that at a handful of fine establishments, the finest of them all perhaps being VUE bar, perched atop the Hyatt on the Bund. The view at VUE is breathtaking, but watch out for 100 RMB cover on the weekends, though it does come with a drink.
For those really looking to embrace Shanghai’s eclectic past, visit the Peace Hotel Jazz Bar, also located on the Bund. This establishment is known as one of the oldest bars in Shanghai and host to some of the finest quality jazz there is. The thought, "am I still in China?," is sure to cross your mind more than once.
Anyone who has been to the city understands that while the Bund represents Shanghai’s past, Shanghai’s future is featured across the river. Pudong’s spectacular skyline is one of the best in the entire world, it is an inspiring expanse of opportunity and potential and it is best enjoyed while sipping a cold beer or, more authentically, while swigging strong baijiu.
Shanghai’s skyline should have an encouraging effect on anybody seeking an epic night out.
If you've had your fill of Bund views, hop in a cab and head straight to Yongfu Lu - the "Boom Boom" street.
Deep in the French Concession, Yongfu Lu is a small street with BIG attitude. Consisting of mostly bars and a couple restaurants, this is one of the best places in the city to hold an all-night party as most bars stay open until 4a.m. Below I have listed some places that you need to check out:
Shiva - An Indian lounge nestled comfortably beside the other bars on Yongfu Lu, Shiva offers high quality cocktails and dance music in an intimate environment. Check out the gnarly, if not slightly odd, alien shrine located in the back corner of the bar.
Rhumerie Bounty – Going down the line at Yongfu Lu, Rhumerie Bounty is a fun pirate themed bar serving house infused rums. Go ahead and splurge on your own small bottle of their infused Havana rum.
Shelter – A haven in the city for fans of reggae and electronic dance music, the Shelter is an undeniably cool space for a venue. As a converted bomb shelter it is everything you would expect, and consequently everything you would want for a proper rage – dark, grimey, hot, sweaty, loud, and unpredictable. An incredibly mixed clientele. Go prepared to see a lot of weird.
Bikini - If you are looking for some gourmet drunk food after a night of heavy drinking, look no further than Bikini. Bikini is a brainchild of charismatic chef Guillermo ‘Willy’ Trullas Moreno, the man behind Shanghai’s best Spanish restaurant, el Willy. The store is also affiliated with el Coctel, the stylish cocktail lounge located directly above Bikini on Yongfu Lu. Serving "snackies and very hot dogs."
Other notable venues in the French Concession, though not on Yongfu Lu, include Boxing Cat Brewery, Lola, and The Geisha.
If grabbing a hot dog at Bikini isn't your thing, I have found that there is no better way to end a night out in Shanghai then grabbing some noodles and chuan'r off of a street-side vendor. You can find these late-night culinary hero's posted up along many of the streets surrounding People's Square.
When you work hard during the week at your internship, you deserve to play hard on the weekend. Shanghai possesses seemingly endless nightlife options and certainly won't disappoint even the most seasoned party-goers.
So let loose, have fun, and try not to get too Shanghai'd!
Get in2 China Team
**For more information on Shanghai nightlife, please visit SmartShanghai.