Shanghai's best bars and clubs

Great bars for cocktails, views and clubbing and music in Shanghai

Bar Rouge has one of Shanghai's most spectacular views

Shanghai has so many nightlife options to choose from it can be hard to know where to start. We recommend ten of the best bars and clubs in the city for drinks with a view of the famous Pudong skyline, clubbing on The Bund, enjoying a quiet cocktail in the Former French Concession or heading underground for electronic music.

For a view


On the 58th floor of the new Ritz-Carlton Pudong, the terrace from Flair has one of the best views in town, practically looking into the Pearl Tower. Given the location, it's on the pricier side, most drinks will set you back 90RMB plus 15 per cent service charge, from signature cocktails such as the Crystal Blue Shanghai to a ginger mojito or a Hoegaarden, but it has a great spacious outdoor terrace, which is perfect for relaxing in Shanghai's warmer months.

For a view without making such a dent in your wallet, try Time Out favourite Captain's Bar over on The Bund. Inside the slightly basic Captain's Hostel, the nautical-themed bar has a similarly impressive view of the Pudong skyline, but none of the glamour and drinks usually all come in under 50RMB.

Where is it?
Inside one of the towers of the IFC Mall at Lujiazui, Pudong 8 Century Avenue, near Lujiazui Huan Lu 浦东世纪大道8号58楼, 近陆家嘴环路 See full address details

Captain's Hostel is half a block behind the Bund. 37 Fuzhou Lu, near Sichuan Zhong Lu 黄浦区福州路37 号5楼, 近四川中路 See full address details

For quality cocktails

senator 010-crop

The first real venue to bring the prohibition-era cocktail bar trend to Shanghai, Senator Saloon houses a beautiful dark wood interior under an eye-catching tin roof (brought in especially from Texas) creating a sleepy, late-night hideaway atmosphere.

For drinks barman David Schroeder has created a menu of Prohibition Era mixes of standouts like the robust, complex and brilliant Martinez (72RMB), a kind of happy truce between a negroni and a Manhattan, and a lighter basil gimlet (68RMB) with a satisfyingly herby burst. There's also a strong range of unique bourbons and barrel aged gins and some good bar snacks, such as the unmissable pulled pork sliders.

Open 5pm-late daily

Call 5423 1330

Metro Changshu Lu

Address 98 Wuyuan Lu, near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, Xuhui district

Show the cabbie 徐汇区五原路98号, 近乌鲁木齐中路

See Senator Saloon address details and review

For entertainment


Every night at 7.30pm, the Jazz Bar at the Peace Hotel plays host to Shanghai’s oldest jazz band – their average age is 77, and some members first played together in 1947. In this faithfully-recreated bar at the iconic Peace Hotel, watching these old boys go (slowly) through jazz standards is a classic experience. Be sure to book ahead for a table. Beers from 45RMB, cocktails from 70RMB (plus 15 per cent service charge).

Open Midday-2am daily

Call 6321 6888

Metro Nanjing Dong Lu

Address First Floor, Fairmont Peace Hotel, 20 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Huangpu district

Show the cabbie 黄浦区南京东路20号, 近中山东一路

See Peace Hotel address details and review

For a secret Japanese vibe

Mokkos original-bar

Mokkos, hidden down a quiet alley on a quiet street, is a hidden gem where the friendly barmen will only serve you shochu and plum wine (or beers if you ask nicely). The music is quirky reggae, and the barmen and patrons regularly pull out instruments and burst into song. Plum wine and shochu from 35RMB.

Open 7pm-2am daily

Call 6212 1114

Metro Jiangsu Lu

Address 103, Lane 1245 Wuding Xi Lu, near Wanhangdu Lu, Changning district

Show the cabbie 长宁区武定西路1245号103室, 近万航渡路

See Mokkos full address details

For old world elegance

The Long Bar at the Waldorf Astoria was the longest in the Far East in the days that this building hosted the exclusive Shanghai Club (from 1911 until 1949). Having been recreated in all its wood-panelled Art Deco glory, it is now one of the most elegant hotels in the city, playing classic jazz and serving exquisite classic cocktails, oysters and classy bar snacks. Cocktails from 88RMB (plus 15 per cent service charge).

Open Mon-Fri 4pm-1am, Sat-Sun 2pm-1am

Call 6322 9988

Metro Nanjing Dong Lu

Address First Floor, Waldorf Astoria, 88 Sichuan Zhong Lu, near Guangdong Lu, Huangpu district

Show the cabbie 黄浦区四川中路88号, 近广东路

See The Long Bar full review and address details

For a classic Shanghai clubbing experience

Since the closure of Fumin Lu staple No. 88, Phebe 3D Club (aren't all clubs in 3D?) is our favourite choice for the classic Chinese clubbing experience, and makes for a baffling, but entertaining evening. The main room is filled with tables of people rattling dice and being served drinks with sparklers in, ensuring that there is no real dancefloor. Gaudy faux baroque furniture abounds underneath bombastic chandeliers while a pounding chart R&B and hip pop soundtrack booms out over the masses. It’s such a ridiculously over-the-top and thoroughly bizarre place that by the time you come across a giant ten foot tall model of a knight on a horse in one corner, you’re no longer all that surprised.

Cocktails start from 55RMB but beware that if you sit at a table, it will have a minimum spend limit. There are also wristband patrolled 100RMB all-you-can-drink deals at weekends, but these are served at a bar in the lobby, away from the money-spending crowds.

Open 8pm-6am daily

Call137 9536 8335

Metro Hengshan Lu

Address First Floor, 10 Hengshan Lu, near Gaoan Lu, Xuhui district

Show the cabbie 徐汇区衡山路10号, 近高安路

See Phebe 3D full address details

For seeing Shanghai's 'jet-set'


Bar Rouge is almost indecently successful, and always packed with a crowd of party posers, from slick European chino-and-loafer types to the local Chinese jet-set. Even if you don’t love the music or the vibe, it makes for great people-watching – and both have great views, with Bar Rouge’s terrace offering the quintessential Bund view. Cocktails at both start at 80RMB.

Open 6pm-late daily
Call 6339 1199
Metro Nanjing Dong Lu
Address Seventh Floor, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu, Huangpu district
Show the cabbie 黄浦区中山东一路18号7楼, 近南京东路

See Bar Rouge full address details

For underground electronic music


The Shelter, set in a disused bomb shelter, may be sweaty and claustrophobic, but it’s undoubtedly the centre of Shanghai’s underground music scene. Whether it’s dubstep, hip hop or electro you’re after, come here on a weekend and you’ll find the best there is in the city. Beers from 20RMB, cocktails from 30RMB.

Open 10pm-late Wed-Sat

Call 6437 0400

Metro Shanghai Library

Address 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu, Xuhui district

Show the cabbie 徐汇区永福路5 号,近复兴西路

See The Shelter full address details

For a bar crawl


Yongkang Lu has become the bar street of choice for Shanghai’s expat community in the past year, with a string of drinking establishments opened along what was once a quiet residential road. The influx has been so great in fact that some residents have taken to throwing buckets of water over drinkers who get too rowdy and most bars now close at 10pm. Nevertheless, it can be a fun place to hang out, especially in summer.

Le Cafe des Stagiaires (No 54) was one of the first bars in and remains one of the best; try their on-tap La Chouffe beer (40RMB). For cocktails, head to either Revolucion Cocktail (No 58) for Cuban twists on the classics such as a Strawberry Mule (48RMB), or to the tiny Ginseng (No 39) for a Martinez (80RMB). If you work up an apetite after all that boozing, check out The Sailor’s (No 35) for some cheap and tasty fish ’n’ chips (from 30RMB).

Open 11am-10pm daily
Metro Jiashan Lu
Address Yongkang Lu, near Xiangyang Nan Lu, Xuhui district
Show the cabbie 徐汇区永康路, 近襄阳南路