Shanghai has a long-standing (and notorious) reputation as one of the world's top 'sin cities'. The nightlife can have a seedy reputation and there are many warnings given to visitors, but the ever-changing face of Shanghai's nightlife is certainly vibrant and exciting.
The Bund has recently been given new life as a night time destination, with dilapidated buildings being demolished to make way for neon-lit jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, and restaurants. Glamour Bar hosts live music, art discussions, and an annual writers' festival for a bohemian 1930s vibe. The Gothic Castle at 6 Bund also houses several chic and upscale restaurants and lounges. Xintiandi pedestrian mall is another collection of bars and lounges in the downtown area.
Shanghai is a major concert destination in Asia, and travellers will find large international concerts on the calendar along with a number of local Mando-pop or Canto-pop acts. There are also a number of good jazz clubs on Fuxing Lu.
If classical entertainment is what vistors are after, Shanghai has a number of options, including the Shanghai Philharmonic Society or the Shanghai Yueju Opera Group. They can also see acrobatic performances and touring productions of major Broadway shows, like Les Miserables, or touring ballet companies.
The district around the Julu Lu and Tongren Lu intersection is a cheaper and seedier option for those who want to party hard. There is a booming sex trade in Shanghai, and some areas of town are safer than others. It is best to stay in groups when going out at night.
The free local English-language publications, like 8 Days, That's Shanghai, and City Weekend, are great for up-to-date event listings.
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