Known as the Paris of the east, Shanghai has a long-standing reputation as one of the world's top 'sin cities'. The nightlife can be seedy and there are many warnings given to visitors, but the ever-changing face of Shanghai's nightlife is vibrant and exciting and the diversity of offerings these days makes it easy to avoid the dodgier elements of this port city if desired.
The Bund has recently been given new life as a night time destination, with dilapidated buildings demolished to make way for neon-lit jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, and restaurants. Bustling bar and restaurant areas in Shanghai include the pedestrianised Nanjing Road, Hengshan Road, and Maoming South Road, all increasingly popular with expats.
The district around the Julu Lu and Tongren Lu intersection is a cheaper and more exciting option for those who want to party hard. There is still a booming sex trade in Shanghai and some areas of town are safer than others and it is best to stay in groups when going out at night.
Shanghai is a major concert destination in Asia, and travellers will find large international concerts on the calendar all year round 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 visitors 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, as well as touring ballet companies.
Become our Shanghai Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our Shanghai travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Shanghai or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.