Confessions of a Champagne Whore: A Guide to Shanghai Nightlife

Travel | by Rebekah Pothaar
Posted: February 3rd, 2008 | Updated: September 17th, 2010 | Comments
Shanghai is known for its hectic party scene. After a year in the city, here are my top picks. Enjoy.
After Dinner Drinks Enoteca, Citizen Café, Barbarossa, Velvet, Vue Bar Best Wine Bar Enoteca: Relaxed, cozy, classy. You can get a good bottle of wine for 90 RMB. Serve light meals. Impressive Views With Impressive Price Tags 789: Le Meridian, a bit uncomfortably sterile with all glass walls, but worthwhile views. Friday evening is best here. Jade on 36: Shangri-La Hotel in Pudong. Ladies night on Friday evening. 80's glam decor. New Heights: On the Bund (same building as Laris). Only good for the heated terrace and views. Vue Bar: The Hyatt on the Bund. Impressive. Roof terrace  with a jaccuzi (31/32 floor). 100 Century Avenue: Level 91, Park Hyatt, Shanghai World Financial Center. AMAZING! Live music Shelter: The anus of Shanghai. Sticky dark, interior. Converted bomb shelter. It's about the music, cause it is certainly not about the décor. JZ: Great Jazz. Good vibe, relaxed, arty atmosphere. Check listings. Gay Nights Since Club Deep has closed indefinitely, the gay crowd has few options but D2, Pink Home, Club LC, Frangipani and Shanghai Studio. Before the Club (10pm onwards) Glamour Bar: Posers, beautiful décor and restrained atmosphere. A place for conversation with friends and faux high society. Small balcony overlooking the Bund. Laris: White marble floors/walls. Stark and glamorous. Best fruity martinis. Best night is Thursdays for half price drinks. Lounge 18: The Bund's newest edition. A huge open-plan lounge, below Bar Rouge where beautiful people can ogle each other over expensive drink. Artiest bathrooms in the city. Actually, it's turned more into a club than a lounge these days. Velvet: Always good, but best in winter.Night Clubs Bar Rouge: The original club on the Bund. Very French. Good resident DJ. Small dance floor. Pretentious, posers. Russian hookers. Rich/beautiful/ugly people. Terrace with  Bund views (cover on weekends 100-200 RMB). Either love it or hate it. Lounge 18: This place has arguably surpassed Bar Rouge's popularity for a place to hang out and dance. Classy feel, not overcrowded, not so loud that you can't hold an ok conversation. MAO:  Trying-to-be-arty/hip. Music is hit or miss. Good Friday/Saturday. A place to go before going somewhere else. A good stop while you wait for Dragon to open. More of a bar than a club, but has dance floor. Weekend cover 80 RMB. Sugar (Collection): While it may not exactly be a club, Sugar is becoming more and more popular as a place to go from 11 to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Clubs to Avoid Babyface, Mural, Bling, Ritchies, Windows, Muse, Gplus, Volar (once exclusive, members only, this place has gone down hill, has a bad vibe and expensive drinks. Sometimes special DJs. Prediction: bankrupt in 4 months--Ed. looks like Lion Lady was right. Volar is no more). Bon Bon: 80 RMB, all-you-can-drink = drunk teenagers, uni students, underpaid English teachers. Girls puke on the dance floor and in the toilet line. Under-agers lie unconscious upstairs. Music is ok if you don't mind drunk people bumping/dumping drinks on you. Afterhours Clubs Dragon Club: Dark, tightly-packed. Good vibe if you want to dance till after breakfast. Hard party-goers. 2 floors: hip hop/dance. Don't arrive before 4:30am (50 RMB cover for men, free for ladies). Velvet: Cozy atmosphere. Different rooms and comfy sofas. Not overpriced. Good music, but it's a place to talk. Nice crowd. Not a dance club, but you can dance if you want. Serves yummy oven-baked pizzas until 5am. It' can get to crowded and warm in the summer. Weeknights Barbarossa: An old favorite in the heart of People's Park. Wed ladies night with free selected drinks, good from 9-11:30. Happy hour is every evening from 5 to 8pm, half price drinks. Laris: Thursdays, half-price delicious cocktails. After Laris, if you are feeling energetic head to Mao. Zapatas: Mon and Wed are ladies nights. Free margaritas for girls till midnight. Trashy/rowdy. Girls will be dancing on the top of the bar. Rock 'n Roll/dance. "Love Shack" will be played at some point. After the Club Eateries (Open All Night) City Diner: Hearty American food, BLTs, burgers and fries, pancakes, milk shakes (NOW CLOSED) McDonalds: Yup, sad but true. They serve pancakes from 6pm-10pm, they do 24 hour delivery....and the lighting is just a little worse than  Bifeng Tang.
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