Fact: Shanghai’s night-life is awesome.
Fact: even the most hardcore of clubbers sometimes need a night off from the glitz and glamour of Muse, the sticky floors and unparalleled fun of Diva and the sexy dancers and plain weird oddities of Cirque.
When the above happens, be sure to check out this countdown of Shanghai’s best bars. From chilled expat ones, to pretentious rooftop ones and everything in-between – this list has everything!
Address: 132 Anting Road. Nearest metro: Hengshan Road
The photos don’t really do this lovely villa-esque French Concession bar justice (damn the one day I left my SLR at home), but trust me, it really is lovely.
It is particularly nice on a mild day where you can enjoy the covered patio, or between 4 and 8pm on a weekday where you can nab a cheeky buy one get one free cocktail. It’s unapologetically Western and a great laid-back place to drink and chill.
Address: 5 Hengshan Road. Nearest metro: Hengshan Road (shocking, I know)
Zapata’s is a popular, crazy and ridiculously fun Mexican paradise. If you leave either serious or sober then I really judge you as a person.
It’s packed most evenings, though particularly ladies night on Wednesdays. Top tip: spend 148RMB on a Sunday for all you can eat and drink (well, beer and margaritas) between 4 and 9pm. The tex mex buffet and American burgers and hot dogs will leave you foodgasming for hours.
Address: People’s Park, 231 Nanjing Xi Lu. Nearest metro: People’s Square
If you’re looking for an escape from the mundane, then Moroccan haven Barbarossa will do the trick. Romantic and glamorous, take someone you want to impress to this three storeyed gem; it’s literally in a lake in People’s Park.
Alternatively, go with a group of girls for shisha and drinks – ladies night means free cocktails from 9-12 on Wednesdays. Unmissable stuff.
Address: 1333 Huaihai Road. Nearest metro: Changshu Road
Perry’s is the go-to bar for young expats seeking cheap drinks and home comforts. And for good reason. It’s hard to tire of a place where buckets of alcohol are 30RMB, feel good music is in abundance, as is the incredibly lively atmosphere.
The food menu is very low priced – with student staples like pizza, chips and burgers all decent tasting. It’s always a good laugh, particularly if tiring of China’s delights (Chinese pollution, traffic, street spitting and more).
1. Bar Rouge
Address: 7th Floor, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road. Nearest metro: East Nanjing
Bar Rouge is hands down the coolest bar I’ve been to in my life. A place to show off to visitors, to pretend you’re a celebrity, to live the dream – this rooftop bar has the classic Bund view.
Cocktails cost around 90RMB, which isn’t awful for somewhere so swanky. As per in Shanghai, it’s great being female: ladies night is Thursday, with free cocktails for girls till half 11.
It might be pretentious, but it has good reason to be. Bar Rouge is the bomb.