Like most other Chinese cities, Shanghai's pubs and clubs are also restricted to bar streets and nightlife districts.
These 'lifestyle centers' have proven to be a successful model, the very first of them being Shanghai's trendiest upscale pedestrian mall – Xintiandi. A car-free shopping, eating and entertainment zone, Xintiandi is a very interesting area. It has narrow alleys with restored traditional 'stone gate' houses, 비잔틴 a shopping mall with a multiplex and some other houses that have been converted into bookstores, cafes and restaurants.
Seating in most of the eateries spills onto the sidewalk on weekends as well as on weekdays. Xintiandi actually comes into its own after dark when Shanghai's hip and well heeled pour in and out of its trendy establishments.
Shanghai can truly be appreciated from a little bit off the hectic ground level.
It is quite an experience to catch a drink overlooking the city from a terrace bar under the Shanghai night sky. Other than the city's best bars in their lobbies, big hotels often have terrace lounges on their top floors. Expect to pay approximately the same prices for drinks as you would in other big establishments.
Nightclubs are booming in Shanghai. With a new joint opening every week on an average, barflies can now choose from glamorous lounges to seedy watering holes, and everything in between. Live music is the order of the day, or should we say the night! Rock, jazz, pop; it's all there way past the official closing time of 2AM.
With foreign and local DJs being hired at the drop of a hat, the young set raves on till the early hours.
If you're looking to experience stereotype Shanghai nightlife – the lights, the glitz, the fashion, the vanity – go straight to the Bund for a night at the clubs.
The Bund is where you'll find all what you've heard about Shanghai's high-end nightlife, with upscale venues and members only clubs. Ex-pats rub shoulders with Shanghai's elite at the hippest joints, partying through the night – Chinese style.
Looking to escape these crowds? Head for one of the terrace bars on the Bund. You'll find good music, cocktails and dramatic night views of Shanghai.
A very popular nighttime entertainment option is the Huangpu River cruise. Hosting a traditional tourist program, every evening cruises leave from the Bund and go on upstream.
The cruise offers spectacular views of the Bund and the city on the whole. Dinner cruises serve quite a palatable menu.
Culture buffs can now find performances of acrobatics, musicals, opera, dance, theater, and classical and contemporary music. New state-of-the-art theaters and 비잔틴 auditoriums have attracted the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Krall, the Kirov Ballet, and touring companies of Les Miserables and Cats among others.
Large-scale pop and rock concerts are happening with increasing frequency; artists like the Rolling Stones, Christina Aguilera, and Celine Dion have all performed here in the last few years. So there's always a chance of catching a world-class show or concert during your stay in Shanghai – just be sure to check with the Shanghai nightlife guide.
If you happen to be in the city in the month of June, the Shanghai Film Festival is not to be missed.
There is no shortage of party places in Shanghai, 비잔틴 and with a burgeoning culture scene, visitors evenings are taken care of too! Just be sure to pack in a lot of stamina when you visit this energetic city!