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Every city has a set of bars that define its scene. For us, these are the bars that have defined Shanghai nightlife. If you have never been to them, get on it.

Bar Rouge Shanghai

Bar Rouge Shanghai

Bar Rouge

Shanghai's most iconic nightlife venue, Bar Rouge offers a chi-chi atmosphere (i.e. beaucoup French people), skyline view, and classy cocktails.


Decked out in Moroccan tents, Barbarossa is located within People's Park, by the lake. Barbarossa has one of the best locations in Shanghai: the terraces face a lily pond and the buildings at People's Square.

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Shanghai bar Boxing Cat Brewery

Boxing Cat Brewery Shanghai

Boxing Cat Brewery

Boxing Cat Brewery is one of Shanghai's most successful microbreweries, with prices just high enough to push it into "hip exclusive" territory without putting off the mid-range clientele.

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Constellation II is a cocktail bar spread over two floors, featuring brass fittings and warm leather furnishings. The Yongjia branch (Constellation II) does a fabulous Moscow Mule, making it one of our favorite bars in Shanghai for cocktails.

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Cotton's Shanghai bar

Cotton's Shanghai


Cotton's at Anting Lu is the first of Cotton Ding's eponymous bars, and an expat favorite, but the second outlet at Xinhua Lu has an even bigger outdoor terrace—great when the weather is good.

Shanghai bar M2

M2 Shanghai

M2 Shanghai

A bar to spot Chinese celebrities, catch big name DJs, or just dance your ass off.

M1NT Shanghai

M1NT Shanghai


A "members preferred" luxury club on the Bund, offering world class service, food, drinks, and a panoramic Bund view. And, of course, the famous 17m long shark tank.

Richbaby Shanghai

Richbaby Shanghai


China's most famous clubbing brand Babyface has relaunched itself as Richbaby in Shanghai. Come for the ultimate "Chinese" clubbing experience.


One of the many bars along Henshan Lu, Zapata's is popular with expats, and to us, has just the right amount of sleaze, plus a great ladies night.

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Shanghai's best ladies night