Must-see entertainment in China

  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall

    French Concession

    Designed by architects Isozaki Arata and Yasushisa Toyota and opening in 2014, this modern concert venue is now the home of the Shanghai Symphony…

  • Shanghai Circus World

    Hongkou & North Shanghai

    On the far northern outskirts of town you'll find this impressive show – Era: Intersection of Time – combining awesome acrobatics with new-fangled…

  • Fringe Club

    Hong Kong

    The Fringe offers original music most Friday and Saturday nights, with jazz, rock and world music getting the most airplay. The intimate theatre hosts…

  • Ned Kelly’s Last Stand

    Kowloon

    A Kowloon institution, Ned's marked its 45th anniversary in 2017, making it one of Hong Kong's oldest pubs. Named after a gun-toting Australian bushranger…

  • Cinematheque Passion

    Macau

    An attractive yellow house shelters Macau's art-house cinema and film archive. There are regular screenings of Macanese movies and films about the city;…

  • Main Synagogue Concert Hall

    Harbin

    Harbin's Main Synagogue, dating back to 1909, is now a delightfully intimate, well-priced concert venue for classical music performances, with four shows…

  • Impressions Liu Sanjie

    Yangshuo

    The busiest show in town is directed by filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who also directed acclaimed films such as Raise the Red Lantern and House of Flying Daggers…

  • East Shore Jazz Bar

    Beijing

    Rock star Cui Jian’s saxophonist, whose quartet plays here, opened this dark and moody upstairs jazz den overlooking Qianhai Lake. It’s the best place to…

  • Haoledi KTV

    French Concession

    Private karaoke rooms are hugely popular in Shanghai, and this one is as bling as they come, with a neon blue LED archway for a doorway and a booze shop,…

  • Blackstone Magic Bar

    French Concession

    China’s first magic bar mixes playful diversion with classy cocktails. Full-length magic shows are held Fridays and Saturdays in a sleek, custom-made 30…

  • North Sichuan Shadow Puppetry

    Sichuan

    Langzhong has a reputation for the mastery of its shadow puppet performers and this fifth-generation family of puppeteers put on fun, informal 20-minute…

  • Forbidden City Concert Hall

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    Considered one of the city's best venues for acoustics, the Forbidden City Concert Hall is the modern successor to an open-air stage built inside regal…

  • Mei Lanfang Grand Theatre

    Beijing

    Named after China’s most famous practitioner of Peking opera, this modern theatre has around 1000 seats and is home turf for the prestigious China…

  • Shanghai Conservatory of Music

    French Concession

    The auditorium here holds classical music performances (Chinese and Western) usually on weekends at 7.30pm; the musicians are often the stars of the…

  • Broadway Cinematheque MOMA

    Beijing

    The closest Beijing has to a genuine art-house cinema. Regular mini-festivals cover various genres as well as the usual Hollywood blockbusters. Find it…

  • Shanghai Concert Hall

    The Bund & People's Square

    A decade or so ago, the government shunted all 5650 tonnes of this classic 1930s building 66m away from busy East Yanan Rd to a quieter parkside setting…

  • Tang Dynasty

    Xi'an

    The most famous dinner theatre in the city stages an over-the-top spectacle with Vegas-style costumes, traditional dance, live music and singing, dubbed…

  • Shanghai Culture Square

    French Concession

    State-of-the-art theatrical facility with a focus on musicals, drama, ballet and classic traditional Chinese and international productions. Previous shows…

  • Hongkou Football Stadium

    Hongkou & North Shanghai

    The home of Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC, this stadium seats more than 30,000 fans, and games have a great local atmosphere. You can buy football tickets…

  • Shaanxi Grand Opera House

    Xi'an

    Also known as the Tang Palace Dance Show, this is cheaper and less flashy than other dinner-dance shows in town. Wenyi Lu starts south of the city walls…

  • Qingdao Grand Theatre

    Qingdao

    Housed in a striking modern structure, the city’s grand performing-arts centre puts on world-class theatre, opera, music, dance and comedy on its three…

  • Hong Kong Stadium

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    The 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium in So Kon Po, a division of Causeway Bay, is Hong Kong's largest sports venue. The Hong Kong World Rugby Sevens takes…

  • MGM Grand Macau

    Macau

    With softly lit casino floors and a bland upmarket shopping mall, you might think the MGM is less flashy than its brethren. But then you walk into the…

  • Sunbeam Theatre

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    Cantonese opera is performed at this vintage theatre throughout the year. Shows generally run five days a week from 7.30pm for about a week, with…

  • Yifu Theatre

    The Bund & People's Square

    One block east of People’s Square, this is the main opera theatre in town. The theatre presents a popular program of Beijing, Kun and Yue (Shaoxing) opera…

  • Jinjiang Theatre

    Chengdu

    Mixed-performance shows with modern stagecraft are held daily at this renowned opera theatre. The performances are very polished but do lack something of…

  • Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    With its striking triangular atrium and an exterior Meccano-like frame (a work of art in itself), the APA (1985) is a Wan Chai landmark and a major…

  • Urbtix

    Hong Kong

    The booking portal for tickets to shows at venues operated by the government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Book online and pick up your…

  • Pearl Theatre

    Hongkou & North Shanghai

    Formerly known as Chinatown, this magnificent three-floor theatre has boxes and ornate detailing. It was once a Japanese Buddhist temple in the 1930s; now…

  • AMC Pacific Place

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    With six screens (or 'houses' as they are called in Hong Kong), including a VIP screen with waitress service called the Oval Office, this cinema inside…

  • Wanch

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    Decked out in old Hong Kong paraphernalia, the Wanch, so called for Wan Chai district's nickname, has live music (mostly classic rock, blues and folk)…

  • Hope Live

    Nanning

    The spot to tap into Nanning's underground music scene is this live house with an unlikely location inside a shopping mall. Most evenings it hosts local…

  • MAO Livehouse

    French Concession

    One of the city’s best and largest music venues, MAO is a stalwart of the Shanghai music scene, with acts ranging from rock to pop to electronica. Check…

  • Pingtan Teahouse

    Suzhou

    Píngtán enthusiasts gather here to keep the traditions alive. The music usually starts at 8pm. Order some tea (unlimited serves ¥200), and pick songs (¥50…

  • Blue Note

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    A classy, subterranean live-music venue staging high-profile international jazz, blues and fusion musicians. The historical Legation Quarter setting gives…

  • Pingzha Performing Arts Centre

    Guangxi

    In the village of Ping, 800m northwest of Chenyang Bridge, is this open-air stage that hosts daily traditional Dong music and dance performances. If there…

  • Nuts Live House

    Chongqing City

    Fabulous, below-ground club that's the place to catch live music. Local bands take to the stage every weekend, but it also hosts any act of note passing…

  • Kungfu Boat

    Wuzhen

    Ten-minute martial-arts performances are held eight times daily (including 11.10am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm) on the aptly named Kungfu Boat, just inside…

  • Shaolin Zen Music Ritual

    Henan

    This elaborate zen-themed light-and-music show, directed by Tan Dun, is set against the magnificent backdrop of Shaoshi Shan. Music is prerecorded but the…

  • Zhōngguó Diànyǐngyuàn

    Qingdao

    This historic 1930s cinema is much cheaper than the larger ones inside the city's modern shopping malls and at least one of its three screens usually…

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