Shanghai

Renminbi (RMB); basic unit is the yuan (¥).

Mandarin, Shanghainese

Drinking and nightlife

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in French Concession

Speak Low

Speak Low is a speakeasy within a speakeasy within a speakeasy. Once you find your way in through the Ocho bar equipment shop, start with a drink on the 2nd floor; outstanding cocktails run ¥75 to ¥85. Then head...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in French Concession

Ars & Delecto

Parisian-style cafe, with round wooden tables, a long marble bar and simple art deco images on white walls, Ars & Delecto is, without a doubt, one of the best cocktail bars in town. The small but punchy...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in French Concession

The Odd Couple

Enter this Xintiandi speakeasy via a wall of rainbow LED lights and an enormous Pac-Man screen at the top of the stairs. Inside it's an intimate, thin rectangular space with red lighting, small tables, standing...

Top ChoiceBar in The Bund & People's Square

Long Bar

For a taste of colonial-era Shanghai’s elitist trappings, you’ll do no better than the Long Bar. This was once the members-only Shanghai Club, whose most spectacular accoutrement was a 34m-long wooden bar....

Top ChoiceBar in French Concession

Café des Stagiaires

This popular oasis of Francophilia is decked out in hip 'olde worlde' charm with a bar made from stacked suitcases and bistro-like decor, plus windows that fully open out creating a lovely patio atmosphere into...

Top ChoiceBar in French Concession

Cotton’s

This excellent bar is one of the most pleasant spots in the concession to raise a glass. Ensconced in a converted 1930s villa, the bar's interior has cosy sofas and fireplaces to snuggle around in the winter, and...

Top ChoiceCafe in French Concession

1984 Bookstore & Cafe

Big Brother might be watching, but he'd be hard-pressed to find you in this hidden nook of a bookshop-cafe off Hunan Rd. There's no sign, just a metal gate, and you'll need to buzz to get in. Once inside, there's...

Top ChoiceBar in The Bund & People's Square

Barbarossa

Set back in People’s Park alongside a pond, Barbarossa is all about escapism. Forget Shanghai: this is Morocco channelled by Hollywood set designers. The action gets steadily more intense as you ascend to the...

Top ChoiceCafe in French Concession

Café del Volcán

Tiny Café del Volcán offers a refuge from the bustle of Yongkang Rd. The minimalist cafe has just a few wooden box tables sharing the space with the roasting machine. The coffee here is excellent and its...

Top ChoiceCraft Beer in West Shanghai

Beer Lady

Originally a modest convenience store opened by a local woman (Mrs Zhang), this 24-hour drinking hole stocks around 200 varieties of craft beer. The shelves are lined with numerous international brews: Brooklyn,...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in French Concession

Senator Saloon

From the team behind Sichuan Citizen comes this classy 1920s Prohibition-style cocktail bar in a quiet spot on Wuyuan Rd. Slink into a dark-wood booth under pressed metal ceilings and dim art deco lights to order...

Top ChoiceCafe in Jing'an

Sumerian

Run by a bright and sunny bunch, good-looking Sumerian packs a lot into a small space. The real drawcard here is the coffee – the cafe roasts its own single-origin beans sourced seasonally from Ethiopia, El...

Top ChoicePub in Jing'an

Tap House

Part of the trendy Zhang Garden eating and drinking complex, this brewhouse has a nice outdoor area, rooftop terrace and 20 craft imports on tap. Food is also a highlight with pub and barbecue dishes (mains from...

Top ChoiceBrewery in French Concession

Boxing Cat Brewery

A popular three-floor microbrewery, with a rotating line-up of top-notch beers that range from the Standing 8 Pilsner and Black EyePA to the Right Hook Helles. But that’s not all – the kitchen has paired Southern...

Top ChoiceBar in Pudong

Flair

Wow your date with Shanghai’s most intoxicating nocturnal visuals from the outdoor terrace on the 58th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, where Flair nudges you that bit closer to the baubles of the Oriental Pearl TV...

Top ChoiceLounge in The Bund & People's Square

Glam

The decor here is decidedly bohemian and its cool retro feel makes it one of the Bund's most atmospheric spots for a drink. Cocktail prices are accessible, as is the bar menu, ranging from truffle cheese toasties...

Top ChoiceBar in Hongkou & North Shanghai

Vue

Take in the extrasensory nocturnal views of the Bund and Pudong from Vue bar at the Hyatt on the Bund, while you raise your glass of bubbly. The cover charge for nonguests includes a drink.

Bar in French Concession

The Bunker

This speakeasy is located inside the Green & Safe restaurant on the 2nd floor, behind a wooden palette–style door. This sophisticated spot is a top choice for a quiet cocktail within Xintiandi. If you're...

Bar in Jing'an

Mokkos Lamu

Hidden away on a residential side street, Mokkos is a long-running local fave that specialises in nothing but shōchū (a Japanese spirit). Intimate and cheerful, drinkers sit on stools around the curved bar lined...

Lounge in West Shanghai

The Cannery

One of the more elegant lounges in town, with a mock copper ceiling and low designer chairs. There's an emphasis on beer, cocktails and food from the sea. A sophisticated bar menu includes well-presented oysters,...