Shanghai is one of the biggest cities in China. It is also, arguably, the most modern and developed city in the country. Aside from that, it’s a popular destination for visitors to the area. So, there are plenty of hotels and hostels to choose from for a wide range of prices.
Top 5 Hostels in Shanghai:
The 5 Best Party Hostels in Shanghai
The Phoenix is a fantastic social hostel with an attractive rooftop terrace. From here, you can enjoy drinks and drinking games with other travelers at the vibrant on-site bar. The hostel also offers a significant discount to all the guest who brings their used books with them, how cool is that? Aside from the enormous savings, there are plenty of social activities like mandarin language classes, Chinese brush painting, local tours, etc.
Pros: Nice on-site bar and great activities
> Book this hostel here
the Shanghai Blue Mountain is a modern social hostel with vast common areas and a fantastic atmosphere. The hostel also features a rooftop terrace filled with vibrant plants, which is perfect for socializing with other backpackers. If you are in a mood for a drink, grab a seat in the on-site bar and try some ice-cold Chinese beer. Also, you can join the crowd around the pool or foosball table.
Pros: Very social hostel, regular activities, and a nice on-site bar
> Book this hostel here
Stay in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw away from the best bars and nightclubs. This social hostel features a large common room, with plenty of movies, books, and a cozy fireplace where you can relax. Aside from that, the staff is amiable and helpful, and they’re happy to share great tips and information about the city with you.
Pros: Daily activities, a great place to party, and social environment
> Book this hostel here
The Rock and Wood International Youth Hostel is a fun social hostel with very lively common areas which are always filled with other guests. The hostel’s lively music lounge with acoustic guitars is perfect for nightly jamming sessions. The hostel also houses an on-site bar where you can dance and drink the night away. But if that’s not your thing, you can simply join the daily movie marathons via large-screen projectors on one of the common areas.
Pros: Very social environment, lots of activities, and a nice on-site bar
> Book this hostel here
The hostel has a very convenient location as it is close to a lot of bars and pubs in the area. Its common rooms are also spacious and filled with board games, billiard tables, ping-pong tables, and cozy couches. If you want to explore the city on the bike, the hostel features an on-site bike rental service with special discounts for guests.
Pros: Great for parties, social environment, and regular activities
> Book this hostel here
How is the Nightlife in Shanghai?
Shanghai has always enjoyed its standing as an alluring entertainment hub, from its groovy jazz clubs that harks back to the 19th century to its sprawling, modern rooftop bars. While lots of cash usually helps boost a night out here, that’s not to say that you’re limited to the high-end options. Perhaps due to this trend, it has helped foster a thriving underground scene, which has given birth to
several impressive, local DJs. Whatever kind of night you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Shanghai.
The popularity of Shanghai’s showy culture still prevails, and it’s one based on aesthetics, connections, and the tie that holds it all together: money (lots of money). While entry fees can be cheap – sometimes free or often starting from ¥50 ($6.57) – they can still go way above this. What you really will be spending your money on is for the usual table and bottle service. It is a city where you flash your cash to show off how much better your night is than anyone else’s. It could mean shelling out between ¥800–1000 ($120 – $148.55) for a bottle of spirit or getting a table for anything between ¥3,000–5,000 ($448.27 – $735) during the weekends. You must remember that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that there are still cheaper alternatives available. Culture Trip has included a range of both options below, mostly heading towards the more affordable end of the spectrum.
Rules and Culture
There isn’t a minimum drinking age in the country, but alcohol can’t be sold to people below 18 years old. The only thing you may have to consider is that smoking indoors in public spaces is prohibited – although this isn’t usually strictly monitored, so it’s best to check what other people are doing. There isn’t a specific closing time for bars or nightclubs, but in general, they tend to close around 2 am, while others keep their doors open till the early hours of the next day. Alcohol is available to buy from convenience stores and supermarkets for the whole day.
Chinese drinking culture vastly differs from Western drinking culture. The ins and outs of this can get very detailed, most of which apply to more formal business events. But if you’re with Chinese friends, the main thing to remember is always to say ganbei (cheers!) back to the person toasting and don’t turn down a drink after someone has toasted you. By doing so, you will be viewed as a rude person. But if you’ve headed out for the night, chances are you won’t say no anyway.
The Best Bars and Clubs in Shanghai
1. TOPS at the Banyan Tree
Rooftop bars are plentiful in Shanghai, in no small part thanks to the city’s exhilarating skyline. TOPS, on the 13th floor of the exclusive Banyan Tree Hotel, really does make you feel like you’re standing on top of the world – or of Shanghai, at least. With sweeping views of the Huangpu River, the glitzy stretch of Lujiazui lays before you as you take a seat on a lounge sofa while listening to soothing music. But you need to follow the dress code, which is smart-casual. A glass of wine will set you back around ¥80 ($11.83), while champagne cocktails can cost up to ¥150 ($22.35). They also serve fresh tapas, which make for the perfect complement while watching the sunset over the sparkling city.
2. Logan’s Punch
Complete with vintage telephones, pendant lightbulbs, and exposed brickwork, Logan’s Punch’s rustic look makes the perfect spot to meet new people or hang out with old friends. Tucked away on the road just behind the bustling Nanjing Road West, it’s a cozy spot away from the crowds while staying in a great venue. It may not be the most upscale or liveliest of bars, but that is also what adds to its charm – and with cocktails that pack a liter-worth of punch (literally), you’ll be glad it’s not been discovered by everyone else just yet.
M1nt is one of Shanghai’s most famous nightclubs, located at the top (24th) floor of a skyscraper in Nanjing Road East. The strict door policy is mostly based on your appearance, so dress smartly and make your reservations to snag a (very pricey) table. The music is pretty bland to suit a diverse crowd – expect to hear EDM, house, R&B, hip-hop, and classic remixes. Tables are dotted around the always-packed dance floor, and their various nightly events – such as “Models Night” – are a telling sign of the tastefulness of this club. It’s all very hip here, and standard drinks are, as you may imagine, upwards of ¥100 ($14.42).
Elevator took the mantle from the popular LUNE bar. While there has been a minor makeover, like a new sound system and appropriately-positioned neon lights, not much else has changed compared to the latter. It’s a frequented spot on the underground scene, with experimental DJs supported by their swarms of patrons in a low-ceilinged venue. When you’re in here, you’ll see that the DJs are the focus here, giving them a platform to do their thing in the most organic and supportive environments. Music is mostly composed of house and techno, and both local and international DJs are typically invited to play extended sets at the club. Standard drinks start at ¥45 ($6.49), with cocktails that start from ¥55 ($7.89). The club has no set dress code, so don’t worry about dressing to look fancy.
5. ALL Club
ALL is the place to go for a weekly dose of house, techno, drum, and bass, etc. The bar-lounge area is industrial-chic decor: think low sofas and high stools with a very minimalist, grey aesthetic. The second room is where the rectangular-shaped dance floor is located, subtly tilted towards the DJ who plays in front of a neon-lighted screen. Cocktail prices range from ¥65–75 (£9.21-8), and there’s a highball machine you can play with, too. The club’s opening times during the week are pretty standard, but Friday to Sunday could see you partying up until 5 am – encouraging you to go big or go home.
Shanghai is a fascinating combination of East and West. It has historic shikumen (石库门) houses that blend the styles of Chinese homes with European design flair, and it has one of the most precious collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. There were concessions (designated districts) controlled by Western powers in the late 19th and early 20th century, so in many places, the city has buildings in various Western styles.
Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city relative to other Chinese cities, although it is less diverse than many western cities. The population was 23 million as of the 2010 census; 9 million (almost 40%) of those were migrants, people from elsewhere in China who have come to find work or to attend one of Shanghai’s many educational institutions. There is also a substantial international contingent: 208,300 foreigners lived in Shanghai as of 2010, slightly over a third of the national total of 594,000. Some services cater to these markets — restaurants with food from anywhere in China for the migrants (in particular, lots of good cheap Sichuan food and West-of-China noodles) and a good range of grocery stores, restaurants, and bars that cater to the foreigners. Plus, if you’re in the mood to explore more, you may visit nearby cities like HongKong and Singapore.
Is Shanghai Expensive To Visit?
Shanghai is the most expensive city on the mainland, but it is still cheaper than Hong Kong, and to an American, both feel very cheap. … You will probably want a VPN if you’re traveling to Shanghai.
Is It Safe To Travel To Shanghai?
Because violent crime rate is low in Shanghai, the risk of being mugged or kidnapped is very low, especially for tourists. Although violent crimes do occur, they are usually against Shanghai’s citizens, and that does not affect any tourist while in the city.
How Many Days Do You Need In Shanghai?
Much of the places to see and things to do are very accessible, that three days in Shanghai is all you need for a proper introduction.
Is Shanghai Good For Shopping?
Shanghai is considered the “Shopping Paradise” and “Paris of the Orient.” Shopping in Shanghai should not be missed like its charming attractions. Providing the best shopping in China has become an indispensable part of the city’s tourism industry.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Shanghai China?
The best time to go to Shanghai is from October till November. This short autumn season boasts balmy temperatures and lacks the crowds and rain showers of summer – the peak tourism season.
Where Should I Stay In Shanghai?
The area around the Bund and the People’s Square are the top choices when staying in Shanghai. Both of these places are centrally located and provide attractions and sights for the whole family.