Unlike Beijing (北京；Běijīng), there are no real bar streets in Shanghai (Shànghǎi; 上海). So be prepared to take a taxi if you want to go out to a bar or club. Even better, share a cab with some friends, so you can split the bill.
The Bund (外滩; wàitān) is the most popular but often the most expensive area to go clubbing. What makes it so pricey is that most clubs have an amazing view of Pudong and the Huangpu River. One of the most exclusive bars in Shanghai is Bar Rouge, a lounge with a French-Shanghai atmosphere. Another famous bar with a view is Mint, famous for its shark tank at the entrance.
The Former French Concession (法租界; fǎ zūjiè) is one of the biggest clubbing areas. Close to our school is the Mexican club Zapatas, well known for bar-top dancing and free tequila every hour. If you want a more local experience, go to the club No. 88. In the Former French Concession, you will not only find many clubs, but also restaurants and wine bars. The closest wine bar to school is called Enoterra. If you want to relax with a nice cocktail, stop by Brownstone.
In general, clubbing in Shanghai is more expensive than in Beijing. But luckily, at some places you won’t have to spend that much money. Many students go to Perry’s Café for the cheap drinks and food. Customers are allowed to scribble on the walls, so don't forget to bring a marker to sign your name! Another reasonably priced bar and restaurant is Windows, where locals and expats come together to play darts, pool or just relax after a long day. If you want to go clubbing afterwards, there are two clubs located in a basement, to have a real underground experience: C's and Shelter.
Shanghai also has a large number of bars where you can enjoy listening to live music. If you like jazz music, you can go to JZ Club, Brown Sugar or Cotton Club. MAO Livehouse is an excellent choice for those who prefer rock music. If you're looking for more variety, Brix has live bands playing a variety of different styles of music, depending on the day. On Thursdays there are performances from Latin bands and on Fridays and Saturdays their live band Common Culture performs hip hop, R&B and reggae hits. Another bar where they play nearly every music style is the Melting Pot.
Ladies, be on the lookout for ladies nights! On certain nights of the week, many clubs and bars offer ladies great deals, such as free drinks, free entrance and gifts. Most bars organize ladies nights on Wednesdays; however, there are some ladies nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well. On Tuesday, go to the I Love Shanghai bar - ladies can drink for free until 1am! At Geisha, martinis and wine are completely free from 9-11pm on Wednesdays. If you prefer beer cocktails, go to the Refter on Wednesday nights. Every Thursday the Apartment organizes a Gossip Girl event with free sparkling wine for all the ladies from 9pm-11pm. Even better still, Ruby's has an open bar from 10pm-6am - every night of the week! Keep these deals in mind - you'll save a lot of money that you can save up for much nicer things.
There are quite a few sport bars in Shanghai where you can watch international sports on TV, play bar games and enjoy a good pint of beer. At the Spot they host live feeds of cycling, formula 1, football and moto GP. Big Bamboo and the Shed have live feeds of nearly every sport. Head on over and cheer for your favorite team.
Karaoke (卡拉OK; kălā OK): Karaoke is wildly popular in China. Unsurprisingly, there are many KTV places scattered throughout the city. Unlike karaoke places in Western countries, in China you'll have a private room, which you can rent out and split the cost with your friends. Besides a TV and karaoke set-up, you can also order drinks and food, which come delivered right to your room. There's a KTV bar called Cashbox Partyworld, which is near our school on Wulumqi Lu. Well, what are you waiting for? Go and sing your heart out!
Karting (卡丁车; kǎ dīng chē): Driving a car in Shanghai might not be the best idea. However, there are indoor go-karting tracks, which can provide much less stressful driving experiences! There's one called The Stampede, situated on Zhenguang Lu. It costs 85 CNY for about 7 minutes. Another one is Disc Cart Indoor Karting on Zaoyang Lu where a ticket costs 80 CNY for 8 minutes. So buckle up and go!
Bowling (保铃球; Bǎolíngqiú)： There are various places where you can go bowling in Shanghai. Regal East Asia Hotel Bowling Club is located nearby our school. Every Wednesday they organize a Ladies Bowling Night where women can enjoy a special price of 200 CNY for a 2-hour game with up to four players per lane. Another bowling place that’s not so far from school is Pine City Hotel. Prices vary from 8 CNY to 15 CNY depending on the time of the day.
Cinemas (电影院; Diànyǐngyuàn): Nothing to do on a rainy day? Go to the movies! UME International Cineplex is a movie theater located close to the Xintiandi subway station. Prices start from 100 CNY for regular tickets and 110 CNY for 3D tickets. Another movie theater is the Wanda International Cinema, where they show IMAX movies in addition to 2D movies. Prices vary from 70 CNY for regular tickets and 120 CNY for IMAX tickets. Both movie theaters have a wide selection of English and Chinese movies.
Theme parks (游乐园; Yóu lèyuán): Happy Valley is a great place to escape from Shanghai for a day of thrills and relaxation. It has over a hundred attractions, the most being the Fireball, a wooden roller coaster. With 30 attractions, Jinjiang Amusement Park isn't quite as big as Happy Valley, but it is just as fun.