20 Things To Do In Shanghai At Night

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China’s largest city is a global financial hub and one of the country’s most affluent and flourishing cities. Shanghai is also known as the Paris of the East. The city is known for its magnificent historical buildings, glittering skyscrapers, trendsetting cafes and restaurants and is one of the world’s largest shopping destinations. Shanghai also has one of the most comprehensive subway networks in the world, and most areas in the city can be reached via subway.

Originally a fishing village, Shanghai grew during the 19th century because of domestic and foreign trade and its favourable port location. Shanghai is now one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, all while retaining its historic charm. The Huangpu River splits Shanghai into Puxi (West of the River) and Pudong (East of the River). Lujiazui area in the beginning of Pudong is home to iconic skyscrapers, including Shanghai Tower (the world’s third tallest tower), Shanghai World Finance Center and others. Eastern Pudong (towards the coast) has the Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Disneyland Resort and others.
Puxi, also known as Old Shanghai, lies to the west of Huangpu and has notable areas like the Bund, Shanghai Old Street, French Concessionaire and others.

Being part of Old Shanghai, the Puxi area has an eclectic mix of architectural styles, including Art Deco, French Tudor, and Shikumen-style buildings, Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, historic temples, and ultra-modern skyscrapers. Shanghai is also home to several beautiful parks, temples, old markets, historical streets, and museums. Some of the ancient Water Towns are a short distance from Shanghai, which themselves provide a unique experience to visitors.

Apart from shopping, booming nightlife and an amazing array of food joints and restaurants, Shanghai also provides many unique experiences to visitors, such as Karaoke bars, River cruises, historical walks, observation decks and many others. Truly, Shanghai has something for everyone.

Shanghai At Night

Top Tours

20 Things To Do In Shanghai At Night

1- Walk Along The Bund

shanghai bund at night
The Bund illuminated in Shanghai at night from the Pudong side.

Right across the river from the Pudong area, the Bund is lined with many historical buildings and the promenade is often crowded with visitors in the evening.

Tourists and locals walk and relax along the promenade, enjoying the spectacularly lit skyscrapers on one side and elegantly lit historical buildings on the other, making the area lively and vibrant.


There are many eateries and shopping options close to the bund and this renowned waterfront district is the city’s most famous landmark.

Any visit to Shanghai is never complete without experiencing the beauty of the Bund. If it’s your first visit, you may want to join this Xintiandi bar street tour, which will take you to the stylish Vue Bar and M1NT.

The Bund is well-known in Shanghai and is at Zhongshan Rd (E-1), Waitan, Huangpu, Shanghai and is always open. This private metro tour features The Bund.

2- Cruise The Huangpu River

what to do in shanghai at night
Illuminated Panoramic of the Shanghai skyline at night. The Lujiazui Financial District and Huangpu River offer a stunning view.

One of the best ways to view the contrast between the historic European-style buildings and the ultra-modern skyscrapers of Shanghai is by taking a night cruise on the Huangpu River.

On the east side of the river stand the eye-popping tall skyscrapers in the Pudong area, while on the west lies the splendid past of Shanghai along the Bund.

You can choose from several river cruises, ranging from a 30-minute cruise to an evening cruise, including dinner.

It’s a great way to enjoy various sights along the river and build memories that will last a long time.

River cruises start at a river pier, and hotel pick-up is available on some tours. Here’s a popular cruise you will enjoy.

3- Enjoy A Night View Of Shanghai From Shanghai Tower

shanghai skyline at night
The futuristic Shanghai skyline at night.

Shanghai Tower is the tallest tower in China and the world’s third tallest tower after Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur.

The tower also houses the highest viewing deck in China on the 118th floor, offers amazing views of the city and has one of the fastest elevators in the world.

The night view from Shanghai Tower is one of the most popular attractions in the city and the panoramic view of the Huangpu River and the cityscape makes this one of the best vantage points in the city.

Shanghai Tower is at 501 Yincheng Middle Rd, Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai and is open till 9.30 pm daily. Shanghai Tower is extremely popular and can get busy, so make sure you reserve your tour tickets in advance.

4- Taste Shanghai Cuisine On A Night Food Tour

shanghai screams at night
Traditional Chinese street food cuisine in Shanghai at night.

Chinese cuisine encompasses several regional cuisines, ingredients and preparation styles originating in different parts of China.

Due to the variation in the historical backgrounds, geographic availability of ingredients, and vast variations in climate (sub-arctic in the North to the tropical climate in Southern China), there are a lot of variations in cooking techniques and dishes in China.

The unique mixture of flavours, textures, colours, scents and tastes in Chinese cuisine make visiting China a heavenly experience for any food enthusiast.

Shanghai being a cultural and financial hub, makes it the ideal place to try many varieties and enjoy the best. 

Having a knowledgeable guide to take you on a food adventure is an even better way to understand, sample and appreciate the different options.

The French Concession area is at 86 Wulumuqi Rd (M), Xuhui District, Shanghai.

5- Explore Shanghai Night Lights On A Bike Tour

shanghai at night
Another twinkling view of the skyscrapers in the Shanghai skyline at night.

Viewing Shanghai’s city lights and nightlife by bike is a lovely experience.

A bike allows you to take in the sights and sounds directly and also allows you to travel larger distances and see more parts of the city in the same evening.

You can visit the Pudong area, the Bund, be amazed at the view across the river, visit night markets, taste Chinese cuisine and street food, and enjoy the nightlife at a popular club, all in one night.

Many bike rentals in Shanghai allow you to tour the city, but the best option is to go with a guide who can take you to the lesser-known places and secret viewpoints.

For more things to do in China read:

6- Spend A Fun Day At Shanghai Disneyland Park

shanghai disneyland at night
Visiting Shanghai Disneyland a fun thing to do.

Shanghai Disneyland is the first Disney Park in mainland China.

The park can be conveniently reached by cab or metro in the Pudong New Area or book your private transfer and tickets here.

The park has seven themed areas with a variety of attractions and rides.

It incorporates many Chinese elements into its layout, themes, rides and activities, providing an authentic Disney experience combined with local aesthetics.

Children and adults can enjoy the Disney-themed characters and shops, exhilarating themed shows, thrilling rides and seasonal activities celebrating Chinese New Year, Christmas and other important festivals.

The park also has nighttime entertainment, eateries, shopping areas and colourful displays, which can be enjoyed daily after sunset.

Shanghai Disneyland Park is in Pudong New Area, Shanghai and is open till 8.30 pm daily.

7- Savour Local Street Food In A Night Market 

is it safe to walk in shanghai at night
Taste traditional street food in Shanghai at night.

Shanghai has a wide variety of street food cuisine, and Shanghainese cuisine is one of the major cuisines in China.

The city’s cuisine is known for its rice-based dishes and seafood delicacies.

Authentic Shanghai dishes are often red and shiny from being pickled in wine with prominent sweet and sour flavours.

From healthy foods like rice balls, steamed dumplings, soup dumplings or tea egg to dishes like stir-fried Shanghai noodles, barbeque skewers or the sweet Osmanthus cake, you can find many popular dishes on the streets of Shanghai.

Explore the Changli Street Food market for its street food stalls open till late at night.

For seafood lovers, Tongbei offers a variety of seafood-related street food, often at pocket-friendly prices. Or enjoy a cold beer with crayfish in Shouning Street.

Linfen Road night market is another popular street food market where you can try out Chinese-style fried chicken and other delicious foods.

Street food tours with a professional food guide are also popular in Shanghai for those who want to try out various dishes and drinks based on your preferences and suggestions from the guide.

8- Appreciate A Breathtaking Acrobatic Show

One of the popular activities in Shanghai after sunset is watching an acrobatic circus show, where highly trained acrobats perform gravity-defying acts like juggling, balancing, and cycling on high wires.

Acrobatic shows, such as Shanghai Huxi Grand Theatre, Shanghai Circus World, Shanghai Centre Theatre, are where you can enjoy these shows.

“ERA Intersection of Time” is one of the top shows in Shanghai and is performed by Shanghai Circus World.

The performance consists of eight parts that combine elements of acrobatics, dance, drama, music and audio-visual technology.

It also showcases traditional Chinese ethnic art and creative international choreography that will enthral you.

Shanghai Circus World is at 2266 Gonghexin Rd, Zhabei Qu, Shanghai. Skip the line and reserve good seats here.

9- Walk and Shop Along Nanjing Road

shanghai at night video
Shanghai night signage along Nanjing Road.

Nanjing Road is Shanghai’s high-end shopping street which begins at the Bund in the east and ends at the junction of Jing’an Temple and West Yan’an Street in the west.

The century-old shopping street houses modern shopping malls, long-running traditional stores, specialty shops, theatres, high-end restaurants, and famous snack shops.

Walking along the illuminated street after sunset is quite memorable, as you can see brightly lit buildings, abstract sculptures, open-air restaurants, street musicians and people walking about, reminding you of Fifth Avenue in New York or Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Nanjing Road (East) starts from Waitan, Huangpu in Shanghai and is always open. If you feel that language is a barrier, try this guided shopping tour.

10- See The View From Shanghai World Financial Center

shanghai buildings at night
Shanghai Pudong world financial centre and Jin Mao Tower at night.

Shanghai’s second-tallest building is also the tallest in the world with a hole.

The Shanghai World Financial Center is in the Pudong District and is one of the best places to enjoy the view of the city from one of its observation decks.

The three observation decks are on the 94th, 97th and 100th floors, with the 100th-floor deck having a 55m viewing gallery and a glass skywalk. 

The view of the streets and scenery below the glass skywalk is exhilarating.

The Shanghai World Financial Center is at 100 Shiji Blvd, Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai and is open till 9 pm daily.

11- Take A Stroll Along The Artsy Tian Zi Fang Alleys

Hidden in the old French Concession, Tian Zi Fang perfectly blends Shanghai’s global and local charm.

The streets of Tian Zi Fang are unique for their cultural and artistic studios, renovated traditional Shikumen buildings and narrow maze-like alleyways laid with cobblestones.

The area is home to bars, cafes, crafts shops, design studios, galleries and boutiques and is a perfect place to absorb the art and culture of Shanghai.

Tian Zi Fang is popular for its night market, where many shops are open till late at night and attract visitors after sunset.

Tian Zi Fang is at 210 Taikang Rd, Huangpu, Shanghai and is always open. Check out this tour.

12- Go Bar Hopping In Xintiandi

shanghai nanpu bridge at night
The traditional Chinese houses in Xintiandi are a juxtaposition of ancient and modern compared to the skyscrapers of Luwan in Shanghai at Night.

Xintiandi is a popular pedestrian street in central Shanghai housing many shops, restaurants and bars.

The buildings in one part of Xintiandi are built in old-Chinese architecture, while another part has buildings built in modern architectural styles.

The Western and European-style bars are popular hangout places for many expats living or visiting Shanghai to enjoy an evening of drinks, singing and dancing while hopping from one bar to another.

If you want to explore more pubs in the Bund and French Concession area along with Xintiandi, you can go on a guided tour with a hotel pick-up and drop-off to ensure you are safely back after a night of revelry.

Xintiandi is at 123 Madang Road, Huangpu, Shanghai and bars are open till late at night.

13- Enjoy A Day At Shanghai Happy Valley Amusement Park

In the Songjiang District, Shanghai Happy Valley is a Chinese theme park brand famous for fun rides and activities.

In western Shanghai, the park is ideal for families and kids.

Along with rides, the park has a variety of themed festivals throughout the year, such as New Year’s Funny Festival, Outing Season, Summer Carnival, International Magic Festival, Halloween Festival and others.

The theme park consists of seven themed areas, such as Happy Times, Gold Mine Town, Sunshine Harbor, Typhoon Bay and Happy Ocean, each housing many rides and attractions.

The park is at 36V8+CWQ, Linhu Rd, Songjiang District, Shanghai and is open till 6 pm on regular days and till 9.30 pm on key days such as Christmas and New Year. Reserve your tickets here and skip the lines.

14- Visit A Beautiful Ancient Water Town

There are many water towns close to Shanghai in nearby provinces.

Water towns are timeless and quaint little towns that represent the traditional Chinese way of life hundreds of years before urbanisation.

These towns are characterised by narrow lanes, winding water canals, compact houses and elegant bridges.

Canals were the source of transportation for most of these town dwellers, whose main livelihood was through farming and agriculture.

Some of the water towns close to Shanghai date back hundreds of years.

The architectural layout and daily life of locals in these towns have been a subject of Chinese literature and paintings for a long time.

Visiting one of these ancient towns is fascinating and will transport you to a different era.

There are many near Shanghai, each one having its own charm and you may like to stay overnight. 

Xitang is at No. 258 Nanyuan Road, Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province. Join a private night tour of the water village here.

15- Discover Old Shanghai At The Historic Yuyuan Old Street

shanghai at night hd
Yu Yuan Gardens and the teahouse is an ancient shopping area around a lovely lake to explore in Shanghai at night.

Yuyuan Old Street is a historic shopping district close to the famous Yu Garden and is popular for its eateries, boutique shops, handicrafts and souvenir shopping lineup.

The area is one of the must-visit places while visiting Shanghai for its beautiful views at night, historic buildings and architecture and the best place to relax and unwind.

Old Street is within walking distance from the Bund, and the bustling pedestrian street is mostly filled with locals and tourists.

The picturesque street and alleyways are perfect for taking pictures. Having a cup of local tea, enjoying traditional Chinese snacks and sweets, and visiting the silk and fabric shops are some interesting things you can do in Yuyuan Old Street.

Some popular souvenirs in Shanghai are wood and bamboo carvings, jade sculptures, lacquerware, Chinese hand paintings and tapestries, old Chinese calligraphy, antique jewellery and Shanghai Qipao (women’s dresses).

Yuyuan Old Street is at Yuyuanxin Rd, Huangpu, Shanghai and is always open. Check out this tour.

16- Discover Shanghai’s City Lights From The Top Of Jinmao Tower

shanghai at night free picture
An incredible view from the bar on the 54th floor, looking up to the 87th floor in the JinMao building in Shanghai at night.

The Jin Mao Tower is an 88-floor skyscraper next to Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center in the Lujiazui area in Shanghai.

The tower houses offices and the Shanghai Grand Hyatt Hotel and is one of the popular centrepieces of the Shanghai skyline.

The tower’s design is based on Chinese architecture, such as a tiered Pagoda, and the building’s proportions revolve around the number Eight.

The skyscraper was once the tallest in Shanghai, and the sweeping views of the Bund, Pudong and the city from the 88th-floor viewing deck are mesmerising.

Jinmao Tower is at 88 Shiji Blvd, Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai and is open until 9.30 pm daily. Skip the line and reserve your tickets.

17- Spend An Evening Above The City At A Rooftop Club

shanghai screaming at night
Neon lights in Shanghai at night.

Shanghai has an amazing architectural mix of the old and the new, where you can soak up the traditional vibes and be transported to the past in certain areas of Shanghai.

You can experience ultra-modern and futuristic architecture in the more modern areas of the city.

For those who want a bird’s eye view of the city from a height while sipping a cocktail, Shanghai’s rooftop clubs, pubs, and restaurants are the perfect places to enjoy Shanghai at night.

The bustling city lights and neon rainbow-coloured buildings become even more vivid during the night when viewed from one of the many joints nestled in the supertall buildings.

If weather permits, visit one of the open-top pubs perched at the top of a skyscraper. You may also enjoy this night tour of Shanghai, which includes a dim sum dinner and a drink in a rooftop bar.

18- Enjoy A Walk Along Shanghai Old Street

shanghai mall at night woman carrying a red umbrella walking through a shopping street in the rain.
Shopping is one of the fun things to do in Shanghai, night and day.

Shanghai Old Street is near the Huangpu River, close to the Bund.

Adjacent to Yuyuan Garden and Town’s God Temple, the old street is famous for its Ming Dynasty-style pagoda-shaped buildings.

Representative of the former old city of Shanghai, Old Street is lined with tourist attractions, shops selling Chinese tea, souvenirs, street food, jewellery and cultural exhibits that are a reminder of Shanghai downtown in the past.

Old Street is one of the most scenic places in Shanghai. Walk through the hidden door of time by booking his tour.

Shanghai Old Street is at 6FGW+4QG, Baodai Ln, Huangpu, Shanghai and is always open.

19- Sing Your Heart Out At A Karaoke (KTV) Bar

Shanghai is popular for its architecture and history, skyscrapers, street food, and vibrant karaoke scene.

Karaoke bars (or KTV bars as they are called) are very popular in Shanghai.

Unlike in some other countries, KTV bars in Shanghai are a small-group affair where a group of close friends get together and sing their hearts out.

The bars have individual areas for each group and some bars even have unique activities like laser tag paired up with the KTV so that you can enjoy doing more of your favourite activities at once.

Each room has unique decorations like a Hello-Kitty theme, 80’s theme, and Old Chinese theme.

20- Visit Fashionable Shopping Malls

shanghai china at night
Shanghai skyline at night.

Shanghai is home to international fashion, luxury and automobile brands.

The city is a shopping paradise for those on a budget and those looking for exotic and international brands.

China’s commercial capital has some of the best upscale and luxury malls.

Walking in a shopping mall is a pleasant and comfortable experience and a feast for the eyes. You can window shop luxury fashion brands, state-of-the-art electronic items, and fine dining restaurants serving international cuisine.

You can also shop for most international brands with their flagship stores here.

Some popular malls in Shanghai are Shanghai IFC Mall, Plaza 66, IAPM Mall, Henderson Celebrity Shopping Center, Bund18 and Shanghai Times Square.

As Shanghai is a huge city, it can get confusing, so if you’re short on time, this private Shanghai shopping tour with a local guru will help you find what you need.

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Vamsee Chandra
Vamsee Chandra lives in Hyderabad in India and is a financial markets trader by profession. An engineer with an MBA, he is a free-spirited traveller at heart. He has visited 17 countries on three different continents (Asia, Europe and North America) and has a personal target of visiting 50 countries before he retires. His favourite city is Paris, for its amazing museums and people. His favourite building is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, and his favourite countryside is the Bavarian region in Germany, where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located.