When it comes to a glamorous night on the town in Shanghai, few places do glitz better than The Bund. A waterfront district close to the historic French Concession, The Bund evolved into Shanghai’s financial hub in the early 20th century. Today, it’s one of the city’s buzziest hives for both business and culture, and, while many of the bars on the Bund tend towards luxury lounges, the neighbourhood has also seen the arrival of hipster speakeasies and on-trend wine bars in recent years. Whatever your tipple and vibe of choice, you won’t have to hunt far to find it.
As its name suggests, Vue Bar is all about the view. It’s not unusual for bars on the Bund to advertise their vistas: many offer terraces that look directly across the Huangpu River to the colossal skyscrapers of Pudong. Given that it’s located on levels 32 and 33 of the Hyatt on the Bund, Vue Bar certainly has jaw-dropping cityscapes to spare. Not to mention DJs, a roof-deck lined with day beds, and even a whirlpool bath.
After a flurry of hyped new openings, Bar Rouge‘s status as a Bund mainstay has only been further cemented since it first opened seven years ago. This is still the destination for a no-holds-barred party scene: think famous international DJs, beautiful people, brilliant vermillion interiors, well-made cocktails, and, yes, a pretty staggering terrace. Prepare to drop some stacks.
One of several high-end restaurants and bars hosted by Three on the Bund and billed as an “epicurean lifestyle destination,” the newly opened POP Bar‘s aesthetic veers defiantly towards Miami beach chic. Expect tropical cocktails, palm tree décor, and Latin-infused house music – playfully but tastefully kitsch, in other words. The inside-outside bar extends to an expansive terrace; at night, the neon-lit skyscraper views seem tailored to complement POP’s bold aesthetic.
Glam at M on the Bund
Until the end of last year, Glamour Bar was considered one of the Bund’s must-visit nightlife destinations. When it abruptly shuttered, locals were devastated – until just days ago, when it was reborn as the renovated Glam. After entering through a glittering beaded curtain guarded by two stuffed peacocks, visitors can begin by indulging in a glass of wine – with a menu of 38 by the glass, Glam officially offers Shanghai’s largest selection – or a mixologist-made cocktail.
The Library Distillery Lounge
Not all bars on the Bund go for the same unabashed glitter, of course. Evidence to the contrary is the elegant and understated Library Distillery Lounge, a speakeasy-style cocktail den that swaps a sprawling terrace for a hidden entrance. If you’re a craft cocktail lover and care, above all, about what’s in your glass, know that the drinks here are rated among the city’s best.
Virgin Atlantic operates daily flights to Shanghai – ditch the jetlag at one of these nightlife haunts.
Which of these bars on the Bund have you visited? Do you have any others to recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Claire Bullen