A big, flashy local nightclub in Xintiandi, it's run by Sino Group, who have several other venues in town, including MYST (R.I.P.). If you went to clubs like Myst or S2 in the past, it's similar but with a more futuristic vibe. Tables, bottles, EDM music and trance on the music program, and a decent sized dancefloor. Sometimes they do international bookings, and local DJMag darling DJL has been known to do sets here. Cover is ~100rmb any day of the week.
A classic dive bar/dance floor that is a bastion for local DJs who play all stripes of underground dance music from Wednesday to Saturday. Caters to a younger Chinese and expat crowd in a comfortable, pretense-free environment. Drinks are cheap, there's ample lounge seating, and music varies from night to night depending on who's playing. Popular nights here include Popasuda (global bass and whatnot from Skinny Brown), Hologram Dreams (Heatwolves and friends play cybernetic city music), Fun 12 Inches (Tobias Patrick and friends go from underground disco to 90s rave) and Come Correct (DJ Caution and a large crew doing hip-hop every Wednesday). It's managed by a Shanghai-based independent promoter, so expect the DJ/music crowd lounging therein. Friday and Saturday are always busy by midnight, whereas Thursdays are totally hit or miss. They're celebrating their 10-year anniversary soon and have a sister club up in Beijing that's a hit as well. Cover only for special events.
Mixing a fast-paced cocktail bar with a hyper-photogenic dancefloor, UP is the distilled wisdom of a bunch of F&B people from Revolucion to Captain and Unico. It has the determined party-vibes of a Latin lounge minus the soundtrack, a kitchen that stays open til 2am and Sunday brunch on the terrace. Hard to pin down. The music program's upbeat and open format. Some hip-hop, but on weekends it's a free-for-all. They host break-dance battles, and it's lit like a music video. The crowd skews mid-20s and up. Cover is 100rmb on weekends for guys, includes a drink.
Effectively the sequel to the legendary Shelter, ALL Club is where the alternative kids hang out, especially the younger local demographic that take their culture seriously. It's the nexus for a number of crews from across China who are doing weird and new things with music and fashion like Asian Dope Boyz, Genome and the SVBKVLT galaxy. If names like 33EMYBW, Gooooose, Howell or Hyph11e mean anything to you, then this is where you'll find them. It would fit right in in Berlin. The dancefloor is oriented towards a slightly raised DJ altar and big video screen, giving the dancefloor a concert feel. The sound system is most adequate. Music-wise it's less tried-and-true genres, and more next wave UK bass offshoots, techno and experimental nights. It's niche. Special shout-out to the highball machine. Cover is ~100rmb on weekends.
The other, other nightclub in Found 158, more underground than TAXX and less trap-heavy than Arkham. The owner is a fashion photographer from Beijing, and he's divided the place into two rooms: a front area with the bar, ping-pong tables and a slightly impractical lounge area, then a back-room with a very excellent VOID soundsystem that'll set your whole nervous system humming. Music program is often underground and local, and attracts a similar crowd. Boiler Room used it as their background in May, and recent bookings have included Basic Channel artist Fluxion, Berlin's Radio Slave, and Ostgut Ton's Tobias. Cover is 120rmb during special bookings.
One of the biggest nightclubs in Shanghai, certainly the biggest in Found 158. It's 3,000sqm of industrial party space, owned by a Shanghainese actor, catering to wealthier young Chinese who like to hang out (or hope to hang out) with local celebs. 12-meter long bar, lots of LED and hologram projectors — it's a mainstream Chinese club writ large. No fixed music program, but expect occasional Top 100 DJs and EDM the rest of the time. The bouncers are tough and getting in can be hard for some foreigners. Cover is ~100rmb any day of the week.
Popular outpost of an international club, a nice alternative to local and underground places. Aiming at that '80s downtown NYC vibe with clued-in wealthy people mingling with not-rich young folks driving culture, and sometimes they pull it off. Crowd tends to be fashion, music or other industry types. Some dance, some stay at their tables. Music is generally decent, and mostly new hip hop and pop with some old school classics mixed in, though depending on the night they may have some more avant-garde guests. There is a door policy, though it's not super clear. Basically, they let in people who look "cool". Not very friendly to random guys or packs of random guys, and especially hard during peak time (11pm-3am) if you don't have a table reservation. No cover.
After-hours spot on Xingfu Lu blasting tech-house, deep house, and techno courtesy of veteran Shanghai DJ Emil Chang and other resident DJs like Lina K, Cice and Jeff Chong. Closes at 10am. Ten am. 10am. Do you need to party this late? You do? Then this is your spot. Crowd is mixed local/European, aged between 18 and 80, and here to dance rather than sit. Your phone is usually out of battery by the time you decide to go to Celia, anyway. Cover is ~100rmb on weekends.
Easily one of the poshest clubs in Shanghai. Shark tanks, lux decor, a fancy restaurant and lounge area. It's on the top floor of a skyscraper near the Bund and affords nice views of the city. Music is mostly commercial house and EDM, and more R&B and hip hop in the lounge. Lots of young Chinese and foreigners on the dancefloor and older, dressy folk at tables. Phone ahead and book a table if you want to be sure you'll get in. Their Wednesday night ladies night is popular. Strict dress code. They'll sell you pants for a few hundred rmb rather than let you in with shorts. No cover.
Far and away the most famous club in Shanghai, and the standard by which Bund nightlife is measured. They added a razzle-dazzle entrance runway and more rooftop VIP seating back in January. Music is generally house on the weekends, and they've brought in international DJs like David Guetta, Bob Sinclar, Dennis Ferrer and Claptone. Tuesdays are Latin night, Wednesdays are hip-hop, Thursdays are ladies night. Starts early, goes late, gets packed, stays loud, and sprays Champagne like they're watering a lawn with it. Strict door policy. Good spot to meet out-of-towners dipping their toes in snazzier end of Shanghai nightlife. Cover is 100rmb+ on the weekends.
The original Found 158 club and a transplant from its storied Yongjia Lu location, Arkham is STD's garden. It's a cross between a concert venue and a club with a real industrial aesthetic. The music heaves towards what's hot with the kids: dubstep, trap... stuff you can snap your neck to. Recent-ish bookings have included Thundercat, Lil' Yachty, and Chromeo. Crowd sizes vary dramatically based on who's performing, but if there isn't a show on, expect it to be empty. Cover is 60-80rmb.
An exclusive hip-hop lounge above Tongren Lu, marked by the team of dark suits manning the barrier. Hard to get in unless you’re on the guest list, or you know someone, so it’s developed a crowd of regulars. They’ve recently redecorated, paring down to a single bar, freeing up space for more tables, and added a beer pong table. Leans towards the Champagne-popping ABC demographic, with a smattering of foreign college students. No cover!
It's back! The new Elevator (doesn't have an elevator) is a mid-sized dance club with a community vibe. Music is mostly house and/or techno, though disco or hip-hop slips in depending on the night. Regular nights include Medusa, VOID, Space Out, Love Bang, and more. It's also the first club in Shanghai to ban camera phones (they put a sticker over your camera). 1 strike = verbal warning, 2 strikes = you're out on the street. The crowd is everything from scene veterans to new kids, and it usually goes until 5am on Fridays and Saturdays. Cover is ~80rmb on weekends.