Well, it’s Chinese New Year once again and it’s making me miss all the fun times I had while living in Shanghai. One thing I loved doing while living there was having a drink on a rooftop bar. It’s really easy to take for granted the atmosphere and ambiance of these rooftop bars once you’ve moved to another country. Shanghai is known for lots of things, but its’ rooftop bars are where all the fun is if you can afford a pricey drink.
Whether you’re out for a big night or just a quiet drink after work or even cup of coffee during the day, some of these places have views that are simply stunning and allow you to marvel to what is truly a fantastic city.
Here are the picks of my favorite rooftop bars I spent time in while I lived in Shanghai. If you’re travelling to Shanghai, you’ll want to add few of these to your list!
1. Bar Rouge
Bar Rouge is probably one of the most touristy of the lot. But if you’ve got visitors in town, this is a good one to stop off at to begin your night. Regularly listed as one of the “Best Bars in the World,” Bar Rouge combines sleek modern decor with traditional Chinese design, while later the bar turns into a club. Get in early to avoid a cover charge and be prepared to spend around 90 RMB for a drink.
Address: 7/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (near Nanjing Dong Lu) 中山东一路18号外滩18号7楼 (近南京东路)
2. Sir Elly’s Terrace Rooftop Bar
Located on the rooftop of The Peninsula Hotel, this rooftop bar is sectioned off to almost a 360-degree view of the Huangpu River. In good weather, the outdoor bar is a treat to sit at, and the stunning views take you across the Huangpu River, the Pudong skyline, and Suzhou Creek. This was one of my favorites to relax at on a Friday afternoon after work and enjoy drinks and light tapas with the Shanghai sunset as your backdrop.
Address: 13/F, 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (near Beijing Dong Lu) 中山东一路32号13楼 (近北京东路)
3. TOPS at Banyan Tree on the Bund
This is a favorite for social media posts because of the décor and amazing views at sunset. It’s a little further down the river on the Hongkou side of the river, yet the views are just as awe-inspiring as any. The rooftop terrace boasts unobstructed views of rivers and skylines. Drinks are priced around the 80-150 RMB range if you’re into champagne cocktails. It also has a lovely afternoon tea menu if you fancy tea and treats.
Address: 13/F, 19 Gongping Lu (near Haiping Lu) 公平路19号13楼 (近海平路)
This is, without doubt, the best view in Pudong for a rooftop bar. Located at the top of the Ritz Carlton Shanghai Pudong, this 58th story bar will provide you with amazing views of both the iconic Pearl Tower and views of all of Pudong. While most people come here for a cocktail or two and the fantastic views, it also has a fantastic afternoon tea menu for a special treat.
Address: 58/F, Shanghai IFC, 8 Century Avenue (near Lujiazui Huan Lu) 世纪大道8号58楼上海国金中心 (近陆家嘴环路)
5. CHAR Bar (Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund)
Located atop Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund, CHAR Bar has also made its way on many “best of” lists. Start your night off basking in the neon and white lights of the chic decor as you enjoy a panoramic view of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline as cruise boats float in the water. It has a large outdoor deck, and if the weather is a little cool, the inside bar also has great views. It’s close to the ring road too, so if you’re heading into Pudong, it makes for a good bar stop.
Address: 30/F, Hotel Indigo, 585 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu (near Dongmen Lu) 中山东三路585号30楼 (近东门路)
So unlike its ritzy competition located on the bund, this French bar is tucked away in the former French Concession and much more low key. The building itself isn’t much to look at, but once you get to the top, you’ll appreciate why it makes all the top lists. Much more laid-back but with modern décor and beautiful views of the inner city. You’ll find a much more local expat crew here most nights as the drinks prices are more affordable at around 60 RMB.
Address: 5/F, 1 Xiangyang Lu (near Julu Lu) 襄阳北路1号5楼 (近巨鹿路)
7. The Fellas Terrace
This is my pick for an excellent quiet lesser known bar with a great view. It’s one of Shanghai’s best-kept secret as it used to be a small bar called Shen and recently was taken over by the Goodfellas restaurant below. It’s more casual but has all the view and atmosphere of the big name rooftop bars on the bund. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere by pairing good drinks and tasty pizza fresh out of the oven.
Address: 7/F, 7 Yan’an Dong Lu (near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu) 黄浦区延安东路7号7楼 (近中山东一路)