In Shenzhen the key to finding the best nightlife spots for drinking and partying is to use the Shenzhen nightlife guide on ShenzhenParty.com. The page is updated frequently with the openings of the latest clubs and pubs. Look through the subsections to find the right nightlife options that fit your tastes and mood. Also check the event calendar to know the upcoming events and happy hours. Below we will touch on the areas of nightlife that Shenzhen excels in explain where you can find them.
Photograph from A8 Live
You can find a directory of all the live music venues in Shenzhen such as The Terrace and V Bar where popular cover bands play nightly. A Shenzhen local music scene has also sprung up with open mic nights almost every night of the week for those aspiring musicians. Larger international bands will usually perform at dedicated live music halls such as B10 and A8. In the OCT area of Shenzhen there is also a burgeoning scene of live jazz music. On a yearly basis B10 is now holding a jazz festival in OCT Loft as well.
Photograph from The Tavern Sports Bar & Grill
If you are just up for a beer with friends or are looking for a place to watch your favorite sports team play on the television then take a look at the sports bar section of ShenzhenParty.com. This is where you will want to check when you are looking for places to watch the Superbowl or find a happy hour. Sports bars have expanded all over the city from Coco Park to Shekou Seaworld. Many expats in Shenzhen are also starting to brew their own beer and some of them are turning this into a craft beer movement which is starting to take off. Some hard to find craft breweries are popping up in Shenzhen's handshake villages where rent is cheap and it is a great place for entrepreneurs to experiment.
Photograph from Grange Grill
When you have found a date in Shenzhen and you want to go out for a drink together, check the list of the best romantic bars with a view in Shenzhen. Though most Chinese tend to have a bottle culture and tend to not drink cocktails things are slowly changing with more skilled bartenders entering the city and you can now find whiskey lounges where you can try hundreds of kinds of whiskey and whiskey based cocktails as well. Cocktail lounges and wine bars start to abound and it is getting easier to find quieter places for a drink instead of loud noisy clubs.
Photograph from Face
If you are young at heart and want to see top DJ talent then Shenzheners really like to party at clubs. Night clubs in general get to stay open until late hours in the night. It is not uncommon for party goers to jump from one night club to the next until 6am in the morning. Female DJs are the trend in the Shenzhen nightlife scene and the clubs regularly bring some of DJ Mags top 100 DJs to spin their music. Sophisticated lighting and sound systems along with videos get the crowd pumping and dancing. During the weekdays some of the less popular clubs make space for regular salsa dancing lessons.
If you are looking for the best House Club or best Hip hop club in Shenzhen you may have some trouble as these establishments play pretty fast and loose with their music policies and usually DJs switch styles throughout the night some with better success than others. For hard core DJ fans look for those "underground" parties such as the infamous monthly Tunnel Rave parties or occasional Drum n Bass nights at the more obscure bars in town.
Comparing Hong Kong and Shenzhen nightlife it is usually people in Shenzhen are more open to meet although many bars in Shenzhen don't have very large dance floors as they try to pack the bar full of tables to get patrons to sit and drink rather than boogie. Clubs in Shenzhen tend to be massive and they keep trying to get bigger to top each other. The sophistication of Hong Kong might not be there yet especially when you start comparing prices. Hong Kong is still more expensive but you also can expect much more attention to detail in the surrounding and the drinks than in Shenzhen.
Unlike Hong Kong where you basically just go to Langkwaifang and pick a bar, Shenzhen is a long city and the nighttime options are more spread out. Depending on your mood, where your friends live and what events are going on you might have to negotiate a bit to meet up and sometimes meet up in the middle. Here are the main sections you need to know that have the best party options:
If you are working or living near the Futian CBD you will find that your default inclination will be to head to Coco Park which is a mall that has a bar street which is quite busy. Most expats will head across the street to "Shopping Park" which is an incongruous building that has organically sprouted many bars and clubs. Either way this area is popular for afterwork drinks since it is so close to many offices and there are many restaurant options as well. The drinking options range from live music bars, to pubs and also places to go clubbing. One appeal of this area to many is a large number of the bars have outdoor seating which takes advantage of Shenzhen's year round warm weather. For those that don't want to be in a loud enclosed space but still want to party down this is a welcome arrangement. Salsa nights are common in the Coco Park area as this place is heaving with people not he weekend but during the week the party goer numbers are down. Warning if you go "Coco Parking" too much you will start to complain about how you always see the same people and you are bored of it. Fight the boredom and visit this Web site regularly for announcements of new places to check out around Shenzhen.
On the opposite side of town you have a huge concentration of expatriates and China Merchants has tried to accommodate them by turning the area around the Minghua Ship into a restaurant and bar paradise. Shekou Seaworld's restaurants cover a variety of cuisines and has both clubs and live music bars. You can really plan a full night of great food and then dancing all without jumping in a cab from place to place. Shekou is a popular place for people from Hong Kong as it is just a ferry ride away. Most places in Seaworld does not stay open as late as Coco Park but it is definitely a great place to start the night.
Sometimes you have to meet your friends in the middle and OCT Loft is the artist enclave that is just about the middle of Shenzhen. This place is a lot more artist and cafe oriented. It has a much more quiet chilled out vibe where you can find mostly live music and no clubbing. Cafes offer the opportunity to site outside enjoying a beer while watching the occasional group of people go buy. The Loft is home to the live music venue B10 mentioned above and you want to keep your eye out on the ShenzhenParty.com event calendar to observe their frequent live music performances. Overseas Chinese Town and loft is your best chance to find live jazz music and musicians jamming together.
Luohu district used to be the king of Shenzhen nightlife but gradually the clubs have been migrating towards Coco Park or opening second branches there. Luohu still holds its charm and can be the place where you end up in the very late hours of the night sometimes forgetting where you are and how you got there. Old habits die hard when you have such legendary clubs as Face. Everything stays open late in Luohu.
The bar and club scene changes rapidly on a yearly basis for the latest updates the ShenzhenParty.com nightlife section is the place that keeps up with the changes while our event section almost automatically plans your weekends. Our team is continually going out and finding those gems both big and small which bring variety to your nightlife existence in the city of Shenzhen, China.