Tianzifang is the arts and culture centre of Shanghai, and home to some of the most quaint and unique bars in the city.
What used to be a residential area of the former French Concession is now a hip and vibrant arts and culture area. Tianzifang is defined by its narrow streets and alleys filled with craft stores, boutiques and European restaurants. Here, you’ll find a diverse selection of both vintage Chinese bars and courtyard lounge bars to enjoy.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Friends Bar provides a real American atmosphere, making it popular with foreigners who have come to call Shanghai home. This bar sells almost every kind of drink a patron might be looking for and offers a particularly good mojito. Like many bars in Tianzifang, Friends Bar is a cosy nook with a lot of heart, with great American jukebox music playing and an intimate atmosphere that encourages making new friends.
As the name suggests, this restaurant-bar offers a fantastic selection of oysters as its main attraction. Paired with this is a good selection of wines and beers. All of this can be enjoyed at the bar or out on the terrace, where you can sit and watch the world rush by on the streets below.
Andalus is a little slice of Morocco in the heart of Shanghai. This restaurant-bar offers excellent traditional Moroccan cuisine, as well as a wide range of Moroccan coffees and cocktails. There’s even a hookah to enjoy after you’ve stuffed yourself silly. The bar’s aesthetic is bold and bright, with beautiful coloured glass illuminating the bar. The golden bar stools and a neon-lit bar make the venue positively ornamental.
This popular nook is one of the most charming bars in Shanghai; it’s small and cosy, with an emphasis on quiet and relaxed drinking at the bar with friends. Situated at the end of a quiet alley on Taikang Road, the bar is decorated with leather upholstery and wood furniture to give it a quiet cabin feel. The ceilings are low and the spaces cramped, providing a real sense of intimacy. Bell Bar has been slowly evolving over the years, and growing in size and popularity, but it still retains a real local flavour, accomplished by providing a selection of Chinese beers and spirits, such as Baijiu. It’s the perfect place to relax and hang out.
Rambler, with its helpful staff and regulars who are always welcoming to new faces, is known as one of the friendliest bars in Tianzifang. This bar evokes a slice of Americana, serving up affordable and delicious pizza alongside a good range of local and imported beers. This an ideal place to bring friends, play some pool and while away the the evening.
The Kommune’s delightful courtyard means it a big hit with summertime revellers. This, alongside its generous offerings of tapas and cocktails, makes it the perfect place to enjoy the sun. This Tianzifang staple is open year-round, but summer is certainly when it shines, and the bar staff even cook up barbecues at the weekends.
One of the unique allures of Shanghai is its maze of backstreets (or hutongs). These streets hark back to a more traditional era of the city, before the towers of glass and steel took over the sky. Tianzifang is made up of hundreds of these backstreets, and no bar takes advantage of their style and mood better than The Alley Bar. It’s cosy and quaint, but it can get packed at times. The Alley Bar offers local beers and a real traditional Shanghai aesthetic, taking you back to the city of old.
Many of the bars found in Tianzifang specialise in either local beers or cocktails, but if you’re in the mood for a glass of something more sophisticated, Tai Wine is a must-visit. Making your way under its awnings, you’ll begin to feel as if you’ve been transported to Italy or Spain. A cobbled street on Taikang Road leads patrons to a red-brick building with lanterns lighting the way. Once inside, you’ll find an extensive wine list from all over the world. This bar draws a young and arty crowd, so you might want to dress up.
Revitalising the Shanghai of old, with waiters wearing traditional Chinese qipao and a selection of local Chinese beers, WeMeet is a delight. The bar offers a daily happy hour, which includes a two-for-one deal on imported beers, and there’s also also a good range of cocktails. Every Wednesday, ladies can enjoy a free glass of wine with anything bought at the bar.
Situated at the edge of Tianzifang is MAO Livehouse, Shanghai’s biggest underground music venue. This place frequently plays host to the best punk and metal acts in Shanghai, as well as the occasional international guest. It’s a fantastic, affordable and atmospheric place to enjoy a cheap beer and experience China’s underground music scene. The drinks menu might not be extensive, but there’s a good enough selection. Here, it’s all about the tunes.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.