Shanghai takes it’s karaoke – or KTV as it’s known here – seriously. Whether you want to rock out in an Audrey Hepburn-inspired private room, pair a game of laser tag with an evening of belting out the golden oldies or enjoy a pop-star moment in a luxury suite with 200 of your closest friends, there’s somewhere in this glitzy city to experience this popular local pastime at its best.
This Taiwanese brand of karaoke bars is the most popular chain in Shanghai, and its Dapuqiao club is its most impressive. Rooms are decorated with marble floors and antique-style furniture, filled with oversized stuffed toys and equipped with jazz-era microphone stands. The music options may just be the most varied of all KTV brands across Shanghai, with everything from classic brit rock to the ever-popular K-pop. Along with drinks, it also serves delicious traditional Chinese food.
Haoledi (which translates to “good music”) is another chain popular with the Shanghainese, and it’s a little more affordable. This is your ideal place to visit with a small group of friends. Order some beers, such as the Chinese favourite Tsingtao, and spend a few hours belting out anything from cheesy pop classics to modern pop ballads. There are over 30 locations in the city, but the best locations are on East Nanjing Road, a short walk from People’s Square and on Pudong’s Zhangyang Road near Century Avenue.
V-Show is the pinnacle of KTV entertainment. Like a theme park without the rides, every inch of the interior is decorated in a bizarre and larger-than-life fashion. Each room has its own unique theme, from a space dedicated to Audrey Hepburn to one based on the popular app Plants vs. Zombies. The karaoke options themselves range across all eras and genres of pop, hip-hop and rock music. There are even cocktails, which is a rarity in KTV.
The gimmick at Le Baron is that every room is styled after a typical apartment – albeit glitzy and shiny, with a heavy black-and-silver motif. Le Baron focuses on atmosphere above all else, putting patrons in a more relaxed and lively mood than more typical karaoke rooms. The music selection leans towards cheesy, with a lot of British and American pop classics. If you like your karaoke nostalgic, this is the place for you.
While Lansheng Theatre is ordinarily a cinema, it also offers two VIP karaoke rooms for those willing to pay. This theatre is an impressive establishment; built in the 1930s, it now features a distinctly modern aesthetic, complete with fish tanks.
This venue in Xuhui has been one of the biggest laser tag clubs in Shanghai for almost twenty years. While most young people typically come here to enjoy a few rounds of laser tag, karaoke is a popular after-activity.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Rachel Deason.