Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and the local political, economic and cultural center. As the southern terminus of the Grand Canal, the city is located on the lower reaches of the Qiantang River in southeast China, a superior position in the Yangtze Delta and only 112 mi (180 km) from Shanghai.
The subtropical monsoon climate contributes to varied seasonal sceneries, making Hangzhou one of China’s most popular travel destinations all the year round.
The West Lake is undoubtedly the most renowned landmark, noted for the scenic beauty that blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites. The “Ten West Lake Prospects” selected from the most frequently visited attractions around the lake give travelers a panoramic view of the city’s highlights. Take a stroll along the causeway by the lake; you’ll feel the peaceful ethos of the city and better understand its time-honored fame as ‘Heaven on Earth’.
Hangzhou is a historic city with numerous scenic spots. In such a nostalgic paradise, you can find many peaceful places to unwind. However there are also lots of bars, geared towards the more adventurous, where you can let off some steam after a day of sightseeing. Here are 10 of the best.
1) Ellen’s Bar
Ellen’s is situated in the popular bar area in the west of Hangzhou, close to all of the nightlife. Although there is no ‘bar street’ per se, the most popular ones – such as this – are all located close enough to be a 10-15 minute walk between each (or 11 RMB in a taxi for the ladies that may be wearing skyscraper heels and don’t fancy tottering along!)
A well-known expat haunt that caters mainly towards the students and TEFL teachers, it’s young, lively and loud! With cheap and cheerful drink prices and a menu serving typical Western fare and bar snacks, what’s not to like? Each night has different drinks offers on that change occasionally throughout the year, from 10 RMB mojito nights to 5 RMB tequila and kamikaze shot nights and buy one get one free beer nights, this is the perfect ‘starting off’ bar to get your groove on before moving to a club later in the evening. With a rustic style decor reminiscent of a beach bar and graffiti all over the walls, Ellen’s is a laid-back, friendly establishment that also serves shisha and by 23:00 the music gets cranked up loud enough that conversation is all but impossible.
Add: 58 Xueyuan Road (On Huanggushan Henglu), Xihu District, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 8993 6840
Opening Hours: 16:00 – 04:00
2) 7 Bar
The newly reopened 7 Bar which underwent a refurbishment early October is tucked away in a little side street facing the Dragon Hotel on Shuguang Road. With a hidden doorway on the left hand side right next to the shop on the corner that you’d miss if you weren’t looking for it, this is the place to go for a laid-back, cool atmosphere either as a precursor to a club or just to hang out there and chill with friends for the evening with an eclectic mix of music. Prices are pretty standard with beers and spirits coming in at 30-60 RMB.
Add: 43 Shuguang Road, Xihu District
Tel: 0571 8643 1517
Opening Hours: 18:00 – 02:00
Located in the basement of the above-mentioned Dragon Hotel, this is another popular bar that also has a club feel with most expats heading there a little later in the evening but usually before midnight. An ambient atmosphere is created with dimmed lighting and a stage, with the area in front of the bar something of a dance floor. InClub showcases a variety of performers with various DJ’s and the house band performing there throughout the week. Get yourself there early and you may be lucky enough to bag yourself a table with some complimentary drinks: the management set aside a certain amount of free drinks usually until midnight for foreigners in order to entice them in, making it a popular destination until around 2.00am when it empties out.
Add: B1/F, The Dragon Hotel, 120 Shuguang Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 8799 8833
Opening Hours: 19:00 – 03:00
4) Coco Banana
The place to go after hours when you’re wanting to party until way past the witching hour! Coco Banana plays all of the latest popular dance music and it’s jam packed every night of the week. Cheap drinks prices keep a regular crowd of expats coming back for more and with foreigner specials such as 5 drinks for 50 RMB, it’s not difficult to see why. If you want a table then you should head over by around 23:30 otherwise it’s likely to be standing room only from then on. This club boasts a dance floor and a variety of DJ’s; with international guest DJ’s, promotional nights and various competitions regularly held to keep attracting the clientele.
Add: 2/F, Block A, Dragon Times Square, Junction of Wantang Road and Tianmushan Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Tel: 152 2400 5705
Opening Hours: 19:00 – very late
5) Coco Jeff
Just two blocks up from Coco Banana is Coco Jeff. In a similar vein, it’s a club to go and party at when you’re looking for somewhere that stays open until the sun comes up, with similar music and customers. Like most clubs in Hangzhou it fills up quickly and tables are at a premium so head down there early if standing all night isn’t your thing. Drinks are between 20 – 50 RMB for spirit mixers and beers.
Add: 1/F, East of South Wantanghui, 262 Wantang Road, Xihu District
Tel: 135 8845 7566
Opening Hours: 19:00 – very late
6) Vineyard Cafe
This famous expat bar is where everybody goes for good Western food and a relaxed, quieter atmosphere where the music doesn’t induce burst eardrums. It is full from early evening on wards and Wade – the owner – speaks good English, catering toward a loyal group of expats that come back time and time again. Vineyard shows all of the sports games and is one of only a handful of places in the city to do so, so if you’re sport mad and can’t bear to miss the game then get yourself down there for some decent grub, a large selection of beers and spirits and various drinks offers week in week out. Prices are a little higher than elsewhere but nothing that will break the bank for example from 16:00 – 20:00 it is buy one get one free on cocktails which are anywhere between 40 – 60 RMB. Closing time is usually around 1:00.
Add: 1/F, Zhongtian Mansion, 173 Yugu Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 8763 2388
Opening Hours: 9:30– 1:00 (kitchen closes at 22:00)
7) Club G+
If popular dance music isn’t your thing and you want something more house or techno based, then get yourself down to G+ – situated beside the famous West Lake – to strut your stuff. This club is different to the others in that it regularly has live dancers up on stage or descending from the ceiling on cables. With many international DJ’s performing there too, it’s always bursting at the seams and tables are all but impossible to obtain. Again, foreigner drinks specials keep it busy with many of the same faces plus a dance floor in front of the DJ booth.
Add: 1/F, West Lake International Trade Center, 50 Hubin Road, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 2819 5888
Opening Hours: 21:00 – very late
Activities/Entertainment at Night in Hangzhou
Regarding to activities or entertainment at night in Hangzhou, you can watch the Impression Show of West Lake, enjoy the Show – the Romance of the Song Dynasty, or admire musical fountain of West Lake.
• Watch the Impression Show of West Lake
Venue: on West Lake across Temple of Yue, Beishan Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou
First show: 19:45-21:00 (every day)
Second show: 21:15-22:30 (every Thu-Sat)
The glorious show named Impression of West Lake is an optional entertainment for your Hangzhou night. Staged on the wavy, mellow and changing West Lake, the performance appears vivid and natural. Contented with the myths and legends of the West Lake, the show leads you to a sweet thousand-year dream.
The Impression Show of West Lake
• Enjoy the Show – the Romance of the Song Dynasty
Venue: Theater in Song Park Scenic Spot
Address: 148, Zhijiang Road
Duration: 1 hour (20:00 – 21:00 every day)
The Romance of the Song Dynasty is a large stereoscopic musical drama which was wholeheartedly made by Song Dynasty City. The drama adopted the old stories and legends in Hangzhou City, integrated the world music with acrobatic art, applied the high technology to create a dreamy poetic imagery. You can have a strong visual impact. Till now, the drama has received more than ten million audiences and wins a large outpouring of favorable comments. It is a must for the visitors coming to Hangzhou.
The Romance of the Song Dynasty
• Enjoy Musical Fountain of West Lake
Musical Fountain of West Lake is sited in a lake in Hu Bin San Lakeside Park. The 126 meters long musical fountain not only shows its charm grace in the evening, but also during the day. Well-designed fountain nozzles can rotate for 360 degrees. In accordance of the music, it displays a variety of shapes of the discharge of water, mist and water polo. Musical Fountain is a fountain that can make the ever-changing style with colorful lightings to reflect the music. A good musical fountain, water should be able to change shape to fully express the music.
The arc-shaped West Lake Musical Fountain ranges about 100 meters long and 2 meters wide. The entire musical fountain has 6 types of nozzle to make different shapes and LED lights, and each light can change to different colors. Musical Fountain of West Lake would be a acoustic and visual feast for visitors.
Schedule of Musical Fountain Performance for your reference:
In the day: at 10:00am and 3:30pm, lasting for 10 minutes each time.
In the evening for Monday to Friday: at 7:30pm, 8:00pm. 8:30pm and 9:00pm, lasting for 10 minutes each time.
In the evening for Saturday to Sunday: at 7:30pm, 8:00pm. 8:30pm, 9:00pm and 9:30pm, lasting for 10 minutes each time.
Musical Fountain of West Lake
• Take a Night Cruise along the Grand Canal
The Grand Canal in Hangzhou start fromYu Hang Tang Xi(Chinese:余杭塘栖) in the north and ends in Qiantang River in the south, with a length of 39 kilometers. The Grand Canal is a world cultural heritage. There are a lot of attractions that are themed with canal culture and history along the both sides of the canal. There are also old streets, museums and food streets. But the attractions are scattered. If you want to go to visit them one by one, it may take a lot of time. Therefore, you may take a cruise along the canal to admire the beautiful night view that is decorated with lighting lanterns.
Night View of the Grand Canal
Go Shopping at Night in Hangzhou
Hangzhou is one of important of electronic commerce center in China. Shopping is easy here and the price is reasonable. There are quite a few famous shopping streets and malls in the city for visitors to enjoy shopping time.
• Qinghefang Street
Address: At the southern end of Yan’an Road and the northern foot of Wu Shan Hill, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou
What to buy: unique souvenirs such as bamboo flute, knitting sweaters, Chinese calligraphy tools
In front of a crystal crafts shop in Qinghefang Street, a group of tourists are fascinated by the exquisite craftsmanship of the shop owner who has even forgotten to do the business. This is a very common scene on Qinghefang Street. Now more and more such shop owners can be seen in Qinghefang Street: those who sell the bamboo flutes play the flute at the shop; those who sell the knitting sweaters knit the sweater; and those who sell the writing brushes make them at the shop. The harmonious combination of such traditional “workshop” model of business operation with the tourism has become an attractive scene to tourists.
The street collects the business culture, construction culture and folk art culture, famous people, old alleys, ancient houses and renowned store accumulating rich historical and cultural heritage. It is the epitome of Hangzhou.
• Silk Market
Address: Xinhua Road, Xiacheng District, Hangzhou
What to buy: Silk products
If you are looking for a market to sell Hangzhou silk, you should mot miss the Silk Market in Xinhua Road. It is the best place for you to seek high quality silk products in this city.
Hangzhou Silk has a long standing reputation throughout the world for its old history, numerous varieties, good quality and magnificent color. The Silk Market is an old-time favorite when looking for small gifts or fabric for that robe. They have a range of quality and taste, and it’s all nicely priced.
• Wulin Street
Address: At the downtown area, Xiacheng District, Hangzhou
What to buy: garments and clothes accessories
Wulin Street is a characteristic commercial street in Hangzhou which perfectly integrated shopping, entertainment, tourism, and leisure together. Nearby in the Wulin Square, it is a large number of upscale shopping venues and top-end department stores.
Some one calls this street as female fashion street. The garments and clothes accessories are characterized by modern individuality with quite a number of world famous brands. Originally as a region of stores selling cell phones, it has transformed into a fashion dress street for women just over the past few years. There are also some women barbers, beauty saloons, fitness centers here, adding another leisure variety to the fashion life of the street.
Have a Leisure time at Night Markets
There are not only malls, department stores and high-end custom in life. Sometimes, you may have much more fun to visit to street vendors or markets. You can enjoy the fun of searching great stuff and bargaining. The chaotic street life can have fun too. Famous night street markets include Wushan Night Market and Wulin Night Market.
• Wushan Night Market – The most authentic old night market
Where to go in Hangzhou to make you look like a local? Off course it should be in Wushan Night Market, which is the most authentic old night market. Here collects herve leger small commodities, and the price is cheap. You can do bargain with the sellers, or shop around to get a good buy and avoid wasting money. And you can get to learn how local people live their lives. Except for shopping here, you can also tasty local authentic food at midnight snack booths. But these booths are open places and usually simple and shabby with only a row of the table and several chairs. If you do mind it, just do not try it.
Wushan Night Market
• Wulin Night Market – Women Street of Hangzhou
Night market is the best place to get to know the civil life of local people. No matter where you are in a market, it has always bustling crowd. Wulin Night Market is sited in Longyou Road and it enjoys convenient transportation. If the weather is good, here will be crowded with visitors and market stalls. Here sells cheap clothing, souvenirs, cheap bags, etc. You can buy fine things in reasonable price. This is perfect place for women to do shopping. And there is also a variety of cooked food stalls in the market. You can taste all kinds of local snacks and food, which is the fund of a market.
Wulin Night Market
The above recommended activities are popular things to do at night in Hangzhou. Hope this nightlife guide help you to enjoy your evening time in Hangzhou. Except for these, there are a lot more possibility for what to do at night in Hangzhou. You can explore the city by yourself upon your arrival.