How To Hookup In Shanghai

Heading to Shanghai and want to know where to meet girls?

China’s largest city and home to a population of almost 25 million people, Shanghai is an international hub which attracts many tourists and business travellers. In fact, more than eight million overseas visitors pass through the city each year. Combined with a large expat community, Shanghai is a great place for English speakers to meet women.

In this guide, we take a look at how and where to meet ladies in the city of Shanghai – including a little bit of advice on your approach. We’ll also share some tips on those dating apps and classified sites that are suitable for finding a hookup in Shanghai.

Meeting Women in Shanghai

A modern city compared to many in China, Shanghai still has plenty of traditional roots and though men do try to pick up girls, it isn’t an easy thing to do. The main reason for this is that casual encounters just aren’t part of the culture.

See more: Our guide to sex in China.

Dating turns into a serious relationship pretty quickly and you can find that your hook-up is happy to call you their boyfriend even after the first date!

That’s not to say that a one-night stand isn’t possible if that’s what you are after but just bear in mind that for many singles in Shanghai, the goals of dating are very much centered around traditional goals of marriage and family.

Education levels in the city are very high and English is widely spoken so there isn’t as much of a language barrier. Foreigners are from being ostracized here with the practice of dating Western men being pretty common.

hookup in shanghai
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Although not the capital, Shanghai is very much China’s most cosmopolitan city and being the center of the fashion industry is trendy, populated by stylish women (and men) who know how to look good.

There’s a lot of affluent and independent women in the city so if you are aiming to meet sophisticated women then you will have to make sure you are booted and suited.

There is some good news though with recent reports claiming that single women in Shanghai outnumber their male counterparts by four to one! With most of these women being between the ages of 30-35, that means there is a huge pool of single ladies on the market.

And, to add extra power to the elbow, most of these women are not interested in dating local men

But, where do you find them?

Best Shanghai Bars and Clubs

By far the most popular place to meet women in Shanghai as a foreigner is in the bars and clubs. It very depends on what you are into and the kind of women you are looking for as to which clubs will suit you best but there are lots of options available.

The nightlife in Shanghai is very active and is akin to most Western cities when it comes to the range of clubs and bars on offer. There is pretty much a club to suit everyone from electronica and dance to R&B and K-pop.

Likewise, the bars are varied and many with those around Xintiandi being the best. Known as Shanghai’s entertainment district there are also some good restaurants here too. It has the feel of a European city with old stone houses and there is even the cutesy touch of old world style street lamps which switch on at dusk. The area has a lot of tourists but some locals too.

picking up women in bars shanghai
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

We’ve selected some of the trendiest hotspots for night-time entertainment in Shanghai:

  • Monkey Champage, 38 Donghu Lu
  • Dada, 115 Xingfu Lu
  • M1nt, 318 Fuzhou Rd
  • Geisha, 390 South Shaanxi Lu
  • 88 Bar, 701 Yongjia Rd
  • Beer Lady, 1247 Nan Suzhou Lu
  • Downton, 449 Huashan Lu
  • Unico, Three On The Bund
  • Bar Rouge, 18 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan
  • Kartel Wine Bar, 1, Xiangyang North Road
  • Harley’s, 265 Nandan Dong Lu
  • Vue Bar, 199 Huangpu Rd at The Hyatt
  • Judy`s, 142, Tong ren Road, Near Nanjing West Rd
  • Manhattan Bar, 154 Nanyang Lu
  • Myst Club, 1123 Yanan Middle Rd
  • M2 at Hong Kong Plaza, 4/F, 283 Huaihai Zhong Lu
  • Le Baron at 7F, 20 Donghu Lu
  • Celia at 298 Xingfu Lu
  • The Shelter, 5 Yongfu Rd Xuhui
  • Zapata’s, 11 Dongping Rd
  • Up, 688 Shaanxi North Rd
  • Perry’s, Huaihai Middle & Changshu Rd
  • Reel To Reel, 388 Madang Lu
  • 44KW, 158 Julu Road

The city is known for having some of China’s more famous red light districts, too.

Nanjing Road

One of the city’s busiest streets there are lots of people to be found here both day and night but as the streets light up, it really comes to life. The whole area is full of shopping malls, traditional eateries and independent shops which attracts a lot of tourists as well as locals.

nanjing road meet girls in shanghai
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Daygame Spots

The daygame in Shanghai isn’t great and, for some reason, the local women here aren’t as open to being hit on when the sun is up. That’s not to say that you can’t try it but attempts will often be met with amusement or open hostility.

If you fancy trying your chances for a Shanghai hookup, we’ve given you some ideas below but perhaps sticking to tourist pick ups during the day might be more fruitful.

People’s Square

A popular place for tourists there are a lot of English-speaking Chinese locals who head to People’s Square in Huangpu District which makes it an ideal place to chat to women. It’s usually bustling with things to do and plenty of activities making it a pleasant enough place to spend some time.

Just be aware that there are regular ‘marriage markets’ held in the square so don’t get caught up in one of those by accident!

peoples square meet girls in shanghai
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The Bund

One of the most popular places to head for meeting tourists, this waterfront area of Shanghai is full of shopping areas and eateries. It has a relaxed kind of vibe to it but isn’t really a local’s scene.


Shopping malls offer a really relaxed environment to meet Shanghai girls and there are plenty of them in the city, each offering a choice of cafes and places to hangout whilst you look out for a good opportunity.

Of  those in the Shanghai worth going, we can recommend the IFC; an upmarket mall that attracts a lot of international visitors, any girls who come here will often speak good English.

Super Brand Mall is one of the biggest malls around, a lot of fashionable girls tend to hang out here especially on the weekend and they are usually in groups so you’ll need to be bold.

Situated in the Huangpu District (so, not far from People’s Square), the Yuyuan Bazar is another popular shopping mall but one which gets a lot more locals.

Other places to try your luck include Plaza 66 in Jing’an and Longemont, also known as Cloud Nine in Changning.

shopping malls meet girls in shanghai
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Language Exchange

Sort of like speed dating but for people looking to learn Mandarin or English, these classes couple up locals with native English speakers for educational purposes. It might not be the most common way to meet girls in Shanghai but it does offer an excellent opportunity to start chatting to some…and maybe you can learn some Chinese into the bargain.

You can find these programs through English Schools which are also a good way to meet women.


If you are having difficulty in meeting women in Shanghai then you could try the classified ads to see if there are any opportunities in the city. Be aware that most of these are unverified ads and results can vary. Some ads can turn out to be escorts with others potentially being scams. Just use your common sense and recognize that these are more for casual encounters than for serious dating.

  • China Daily
  • Foreigner CN
  • Love Awake
  • FDating
  • Beijinger

Shanghai Dating Apps

Apps like Tinder are a popular way to meet people right across China and whilst you can use this Western app here in Shanghai, there are some alternatives which are used more by locals:

  • TenCent QQ
  • Qing Chifan
  • TanTan
  • Momo

You can find a full guide to some of the best dating apps in China from our recent feature.

Hookup In Shanghai With Premium Dating Sites

And finally, if you would like to meet a woman in Shanghai for more than just a casual encounter then you might want to try a paid subscription site. Offering a verified way to meet singles in the city, they offer more security than the classifieds option:

  • Baihe
  • Chn Love
  • Chinese Kisses
  • China Love Cupid
  • Jiayuan
  • 2 Red Beans
  • Chinese Lady
  • Dating Chinese
  • Asian Dating

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.