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Travel & Resources: SHANGHAI

"...broad-ranging, up-to-date information
on Shanghai's gay scene."
-- The New York Times

Please help us keep these listings current and correct. Special thanks to andrew16, Shaunr, kanakana, Azthairub, Reetah, byronski, h2008bj, Fip, d1partyanima, rollin, nxala2005, billy-shane, buzifrancois, Matthew B., George Henry, LanHuang, Luke R., ,Boris, Ray M., Chou Doufu, TRW, Greg J., John, Joe G., and Jerome O.

SHANGHAI -- area code +86-21


General Information

    It is evident everywhere just how cosmopolitan Shanghai was in the past and has become once again. Tree-lined boulevards and ornately designed merchant shop fronts are testament to its former prosperity and its hopeful future.

    This is a city of contrasts--sleek skyscrapers rise next to dusty shophouses hoisting laundry out their windows; McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC have sprouted up on every block; peddle carts ply traditional sweets on the sidewalk in front of Cartier. Shanghai startles in its manic modernism. Neon-splashed Huai Hai Rd sports trend-setting world-class department stores, mega-restaurants, cathedral-sized banks and gleaming Metro stops. People's Park, with it's showcase museums, is a good spot to view the city's spaceport skyline, straight out of The Jetsons.

    Shanghai appears to be run by youth, staffed by youth, and patronized by youth. The population now exceeds 23 million (that's almost a million Utopians!). Nearly every gay you meet in China says they want to live here. The nightlife is constantly reinventing itself, but many venues have found consistent patronage from young, professional locals and expats. Shanghai has come to rival Hong Kong as the gay center of China.

    The best way to make local connections is to use apps like Planet Romeo, Grindr, Jack'd, or Blued!

    Whichever of the two airports you use, no need to take a taxi to/from the city (too slow and too expensive). From Pudong International Airport you can grab the Maglev train for a 7-minute 300kph ride to Longyang Rd Subway Station (ticket is less than US$10), connecting to the city's efficient MRT system with its automated English-language ticket machines. From Hongqiao International Airport, take subway Line 10 into the city.

    Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Shanghai:

click for our interactive map of Shanghai

Take a look at Shanghai's gay and lesbian scene...


Travel Services

  • Bright China Travel UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2018
      136-0170-6205, email

      Professional, licensed tour guide based in Shanghai who offers customised tour programs, car rentals, guide and interpreter services in China. Specialized in in-depth themed tours such as Jewish history in Shanghai, colonial architecture, Chinese philosophy and religion, Chinese gardens and so on.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

  • Shanghai Gay Tour Guide UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2020
      +86 137-6173-6607, email. Gay-owned professional, licensed, English-speaking private tour guide to LGBT and LGBT-friendly activities, tours and transfers in Shanghai and surrounding areas. Tailored unique gay trips. Your personable guide shares interesting facts and answers questions about Shanghai's colorful history and culture, while ensuring that you have the best quality tour experience in the city.
      Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

Popular Spots


      Click here for Shanghai hotels and accommodations.

Bars and Clubs



Massage and Spas

Meeting Places

    • Da-mu-qiao (Great Wooden Bridge)

    • People's Square UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2018
        Northeast side of the park, Utopia Map

        Cruising area in city center, in afternoons and early evenings. Southeast part of the garden (close to Xi Zang Zhong Lu and Wei Hai Lu). Many hustlers, but also some gays looking for friends.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Raffles City UTOPIA VERIFIED NOV 2023

    • Starbucks Coffee UTOPIA VERIFIED NOV 2023

        Most branches seem to attract trendy local and visiting gays, but especially noteworthy are the Starbucks at Citic and also Riverside Ave Park in Pudong, where you can cruise and enjoy your cappuccino with the most spectacular sunset view of The Bund across the river.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Xiahai Temple Park
        Hongkou, Utopia Map

        Not far from Lai Lai Ball Room Dancing Hall (see under Bars & Clubs). This tiny park with dim corners attracts decidedly mature non-scene local men and the "archeologists" (Chinese gay slang) who seek them.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

Restaurants and Cafes

      Everyone seems to sum up Shanghai food with two attributes: bland and sweet. If you want to try tasty local food, street-side stalls and shops are abundant, and fresh. Noodles are often still cut by hand. Don't miss the local street specialty, sheng jian, juice-filled, sesame-topped pork dumplings (see picture) fried and steamed in giant round pans. If you could pick one food to take with you to a desert island, and it wasn't Humboldt Fog, it should be sheng jian!

      THE BUND

click for our interactive map of The Bund

    • Wufangzhai (dumplings and noodles)
        Utopia Map

        Local workers' cafeteria with a large, round sheng jian dumpling pan covered by a wooden lid just inside their open window. Buy a voucher at the small counter inside. One order is four dumplings. Careful, these divine dumplings are little granades filled with steaming hot juice! Bite a little hole first and perfect the art of sucking to protect yourself and those around you. We warned you!
        Add your review, comment, or correction

        shenjian dumplings, Shanghai (c) by John Goss


    • El Piso (Spanish tapas) UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2016
        2/F 110 Fenyang Lu (near Taiyuan Lu, South Shaanxi Rd subway exit 7), Utopia Map

        Above El Patio restaurant. Sit inside or on cozy couches on the breezy balcony surrounded by trees. Excellent selection of authentic tapas. Upscale dining: expect to spend a minimum of US$50/person (not including alcohol). Last order at 10:30pm.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Greek Taverna Milos (Greek food) UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2015
        No 1 Yueyang Lu (by Dongping Lu), Changning, Utopia Map

        Their 2nd floor patio overlooking the trees and park has to be one of the prettiest places to relax and dine in the French Concession. Authentic Greek cuisine and excellent service. Reasonable prices.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


click for our interactive map of the Hauihai Gayborhood

    • Jesse Restaurant (Shanghai cuisine) UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2016
        41 Tianping Rd, Utopia Map
        Reservations: 6282-9260

        Foodie alert! A famous, small (dozen tables) restaurant serving excellent Shanghai specialties. Very friendly staff can make recommendations from the extensive menu. We recommend the fatty pork in sticky, sweet brown sauce; sweet, flavor-packed fried boiled shrimp; sensational chewy noodles braised in scallion oil; marinated vegetarian "chicken" with chili peppers; and thin-sliced preserved tofu with parsley). Service is fast. Although they may be able to squeeze you in on the spot, make a reservation to avoid standing outside on the street with the other stand-by hopefuls.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Xin Yuan Yuan (Shanghai and Chinese cuisine) UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2016
        Corner of Panyu Rd and Fahuazhen Rd, Utopia Map

        Foodie alert! Famous Hong Kong pop stars come here for delicious and inexpensive Shanghai food (or so they say). Large menu with pictures and the prices are super reasonable. Have a look at all the photos on the walls of dressed-down Chinese superstars enjoying dinner here. Surprisingly unpretentious, cozy little restaurant. It's all about the great food here.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


click for our interactive map of People's Square

    • Ciao Bambino UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2015
        740 Hangkou Rd, Utopia Map

        Corner café, located in the period art deco Langham Hotel, opposite the back side of Raffle's City, is a perfect place for afternoon tea. Large, cozy booths and a case full of scrumptious desserts like olive oil white chocolate mousse with lingenberries.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Jiajia UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2018
        Utopia Map

        One of two exemplary, and competing, Shanghai dumpling outlets (the other is opposite). Jaja serves incredible xiaolong bao (steamed dumplings) in bamboo baskets. Aside from the plain pork (Y$8+ per basket) and the costly pure crab dumplings (Y$80+ per basket), you must try the incredible pork and hairy crab roe dumplings (Y$18+ per basket). Bite first holding it in a spoon with your chopsticks to suck out the golden broth. You won't want to miss a drop! The shredded ginger in sweet, citrus-scented vinegar is the perfect condiment for this dumpling. Eaten with a bowl of shredded egg and seaweed soup to further heighten your taste buds. This combination is one of Shanghai's must-have foodie treats.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Yang's Fried Dumplings UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2018
        Utopia Map

        One of two exemplary, and competing, Shanghai dumpling outlets (the other is opposite). Yang's serves excellent sheng jian (pan fried dumplings). This version has a thinner, softer skin than some of the doughier versions served elsewhere. Enjoy with a cold can of China's herbal alternative to Coke. As always with sheng jian, please try not to squirt your neighbors with steaming pork juice.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


    • Da Qing Hwa Dumpling

        Several branches of this kitschy, but tasty, eatery exist in the city. We tried the one in Jing'an Dist (6289-9999, 6289-6666), not far from the Jade Buddha Temple. This restaurant has to have the gayest men's bathroom in Shanghai (pay a visit, if only to wash your hands)! The staff are all wearing "Chinesey" period costume but the waiters are totally cute so the effect is more charming than camp. Chunky wood furniture (how many forests were killed to furnish this place?). The place was full of locals rather than tourists (a good sign). Great and unusual dumplings come a dozen to a plate, fried with a crispy crepe-like skin so you have to pull them apart. Best of all, you can have a huge feast for four at only Y$100 (about US$12)!
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Maolong UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2018
        134 Jinxian Rd, Lu Wan Qu, Utopia Map

        Foodie alert! Shanghai flavor specialties of the highest order are served in this tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurant with only half a dozen tables. Take a Chinese friend along to help you order and also interpret the hilariously grumpy Auntie who fiercely guards the superiority of her long-running establishment over the competitor next door. "They have more people eating there because their price is cheaper, but the quality of our ingredients is higher and our cooking is more careful, so our prices are higher." Our Chinese friend, and the Shanghainese at the next table, agreed that the taste of the dishes here really is the best. If nothing else, be sure to sample the pork belly in sweet black soy sauce, the buttery alfalfa sprouts, baby clams in fragrant broth, and the flat fish smothered in wine-soaked rice.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

Saunas and Fitness for Men

Shops and Salons


    • Perfect Tan UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2015
        19 Rong Hua West Ave, Block 2, Unit 102 (near Carrefour Gubei), Utopia Map
        6219-2225, email

        Perfect Tan runs a professional indoor sun tanning salon in Gubei and uses the latest and most advanced tanning equipment from Europe. Walking distance from Carrefour Gubei and the salon has ample parking space. Equipment from Sportarredo, a premier tanning equipment manufacturer for more than 25 years. Both vertical booths and lying beds housed in individual rooms for your privacy. Shower facilities are also available. The first tanning salon to introduce high pressure tanning in Shanghai. The MasterSun 360 high pressure tanning machine will satisfy intermediate and advanced tanners and help them to achieve their desired, longer lasting tan in a much shorter time. Gay and lesbian-friendly.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT off normal price.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Qibao Village UTOPIA VERIFIED OCT 2023

        Easy to get to by taxi, just on the outskirts of downtown near the ring highway. This somewhat Disneyfied neighborhood of old shophouses along a boating canal is less touristed than Yuyuan Gardens and a great place to see the masses enjoying hundreds of food stalls, unpretentious knick-knack shops, tea rooms, and mini-museums dedicated to unique aspects of traditional folk culture such as cricket collecting and weaving. Graze at the many food stalls offering specialties that are getting rarer in the big city. Lots of photo opportunities and you'll probably be the only foreigner amongst the throngs, so you're an attraction as well!
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Shanghai Sex Toy Market
        4/F Kai Xuan Men Dasha, 428 Tianmu Zhong Lu (by Wu Zhen Lu), Utopia Map
        凯旋门大厦保健品市场, 天目中路428号, 近乌镇路

        Take the escalators up to 4/F where you will find more than 20 small shops offering every kind of pleasure aid imaginable along with quite a few that are unimaginable.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Tianzifang UTOPIA VERIFIED NOV 2023
        Taikang Rd, Utopia Map

        A traditional "stone gate" neighborhood that has been conserved and transformed into a vibrant district of art galleries, fashion and design boutiques, and sidewalk cafés. Residents still live here, so you can also observe the daily routines of Shanghai's common folk. Offically declared the "Intellectual Property Protection Experimental Park," it is an enjoyable way to see young products by young artists and designers or simply to have a taste of bohemian café life.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Xintiandi UTOPIA VERIFIED NOV 2023
        At Huangpi Rd and Taichang Rd, Utopia Map

        Shanghai's trendy dining and boutique shopping area housed in renovated traditional heritage buildings. A great place to people watch in the afternoons and evenings. Oodles of gays, of course.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

China Gay & Lesbian Resource Listings by City:


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Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Amp Puttipong)

Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Siam Pride)

Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Siam Pride)

Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Siam Pride)

Tokyo Rainbow Pride

At Tokyo Rainbow Pride

Cambodia Pride

Dynamic duo at Cambodia Pride

Special photo exhibition by Mark Leighton!


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Malaysia + Mongolia + Myanmar/Burma + Nepal + Philippines + Singapore + Sri Lanka + Taiwan + Thailand + Vietnam

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