The Ultimate Gay Travel Guide
The Gay Passport is your complete Gay Travel Guide. Looking to Drink, Play or Sleep we have reviews to help. Award-winning & Updated 2023.
From true 5 star luxury to backpacker hostels Shanghai has it all. There are accommodation options for all budgets. Because hotels tend to be relatively cheap for world city standards, many travelers opt to stay in nicer hotels that would be outside their budget in another country: a standard room in a high-end hotel will run you about ¥1000 (approximately $160) a night. Look for luxury hotels around The Bund, boutique stays in the French Concession, or incredible skyline views in Pudong.
However, if you are wanting to socialize and party on a budget, a backpacker hostel is probably the best choice. They also tend to have more English-speaking staff, and will be able to point you towards a good time. A dorm bed will usually cost about ¥70-¥90 ($10-£15), and there are a few great hostels not too far from the gay Shanghai hubs: Rock & Wood International Youth Hostel is a quiet and laid-back option a mere 15-20 minute walk from the grouping of gay bars and clubs in Changning.
Alternatively, there are quite a few budget options near The Bund, which is ideal if you want to stay close to the tourist spots. Bear in mind that while there is a friendly and varied backpacker crowd, hostels in China tend to be a more chill affair than some of the party hostels seen in Europe and Southeast Asia. Still, they are a great place to meet travelers with whom you can go out and enjoy the nightlife.
As a general rule, you should not struggle to find gay-friendly accommodation in Shanghai. Most places welcome same-sex couples when booking double rooms, but opt for international chains if you want to be sure.
Many gay visitors choose to stay in the French Concession area as it offers a good compromise between tourist activities and gay Shanghai nightlife.
♥ Original, luxurious, and fun design across the entire hotel
♥ Brand New Hotel – Opened 2018
♥ The WET outdoor swimming pool deck is one of the best places in Shanghai for a #poolside photoshoot
W hotels are a long-established gay favorite brand throughout the world, and this brand-new addition to their portfolio is the W Asian flagship. The great location, exceptional design, attentive staff, and top-tier facilities combine to make this one of the very best luxury options in Shanghai for gay travelers.
As usual, you can expect impeccable contemporary design, blending modern lines, classic Chinese motifs, and quirky, unexpected details. Meanwhile, the hotel’s excellent position on the North Bund offers fantastic views of futuristic Pudong skyscrapers from almost every room. While these are impressive during the day, they become mesmerizing at night when the skyline comes to life.
There are four restaurants, including both international and Chinese options, and three excellent bars. As well as the usual poolside bar, you have a choice between a 1920’s speakeasy-themed vibe in Liquid at YEN and the ultra-hip cocktail stylings of in-house mixologist Dylan Lam in WOOBAR.
This is a very basic, no-frills hotel for a budget price. The location is perfect for gay nightlife, with all gay bars a 10 to 15-minute walk away. The surrounding neighborhood has plenty of great bars, restaurants, shops, and a few lovely parks. The rooms are clean and comfortable enough, if not slightly worn down. The staff are friendly and helpful and the Chinese-style breakfast is quite tasty.
This ibis hotel is very well located in the Jiatong Univesity area, approximately a 10-minute walk from the main Shanghai gay bars, Jiaotong University metro station, and Hongqiao Road metro station. This means you can walk to and from the hotel when you go out at night, and are perfectly connected for visiting the rest of the city.
The hotel is of the usual ibis standard, basic but convenient and functional. The rooms are not particularly large, but they are clean and have all the necessities, and the breakfast is equally simple. Furthermore, you are guaranteed English-speaking staff at the reception, which can sometimes be a problem in China.
This hotel is located in the beautiful Concession area of Shanghai, just where it meets Changing district – which just so happens to be home to most of Shanghai’s gay bars and venues. This makes the Radisson Collection Hotel Xing Guo an ideal option if you are looking to make the most of Shanghai’s gay nightlife, with some of the most popular gay bars in the city a short 15-minute walk away.
The decor is grand and old-fashioned, themed to match the Art Deco surroundings of the French Concession. This may not appeal to lovers of contemporary design, but will delight anyone who enjoys the feel of a traditional luxury hotel with all the comforts of a modern one.
A lovely green park surrounds the hotel, giving an impression of remote serenity in the very heart of chaotic Shanghai. Beyond, the leafy avenues of the Concession make for some lovely daytime walks, while at night the area becomes Shanghai’s center of trendy, young, upmarket nightlife.
Shanghai Le Tour Traveler’s Rest Youth Hostel is a perfect hostel for backpackers and budget travelers. It is housed in an old factory and retains a lot of classic Shanghai charm, with exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and graffiti by travelers from all over the globe as far as the eye can see. There is a lovely terrace space where you can eat, drink, and meet new people, and large common areas with games and ample seating.
The rooms are spacious enough, with several size options for private rooms, including some good quadruple options that are perfect if you are traveling with friends. The dorm rooms are on the smaller size (6 people) and separated by gender.
The location in Jingan district is great for food, bars, and shopping, with easy transport links to the rest of the city. The hostel is tucked away in a hidden alleyway, meaning you are away from the noises of the main street (but it can be difficult to find).
This hostel offers great value for money, with simple, clean, and nicely decorated amenities at very affordable rates. Rock&Wood stands out thanks to its pleasant garden and terrace area, which gives an impression of calm and serenity in the middle of the city.
There are both private and dormitory rooms, all basic but comfortable. The common room has a pool table and is usually lively. The food and drinks at the cafe are good and cheap, which is handy since you are not allowed to bring in food from outside. When the hostel is busy, there is a great atmosphere in the common areas and it is really easy to start chatting to people.
Location-wise, the hostel is quite central but the gay bars are only a 15-minute walk away. There is a metro station nearby and the lovely Tianshan Park is close by.
An excellent hostel in the city center of Shanghai, close to the river and a 10-minute drive to the Bund. There is a metro station just across the street, connecting to the circular Line 4, with stations on Lines 12, 13, also conveniently nearby. The gay bars can be reached in 15 to 20 minutes by taxi.
The hotel is very nicely decorated in a modern yet rustic style, and has both private and dorm rooms available. Dorms come in 4, 6, and 8 beds, and can either be mixed or gender-separate. The staff is knowledgeable, English-speaking, and happy to help you make the most of your stay. The bar and common area are welcoming and laid-back, and there is a laundry service available.
This small boutique hotel is perfect for those looking for a budget option but who like a bit more character than the usual chain hotel. There are only 31 rooms, all of them comfortable and decorated with a personal touch. Overall, the hotel almost feels like a villa or homestay, with a cozy and welcoming vibe.
The staff do not always speak English, but are always very friendly and go out of their way to make you feel at home. Small details like fresh fruit and milk brought to your room in the morning really make the place stand out from other budget option.
The location is quiet but extremely close to the gay nightlife spots, meaning you can party at night and relax during the day.
This Hotel Indigo is one of the chain’s flagship locations and is always popular with gay visitors. The location on The Bund by the Huangpu river is beautiful and perfect for sightseeing – there are even two scenic parks on the hotel’s doorstep for a relaxing stroll.
The hotel itself presents excellent value for money, with modern, creative decor throughout inspired by the centuries of history in the surrounding area. The rooms are spacious and impressive, with many of them offering great views of the river and Pudong through huge, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows.
The restaurants offer tasty and varied food, including a very good breakfast, and the rooftop terrace bar is a great place for a drink with a panoramic view. There is a state-of-the-art fitness suite and a pool with – you guessed it – pretty incredible views.
The Longemont Shanghai is located a 10-minute walk away from the city’s gay bars, making it very convenient for nightlife. The hotel has modern decor and very spacious and comfortable rooms, including good beds and showers.
The indoor swimming pool is quite impressive, a narrow 30m-long strip of water in an airy, skylit space with a panoramic view of the city. There are five dining options covering several styles of Asian and Western cuisine, a lounge bar, and a spa.