Guangzhou Nightlife:
Bars, Pubs and Clubs in Guangzhou

There are three main bar clusters in Guangzhou. The most westernized nightlife is in the commercial district around Huanshi Dong Lu (near Taojin subway station). The bars and clubs here, such as Cave Bar, Gipsy King Bar, Hill Bar, the Elephant & Castle and the Paddy Field, are heavily frequented by foreigners.

There is also a cluster of bars and clubs along and around Yanjiang Xilu, on the north bank of the Pearl River. They tend to be more upmarket establishments.

The Bai-E-Tan bar street in the Fangcun district is the other option. Set along the riverside, it’s a lovely area even if the actual bars aren’t so great.

There are a number of well-regarded bars and clubs scattered in other areas of Guangzhou as well. Check out a local English-language listings magazine for some leads.

Cave Bar
Cave Bar, Guangzhou Rowdy red-lit bar in a basement on Huanshi Dong Lu, the Cave Bar is a fun place for some drinking and dancing.
Patrons gyrate on the small and sweaty dance floor to a music mix mainly comprising of Latin and R&B. Cave Bar has a small and intimate feel to it but, surprisingly, there is also a good deal of seating around, making it possible to sit and chill with friends here. There’s also a little alcove with large television where sports (mainly football) are shown. The drinks selection isn’t extensive but is adequate. Beer starts at ¥25, cocktails are from ¥35, while spirits are around ¥30-35. When hunger pains strike there are 9 inch pizzas on offer for ¥40. Drawing a split crowd of locals and foreigners, Cave Bar is a good place to party or pick-up. Later in the evening there are ‘erotic’ shows on the dance floor.
Address: 360 Huanshi Dong Lu Subway: Taojin (Line 5) Ph. (020) 8386 3660
Directions: Cave Bar is just west of the intersection between Huanshi Dong Lu and Jianshe Liu Malu, on the west side of Peace Plaza.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去墨西哥酒吧,谢谢。地址:环市东路360号珠江大厦地下。
Gipsy King Bar
Gipsy King Bar, Guangzhou Gipsy King Bar is of a similar mold to Cave Bar but a little seedier and more expensive than its nearby neighbor.
Hip-pop and R&B dominate the soundtrack here. The main room features a mid-sized dance floor that gets very packed, while a side room hosts ‘raunchy’ dancers. In truth, the performers don’t show much flesh, but the dancers manage to draw a crowd of horny gawkers nonetheless. Cute and efficient staff serve drinks that are edging towards pricey – spirits are ¥40, beers are ¥30-35 and cocktails start at ¥40. Draught Carlsberg and Tiger beer are on offer. The decor of Gipsy King Bar is pretty ordinary, but it’s too dark for that to really matter and snazzy flashing lights provide compensation. Multiple flaws aside, Gipsy King Bar is a fun and lively place to spend a night.
Address: 360 Huanshi Dong Lu Subway: Taojin (Line 5) Ph. (020) 8387 5177
Directions: Entrance on the west side of the Zhujiang building. About 100 meters west of the intersection between Huanshi Dong Lu and Jianshe Liu Malu.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去大篷车酒吧,谢谢。地址:环市东路360号珠江大厦西座地下。
The Hill Bar
The Hill Bar, Guangzhou The Hill Bar provides a familiar setting for foreigners and offers reasonably-priced drinks.
The Hill Bar has several small but acceptable televisions showing sports and a diminutive but pleasant beer garden. One thing the Hill Bar does have a surfeit of friendly waitresses, yet somehow service is still slow. Draught Tiger beer and Carlsberg are offered at ¥26 for a pint – a pint being roughly equal to 400mL by the Hill Bar’s conversion system. Spirits are in the ¥25-40 range, most cocktails cost ¥30, and bottled Belgian and British brews are around ¥50. Background music is easy-listening rock and there are occasional live music displays. The Hill Bar’s greatest feature is its ability to attract a crowd on every night of the week – something most Guangzhou bars don’t achieve.
Address: 367 Huanshi Dong Lu Subway: Taojin (Line 5) Ph. (020) 8359 0206
Directions: The Hill Bar stands on a little hill in front of Baiyun Hotel, just west of the Guanzhou World Trade Center.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去小山吧,谢谢。地址:环市东路367号。
Elephant and Castle Pub
Elephant and Castle Pub, Guangzhou The Elephant & Castle is a brilliant bar for sports, equipped to broadcast two different events on large projector screens.
This sprawling bar has a number of different nooks to nestle in, and includes a beer garden of sorts out the back. There’s also a pool table and foosball table. Draught Heineken and Carlsberg are available for ¥40 and ¥25 respectively. Nice looking beer girls brandishing rival brands will compete for your yuan. Guinness and Kilkenny for ¥56 are among the 7 brews on tap, cocktails are from ¥35 and spirits are from ¥25. Possibly there is also some okay food at the Elephant & Castle. I can’t say for sure since the waitress suddenly screamed in my ear and then snatched the menu off me while I was taking notes. But, mentally unbalanced service aside, the Elephant & Castle is a quality pub.
Address: 363 Huanshi Dong Lu Subway: Taojin (Line 5) Ph. (021) 8359 3309
Directions: A couple of doors down from the Hill Bar, in front of the Baiyun Hotel and west of the Guangzhou World Trade Center.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去大象堡酒吧,谢谢。地址:环市东路363号。
The Paddy Field Pub
The Paddy Field Pub, Guangzhou The Paddy Field tends to draw a slightly older crowd than its nearby rivals and is also more classy.
It boasts hard-wood furnishings and a tasteful decor. This Irish pub is a good venue for sports with a special section where a large projector screen plays major events. But sports don’t dominate the bar. Even when there’s a big game on there are plenty of areas where you can escape drunken fans. Popular rock dominates the soundtrack. Guinness and Kilkenny are on tap for ¥58, Carlsberg and Tiger are ¥30. The Paddy Field does well in the food stakes. Big attractions include a full Irish breakfast for ¥65 and a Sunday Roast for ¥85 – just like being back at home. A quality pub for the more refined pisshead.
Address: 38 Huale Lu Subway: Taojin (Line 5) Ph. (020) 8360 1379
Directions: Huale Lu runs perpendicular to Jianshe Liu Malu, and parallel to Huanshi Dong Lu, one block south. You can get there by going down the alley on the east side of the Garden Hotel from Huanshi Dong Lu.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去田野西餐吧,谢谢。地址:华乐路38号广怡大厦首层1A。
1920 Restaurant and Bar
1920 Bar and Restaurant, Guangzhou This very popular place is self-proclaimed as Guangzhou’s first German restaurant and serves equally well as a pub.
Paulaner Weissbier and Bitburger are on tap for ¥48, while draught Heineken (¥40) and Tiger (¥30) are also offered. A number of other imported German beers are offered by the bottle and there is a good selection of cocktails for ¥45-50. The daily happy hour from 5pm-8:30pm takes about 30% off these prices. On the food menu, snacks and sandwiches are ¥40-60 while main courses range from ¥68 for schnitzel up to ¥148 for sirloin steak. 1920 Restaurant and Bar features a quaint little beer garden (though the ambience suffers from traffic noise), while the restaurant’s interior is stylish but cozy. The building was built by Germans in 1920 and was once a small factory.
Address: 183 Yanjiang Xi Lu Subway: Haizhu Square Ph. (020) 8333 6156 Web: www.1920cn.com
Directions: Take Exit D from Haizhu Square subway station and head directly towards the river. 1920 Restaurant and Bar is on the corner.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去江西路183号,谢谢。
Bar Country
Bar Country, Guangzhou Bar Country’s vast beer garden complete with a carp-filled pond is a great place to end a long day in Guangzhou.
Located behind the Haizhu Square Wholesale Market, Bar Country makes a convenient spot to relax after a heavy shopping session. There’s draught Tiger available for ¥30 and a small selection of cocktails. And later on in the evening they fire up the barbecue and offer kebabs. But the quality or range of the food and drink aren’t the main reason to come here. Instead, Bar Country, with its location across from the Pearl River, is a wonderfully relaxing place to watch night fall over Guangzhou and see the lights come on.
Address: 171-82 Yanjiang Xi Lu Subway: Haizhu Square Ph. (020) 8826 1321
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去沿江西路171-82号,谢谢。
Bai-E-Tan Bar Street
Bai-E-Tan Bar Street, Guangzhou The Bai-E-Tan Bar Street strip of bars and clubs benefits from an idyllic locale along the river bank.
While the standard of the nightlife here might not live up to the location’s potential, it’s still well worth a visit. There are a couple of big clubs, a number of smaller bars (all of which are pretty much the same), a couple of nice restaurants and a few seedy looking places that are probably best to stay away from. If nothing else takes your fancy, then try Amigo or the neighboring Key Club.
Directions: Take the Exit to Luju Lu (Exit B) from Fangcun subway station. Follow Luju Lu to the end, where it meets the river. You’re at Bai-E-Tan Bar Street – it runs along the river both on your left and right. You can also catch a ferry across from Huangsha to here.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去白鹅潭酒吧街,谢谢。