Xi’an certainly doesn’t have the biggest or most famous nightlife scene, but this is something that, like in many other cities around China, is changing fast. There’s an ever-increasing choice of bars in Xi’an; Irish pubs, live music venues, you name it. There’s even an entire alleyway crammed with bars and cafes in the city. Below we highlight some of the most notable nightlife spots around the city.
1) Largest concentration of bars: Defuxiang 德福巷
They say Beijing has the flashy bar street at Sanlitun and Xi’an has Defuxiang. Located near the South Gate of the City Wall, Defuxiang is an easy and quick solution for cheap drink options and considered the nucleus of Xi’an nightlife by many. Don’t expect to come here and be blown away by an overwhelming sense of authentic pub culture or quality. Many of the 28 or so bars dotted along the ancient cobbled lane of Defuxiang are targeted at tourists, although, there has been a significant increase in local patrons in recent years too. Defuxiang is best viewed as a pretty street where tourists can find one cafe and bar after another. But to be fair, there are one or two gems in Defuxiang. For example, the Jiu Hou Jiu Bar a.k.a. Back Nook Bar a.k.a. 酒后酒酒吧, is one of the city’s main live music bars. With its large wooden stage, the bar attracts regular performances by local rock and indie bands as well as scores of national bands passing through town.
Jiu Hou Jiu Bar 酒后酒酒吧View In Map
Add: 7 De Fu Xiang, Beilin District, Xi’an
2) Best Live Music Venues: Moonkey Bar and Aperture Club
Moonkey Bar (月亮钥匙酒吧) is one of the most famous live music venues in Xi’an and is a popular destination for the alternative crowd and anyone craving live music. The venue hosts regular live performances - usually rock, indie and metal. Most touring Chinese bands choose Moonkey as their venue of choice when in Xi’an.
Aperture Club (光圈CLUB) is another major player in Xi’an’s music scene. The venue is not only used for national and international gigs, but it also serves as a small theatre, an exhibition space and a centre of independent film and film-related events. Expect anything from rock, folk or jazz concerts, to theatre performances or DJ parties – definitely one of the most interesting nightlife venues in the city.
Moonkey Bar 月亮钥匙酒吧View In Map
Add: Nanmenli, west of China Merchant’s Bank, Beilin District, Xi’an (street corner of Xiangzi Temple)
Tel: 029 8106 8772
Aperture Club 光圈CLUBView In Map
Add: Yinmachi, Juhuayuan, Dong Dajie, Beilin District, Xi'an
Tel: 158 2972 8778
3) Most Unique Bar: Park Qin Bar
What’s unusual about this bar is that it claims to be the only Terracotta Warriors/Qin Dynasty themed bar in China. The bar is a popular hangout among expats and international travellers and is always a lively choice for a Saturday night. They organise regular and sporadic events such as St. Patrick’s Day parties, Chinese New Year’s Eve, Halloween etc. as well as live music events, ladies nights and much more.
Park Qin BarView In Map
Add: A-2 Shuncheng West Alley (inside the South City Gate), Beilin District, Xi’an
Tel: 029 8728 0092
Hours: Sun – Fri: 20:00 - 3:00; Sat: 20:00 - 4:00
4) Best Irish Pub – Green Molly
Green Molly is Xi’an’s first Irish pub. Located in Gaoxin district near the New Century Jinhua department store, Green Molly’s has one of the city’s best selections of imported draught and bottled beers. The venue is actually a bar and restaurant all in one, the top floor housing a Mediterranean style restaurant that serves a great selection of western dishes and the downstairs area given over to the bar. Green Molly’s is owned by the same people who run Park Qin bar, which means that membership at one will also entitle you to discounts at the other.
Green Molly’s 绿茉莉View In Map
Add: Gaoke Building, Gaoxin District, Xi’an (200 metres north of New Century Jinhyua department store)
Tel: 029 8188 3339
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