Christmas in Shanghai

  • Celebrated: Dec. 1 to Jan. 1
  • Location: Shanghai
Christmas in China

Although Christmas is not a public holiday in China, it has become more and more popular, especially in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai. For most people, they celebrate Christmas without much religious attachment, but rather as a get-together for couples or friends.

People still work during Christmas, unless it falls on weekends. Some foreign embassies, consulates and international organizations may give several days off to celebrate Christmas. Christmas dinners with colleagues are welcome and increasingly becoming a trend. Many shops, department stores and restaurants prolong business hours to seize the business opportunities. Be prepared for large crowds of people in public places.

Christmas Dinner/Buffet

Many 4- or 5-star international hotel chains and large Western restaurants such asKerry Pudong,Hotel Pelham's at Waldorf Astoria, Atrium Cafe at The Hilton, and Shangri La offer Christmas Eve dinner or buffets, with all kinds of Christmas food like turkey, ham, steak, cakes and puddings, along with wine. It is necessary to make reservations in advance. You can also check out our Shanghai restaurant guide page for recommended restaurants.

Additionally, there are some great spots in town for you to spend Christmas Eve at with your friends and family. We have shortlisted a few of the top restaurants

  • 10 Corso Como - 7 course menu; RMB 688 per person; 6pm till late, Dec 24 and 25; 1717 Nanjing Xi Lu, Huashan Lu 1717南京西路,华山路
  • Ginger by the Park - 4-course menu; RMB 358 per person and RMB 168 for kids under 12; 6pm till late, Dec 24 and 25; 91 Xingguo Lu, Hunan Lu 91兴国路,湖南路
  • Pelham's - 6-course menu; RMB 1888 + 15% per person; 6pm-10pm; Waldorf Astoria Heritage Building, 2 Zhongshan Lu, Guangdong Lu 华尔道夫文物建筑,2路中山市,广东路
  • The Spot- 4-course dinners; RMB 228 per person; 6pm-11pm, Dec 24 and 25; 331 Tongren, Beijing Lu 331铜仁,北京路

If you look to shop for Christmas food and snacks, it is convenient to find these in large department stores and international chain supermarkets like Wal-Mart and Carrefour. They all have special sections for Christmas food, and many offer imported ones.

Christmas Markets

Below are general markets where you can buy Christmas trees (real and fake), decoration items (unlimited variety) and other X-Mas related stuff. Also listed are markets which are held this time of the year for tourists and expats, serving as a congregation of local businesses, Christmas products, drinks and food. Christmas is often considered a good time for shopping. Department stores and shopping malls also tend to prolong business hours till midnight, and offer various promotions and discounts. Expect the crowds!Check out our Shanghai Shopping GuideandBest Christmas Markets in Shanghai.

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Christmas Market Shanghai

This is one of the most popular and anticipated Christmas markets in Shanghai. If you are in town between Dec 5th to 7th this year, you possibly cannot miss this. This is hosted by Paulaner's branch on Fengyang Road.

  • Address: 150 Fengyang Lu, Fuxing Lu 150汾阳路近复兴路

Santaville

This year Kerry Parkside will hold a special Christmas market, with vendors selling delicious eats and drinks, and decoration items and more. What's more? There will be live performances at this venue as well as carol singers walking around. This is on till December 25.

  • Address: 1378 Huamu Lu, near Fangdian Lu 1378花木路,芳甸附近的鲁

Jiashan Market

Christmas in China

Jiashan Market is a farmer's market that holds a special Christmas market from mid-November to December, open every first and third Saturday of the month. Best for Christmas eats (cakes, puddings, ginerbread, treacles and more). Also, look out for wreath-making stalls here.

  • Address:37 Lane 550, Shaanxi Nan Lu 陕西南路550弄37号

Caojiadu Flower Market 曹家渡花市

With more than 400 shops, it is the largest flower market in Shanghai. Christmas trees, festive flowers and Christmas ornaments are available.

  • Address: 1148 Changshou Road, Putuo District 普陀区长寿路1148号

Chenghuangmiao Market 城隍庙市场

Chenghuangmiao Market is located in city center, near Yuyuan Garden and City God Temple, and there is a snack market. Chenghuangmiao Market has Christmas trees, decorations and cards for sale.

  • Address:225 Fuyou Road, Huangpu District 黄浦福佑路225号

Wanshang Flower and Bird Market 万商花鸟市场

The market offers Christmas trees and festive flowers before Christmas. At usual times there are various kinds of plants, flowers, pets and birds for sale.

  • Address:417 South Xizang Road, Huangpu District 黄浦区西藏南路417号

Christmas at Churches

Shanghai church

The true meaning of Christmas is best represented at churches. There are Christmas Eve gatherings, choir performances, and Christmas Day masses. Below is a list of famous churches in Shanghai.

Shanghai Community Church上海国际礼拜堂

It is the largest Christian church in Shanghai.

  • Address: 53 Hengshan Road, Xuhui District 徐汇区衡山路53号
  • Tel: 021-64376576

St. Ignatius Cathedral 徐家汇天主教堂

It is the largest Catholic Church in Shanghai.

  • Address:158 Puxi Road, Xuhui District 徐汇区蒲西路158号
  • Tel:021-64382595

Moore Memorial Church沐恩堂

The Christian church faces Renmin Square.

  • Address: 316 Middle Xizang Road, Huangpu District 黄浦区西藏中路316号
  • Tel: 021-63225069

Shanghai Grace Baptist Church怀恩堂

  • Address: 375 North Shaanxi Road 陕西北路375号
  • Tel: 021-62539394

Charity

If you are feeling charitable this Christmas season, you might want to check out how you can support Community Roots China(CRC), a social enterprise that offers the One Heart Program each year, since 2011, for Chinese children in rural areas and also HIV affected families.

Christmas at Bars

christmas

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere at bars in Shanghai. During Christmas, many bars take on the Christmas look and become a sea of happiness.

There are several bar streets in Shanghai, and popular ones include Yongkang Road (永康路) — the most popular go-to bar street for locals and expats (many bars would be having their winter happy hour that cannot be missed as well as serving mulled wine); Wuding Road (武定路) -— another popular bar street with some interesting spots for a meal with drinks and the ambiance, including the famous wine bar Enoterra, an Italian bar and wine place called Sopranos; a second Le Cafe Des Stagiares,Malabar, a unique whiskey bar called Lab, and a pirate-themed rhum bar called Bounty Rhumerie among others; Hengshan Road (衡山路), Maoming Road (茂名路); the ever popular and posh Xintiandi (新天地); and the Fumin Road (富民路) / Julu Road (巨鹿路) junction with the Mexican Cantina Agave, Kartel and Maya, among many other bars. Friends Barin Tianzifang(田子坊)is a great place for mulled wine and amazing cocktails with your friends.

Apart from just bar streets, some bars that would be very Christmassy and deserve a visit are Barbarossa in People's Park with its gorgeous view of the lotus pond and terrace or bar seating, the recently-launched and hugely popular Union Trading Company on Fuxing Road (复兴路) with its long list of great cocktails, the french bar/café La Petanque with a rustic decor and tapas-style menu, the popular craft beer bar Boxing-Cat Brewery (Sinan Mansions), the new lounger Beer bar Liquid Laundry(Huaihai Road) and a couple of wonderful wine lounges such as Burdigala(Wuding Road) Dr. Wine (177 Fumin Road) and UVA (819 Shanxi Road).

Also, check out our Shanghai nightlife guide.

Free Christmas E-cards

China Highlights has designed some exquisite Christmas e-cards, which you can send to your family or friends for free.

Further Reading