Shanghai Weather in January

yu gardenYuyuan Garden

Weather: Shanghai's severe winter is at its peak in January, with an average temperature of around 2 °C (36 °F). Don't be fooled by the number, as the temperate is actually freezing because of the wind and dampness.

The bone-piercing cold drives most travelers away except for the most dedicated. The city is quiet this month. It is warm however inside hotels, restaurants, and vehicles, as central heating is supplied.

Clothing: Warm clothes such as a down coat, a hat, gloves, and thick trousers are needed to stay warm. Purchase these items if you don't bring them with you.

Things to Do

January is a good time to stay indoors in blustery Shanghai unless it is Chinese New Year. In that case, go out and see the fireworks and celebrations and the Lantern Festival.

Celebrate Chinese New Year: This is the most important Chinese holiday, and the Spring Festival public holidays covers a two week vacation for many people. Chinese New Year usually falls in early or mid February, though for a third of years it's in late January. For tourists, the holidays provide a chance to have fun with fireworks, try holiday food, buy tourist souvenirs and experience a local custom firsthand. For more see our Chinese New Year Travel Tips.

Visit Yu Yuan Garden: You can see the traditional New Year lantern display at Yu Garden and Bazaar. It is one of the highlights of Shanghai, and it is easy to reach at the center of Shanghai's Old City, a few blocks south of the Bund.

Yu Yuan's surrounding bazaar area has good shopping opportunities for traditional Chinese products, gold, and jewels.There are other shopping streets for New Year's too. Also read Top Five Old Streets in Shanghai.


Dine and Shop at Xintiandi: Stay indoors at luxury-brand shops and dine at one of the many restaurants that were built inside old European-built buildings.

Travel: If it is the Chinese New Year, then January is the busiest travel time in China. Book early, as flights and trains are fully booked two weeks before departure.

Low Season: Otherwise, January is in low travel season. Room rates and prices are lower than normal and the city is free of large crowds of tourists. Read our Chinese New Year travel guide.

China Highlights Tours

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Shanghai Average Daily Temperatures Based on Historical Data

Date Average High Average Low
January 1 47 °F 8.33 °C 34 °F 1.11 °C
January 2 47 °F 8.33 °C 34 °F 1.11 °C
January 3 47 °F 8.33 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 4 47 °F 8.33 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 5 47 °F 8.33 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 6 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 7 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 8 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 9 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 10 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 11 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 12 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 13 46 °F 7.78 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 14 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 15 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 16 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 17 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 18 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 19 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 20 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 21 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 22 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 23 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 24 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 25 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 26 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 27 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 28 45 °F 7.22 °C 32 °F 0 °C
January 29 45 °F 7.22 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 30 45 °F 7.22 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C
January 31 45 °F 7.22 °C 33 °F 0.56 °C

Shanghai Climate Information by Month

Questions and Answers About Shanghai Weather in January

ashok 2013-01-06
Show Answer
we have planned to go to Beijing and shanghai during 13th to 16th Jan 2013 Whether we can visit all sight seeing spots on account of temperature below 2 degrees whether fog plays spoil sport
Hi Ashok, it is depends on what sightseeing spots you want to visit. Time of 3 days is not enough for you to visit both of two cites. Please contact us by email for detailed advice and recommendation after you tell us your request. Thank you! Lily Lee replied on 2013-01-06
Cx 2011-12-30
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Hi,plan to travel shanghai on 22nd of 2012...during Chinese new year..I wish to know the weather I travel with two kids between 5-8 yrs old...wht should I prepare for us,especially kids?How is the temperature...will snow fall on that time?thank u....
Hi Cx, We can only check the updated weather broadcast in a week, so we cna not tell you the exact weather at that time. However, according to the usual experience, there is no snow during the new year festival and the average temperature is about 4-5 degree. Warm clothes are needed for the kids. Regards, Coco Coco Yang replied on 2011-12-30
Fernando 2011-12-18
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I'll be at hangzhou n shanghai from 20th dec till 6 of jan. I know it's winter time. Do u think that will be snowing? Thanks.
Hello Fernando, if you are lucky, you will have the opportunity to see the snow. guest replied on 2011-12-19
Haida 2011-12-13
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We might be travelling to China during the CNY 24th-28th January 2011. How will the temperature be? will all the tourist spot be open? how about the malls?
Hi Haida Base on the past few years statistic, the temperature will be around 10 centigrade. It is colder in the evening. It is hard to say on 24th&25th, but the scenic spot and shopping mall are almost open since 26th. William Huo Travel Advisor William replied on 2011-12-14
jeni sa ria 2011-11-24
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i go to shanghai on 23th untill 29th,is that time still very cold,what should i prepare cos i cannot stand if too cold for me
Hi Jeni, thank you for your inquiry. I'm Nora, a trip advisor of China Highlights. Glad to offer you some information. The average temperature of Shanghai is 3-11℃ in December. It will be cold and it's suggested you prepare some warm coats and down jackets. Nora Ou replied on 2011-11-25
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I updated this article on February 25, 2014
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