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Christmas sales and markets helps make the Christmas season the biggest shopping period in Beijing. Don’t worry about everything being closed during the Christmas holidays.
Christmas sales are big business. You'll see Chang'an Avenue bedecked with Christmas displays and the big malls likewise.
In Beijing in 2018, everything's open: churches, theaters, restaurants, shopping malls... It's a winter wonderland of options for tourists and travelers during Christmas in the Orient.
The peak season for shopping is during the Christmas and New Year season like in the West. During the Christmas shopping season in Beijing, department stores and shopping malls launch promotions and prolong business hours starting in the middle or end of November. Be prepared for large crowds in public places, and remember to keep your belongings in a safe place. Check out our Beijing shopping guide for more information.
Special Christmas tourist souvenirs and gifts: Light and easy to carry items for local-color souvenirs or gifts include silk products such as scarves, porcelain, wall hangings, tea, Chinese calligraphy, wood carvings, weaving and embroidery. These items could be great choices for souvenirs and gifts if they are inexpensive. However, tourists shouldn't attempt to buy quality or expensive products to avoid fake or overpriced products.
Christmas trees and ornaments shopping: Before Christmas, Christmas trees are usually available at flower markets. Christmas ornaments can be found in small goods markets and some large supermarkets. And it is worth checking out these markets too:
It is the largest flower market in northern China. They offer wholesale and retail services and flower auctions. The market offers Christmas trees of every size and ornaments for customers to choose from.
Opened in 1992, Tianyi is the largest small goods wholesale market in Beijing. Retail markets are also available. Its commodities include clothing, daily necessities, kitchen ware, and stationery. Before Christmas, the market is swarming with customers who go shopping for Christmas trees, ornaments and other seasonal buys.
With a similar name, this market sports seasonal decorations year-round and has been nicknamed "Christmas Market" by expats living in Beijing. It offers plenty of knick-knacks and small gifts whether it be for Christmas or for souvenirs. Every floor has something different: electronics, nail polish, make up, clothes, house accessories, and lots of stationary. Located close to Houhai.
Hoping to capitalize on the holidays, retailers and communities alike decorate the city in their Christmas best and lure you in with Christmas concerts, music and countless other events.
The Bookworm features readings and live music in the evening that link China to Christmas like never seen before for a cultural event. In 2017, there was a Christmas Carol Singalong on December 13 (7 pm).
For more active Christmas days for the entire family, check out the Bird's Nest as the national stadium transforms to host the Ice and Snow Festival every year. This is a long-term event that runs from Mid-December until Mid-February with ice-skating and themed winter fun for all ages.
There are several Christmas bazaars every year.
The bazaar at the German Embassy is popular with foreigners living in Beijing as well as locals. If you plan to go to this Christmas market, do make sure that you bring your passport for security purposes as the market is on embassy grounds and get there early as tickets sell out fast (in 2017, it was on December 2, 11am–6pm and tickets were RMB 100 per adult tickets that included 75 RMB discount vouchers that were redeemable inside the market).
There is also the Hutong Winter Fayre in December that is also popular with visitors and foreigners living in Beijing. All of these will make your Christmas atmospheric while away from home. In 2017, the date was 10th December 2017, 11am–4pm.
There are six Catholic and five Protestant church buildings in Beijing. In most of them, there are activities, mostly choirs, on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. Christmas choirs usually start at 7 p.m. and last for 2 or 3 hours. It is advisable that you call the church in advance for more details. Below is a short list of churches in Beijing.
About 3,000 evangelical tourists/expats meet weekly in three locations around Beijing. Meetings are held in more than 10 languages. The largest English-speaking meeting is held at the 21st Century Hotel in Chaoyang.
There are English Christmas events scheduled each December at the Haidian branch; at the 21st Century Hotel; and at the ZGC branch. There are also events in Chinese and other languages at other places. Contact them for information.
For Christmas, 2017, there were English Christmas events scheduled December 8 and 9 (7 pm) at the Haidian branch; December 17 (9 am and 11 am) and December 24 (10 am and Christmas Eve bilingual carols 6 pm and 8pm) at the 21st Century Hotel; and December 24 (Christmas lunch 1 pm and service 6 pm) at the ZGC branch. There are also events in Chinese and other languages at other places. Contact them for information.
Established in 1652, it is the first Catholic Church in Beiing.
Established in 1703, it is the location of Beijing Cardinal Bishop Office. The present building was built in 1900.
It is located near the foreign embassies area. This church was part of the French Embassy, and it was built in 1901.
Chongwenmen Church of Beijing Christian Council was established in 1870 when it was called Asbury Church. It is the largest Christian church in Beijing and enjoys high prestige both at home and abroad. It has hosted countless big names such as Former U.S. President George Bush, Bill Gates, George Carey, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Get your fill during Christmas with the numerous Christmas buffets around the city. 4-star and 5-star hotels and upscale restaurants often offer the best in special Christmas Eve dinners and buffets, and they serve all kinds of dishes like Christmas turkey, ham, apple pie and even eggnog. Reservations are essential.
Warm things up during the chilly holiday season by hitting Beijing’s hottest slopes. Some of the best in Asia and gradually approaching world renowned status, slopes like Huaibei, Snow World and Nanshan Ski Resort offer winter fun for the whole family.
The ball drops in New York City, the Eiffel Tower gleams on a back drops of fireworks, and now the excitement doesn’t end at the Great Wall in Beijing. This once a year gala includes dinner, dancing, and live jazz in the Schoolhouse Art Room.
Another great New Year's alternative is The Place in Beijing’s Financial District. Beijingers, Chinese out-of-towners, and foreign tourists pack the square and countdown in unison. Free and open to the public, it’s an improvised, play-it-by-ear ceremony and ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN. And that’s a good thing.
On New Year's Eve, 2018, Beijing International Christian Fellowship's branch at the Xijiao Hotel and the 21st Century branch have special midnight watches.
Low Season: The last half of December is an excellent time for touring in Beijing. Prices are lower. The busy crowds of Chinese tourists don't arrive until Chinese New Year, but some foreign tourists arrive during their Christmas/winter vacations. Local expats often travel or go back to their countries during this time.
Would you like to take your family on a Christmas holiday they will never forget? Book a tour with us, and we can arrange festive activities like those above into your itinerary. See our most popular Beijing and China family tours:
Our tours are developed through years of experience and customer feedback and are reasonably priced. They can be customized to your requirements. You can contact us for help.
Let us help you plan a personalized tour of Beijing.
China Highlights has designed some exquisite Christmas e-cards. Check them out and send cards to your family or friends, for free.