Home Shanghai Shanghai Festivals Christmas in Shanghai 2018 — Markets, Meals, Bars, Churches

Christmas in Shanghai 2018 — Markets, Meals, Bars, Churches

  • Celebrated: Dec. 25
  • Location: Shanghai
Shanghai Christmas Market

Although Christmas is not a public holiday in China, it has become hugely popular, especially in large cities such as Shanghai. For most people, they celebrate Christmas without much religious attachment and use this time to enjoy the city's Christmas markets, Christmas deals at restaurants and bars, and drink lots of mulled wine.

The Shanghai Christmas Scene

People work on Christmas day here, unless it falls on a weekend. Some foreign embassies, consulates and international organizations may give several days off for Christmas. Shanghai expats typically take days off from work, and some companies may grant a day or half a day off to employees.

Malls, bars, department stores and restaurants prolong business hours to seize sales opportunities. Christmas supplies are available in plenty and each year, the variety of christmassy things on offer just keeps getting better!

Christmas dinners with colleagues and friends are increasingly becoming an important social do.

Christmas sales: These usually start during the end of November or early December in big department stores, upscale malls, and the expat-oriented supermarkets, complete with Christmas music and decorations.

Visit a Christmas Market!

Christmas market

If you are in Shanghai around Christmas time, one of the most enjoyable things to do is to spend time at a Christmas market. There are several that are held in the city and are bustling with tourists, locals, and expats.

The number of Shanghai Christmas markets held in November and December has increased. Expect a vibrant congregation of local businesses and vendors selling their Christmas products, drinks and loads of food. You can buy Christmas supplies including trees (real and fake), a multitude of decorative items (unlimited variety at great prices), and drink litres of festive booze or hot chocolate while you shop.

Paulaner's Christkindlmarkt (now in its 11th year), Jing'an Christkindlmarkt (slightly smaller than Paulaner), and Jiashan Market (Farmer's market). More details on Christmas markets are in this article.

For more, check out our Shanghai Shopping Guide and Best Christmas Markets in Shanghai

Souvenirs and Gifts to take back home

Christmas is a good time for shopping. Most malls would prolong business hours till midnight, and offer various promotions and Christmas discounts. Shopping hot spots like Huaihai Road and Nanjing West Road are lit up everywhere with Christmas lights and other decor, lending a very festive atmosphere - perfect for long winter walks.

You can easily find great and inexpensive souvenirs for friends and family. These may include simple silk products such as scarves, porcelain, teas, Chinese calligraphy, wall hangings, wood carvings, weaving and embroidery. Read more on our shopping recommendations.

Christmas Dinners and/ or Buffets

Christmas Buffet

If you are looking for an elegant dinner, check out what international hotels and large Western restaurants have on offer, such as JW Marriott, Kerry Pudong, Hotel Pelham's at Waldorf Astoria, Atrium Cafe at The Hilton, and the Shangri La. See our Shanghai's Best Restaurants list for more guidance.

Get your fill of the Christmas spirit with the numerous Christmas buffets that are hosted across the city's 4-star and 5-star hotels and upscale restaurants. They serve all kinds of dishes including the traditional turkey, ham, apple pie and eggnog.

We have shortlisted a few of the top restaurants for your consideration:

Christmas at IAPM Mall, Shanghai
  • Mr & Mrs Bund- Christmas Day Brunch and Lunch; RMB 800 per person; Dec 25; Bund 18, 6/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Road, near Nanjing Dong Road 中山东一路18号6楼, 近南京东路
  • Mercato - 9 course sharing style Italian Christmas dinner; RMB 598 per person; minimum booking 2 guests; 6/F. 3 Zhongshan Dong Road, near Guangdong Road 中山东一路3号6楼, 近广东路
  • Unico- 6 course festive spread by Chef Mauro Colagreco with Champagne; RMB 788 per person (+ tax); Three on the Bund, 2/F, 3 Zhongshan Dong Road, near Guangdong Road 中山东一路3号外滩三号2楼, 近广东路
  • Coquille - 4 course meal with oysters, foie gras, wagyu beef and more; RMB 658 per person; 29-31 Mengzi Road, near Xujiahui Road 蒙自路29-31号, 近徐家汇路
  • 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
  • Yi Cafe — A grand buffet, featuring roasts, fresh seafood, and more; RMB 788 per person (you get free flow red, white and sparkling wine); RMB 394 per child; 2nd Floor, Grand Tower, Pudong Shangri-La Hotel, 33 Fucheng Road, near Lujiazui Huan Road 富城路33号浦东香格里拉大酒店2座2楼
  • 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

There are some great and less expensive options as well, that include RAW (2/F 98 Yanping Road, near Xinzha Road 延平路98号2楼, 近新闸路), Husk (218 Fengxian Road, near Nanhui Road 奉贤路218号, 近南汇路), Big Bamboo (381 Hongfeng Road, near Biyun Road 红枫路381号, 近碧云路), Bali Bistro (75 Wanhangdu Road, near Beijing Road 万航渡路75号, 近北京西路), The Bull & Claw (466 Xikang Road, near Kangding Road 西康路466号, 近康定路) among others.

Peek Inside a Shanghai Church!

St. Michael's Catholic Church, Shanghai

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 and popular churches in Shanghai.

(I) Shanghai Community Church (上海国际礼拜堂) is the largest Christian church in Shanghai.

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

(II) St. Ignatius Cathedral (徐家汇天主教堂) is the largest Catholic Church in Shanghai.

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

(III) Moore Memorial Church 沐恩堂 is a the Christian church facing Renmin (Peoples') Square.

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

(IV) Shanghai Grace Baptist Church (怀恩堂)

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

(V) Sacred Heart of Jesus Church

  • 151 Hongfeng Road 红枫路151号

(VI) Shanghai Community Fellowship

  • 53 Hengshan Road 衡山路53号

(VII) St Joseph's Catholic Church

  • 36 Sichuan Road 四川南路36号

(VIII) St. Peter's Catholic Church

  • 270 Chongqing Road 重庆南路270号

Charity

If you are feeling charitable this Christmas season, you should check out how you can support Community Roots China (CRC). It is 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

The Shelter

There are several bar streets in Shanghai, and popular ones includeImmerse yourself in the festive atmosphere at bars in Shanghai. During Christmas, almost all the bars embrace the season's festive look and ambience, transforming into welcoming warm venues.

  • Wuding Road (武定路) — This has been fast developing as a hip bar street with many options for a meal with drinks and winter food. Our top recommendations are Barbarian, B&B, Le Cafe Des Stagiares, Malabar, a unique whiskey bar called Lab, OLA, a Portuguese bar and restaurant, Taoker, a beer and seafood joint, Bar Centrale, an Italian mid-range restaurant, Fat Cow, a trendy burger joint and Hunter Gatherer, dishing out healthy fare among others
  • Hengshan Road (衡山路), Maoming Road (茂名路); the ever popular and posh Xintiandi (新天地)
  • Fumin Road (富民路) / Julu Road (巨鹿路) junction with the Mexican Cantina Agave, Funkadeli, Chicken & Egg, em>Kartel and Maya
  • Friends Bar in Tianzifang (田子坊) is a great place for mulled wine and amazing cocktails with the friendliest staff you'll ever meet.

You should also check out some of the award-winning Shanghai bars that would put out their Christmas menus:

Shanghai nightlifeShanghai nightlife
  • Barbarossa in People's Park with its gorgeous view of the lotus pond and terrace or bar seating
  • The hugely popular Union Trading Company on Fuxing Road (复兴路) with its long list of artisan cocktails
  • The french bar/café La Petanque with a rustic decor and tapas-style menu
  • Popular craft beer bars like Boxing-Cat Brewery (Sinan Mansions) and Liquid Laundry (Huaihai Road)
  • Wine lounges such as Dr. Wine (177 Fumin Road) and UVA (819 Shaanxi Road)

If you are looking for a party, then read on about Shanghai's popular nightlife here.

Touring Shanghai at Christmas

The Bund, ShanghaiThe Bund, Shanghai

If you're planning to be in Shanghai at Christmas, why not take a tour with us. Most of Shanghai's attractions can still be enjoyed in the colder weather alongside the unique Chinese Christmas atmosphere.

Recommended Tour ideas:

All of these tours and many more can be customized to your seasonal requirements, or you can build your own itinerary with our travel experts.

Free Christmas E-cards

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

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