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Curl your hands around a mug of lightly spiced mulled wine, a traditional German beverage. Sing along to Christmas carols, gaze at decorated trees twinkling their bells and breathe in the sweet scent of gingerbread while scouring the stalls for gifts and seasonal memorabilia. No, you're not at a European Christmas market — you are in Shanghai.
Shanghai has evolved quickly over the last five years when it comes to Western holidays and festivities. This city offers the best there is in Mainland China. Hitting the many Christmas markets is the best way to find original, high quality items, and in late November and December, you're sure to find one of them around town.
Much of the time/date information for 2018 is TBC (typical for China), but we have included the 2017 informaton to give you an idea, and will update it when we know more.
Every December sees the famous Paulaner Bräuhaus Christmas market — one of the most popular markets in the city. They used to hold this market each year at the French Concession branch, however that has now closed. This year, the market will be held in Pudong.
So how does DeLois ensure that the Paulaner star shines the brightest? "We're selling Christmas wreaths and trees, which always gets people pretty excited about Christmas," assures DeLois. "We're also selling glass Christmas tree ornaments and wooden toys." There will also be an impressive tree and a wooden train set for the kids to toot along to.
With the bite that's now in the air, you'll definitely need energy to keep you shopping and the markets have their share of traditional treats. DeLois promises traditional German pretzels and bratwurst sausages, as well as Stollen, plenty of gluh-wine/ mulled wine and of course, gingerbread. I'm sure you’ll bag a box of mince pies along the way too.
Dust off your Christmas stocking and find your embarrassing chunky-knit-reindeer-clad jumper. Jingle into the festive spirit and experience an authentic Christmas market.
This is a relatively new addition to the markets and is smaller than Paulaner's but very cosy and very much Christmassy. You will find festive treats, handicraft, baked goods, lots of gluhwein and other drinks. No admission fee on weekdays. In 2017, it was held between Dec 1 until 17.
Other markets that you should check out include:
This is a special market in December that is very kid oriented, with activities planned for children.
If you are looking to give to a charity, this market is for you.
At the K11 Art Mall, the annual Christmas Commune Market is held on its sixth floor Sky Garden. Expect a wide range artisanal gifts and special food and desserts.
During the second weekend of December, PR Home organizes a mesmerizing Christmas Bazaar in its spacious showroom. PR Home offers discounts on selected items in the showroom. Mulled Wine for everyone!
Enough about markets. If you are looking for a more immersive Christmas in Shanghai in 2018 — Christmas meals, festive bars, and church services — we have that covered for you! See our guide to Christmas in Shanghai.
Check out our best selling Shanghai only tour plan: 3-Day Essence of Shanghai (perfect for a visa free visit via HK)
Here are more top China tour ideas, many including Shanghai.
Let us help you plan a personalized China trip for you or you can even tailor-make a trip with us, based on exactly what you want to see and do.
Merry Christmas and happy shopping!
China Highlights has designed some exquisite Christmas e-cards. Check them out and send cards to your family or friends, for free.