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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.
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.
As far as Christmas tradtions go, the Jingan Christkindmarkt is one that remains in Shanghai. Indulge in delicious Christmas food such as gingerbread, baked apples and chestnuts while letting the children pay Santa Claus a visit on the weekends. There will be beautifully decorated wooden stalls and wintercharm throughout the market.
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. It is a festive event filled with performances from student musicians, shopping vendors and plenty more.
This year at the historic Moller Viller, a huge castle located in downtown Shanghai, you will find a Christms fair that will take you to a completely different time period. Celebrate the holiday season with a Christmas feast, live performances, auctions and a free tour of the 'fantasy castle'.
In the heart of Shanghai you will find a stylish Christmas market with activities to bring you joy for the holiday. This exclusive event will feature Christmas cookie decorating, children's gifts, crafted cocktails and much more.
An exciting event is coming to Shanghai this Christmas that will span across Anyi Lu at Jingan Kerry Centre. With this year's theme being 'home for the holidays' you will find yourself at a Christmas market that reminds you of home, yet displays unique characteristics. Be delighted as you try delicious Christmas-themed brioched ice cream sandwiches and dine at award-winning restaurants.
This is a fun charity event that will get you into the Christmas spirit. You will find everything from Christmas arts and crafts, raffle prizes and festive food and drinks. Come support Sunrise as they hold their first-ever charity bazaar supported by volunteers who will run the event.
Enough about markets. If you are looking for a more immersive Christmas in Shanghai in 2019 — 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)
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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.