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.
Shanghai January Weather Data Graphs
Best Things to Do in Shanghai in January
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.
Celebrate Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the most important Chinese holiday, and 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 Yuyuan Garden
You can see the traditional New Year lantern display at Yuyuan 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. Learn more about Xintiandi.
Visiting Shanghai in January: Important Travel Tips and Popular Tours
January is in the low season.
Generally speaking, January is in low travel season. Room rates and prices are lower than normal and the city is free of large crowds of tourists.
However, if the Spring Festival period falls in the end of January, January is the busiest travel time in Shanghai. Book early, as flights and trains are fully booked two weeks before departure.
Recommended Shanghai Tours
- 3-Day Essence of Shanghai and Watertown Tour: Admire the ultimate view of the Bund's skyline and explore a peaceful watertown.
- 8-Day China Golden Triangle Tour: Visit the highlights in Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai.
See more Shanghai tours. Our tours are developed through years of experience and customer feedback, reasonably priced, and can be customized to your requirements. You may also want to read "How to plan a day trip in Shanghai".
Shanghai Climate Information by Month
- Shanghai Weather in January
- Shanghai Weather in February
- Shanghai Weather in March
- Shanghai Weather in April
- Shanghai Weather in May
- Shanghai Weather in June
- Shanghai Weather in July
- Shanghai Weather in August
- Shanghai Weather in September
- Shanghai Weather in October
- Shanghai Weather in November
- Shanghai Weather in December