The best Christmas markets happening this year in Shanghai

From mulled wine to last-minute gift shopping, here are four Christmas markets that officially kick off this weekend

Photograph: courtesy GermanEvents (German Christkindlmarkt on the Bund)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s officially December and the countdown towards Christmas has started. That’s your cue to warm those rosy cheeks with hot drinks and festive food under the lights of a cosy market. From the traditional German types that feel like fairytales to the arty ones that champion local businesses, here are four to be jolly at this weekend.

Jiashan Lane Christmas Market

Photograph: courtesy Jiashan Lane Market

The Christmas edition of the popular artisanal market begins this Saturday. The holiday version will have an array of street food and beverage stalls featuring Jonas Emil Coffee, Da Pâté Lady’s handcrafted pâté, African food from Umphako, pork pie and sausage rolls from The Corner Shop, vegan eats from The Green Kitchen, craft beer from Beer Co-op and more. You’ll also able be to pick up evergreen wreaths, wrapping paper, home accessories and Christmas cards, gifts and cookies. Bring the little ones along to meet Santa and play games with Grow with Me – plus there’ll be live music from Madalitso throughout the day. Can’t make it this week? Ambassy Christmas Market (run by the same people) will be at The Ambassy Club on Saturday 11 and Jiashan Christmas Market will return for round two on Saturday 18.

259 Jiashan Lu, near Jianguo Xi Lu. Sat 18 Dec. 11am-5pm. Free entry.

German Christkindlmarkt on the Bund


Photograph: courtesy GermanEvents

A holiday season must-do, the traditional German Christkindlmarkt is back at Waitanyuan (Yuanmingyuan Lu Square) this year with 30 wooden huts selling all sorts of seasonal snacks and drinks from baked apples, roasted almonds and gingerbread to mulled wine, rum punch and handicrafts and gifts. On the food front: there’s German sausages from Zeitgeist, burgers from Yugo Grill, rotisserie chicken from Dodu, and pancakes from Papito’s… the list goes on. If your apartment’s lacking in cosy Christmassy vibes, vendors have your back with ornaments, candles and scents. Finally, to really ramp up the seasonal spirit, there’ll be a big Christmas tree and an even appearance from Santa himself in the photo hut, who’ll be more than happy to grant wishes to kids. Click here to buy tickets.

Waitanyuan, Yuanmingyuan Lu, near Beijing Dong Lu. Until Sun 26 (Every Fri-Sun). 4-10pm (Fri); Midday-10pm (Sat-Sun). 30RMB (at door); 20RMB (pre-sale).

Christmas Commune Market (Postponed)

Photograph: courtesy Commune Market

In need of creative gift inspiration to fill this year’s stockings? Look no further than Commune Market. For two weekends only at Yong Ping Lane, snatch up art, jewellery, candles and crafts from local designers including Grace, Echalulu, Moon Reader, Ink Republic and loads more. You can also visit booths hosted by non-profit organisations like Shinji Kaoru and Recycling Planet to contribute to their good causes. And, any wholesome Christmassy atmosphere isn’t complete without the carols, so kids from SCIS GirlScouts will be on hand to provide the festive cheer.

Unfortunately, due to Covid prevention, this week's Christmas Commune Market is postponed. Follow its official WeChat account (ID: 'communemarket') for the updates.

Yong Ping Lane, 199 Hengshan Lu, near Yongjia Lu. Fri 10-Sun 12. 3-9pm (Fri); 11am-7pm (Sat-Sun). Free entry.

Christmas Market at Paulaner Raffles City

Photograph: courtesy Paulaner

If you happen to be around Raffles City Changning during the holiday season, make the effort to visit the BLN’s annual Christmas Market. Celebrating its 15th year, the market will be decked out in magical Christmas displays, with a dozen wooden booths slinging all the toasty traditional things you’d expect from sizzling German sausages to Glühwein. It’s also a chance to stock up on wintry goodies from local brands: namely yarn from südwollgroup, Christmas decorations from Rosa Gallica, zero-waste products from Boomi and eco-friendly skin cosmetics from Nude by Korea. Want to give back to the community? Drop by local charity stalls including Heart to Heart and Furry Friends while you’re there.

Paulaner Raffles City, Level 1, Unit H5, Dodson Hall, 1197 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu. Until Sun 26 (every Sat and Sun). 11am-10pm (Sat); 11am-9pm (Sun); 3-10pm (Fri 24). Free entry.

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