Time Out Shanghai’s favourite Christmas markets & events of 2023

Pull on your favourite ugly sweater and gear up for a Christmas market hop while heeding these insider tips from members of our team

Photo via Christkindlmarkt
By Khushboo Khanna

It's the most wonderful time of year (unless you're a Scrooge). Gear up for a Christmas market hop and bask in the festive cheer with this guide, which includes firsthand tips from our team.

Disney Winter Frostival

Disney Frostival

There’s no better place to kickstart your holiday festivities than the most magical place on earth. Breath in the magic at Shanghai Disney Resort’s annual Winter Frostival. A little bird told us that fans of Frozen are in for a treat, as the Queens of Arendelle, Elsa and Anna, will make a rare appearance. Other characters to catch at the park this month: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Duffy, LinaBell and the Snowies, four characters exclusive to Shanghai Disney Resort.

"The world’s first Zootopia-themed park section will open to the public on December 20, 2023."
— Khushboo Khanna

📍 Shanghai Disney Resort, Chuansha New Town, Pudong
⏰ Now until February 24, 2024.


This German Christmas Market is arguably is the closest thing to visiting Europe's wealth of Christmas markets this time of year. Many call it the most authentic, famous and vibrant of the lot, so why not decide for yourself? With over 40 food, drink and gift vendors, this year's market is as promising as the previous year's. Don't miss the German sausages at Zeitgeist, the Eggnog at Dutch Pies, and the classic warm winter warmers, which can be served in a collectible Christmas mug.

"Fun fact for newcomers to Shanghai: Christkindlmarkt puts out a different coffee mug design each year."
— Khushboo Khanna

📍 Intersection of Yuanmingyuan and Beijing Dong Roads
⏰ Now until December 24, 2023 (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays).

Zeitgeist Christkindlmarkt

Zeitgeist Christkindlmarkt

Brought to you by everyone's favourite German F&B venue Zeitgeist, this German market is complete with wooden huts like the kind found in Cologne. Expect queues at Santa's photo booth on the weekends, but while away the time snacking on German delicacies and sipping on glühwein. Kids under 1.3 metres high get in for free!

"The Big Mac Taco from the Tacolicious booth is everything we want in a cold weather meal: savoury, hearty and entirely gratifying."
— Sammi Sowerby

📍 16 Yuyao Road, Jing'an
⏰ December 1 - 24, 2023 (Wednesday - Friday, 5 - 10 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 12 noon - 10 PM).

Paulaner Christkindlmarkt

Paulaner Christkindlmarkt

Rounding up Shanghai's German Christmas market trifecta, the Paulaner Christkindlmarkt is back for its record-setting 17th year! Expect overflowing mulled wine, German cuisine, and a lot of friendly faces! A cover charge of RMB 50 is applicable on adults while children below age 10 are allowed free entry.

"To get the most out of Shanghai's Christmas markets, go on a weekday or early on a weekend, because they can get very, very busy." — Michael MacLaren

📍 Paulaner Wirsthaus, 500 Dongdaming Road, North Bund
⏰ Weekends from December 14 - 25, 2023.

Leonyn Medieval Christmas Fair

Leonyn Medieval Fair

This one's for history lovers: transport yourself to the medieval age of Bordeaux, France at this medieval Christmas fair and play dress up (costumes are available for rent) and/or participate in play jousting among other games. There will be storytelling for the young' uns, and crafts stalls for the artistically-inclined.

"Though smaller than expected, this market has an interesting variety of food, including Turkish cuisine and meat-heavy offerings. The concept is a bit like larping, where everyone is encouraged to stay in character. Note that it's all in Chinese, however."
— Coquina Restrepo

📍 Moho Mall, 936 Shaanxi Bei Road
⏰ December 1 - 24, 2023 (Friday, 5 - 10 PM; Saturday & Sunday 1 - 10 PM).

Gingerbread Dreamland

Gingerbread Dreamland

The delicious smells of gingerbread, mulled wine, candied nuts and hot cocoa waft through the air at this pet-friendly Christmas market at the Jing'an Kerry Centre mall's outdoor pavilion. Although most of the booths are food vendors, you'll also find small trinkets and stocking fillers. A performance stage provides live entertainment while a very cute photo op section makes you feel like you’re in a children's storybook.

"To go along with the theme, some food items come with a small gingerbread biscuit (e.g. mulled wine, ice cream). It's a cute touch."
— Eugenia Mok

📍 Jing'an Kerry Centre, 1515 Nanjing Road West, Jing'an
⏰ December 2, 2023 - January 1, 2024 @ 11 AM - 10 PM.

BFC Christmas Market

BFC Christmas

Hard to miss even from a distance, a 15-metre tall Christmas tree is lighting up the Bund — all the more reason to visit this Christmas market in particular. Fengjing Road's usual weekend market has gotten a shiny facelift, and is now a brightly-lit Christmas corridor of fun, food, drinks and games. A much-anticipated Christmas light show, followed by jazz performances and tap dancing in the evenings, make for a memorable visit.

📍 The Bund Financial Centre, 600 Zhongshan Er Road
⏰ Now until January 1, 2024 (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 10 AM - 10 PM).

Nordic Yuletide Village

Nordic Yuletide- Waldorf Astoria

If, like us, you dream of a Scandinavian white Christmas adventure, head on over to the Nordic Yuletide Village at The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, which will have a snow machine running throughout! Shop, eat and drink at different 'chalets' serving Scandinavian delicacies and enjoy live entertainment, including a puppet theatre show. Each ticket is inclusive of a beverage.

📍 The Walfdorf Astoria Shanghai, 2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road
December 8 - 24, 2023 (Wednesday - Friday, 4 - 10 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 12 noon - 10 PM).

Light & Shadow Market


Another all-white market, The HUB's 'Light & Shadow'-themed market has the mark of Austrian artist Georg Oehler. Expect a magical entrance decorated with fairy lights, white wooden huts, artificial snow and plenty of sugary goodness. They’re also putting up a Huawei Mate 60 photography booth as part of a contest and offering mall memberships. However, the most exciting part of this extravaganza is the treasure hunt with clues scattered all around. Find your way to the treasure and keep your eyes on the prizes, because there are plenty of them!

📍 The HUB Hongqiao World, Minhang
⏰ Now until January 1, 2024 (Daily, 10 AM - 10 PM).