Top 10 Places for a Shanghai Visit in Winter

Winter in Shanghai usually runs from December to February. It is cold, but there are many places of interest for memorable Shanghai visits. Filled with the jubilant atmosphere of festival, you can spend Christmas Day at Disneyland Park, or ring in the Chinese New Year at the Jade Buddha Temple or Yu Garden. Likewise, there are many unique nature areas that can only be enjoyed in the winter season, such as wintersweet blossom or the migratory birds. If you don’t want to go outside in the humid and chilly weather, consider indoor attractions such as the Shanghai Museum and the Oriental Pearl Tower. Below is a detailed Shanghai visitor guide for the winter season.

Yu Garden is the most famous classical garden in Shanghai. It is carefully designed with pavilions, bridges, corridors, rockeries and ponds. In winter, its biggest highlight is the Lantern Show held from January to February. The colorful lanterns are of different themes and styles. Their various shapes include lotus, peony, goose, butterfly and the Chinese Zodiac Animals. Besides, through guessing riddles and watching folk performances, tourists are able to experience a traditional Chinese New Year. That’s why this is a good place to visit in Shanghai in winter.

 Recommended Tour:  One Day Shanghai Highlights Tour from $121

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Close to Yu Garden, the Old City God Temple is also a great place for a special Shanghai visit to ring in the Chinese New Year. Around this grandest Chinese festival, a temple fair is held and all the stores and houses here are decorated with festooned lanterns. You can even hear the music for the lion dance performance from a long distance away. Gourmets should grasp this opportunity to enjoy local cuisine as well. Sweet pastries, vegetable dumplings, Chinese rice puddings and the steamed buns can all be readily savored.
Having fun at Disneyland Park is the perfect thing to do in Shanghai in winter, especially for those traveling with kids. Firstly, winter is the slack season here, so you won’t spend too much time in line and can try more activities. More importantly, Disneyland Park has many special arrangements in winter. From Dec. to Feb., tourists can go skating at the Wishing Rink. Every day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., man-made snow makes the Park a real wonderland. Around Christmas Day, tourists can enjoy the Christmas Fair and take photos with Santa Claus. Also, during the Chinese New Year, the Flower Parade and various performances are more elaborately designed. 

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When visiting Shanghai, China in winter, an attraction with beautiful natural scenery should also be on your list. Century Park is considered the best place in Shanghai to enjoy wintersweet blossoms of various colors and shapes. Red, pink, green and white blossoms, together with their straight or twisted branches, make Century Park vibrant even in the cold weather. In February, the Century Park is not only in a blaze of color but also redolent with the sweet fragrance of both wintersweet and plum blossoms.

Dongtan Wetland Park  

Apart from the crowds of tourists, Shanghai is also a popular destination for migratory birds. Every winter, many shorebirds, seagulls and egrets fly to the Dongtan Wetland Park and tourists can closely observe them from November to February. If you come here in the early winter, the yellow and red maple leaves, rippling reeds as well as the floating reed catkins will also please your eyes.
To embrace the Chinese New Year, many Shanghainese burn incenses in front of the Buddha to pray for blessings. Luckily, tourists who go to Shanghai around the festival can also make wishes at the Jade Buddha Temple. There are two famous statues of Buddha here. The sitting Buddha is decorated with golden foil and various jewels. And the reclining Buddha is a representation of Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. After burning incenses, you may also enjoy a bowl of refreshing vegetarian noodles to welcome the brand new year like the locals do.
What to do in Shanghai in winter if it is a rainy or a super chilly day? Going sightseeing inside the Oriental Pearl Tower is a nice alternative. Choose between the 351m (1,152ft) high Space Capsule, the 267m (876ft) high Revolving Restaurant or the 259m (850ft) high Transparent Observatory. Each brings you a panorama of the Huangpu River, the Bund and the Lujiazui area. Children can also have fun with the VR Roller Coaster here. Before you leave, why not send some postcards to your friends or family?

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Another recommended indoor place for a Shanghai visit in winter is the Shanghai Museum. Open for free, tourists can enjoy the ancient Chinese bronzewares and porcelains with their delicate shapes as well as the smooth strokes of the paintings and calligraphy. Other exhibits include statues of the Buddha, the handicrafts of Chinese ethnic minorities, jade wares, imperial seals, coinage, and traditional furniture. Special exhibitions are also held here from time to time.

 Recommended Tour:  2 Days Shanghai Private Tour with the Museum from $299
Longhua Temple has been known for the Countdown New Year Ceremony for a long time. Every December 31st on New Year’s Eve, the bronze bell in the temple will be struck 108 times, and the resonant sound is believed to bring good luck to everyone. Tourists can write down their New Year’s resolutions on the Wishing Wall and take photos with various mascots. On that day, roads in the temple are all ornamented with colorful lanterns, which adds radiance to the beautiful Longhua Temple.

Wukang Road  

Wukong Road definitely ranks among the most romantic destinations for a Shanghai visit. In winter, this road is blanketed with plane tree leaves, which makes the Spanish-style and Renaissance architecture on both sides even more appealing and artsy. Why not take some photos against such a beautiful background? If you feel tired or cold, any café or dessert store along the side will warm you up with their tasty drinks and cakes. Also, it’s a pleasure to explore the boutiques here one by one. Some of the artworks may exceed your expectations.

 Read more:
What to Do in Shanghai in November: 5 Places to Go
What to Do in December - 6 Places to Go
 6 Shanghai Must-Visit Places in January
6 Shanghai Tourists Places in February
 Will Shanghai Snow in Winter? 8 Places to See Snow

- Last updated on May. 05, 2023 by Catherine He -
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