The Best Places To Celebrate Christmas in Beijing
It’s not uncommon to call celebrating Christmas in Beijing a once in a lifetime experience. But those who experience the amazing festivities, food, carol, shopping, singing, and holiday strolls on the Great Wall of China find themselves returning year after year.
That’ because sharing the holiday season with loved ones in Beijing offers a rare opportunity to be immersed in a culture renowned for its commitment to long-standing traditions. These rank among the wondrous things you can do in Beijing during a Christmas vacation.
1: Join in Traditional Christmas Carols at Beijing Churches
Beijing has earned a global reputation for outstanding architecture and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful churches. During Christmas, church choirs, congregation members, and visitors come together to sing. These six are considered among the most inspiring churches to carol during your stay.
- Xuanwumen Cathedral: Built in 1904, this marvel is called “Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.” It stands on the site of a church constructed by Jesuit missionary Adam Schall in 1650 that later burned down.
- St. Joseph’s: This house of worship is conveniently located on Wangfujing Dajie, one of the more popular areas to shop during the holidays. Built in 1905 with a Romanesque façade, it also stands on the site of one raised by Jesuits during the 1600s. St. Joseph’s also housing historical paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione.
- St. Michael’s: Built in 1902, the Gothic-style marvel features stunning stained-glass windows and statues of angels.
- Xishiku Church: The “Church of the Savior,” as it is called, is designed in the neo-Gothic style and has been deftly restored.
- Zhushikou Church: Built by the United Methodists, it enjoys three levels and delivers a modern evangelical experience complete with large monitors.
- Xizhimen Church: Originally constructed in 1723, this Catholic church was rebuilt in 1912 after a fire destroyed it in 1811. Its high Gothic peaks are incredible.
These beautiful structures are home to choirs and everyday people who embrace the joy of song during Christmas.
2: Hike the Jinshanling Great Wall
Following a hearty Beijing brunch, you may be pleased to know you can stretch your legs in full holiday regalia on the Jinshanling Great Wall. Visitors can generally access this section from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and enjoy the breath-taking views. You may find a few revelers wearing Santa hats. Bundle up though, because the weather is usually chilly and dry at this time of year.
3: Soak up the Festive Atmosphere at Sanlitun
For many Beijing visitors, Christmas is an opportunity to continue their traditional celebration and dip a toe into some modern fun, as well. Sanlitun ranks among the more lively neighborhoods in Beijing.
Party people can enjoy the bar-hopping scene in the area’s semi-dive scene. By contract, you can also have a sophisticated dining experience at some of the upscale restaurants. In terms of Christmas shopping, the 19-building, dual-site Taikoo Li offers flagship brands and significant savings. These possibilities are just the tip of the iceberg at Sanlitun.
4: Explore Beijing Christmas Markets
China has embraced a similar shopping cycle to the West, and visitors will be able to take advantage of huge discounts during the holidays. Expect extended hours, and there are niche markets for people from all over the world.
There are usually Christmas markets associated with the German, Polish, and British embassies, among others. However, the Liangma International Flower Market is an absolute must for Christmas shoppers.
5: Feast on Festive Food and Drink
One of the exciting facts that travelers are happy to discover is that Christmas is not a public holiday in Beijing. That means you can expect many of the attractions and eateries to be open. After gifts are exchanged and families have enjoyed some quality time, consider taking in one of the city’s extraordinary brunch buffets. Many are all-you-can-eat, which gives visitors an opportunity to try various traditional delicacies.
6: Go Ice Skating at Shichahai Skating Rink
Beijing is on a similar weather pattern as the West and locals and visitors alike take to this well-manicured skating rink. Located in the historic Houhai area, visitors can rent skates and other equipment on site. People love to ice skate in Beijing, and laughter and excitement fill the air.
Christmas in Beijing is a special time of year. The joy of the holiday and season are in everyone’s hearts, and the experience is one not to be missed.