If you’re lucky enough to be in Shanghai during the time of the Chinese New Year (falling this year from February 4 – 10, 2019), you’re in for a real treat.
Here’s our guide to enjoying the Chinese New Year 2019 (also known as CNY) to the fullest in Shanghai, from festive events and things to do and beyond.
Save on Winter Attraction Admission
Regular admission to some of these top Chinese New Year attractions is included on the Go Shanghai Card.
Choose as you go from more than 10 top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
See all available Shanghai passes, attractions & prices.
Things to do in Shanghai for Chinese New Year
2019 is the Year of the Pig. This means a lot of things for those born during this year (or other Pig Years), so if you’re interested in finding out information like lucky numbers, colors, flowers, or even love matches for people born in these years, you have a lot of fun facts to learn ahead of you.
Red is considered a lucky color for Chinese people, so expect to see a lot of this color all throughout the city during this time of year.
Chinese New Year is roughly analogous to Christmas for Chinese citizens, meaning that it’s arguably the biggest holiday in the country. It’s an excellent time to spend time with family, and a festive time of year to enjoy fun activities and attractions throughout the city.
If you’re looking for things to do in Shanghai during the Chinese New Year 2019, there are fun public events and enjoyable attractions to keep you busy.
Yu Garden (Yuyuan)
Many events take place in Yu Garden. It’s one of the most traditional spots in the city to celebrate the New Year, and includes shopping, dining, and fireworks.
On February 19, 2019, you can soak up the sights and sounds of the Yu Garden Lantern Festival. It’s the most famous lantern show in the city and is free for all to explore.
Getting In: Yu Garden tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Shanghai Hop-on Hop-off Tour
If you’re visiting Shanghai for the CNY, you’ll want to enjoy all the festive décor and happenings without the stress of dealing with traffic.
Check out a hop-on hop-off bus tour to maximize your freedom to explore. You can also opt to just enjoy the informative narration about all of the glorious holiday sights around you.
Getting In: Big Bus Shanghai tour tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Pujiang River Cruise Tour
Another excellent way to see the city and enjoy its festive atmosphere is with a river cruise.
This option floats down the Huangpu River, a waterway that divides Shanghai roughly into two banks.
You’ll see many of the best attractions, including the Jin Mao Tower, the Waibaidu Bridge, and more.
Getting In: Pujiang River Cruise Tour tickets are included with the Go Shanghai Card.
Tips for Visiting Shanghai During the Chinese New Year
- This is an immensely busy time of year for Chinese citizens, so plan your trip carefully to avoid the busiest travel days (typically the beginning and the end of the CNY period).
- Plan well ahead. If you want to visit Shanghai during the 2019 CNY, buy tickets and make lodging reservations now.
- If you want to enjoy any tours, keep in mind that they may be booked well in advance, too.
- Remember that most shops will be closed from February 4-6, 2019, so if you’re going to be in town during those times don’t count on shopping at local places.
- However, all of the hotels, big restaurants, and tourist attractions will be open, like the Shanghai Zoo and the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower.
Remember to Save on Admission
If you’re traveling to Shanghai this upcoming February around the time of the Chinese New Year and are planning on visiting a few attractions, be sure to pick up an all-inclusive Go Shanghai Card.
You’ll save up to 55% on admission to top attractions and enjoy the CNY in style!