The festive season is here! It's time to start wrestling with tangled lights and rummage through every cupboard in your home for the tree decorations from last year, only to come up empty and accept the fact that you've got to buy them all again.
Hah! We feel you.
Aside from Taobao's infinite black hole, there are actual physical places where you can buy healthy, genuine Christmas trees and pretty, eco-friendly, fake versions, plus a decent array of decorations.
If you've got your heart set on a real tree (真的圣诞树, zhen de sheng dan shu), you have two choices: local or imported. From one Christmas snob to another, real trees from China aren't half bad! They've actually got their own charm and unique shape. We asked about a Chinese Christmas tree that stands at about 1.5m in height, and it's priced at 680 RMB. You might need to pay much more for its darker green imported cousin. We checked the price for a 2m imported Christmas tree, and the price is 3,200 RMB. Yeah. Ouch. However, there's always room for negotiation if you're skilled at bargaining. Do try that!
The majority of the smaller Christmas trees are crafted using real imported Christmas tree branches. Sellers hand-assemble them and add unique Christmas decorations. Typically, they maintain their charm for a month or two, but after that, they will dry out and lose their appeal. Meanwhile, the larger natural real trees can last for a year or two, at least that's what the flower stall/shop owners told us. Make sure you're aware of the type of tree you're paying for, as some of them can be quite pricey.
If you're the store-it-and-reuse-it type, an artificial tree (假圣诞树, jia sheng dan shu) can be cheaper and arguably easier to find. You can easily buy it on Taobao because you won't have to worry about it dying during delivery or other issues with a real Christmas tree. These artificial ones can be quite affordable, starting at less than 100 RMB.
SmartShanghai scoured some flower shops and flower markets. Here's what we found:
It's a trek for most, but trust us, it's worth it. There are numerous shops selling all kinds of Christmas trees and decorations. They offer smaller trees ranging from 30 to 40cm and larger ones up to 2m. Just follow the map on your phone and enter through a door with a blue sign that reads "Exit A2," and you'll find yourself in a Christmas forest.
Be sure to check out multiple stalls before making your purchase. The prices here are good because there's a wide range of options for you, and the sellers have to compete on pricing to attract more buyers. Don't hesitate to negotiate the price; if it doesn't work out, you can always explore other stalls.
We checked out two stalls. Stall A46 has a wide variety of Christmas trees and decorations. Prices range from 100-200 RMB for small trees to 500-1000 RMB for larger ones. Advent wreaths are priced between 100-300 RMB, depending on the size. Yi Han Tong at A42 feels a bit like an enchanted forest. Prices start at around 680 RMB for a 1.5m Chinese Christmas tree and 3200 RMB for an imported one, including pot and delivery.
This place is massive and has so many Christmas elements to discover. Definitely worth a visit!
Bottom Line: It's one of the better if not the best flower market in town and if you're up for traveling, they've got the goods.
If you live in Pudong and find the Hongqiao location too far or troublesome to reach, consider checking out this one.
We came across some posts online from last year, and it seems they had quite a few stalls selling Christmas-related things, mainly trees and wreaths. This year, our visit might be a bit early, as only one or two stalls are selling Christmas items. Maybe wait a bit before planning your visit.
Once you follow the map and enter through the main gate, there's a small glass door on the left and another on the right. We found stalls selling Christmas trees on the right side. The prices here are a bit higher than in Hongqiao. We asked about the price of a small Christmas tree, and it's around 300 RMB, while a larger four-candle advent wreath is priced at about 400 RMB. Maybe it's because not many stalls have kicked off Christmas sales yet. Make sure to haggle for the price you want. Believe me, the stall owner was quite persistent in trying to sell us that tree.
Bottom Line: It might not be the best option, but it's better than nothing. If this location suits your needs, give it a visit—after all, you can discover plenty of other plants and flowers here at the very least.
If you're in the downtown area and looking to quickly make your Christmas purchases, or if you have a higher budget or specific standards for Christmas trees, we also checked out some downtown flower shops. However, they do have higher prices compared to the flower markets:
Nestled in a corner just outside South Shaanxi Lu Metro Station, this little spot already has some Christmas ornaments in its small yard, catching our eye right away. Surprisingly, their prices are quite reasonable—when compared to other downtown flower shops we've checked out. A 40cm imported noble fir Christmas tree goes for 260 RMB, and they also have a selection of Christmas wreaths for sale.
Bottom Line: If this is something you want and you're comfortable with the price, consider paying a visit to this place. In the worst-case scenario, you'll at least get a few nice pictures of their yard.
This shop is right on Changle Lu. Just walk in through an old Longtang door, and you'll find it. It's quite small, but the prices are a bit steep. The Christmas wreaths range from 380 to 780 RMB, and the small Christmas trees are priced between 680 and 880 RMB. Yes, it's on the expensive side! However, these upscale downtown flower shops do offer a more sophisticated design and decoration for their Christmas products.
Bottom Line: While this place isn't budget-friendly, they do provide delivery to any city in China. If you're looking for a beautifully designed small Christmas tree made with real branches or want to purchase a thoughtful gift for someone special and don't mind the price, it's worth a shot.
This flower shop has become a hotspot for people who love striking a pose and taking Instagram or Xiaohongshu-worthy photos. They deck out their exterior with gorgeous flower decorations that change with the seasons. With Christmas around the corner, they've adorned the place with stunning white Christmas decorations to catch everyone's eye.
Now, let's talk about the Christmas tree prices. For the 30-35cm ones, you're looking at 580 RMB, and if you want a larger 50-55cm tree, be prepared to shell out 1880 RMB. The customized 1.2m to 2m Christmas trees are a whopping 6800 to 16800 RMB. Yes, it's pretty crazy, actually, but they do have a fancy and unique look; the customized ones can come in green, white, pink—basically, whatever you want.
If you're into other Christmas decorations, they've got advent wreaths ranging from 880 to 1280 RMB and normal wreaths priced between 480 and 680 RMB.
Bottom Line: Uban Flower for classy, high-end Christmas trees, if you also need it to look really chic and tasteful and fashionable, and don't mind paying for it.
Rosa Gallica is a fine plant store, and they have imported Christmas trees for a significant price. They're selling imported trees that seem like they could have been felled in Santa's backyard.
They've got a wide variety of Christmas decorations, including wreaths and smaller Christmas tree ornaments that start at 60 RMB and go up to 200 or 300 RMB.
And when it comes to Christmas trees, well, they're not very affordable. For instance, a 50cm tree will set you back 880 RMB.
Bottom Line: Authentic Christmas trees. The real deal. If money is not a big concern and you're looking for verisimilitude, head to Rosa Gallica. Ideal for well-off families with kids looking to re-create the storybook Christmas in Shanghai. Top-of-the-line authentic trees...