Christmas is almost upon us – so as an expat in China, you may come across a few challenges when celebrating one of the most important festivals for westerners. Luckily, if you are presently living in Guangzhou, which has been heavily impacted by western contact since many years ago, you can also experience many festivities and open Christmas celebration by companies and in public places, Christmas decorations can be seen everywhere, and activities for Christmas are quite popular and enjoyed by the locals. Although Christmas is not an official holiday in Mainland China, foreigners or workers in western companies are expected to have a few days off during the holiday. However, Guangzhou People will not treat Christmas as a religious festival as other Westerners and merely want to have fun and party with relatives and friends. Meanwhile, you still can enjoy western festive celebration as Guangzhou has a large community of expats and a majority of them still celebrate the holiday traditionally. Next, I will introduce some good places to visit during your Christmas holiday.
Christmas dinner in Guangzhou, Restaurants
Location: 22 ground floor Poli Champagne Garden, Huali Lu, Zhujiang New Town.
It is Lippi, the coach of Henda football team who runs the Italian restaurant. As Lippi is quite exquisite about his hometown cuisine, the quality is surely promising and satisfying. The pizza and bread in this restaurant are hand-made by experienced Italian chefs, and the Executive Chef is Michelin-starred. So it is definitely a priority choice if you are a fan of Italian cuisine. On Christmas, the restaurant has several celebrations and specific Christmas buffets so you definitely can find the festive vibe there.
2.Hooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant
Location: 101, 8 Xing Sheng Lu, Zhujiang New Town
If you are Irish or fancy an authentic slice of Irish culture, you cannot miss the Hooley's Irish Pub located in Zhujiang New Town. The restaurant offers a great Christmas menu and is a good place for gathering and festival parties.
3. 1920 German Restaurant
Location: 183 Yan Jiang Zhong Lu, Haizhu Square.
It is said that 1920 Restaurant is the one of the earliest German Restaurant in Guangzhou. With well-liked German food such as German beer and roasted pig leg, it has attracted many customers and now has opened several new branches in Guangzhou. The boss of the restaurant runs an organic farm in Conghua, which is why the vegetables here taste so pleasingly fresh and sweet. The boss is also the designer of the menu in which there is a smiling pig and lovely carrots, leaving a good impression to the customers. The decoration is based on the background of classic manor, bringing you to the noble life of German from last century and creates a stylish and cozy dining atmosphere.
Location: 62 Zhusigang Second Road, Yuexiu District
This restaurant has a top-tier decoration with charming ambiance and amazing food. The villa alike design has already drew people in. It is often said to be a must-visit spot for foreigners as it provides great western food. Squid Ink Pasta is the most well-received and must-have dish, and the amazing desserts and cocktails really bring you back to home.
Location: No.32 Hua Li Road,ZhuJiang New Town
An amazing restaurant specializes in American and Mexican food with passionate staff and good service. Christmas dinner is excellent at Gails and they can also deliver. Catering for up to around 50x guests you can host a large event with fairly little preparation.
Christmas Shopping in Guangzhou
It is recommended to visit the Tianhe commercial circle (Tiyuxi Lu metro station and Shipaiqiao Metro station line 3) as there are several mega shopping centers, including Tee-mall, Grandview Plaza, TaiKoo Hui, One Link Walk, Grandbuy Mall etc. You can find all kinds of international brands and a variety of items such as clothes, accessories, make-ups, decorations, household wares etc. If you want to buy some cheap Christmas decorations for your home, you can go to Yide Road Market (subway Line 2, Haizhu Square Station). There are numerous booths selling different kinds of holiday ornaments at a cheap price.
If you are looking for a Church in Guangzhou to really celebrate Christmas traditionally, then it is good idea to visit a church on Christmas Eve as there are Christmas choirs and activities. It is suggested to contact the church for more details regarding the activities and schedules.
1. Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Location: 333 Yide Lu, Yuexiu Distric
2. Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
Location: 14 Shamian Lu, Liwan District
3. Guangxiaotang Christian Church
Location: 29 Guangxiao Lu, Yuexiu District
4. Guangzhou International Christian Fellowship (foreigner-only church)
Location: Guangzhou Hilton, 215 Linhe Xi Heng Lu, Tianhe District
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