When to go

The best times to visit China are spring (April–May) and autumn (September–October). The climate varies by region; the north has slightly cooler temperates and southern China has a subtropical climate, where the summers are wet and humid and temperatures can reach up to 40°C. If including a visit to a mountain region, be sure to pack a warm jumper and some extra layers. The summer time is when students are on a break and families travel, so expect higher prices and more crowds. In winter a lot of China is covered in a blanket to snow.

Times to avoid visiting China

The Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival sees the biggest annual mass migration in the whole world. Flights will be more expensive and other forms of transportation packed full and often sold out. Most shops, grocery stores and even some tourist attractions are closed for a few days, meaning you could miss out on the best experience. It happens in late January or early to mid February, with exact dates depending on the lunar calendar.

Other dates to avoid:

  • Labor Day Holiday (May 1-3)
  • Chinese National Day Holiday (October 1-7)

Visiting China in Spring (April to May)

The spring season is one of the most popular times to visit China. It is warm and comfortable. Temperatures average 10–23°C. For nature lovers, flowers are blooming and the countryside is beautiful throughout the country.

One exception is Tibet, which is closed to foreign visitors for about two months every spring. Check on exact times, as they vary from year to year.

Visiting China in Summer (June to August)

Summer is a peak travel time for Chinese families with school-age children, and students, so be prepared for crowds. If you are visiting Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, you will need to book well in advance.

Summer is hot. daily temperatures average 25–33°C. It's the rainy season in most areas, especially southern and eastern China.

It's a good time for sunny mountain hiking and to visit minority festivals. Aim for highland destinations such as Tibet, Yunnan, Guilin, and Zhangjiajie. .

It offers optimum conditions for mountain and highland destinations,such as

If traveling to southeast China, for example Hong Kong, you may experience flight delays or cancellations caused by typhoons.

Visiting China in Autumn (September to October)

Autumn in China has excellent weather conditions with less rain than spring or summer and more clear days. Nature lovers experience the warm hues of leaves turning to reds and oranges. There is a great variety of fresh local fruits which are in season.

Temperatures average 15–27°C.

Visiting China in Winter (November to March)

In the low season, although the weather is colder, you can save money on hotels, flights, and entry tickets, and you can avoid the tourist crowds.

Temperatures are rarely rise above 8°C and in northern China it’s usually below zero. If you like snow and ice, then head for the Harbin Ice Festival is the largest of its kind. Harbin can fall to -24 °C at night, and they never rise above zero during the day.

For warmer temperatures head for the south to places such as Hong Kong, Macau, Hainan, and southern Yunnan.

Weather in Beijing