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Best Time to Visit China

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Spanning several climate zones, each with its own seasonal temperatures, China is a great year-round destination. The weather and crowds are probably the biggest factors that you should consider, which is why generally the spring months from March to May and the autumn months from September to November are the best times to visit. During these seasons the weather is pleasant, though sometimes it can be cold during the transition periods at the beginning of spring and the end of fall. Also during these times, the crowds are considerably fewer, especially when compared to the summer. 

Note that if your trip to China includes time in Tibet, there are a few months in the late winter and spring when it is closed to tourism, generally between early January and early April, but it changes every year. Be sure to talk with our travel experts at Adventure Life about this because you’ll constantly want up to date news if you’re planning to travel during these restrictive times. If you want to be safe though, it’s better to plan your trip for the summer if Tibet is a must-see destination.

Weather at a glance:
  • Spring temperatures are pleasant, between 10–23°C (50–73°F).
  • Summer temperatures are hot, averaging 25–33°C (77–91°F).
  • Fall temperatures are warm, between 15–27°C (59–81°F).
  • Winter temperatures are cold, averaging 8°C (46°F) and below 0 in northern China
During the pleasant spring season from March to May, expect temperatures that are warming up and sunny days that help the flowers come into bloom. There is not much rain during this season, though there might be showers in southern China. In fact, many feel that the sights of the mist rising in places like Guilin and Yunnan makes visiting China an even more enchanting experience.

In the summer season from June through August, expect hot temperatures and large crowds, as this is the time when schools are also on their summer holiday. The humidity is higher during the summer and it is the rainy season, so it is extremely humid. If you are traveling in the coastal area, typhoons might delay or cancel flights. If you don’t mind being flexible with your itinerary or dealing with the crowds and humidity, summer can be a great time to hike in the mountains of Tibet, Yunnan, Guilin, and Zhangjiajie. The private tours we offer through Adventure Life do help travelers avoid the pesky crowds and enjoy private air-conditioned transportation.

Much like the spring season, the fall season in China from September to October is dry and warm, but not terribly hot. The days also are a bit clearer and there is less tourist traffic during this time. The Badaling Forest Park, Mutianyu, and Jinshanling sections of the Great Wall can be excellent places to visit during this season because of the trees you can see from the wall, which have an ocean of red leaves on and below them, giving travelers to these areas of the Great Wall excellent photo opportunities.

If you want to travel during the Chinese winter from November through February, you will encounter colder temperatures, but it can be a great way to see China under a coat of fresh snow if you don’t mind the chilly weather. You can also snag some great deals on travel during this season. In the far southern area of China in places such as Xishuangbanna, the climate is tropical year-round, offering travelers a warm and comfortable temperature with lows of only 11.5℃ (52.7℉) and highs of 28.6℃ (83.5℉) in the winter.

Visiting Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an
Note that visiting the major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an and the sites around these cities is generally great at any time during the year, but beware of the crowds and hot temperatures that come with summer.

Keep in mind major Chinese holidays
If you’ve always wanted to see the Chinese New Year celebrations (generally late January or early February) or the Golden Week (October 1-7), then just remember that you will encounter bigger crowds, more expensive flights, and many businesses that are closed for the holiday. If your dates are flexible, it’s definitely better to book your trip for a different time, unless you’re set on seeing these festivals. Most seasoned travelers to China recommend avoiding China especially during the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). 

If there’s too much information to keep in mind for an ideal trip to China, contact our travel experts at Adventure Life now! They’ll help you coordinate the perfect trip to China.

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