Harbin City is influenced by continental monsoon climate, with long, freezing winters and warm, short summers. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons which last for a very short time with rapid change of temperatures.
The best time to visit Harbin is from December to February of the next year, when the weather is freezing cold, and Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival takes place during this period. It is the best time to enjoy the area's ice and snow and relative activities, including skiing. (Harbin Ski Tour with Yabuli). The festival usually runs on December 20 every year. On January 5, it's formally open to the public and lasts for about one month. Visiting Harbin during the holidays of the Christmas Day or after January 5, you won't miss the greatest pleasure of Harbin. View Mia's Harbin travel story with photos.
It is the popular tourist season in Harbin, with ice and snow concentrated from December to January. It is very cold in Harbin, which is at the same latitude as Montreal, Canada. January is the coldest month of the year, with an average high temperature at -13 °C (8 °F) and an average low at -25 °C (-13 °F).
Keeping warm: It is necessary to wear down jackets, woolen pants, snow boots, hats, scarves and gloves, everything that can keep you warm. Because the weather is very dry, it is suggested that you wear a mask to protect your nose. More about keeping warm in Harbin.
Recommended attractions: In the ice city of Harbin, the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival (Sun Island Scenic Spot, Ice and Snow World) and skiing (Yabuli Ski Resort, Jihua Ski Resort) are not to be missed. Check out top things to do in Harbin.
Recommended tour: Harbin Sites & Train Experience To Yabuli Ski Resort
The weather is dry and windy, with changeable temperatures that may rise or fall by 10 degrees Celsius just overnight. Average high and low temperatures are 2 to -11 °C (34 - 12 °F) in March, 12 to -6 °C (55 - 31 °F) in April, 21 to 7 °C (70-45 °F) in May.
What to wear: Prepare the same clothing as in winter because it is still very cold in March. It gets warmer and warmer in April and May. Prepare an overcoat, a medium sweater and base shirts for April, and prepare a trench coat and a long-sleeve shirt or T-shirt for May. Wearing layers are always practical, which is easier to take on and off in the changeable weather.
It is hot and humid, but not as hot as other cities in China, so Harbin is also a good summer resort. 60% of the annual rainfall happens in July and August. July is the hottest month of the year, with an average high temperature at 28 °C (83 °F) and an average low at 18 °C (65 °F).
What to wear: Prepare summer clothes, such as T-shirts, skirts and short pants. You might as well prepare a light cardigan in case you feel chill in early morning or evening. Prepare umbrella during the rainy season (July and August).
Weather is changeable with big temperature difference during day and night. The first snow comes in mid-October or early-November, and temperatures fall lower after the first snow. Average temperatures are 9 to 21 °C (48 - 69 °F) in September, -6 to 12 °C (31 - 54 °F) in October and -11 to -6 °C (12 - 31 °F) in November.
What to wear: Layers are always practical and convenient for taking on and off in the changeable weather. There is big temperature difference between day and night. In September, prepare long-sleeve T-shirts and long pants for the day, and a cardigan/trench coat for early morning and evening. Prepare sweater and overcoat for October, and down jackets for November when it may snow.
Feel free to contact us for a customized tour. Besides enjoying ice and snow in the cold North China, there is another option - Sanya City in southernmost China, with sunshine and beach in winter. Check out China winter vacation packages.