Beijing experiences its winter season of potential snow from late November till late February.
Here are the top 12 places to enjoy snow scenes and snow activities in Beijing, including the Great Wall, Longqing Gorge in Yanqing (a 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games venue), the Forbidden City, and Nanshan Ski Resort...
1. The Great Wall — Beijing's Most Beautiful Snow Scenery
The Great Wall, founded on Beijing's high mountain ridges, offering broad and majestic panoramas, is the best place for you to enjoy spectacular snow scenery. Snow falls on the Great Wall, and frost and ice condense on the wild trees and grass on both sides, making a tranquil white world.
If traveling with kids, you can consider Badaling or Mutianyu. They are easier to reach and offer the easiest climbing in wintry conditions. Compared with Badaling, Mutianyu is more recommended for being less crowded and more authentic. (Badaling Vs Mutianyu: Which One Is Better for Visiting)
Read more about How to Visit the Great Wall of China — Insider Guide
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2. Longqing Gorge — Beijing's Ice and Snow Festival
Longqing Gorge is in Yanqing district, where “The essence of the Ming Great Wall” — Badaling's Great Wall section is located, about 85 km (2 hours) from downtown Beijing.
Featuring gorgeous mountain views and clear water, Longqing Gorge is called Beijing's Li River. It is a good vacation spot for all seasons, especially in winter for its breathtaking ice waterfall spectacle and dazzling ice and snow sculptures.
Longqing Gorge Ice and Snow Festival is held each year from January 15th to around February 28th, whichi is very popular with families living in and around Beijing. It is the best alternative to Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.
You can take a walk during the day to enjoy the snowy scenery on both sides of the valley and enjoy colorful ice lanterns during the evening.
Contact us for a day trip to Longqing Gorge from Beijing customized for you.
3. Taoyuan Xiangu — Ice Climbing & Ice Camping
Taoyuan Xian Gu ('Taoyuan Fairy Valley') is an ecotourism scenic spot with dense forest, about 90 km (2 hours) from Beijing city center. It is a good place for a day trip from Beijing.
In winter, you can see the beautiful scenery of ice waterfalls, ice flowers, and ice caves everywhere in the valley. It's like walking in an ice and snow kingdom.
Taoyuan Xian Gu has Beijing's best-developed site for ice climbing, which is climbing up an ice wall made by a frozen waterfall. You are provided with ice-climbing clothes and equipment including ice axes and crampons and will be protected by a belay rope throughout. Ice climbing is actually easy compared with other ice activities, but it still seems very adventurous and thrilling. Contact us for more >>>
4. The Forbidden City — the Real Royal Atmosphere
If you do not like crowds, winter, especially an afternoon after a snowfall, is the best time to visit the Forbidden City. In the quietness, you can feel the Former Palace's vastness more, and after the snow, the palace appears more majestic. Red walls, glazed tiles, and white snow scenery make a beautiful picture from any angle.
Witness the pick of the beautiful snowy landscapes at Meridian Gate Square and the Southeast Corner Tower outside Donghuamen.
Read more about How to Visit the Forbidden City and Reserve the Ticket
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- Check out more Beijing tours to enjoy the less-crowded winter season.
5. Jingshan Park — for a Bird's Eye View of the Forbidden City
Jingshan Park features an artificial hill with five peaks. The hill was made from soil excavated from the Forbidden City. Each of the peaks has a restored pavilion from which you can have a bird's eye view of the Forbidden City.
Tips: To reach the top of the Jingshan Park, climbing steps for 40-60 minutes is needed. It is a great outdoor activity on weekend for those who work and live in Beijing, but not suitable for seniors with knee problem.
6. The Summer Palace — the Royal Garden Museum
The Summer Palace has some of the best snow views in Beijing city. The largest traditional Chinese garden in the world is an all-year attraction, but it's particularly pretty in winter, when artificial Longevity Hill, bridges, pavilions, and the frozen waters of Kunming Lake are covered with snow.
The best place to enjoy the snow in the summer palace is West Bank (Xidi), where you can see the dim light reflected by the lazy sunshine on the icy surface of Kunming Lake, and Buddha Pavilion sitting in the snow like an old Buddha wrapped in white at the foot of Longevity Hill.
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7. Houhai — a Natural Skating Rink
Houhai (an artificial lake in central Beijing), together with Qianhai and Xihai, as well as Prince Gong Mansion and Garden, the Drum Tower, and the nearby hutongs, forms the famous Shichahai tourism scenic area.
In the winter, Houhai will be frozen, becoming a natural skating rink. It becomes a big playground for the locals. After skating, you can find a bar in the famous bar street in Houhai to warm you up.
The old hutong buildings behind Houhai look more special in winter when covered by snow than at any other time.
- 1-Day Beijing Hutong Tour - A Walk into Old Beijing
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8. The Southeast Corner Watchtower — the Best of the Old City Wall
Situated near the Ming Dynasty City Wall Ruins Park, the Southeast Corner Watchtower is the only remaining part of Dongbianmen (the old east gate) and the largest original city wall corner tower in China. Built in 1436 in the Ming Dynasty, it is a medieval fortified stone structure.
The watchtowers as a wonderful viewing platform, especially when covered with snow during winter. It is 500 meters from Beijing Ancient Observatory.
9. Beijing Snow World Ski Resort - the Nearest Ski Resort in Beijing
Skiing is becoming increasingly popular in China's winters. In Beijing, you can find many different ski resorts. See Beijing's Top 10 Ski Resorts.
Being the nearest ski resort to the city (about 30 minutes' driving), Snow World Ski Resort hosts motorized, dog-drawn, and horse-drawn sleighs. It is certainly a nice place for a day trip in Beijing with kids to enjoy the snow. It is more like a snow theme park instead of a standardized ski resort ass there are only 3 trails .
We also suggest you visit nearby Jiuhua Spa Resort where you can bathe in a hot spring.
- Send us a free inquiry about this if you're interested in.
10. Nanshan Ski Resort - the Largest Ski Resort in Beijing
Beijing Nanshan Ski Resort is the largest ski resort with the most comprehensive range of ski trails near Beijing (26 trails including 12 beginners, 8 intermediate, 4 advanced, 1 Mellow Park, 1 mini-park). It has China's first international standard half-pipe snowboard facility and Mogul ski trail.
The mini-park, kids' nursery, and ski learning trail make it a family-friendly resort. The Alpine-style café and wooden villas in the resort bring you the atmosphere of skiing in the Alps. All in all, Nanshan Ski Resort is a perfect day trip destination for visitors and residents of Beijing or families with children.
Read more about Top China Ski Resorts: Family, Intermediate or Advanced skiers or Contact us for a worry-free skiing & hotspring tour in Beijing.
11. Badaling Ski Resort - Near to Badaling Great Wall
The Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Arts Festival is also nearby. Skiers can rent equipment and enjoy the four ski trails even at the night. If you are not a fan of skiing, you could enjoy the dog sleighs and snow tubes among other activities.
Contact us for a custom Great Wall and skiing trip
12. Huaibei International Ski Resort - Surrounded by the Great Wall
Beijing Huaibei Ski Resort is the only ski resort surrounded by the Great Wall and is considered to be "the most beautiful ski resort in Beijing". You can enjoy Mutianyu's Great Wall — the most child-friendly Great Wall section, while on a skiing trip.
Although Huaibei Resort is a renowned skiing destination, it triples as a nice snow views location and a place to enjoy a variety of snow activities (snowmobile rides, archery on the snow, horse-drawn sled rides...). It features beginner, medium, and advanced level slopes.
Other Things to Do at Beijing Huaibei Ski Resort Beyond Skiing: Thanks to its location in Jiugukou Natural Scenic Area's beautiful mountains and valleys, in addition to skiing, you can do rock climbing, camping, and Great Wall hiking from the resort. It is a resort for all seasons.
Tour Snowy Beijing with China Highlights
If you are planning a Beijing tour to appreciate the snow scenery, please tell us your interests and requirements and we will create your own personalized tour.
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