September is one of the best months for travelling China weather-wise. Compared to the summer holiday peak season and October's National Day holiday, September is less crowded, which means a better travel experience.
The traditional Mid-Autumn Festival usually falls in September, bringing with it a great cultural atmosphere but crowds of Chinese travelers. In 2019, it falls on September 13. We list six best places to visit in the cool September.
Beijing has four distinct seasons: blowy spring (sometimes with sandstorms), burning hot summer, cool autumn, and chilly winter. So, autumn is the peak season for travelling to Beijing, however, the most recommended month is September.
The low rainfall (46 mm (2 in)) and moderate temperatures (on average 14 °C (57 °F)–26 °C (79 °F)) can make your tour in Beijing smoother and more enjoyable.
Beijing has some of China's best World Heritage sites, such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven. In this historical capital city, you can maximize your appreciation of Chinese culture and history.
- Recommended tour: 4-Day Essence of Beijing Tour
Olivia Tian, a sunshine tour guide!
In October, my friend Amy booked a tour with Chinahighlights, Olivia Tian was our guide in Beijing, she is such a sweet n happy person to be around, not only she gave us the best guide service, also very accommodating, alter the plan as per our interest, took us to very local shopping n food district. Above all, she takes awesome pics, very patient!! Thank you so much for such pleasant 5 days in BJ, look forward to see you when we are back in China, Olivia!!more
Dec 2023, Venture216019
One whole of a good experience !
Kevin was always making flexible arrangements for us making sure we meet our needs. Kevin also walked us to our desired restaurant daily making sure all are well before he left. Kudos to the whole team. Highly recommend ?more
Dec 2023, Cornelius C
China is Amazing Wonders that do not stop coming at you.Great country
Great job,Loved every minute of it,Ethan did an amazing job,True Ambassador of China,Just like the Chinese people,Friendly, dignified and hardworking,Very happy.China Highlights exceeded expectations and then some,I will never even think of travelling with another company.more
Dec 2023, Philip Sardar /Maps10321171537
Wonderful trip to Beijing and Xian
Had a great trip to bejing n xian. Our guide lily liu is so well versed in english and we have no worry here at all. We managed to dine in great halal restaurants though out our trip. Highly reccomended to all muslims travellers.more
Dec 2023, Efen Reyes
Great experience, highly recommended!
Additionally, she helped me with all my personal needs like getting a SIM card, finding an ATM, shopping, dining, checking in at the train station, hotel, suggested a couple additional very entertaining art events. Was also punctual and spoke good English.more
Nov 2023, Wayne S.
Excellent tour with Tom from China Highlights
We used China Highlights for the 3 days of our Beijing trip. Tom was a fantastic guide. Very knowledgable with excellent English. He was able to accommodate changes to our tour at short notice, allowing us to make the most of our limited time. Couldn’t recommend highly enoughmore
Nov 2023, Ross
Wow this tour was honestly the best tourI have ever taken! Our guide Simon Yao was simply superb! His English was excellent and he was very easy to talk to. He was personable and friendly but not overpowering or overbearing. Very knowledgeable about history. Thankfully the weather was good so we were not super hot !Finally at the wall we were amazed by it's beauty and grandeur. It really is something and pictures don't do it justice.more
Nov 2023, Annika M
Excellent two day visit to Great Wall
Our guide ‘Mark’ was incredible. So friendly, knowledgable and funny. The itinerary was perfect, we got to see two different parts of the Great Wall (one of which at night which was magical) and our hotel stay in Gubei was wonderful. Highly recommend to anybody visiting Beijingmore
Nov 2023, James_Wolstenholme
Great Experience from start to finish!
Jack was my guide and his local knowledge and English skills were fantastic. He was punctual, friendly and willing to flex as we went about our tour. Couldn’t recommend China Highlights more!more
Nov 2023, Scott Smith
Helen in Beijing - thanks for paying great attention to details, for your small surprises for the children every day, for selecting amazing restaurants, and leading wonderful walking tours. Your cheerfulness added to our enjoyment.more
Nov 2023, Kamila
Great day out with Mark, thanks China Highlights!
We did a 1 day private tour with China Highlights to see Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Communication was great throughout - from trip planning/booking with Roger and from our guide Mark who contacted us the day before to confirm meet up time/location. Avoided a lot of the queues and definitely learned quite a bit of history from our guide Mark…thanks again! No language barriers/issues…highly recommended.more
Nov 2023, ykeezy
China Three (3) Cities Tours
To the tour guides, Ethan, Jason and Tony, you guys have made my visit an awesome and memorable experience. All the tour guides spoke english and communicated very effectively. They are knowledgeable about all the sites visited including, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Panda Breeding and Research Center, Leshan Giant Buddha, Hallelujah Mountains, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain. The tour guides ensured I got the most out of my time I stayed in the various cities Beijing, Chengdu and Zhangjiajie.more
Nov 2023, Kadar
13 days in China
We booked a 13 day’s tour of China with China Highlights. Our travel advisor, Ms Leah Zhou organised an itinerary that suited what we wanted. She was really helpful and patient will all our needs. Leah helped us organised our 30th Wedding Anniversary Dinner and my 60th Birthday celebration?? in Beijing. For this to be possible, she had to liaise with our guide in Beijing. The flowers and cake were a real surprise. My husband and I, were really touched at the good service provided by China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou. Thank you China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou for your constant care of your customers. I will certainly recommend China Highlights to my friends.more
Nov 2023, Eda Adams
Perfect Beijing experience
Covering all major sights our exploration of Beijing and surroundings was flawless guided by Lily, along with her knowledgeable and balanced information on Chinas culture and history. In particular, Lily was able to adjust the tour according to personal preferences, e.g. focus on photography, as well as suggesting additional activities like an impressive authentic artistic show. I highly recommend China Highlights as China tour operator and Lily Liu as excellent guide regarding the Beijing area.more
Nov 2023, Perfect Beijing experience
Our first trip to Beijing
Our tour guide was Lucy Yubo. She was awesome. Very friendly, informative and passionate about her job. We really enjoyed her company and guidance.more
Nov 2023, Sreelatha Reddy
Anne and Bob’s tour of Beijing
We did the China Highlights tour of Beijing with our excellent guide Mark and his driver. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Beijing highlights including the Lama Temple, the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Lama Temple. The Summer Palace with the boat ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony were memorable also and the Mutianyu Great Wall was a highlight. We were impressed with Mark as a guide. He knew his history and he was kind and thoughtful. He took us to some excellent restaurants and we were introduced to some beautiful food. We enjoyed his company and will always remember him.more
Nov 2023, BendigoBob
Excellent end to end service
Helen is a positive, full of knowledge, experienced guide.She provided us an implacable service abd experience for 3 days .Highly recommendedmore
Nov 2023, Sariel Engel
Amazing Beijing Tour with Risa!
Risa gave us a wonderful tour of the city! She thoroughly explained the cultuaral importance of each exhibit while also educating us on the Chinese culture. Appreciated having this wonderful Beijing trip with Risa:)more
Nov 2023, Angelica M.
Amazing Beijing Tour With Risa!
We were very kindly received in Beijing by our tour guide Risa. She gave us a very thorough tour of the city and showed us wonderful places, while also explaining the important history/culture of China! Very beautiful city filled with many things to do and full of culture! This was very well planned and made it very easy for us to visit the city and foreigners:) Thank you Risa!more
Nov 2023, Angelica M
Do Beijing like a local
They organised my trip very quickly and efficiently. On the day, Anna was very friendly to me, my mum and my baby. Very accommodating to our needs. The car was immaculately clean and very comfortable. We visited everything we initially wanted and more. Also, Anna took us to the best meal we had in China. It makes a difference to have a local choosing the dishes!more
Nov 2023, Natali A
2. The Yellow Mountains
The Yellow Mountains is one of the most famous and beautiful mountainous areas in China. The peculiar-looking pine trees and rocks, the seas of clouds (which make the mountains and trees much more mystical), and the hot springs are the four highlights of the Yellow Mountains.
Though the Yellow Mountains is worth a visit all the year round, September is the most recommended moth to visit. Because the burning sun of summer has gone, autumn has added a cool mystery to the Yellow Mountains. It is easier to come across seas of clouds and see sun rises (less rain).
The average temperature in the Yellow Mountains in September is 14 °C or 66 °F. The temperature difference between day and night is big, so remember to bring warm clothes.
Winter comes early in the Yellow Mountains, lasting from late October (begins to snow) to March, so the later you visit in September the more likely you are to see fall colors.
- Recommended tour: 3-Day the Yellow Mountains and Hongcun Village Tour
Shanghai is always popular, but September is especially suitable because of its more comfortable weather, and less crowding than in summer or early October.
You can stroll on the Bund along the Huangpu River and admire the historical architecture one side and gleaming skyscrapers the other. Or take a cruise to enjoy Shanghai's classic skyline views.
Alternatively, go up the highest building in Shanghai — the Shanghai Tower — and have a bird's-eye view of the city.
The surrounding water towns become cooler and more conducive to explore in September. Take a day trip to Zhujiajiao, a water town with fascinating canals, bridges, and architecture, and relax on a punted boat.
- Experience the Charming Shanghai and Water Town in our 2-Day Shanghai's Old and New Collision.
August is the month when most giant pandas give birth to cubs. If you visit Chengdu in September, you will have a great chance to see new-born or baby pandas. Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center is the best place to see baby pandas. See The Top 4 Places to See Giant Pandas in China.
The weather is comfortable, with less rain and clearer skies than in summer. It is a good idea to extend your trip to the adjacent mountain scenic areas if you visit Chengdu in September.
One of its best scenic areas is Jiuzhaigou. It sees its best scenery in fall, when the leaves turn golden and red, striking a lively contrast with its clear and emerald lakes. The colors are so vivid, it looks like an oil painting.
- Discover the charm of Chengdu in our 2-Day Panda Keeper and Chengdu Highlights Tour.
Yuanyang is a county in the southeast of Yunnan Province. It is famous for its terraced fields. The spectacular view from the scenic mountain terraces in autumn harvest season is definitely amazing. When the rice ripens, turning the hills a brilliant yellow color, with the terraced structure creating a myriad of golden tiers.
The terraced paddy fields wind from the valley bottoms up to the top, like, from a distance, great chains or ribbons as they wind their way around the contours of the mountain slopes in parallel, tiered bands.
- Discover the beauties in the southeast of Yunnan in our 6-Day Jianshui and Yuanyang Tour.
6. Fenghuang Ancient Town
Fenghuang Ancient Town, a graceful town near the mountain and by the river, is renowned for its natural beauty, unique wooden buildings, and colorful ethnic customs (especially Miao Minority and Tujia Minority).
Generally speaking, Fenghuang Ancient Town is worth a visit all the year round. But, if you want to see the most beautiful Fenghuang Ancient Town, spring and autumn are recommended.
However, it always drizzles in spring, which may bring some inconvenience for outdoor activities. Hence, autumn, and especially September, is the best time for visiting this beautiful ancient town.
Cool weather, clear skies, less crowds (because summer holiday in China has finished), and rare rainfall will make your travel smoother.
Traveling to the town during weekends and Chinese public holidays is still not recommended, as there are more visitors, and hotels and restaurants raise their prices.
- Recommended tour: 7-Day Changsha, Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang Ancient Town Tour
Visit These Beautiful Places with Us
Can't wait to discover the above destinations, or do you want to explore more hidden gems? Having explored many facets of China, our specialists can help you to maximize your travel experience by suggesting the optimal trip.
Tell us your requirements and one of our specialists will be in touch to plan a unique trip for you.
Here are our two most-chosen sample itineraries for your reference:
- The Golden Triangle: Beijing – Xi'an – Shanghai (8 days)
- Classic Wonders: Beijing – Xi'an – Guilin/Yangshuo – Shanghai (11 days)
See more customizable China tour ideas.