The best time to visit Urumqi is from May to October, as Urumqi winters are long and bitterly cold. The harvest time for grapes from July to October is particularly popular. It is generally dry in Urumqi, which makes the summer temperatures more bearable.
Urumqi has a mid-temperature, continental arid climate.
The coldest month is January with an average temperature of -13°C (9°F). Winter is long and cold in Urumqi, and the snow is often heavy.
See recommended Xinjiang tours
Temperatures can be as low as 10°C (50°F) and up to 30°C (86°F). About 1/3 of the meagre yearly rainfall comes in the spring. Jackets and jeans are recommended, and bring a sweater with you.
Things to Do in Spring
Late March to April is the apricot blossom season in Xinjiang. The best place to see apricot flowers is in Xinghuagou (‘Apricot Blossom Valley’) in Ili.
In Urumqi’s spring, visiting some of the popular cultural sights is recommended too:
- See precious and amazing exhibits in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum.
- Experience an Islamic-style bazaar.
- Learn about the story of the Silk Road in Xinjiang Silk Road Museum.
Recommended tour: 7-Day Xinjiang Silk Road Highlights Tour
Summer is the most beautiful season in Urumqi. The duration of summer differs in the city and surrounding mountain and desert areas. Summer is only 62 days long in Urumqi city but goes for 90 days in the suburbs.
Temperatures get to around 30°C (86°F) in the day, but fall to around 18°C (65°F) at night. Since Urumqi is the furthest large city from the sea on earth, the air is dry, and even during the hot summer you won’t feel stickiness or humidity. Urumqi is a good place to avoid the heat during the summer in China.
We recommend that you bring a T-shirt and long pants to Urumqi during the summer, and a jacket for the cool nights.
Things to Do in Summer
In summer, especially in July, the grasslands of Nanshan Scenic Area are at their best with thick green grass. Enjoy ethnic pastoral scenes.
Heavenly Lake is also an ideal place to go in summer. Take a boat to cruise around Heavenly Lake in the Tianshan (‘Heavenly Mountains’) Range. See the magical colors reflected on the surface of the lake and enjoy beautiful surrounding scenery.
Recommended tour: 8-Day Xinjiang Tour with Ili River Valley
Fall in Urumqi starts from late August. The weather stabilizes in the autumn, and it rains on fewest days. The average temperature is around 13°C (55°F) by the end of fall.
You may be able to wear a T-shirt at noon, but bring a coat for the evenings.
Things to Do in Autumn
In autumn, Heavenly Lake is also worth visiting to enjoy charming autumnal scenery. The calm water reflects Bogda Peak and the colorful trees along the lake.
Autumn is also a harvest season for grapes in Xinjiang. Don’t miss the chance to try the sweet and juicy grapes.
Recommended tour: 8-Day North Xinjiang Tour with Kanas
Winter is from November until April, and lasts over 5 months. The average high temperature in Urumqi during the winter is below freezing, and lows reach around -15°C (5°F). So winter's generally not recommended for tourism.
Some snow falls, much more in the mountains, and it stays all winter, which makes the mountains south of Urumqi a good place to ski. Down-filled coats, and full Siberian winter clothes are recommended.
Things to Do in Winter
Skiing is a highly recommended thing to do in winter. Silk Road International Ski Resort near Urumqi is the best choice. It is one of the three biggest ski resorts in China.
Indoor activities are also recommended such as visiting museums. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum, which exhibits some of the most precious mummies in the world as well as many other regional historic and prehistoric artifacts, is most recommended.
If you want to plan a winter trip to Xinjiang, contact us.
Tour Urumqi with Us
If you are interested in visiting Urumqi, please see our Urumqi tours below for inspiration. All our tours can be customized.
- Along the Great Silk Road — Our 11-day Xi'an, Zhangye, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi, and Kashgar tour is the most selected Silk Road itinerary.
- 7-Day Xinjiang Silk Road Highlights Tour
- More Xinjiang tours
Or contact us to create a trip according to your group size, time, budget, interests, and other requirements.
Urumqi Climate Information by Month
- Urumqi Weather in January
- Urumqi Weather in February
- Urumqi Weather in March
- Urumqi Weather in April
- Urumqi Weather in May
- Urumqi Weather in June
- Urumqi Weather in July
- Urumqi Weather in August
- Urumqi Weather in September
- Urumqi Weather in October
- Urumqi Weather in November
- Urumqi Weather in December