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Generally, the best times to visit China are spring and autumn, when most of the popular places have their most tourism-friendly weather.
Summer is good too, if the heat doesn’t bother you too much, and is the best season for visiting remote western China — Tibet, Xinjiang, Shangri-La... Winter is low season for most of China, which means lower prices (transport, hotels, etc.) and fewer crowds, and the cold can produce fine scenery too. See more advice by season below.
Spring is a good time for you to go to China if you enjoy natural views. Flowers bloom and temperatures are cool to warm.
Spring is earlier in China’s warmer south. The light rains can actually enhance views, with mountain mists in areas like the Li River (Guilin) and the Yellow Mountains.
Labor Day is now a 3-day holiday in China, no longer a “golden week”. So it’s not that crowded or expensive during this period.
If your vacation is around the start of May, don’t be afraid. But it’s worth knowing that popular attractions, like the Forbidden City and Terracotta Army, will be more crowded.
Summer is in fact the time with most things to do in China — from sunny mountain hiking and minority festivals to open-air boating and long evenings relaxing at scenic bars.
Summer is the best time for “green” scenery. Hills and grasslands are at their most verdant. It offers optimum conditions for mountain and highland destinations.
Many people dislike China’s sultry summers because they have to work in the heat, or they make their touring too hectic. If you come to China in summer, aim to take it easy and make the most of the warmth. It’s nice if shorts and T-shirts are all you need to take!
Tips for travelling during busy summer holiday:
If you are visiting China in summer time, keep a little tip in mind: be flexible about your plans.
The monsoon is generally greater in intensity the further southeast (or up in the mountains) you go. Hong Kong has the most rainfall. There will be a higher chance of flight delays or cancelations, and any outdoor activity may be rendered less enjoyable by a downpour.
Tips for heavy raining days:
Overall, autumn in China provides their best weather conditions with less rain and more clear days.
The weather is at its optimum. Most of China has warm/mild temperatures, and the summer rains have stopped (apart from around Hong Kong and Sanya). So it's relatively dry.
Many travelers choose autumn to visit China, especially outdoor activity lovers. When climbing mountains and hiking on Great Wall, they can enjoy a more favorable experience with good weather.
Fall hues appear, giving many areas added appeal. If you are fond of autumn colors, September and October are definitely the best months to visit China (later for the south).
Most fruits in China ripen in autumn. You can taste many different fresh local fruits.
If you are visiting during the Chinese National Day holiday, be aware that popular attractions, transport, and hotels will be crowded or sold out, and prices go up considerably.
China's winter low travel season is from November to (early) March. In the low season, although the weather is colder, you can save money on hotels, flights, and entry tickets, and you can avoid the tourist crowds.
You may be interested in our China Winter Travel Guide — Places to Go, Activities, Suggestions.
No matter when your vacation falls, these cities are good to go to. If you are planning to visit these cities, just grab your bags and go!
They are mostly famous for historical sites and modern buildings, so they are less affected by weather conditions.
If you are after China's traditional and ethnic culture, and are fond of colorful local pageantry, you will want to see China's major traditional and ethnic festivals.
Our travel advisors are very glad to give you suggestions and guidance for your trip planning. They can tailor-make your trip according to the time you prefer, special interests, and requirements. Let us help you now. Or you can have a look at our most popular China tours:
Or you can read our suggestions on How to Plan Your Trip to China in 2017.