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Best (& Worst) Times to Visit China, Travel Tips (2024/2025)

Written by Chris Quan Updated Feb. 29, 2024

China is a year-round travel destination. Regardless of when you go, there is always a place that is worth visiting.

However, weather-wise, the best times to visit China are spring (April–May) and autumn (September–October). These periods offer tourism-friendly weather in the most popular destinations throughout the country.

In the following article, we will provide recommendations for the best destinations and activities to explore in each season and month.

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Best Times to Visit China for Great Weather, Sightseeing, Festivals, and Low Prices

The best time to visit China could vary significantly depending on your China vacation purposes, budget, and weather preferences.

  • Spring and autumn are the best times for the most pleasant weather and stunning natural landscapes. They are also good times for enjoying outdoor activities.
  • If you're looking to enjoy good weather and avoid crowds, we recommend April, September, and mid to late October.
  • For families with children, the available time usually revolves around the summer vacation period. If you prefer a quieter environment and less crowded attractions, June could be a good choice.
  • If you are interested in experiencing China's festivals, we recommend visiting during Chinese New Year, which usually falls in late January and early February.
  • November to March is the off-season. It is a time to benefit from less-crowded attractions and favorable prices. March and November could be smarter choices. The weather in these two shoulder-season months is better compared to other months in the off-season.

Most sightseeing in cultural and historical destinations, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an, is hardly affected by weather conditions. These destinations are suitable for visiting all year round.

No matter in what season you visit, we will carefully customize your itinerary based on your travel time to ensure that you enjoy the many charms of China without any hassles.

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Best Times to Visit China

The Worst Times to Visit China

While there are certain times to travel that may be considered worst, such as those having large crowds or bad weather, the impact of these conditions could be significantly minimized with proper planning, enough knowledge of the destination, and the right destination selection. That's what we could do for you. We would try our best to ensure you have an enjoyable travel experience by skillfully managing these factors.

To Avoid Crowds

If you don't like crowded environments, you should avoid traveling during the Chinese holidays. Most of the attractions are flooded with Chinese tourists during festivals and holidays, especially the two golden weeks:

  • Labor Day holiday (May 1–5)
  • National Day holiday (October 1–7)

If you are traveling during the above periods, book well in advance (at least 6 months) and get ready for the crowds.

In this case, we have three suggestions.

First, get up early to visit as you would enjoy a quieter scenic spot. Compared to the noisy environment, you will find that your early rise is worth it.

Second, choose less popular destinations, such as the Silk Road.

Third, skirt around the peak travel period and visit before or after the holidays. April, late May, and late October could be good times for the good weather, fewer crowds, and nice scenery. Travel costs are also down compared to the costs during holidays.

To Avoid the Rainy Season

If you don't like rain, you'd better avoid visiting in the rainy months.

For southern cities, such as Shanghai and Guilin, June, the rainiest month, is not a good choice for a visit, especially if you are looking for outdoor activities.

But you don't need to worry too much about the rainy season. China is a large country and the rainy season will be slightly different in each city, which provides you with a variety of options. Just contact us for recommendations and itinerary planning.

The northern cities of China, such as Beijing and Xi'an, are generally less affected by the rainy season, which occurs in July and August. There are only occasional short bursts of rain, which have little impact on the tourist experience.

China Travel Guide by Month

Best month to visit China

China has four seasons: spring (officially March to May), summer (June to August), autumn (September to November), and winter (December to February). The north has longer winters and the south has longer summers.

China is vast, with destinations for every season. Whether you visit in winter or summer, there's a suitable place.

Click the sign of each month to check the travel guide information. All our tours can be adjusted/customized based on your requirements. Just contact us.

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

China Weather in January

  • North China (Beijing): freezing, -8–2°C (18–35°F)
  • South China (Shanghai): chilly, 2–8°C (35–46°F)

On the whole, most cities in China are cold in January with low rainfall, except for the extreme southern, including Hainan Island, which still retains a warm 22–26°C (72–79°F) range.

There is snow in the north, but there is little snowfall in the south. If you want to see beautiful snow scenery and do some exciting snow activities, Beijing, Harbin, and many northern cities are recommended.

Seeing the snow-covered Great Wall, skiing in a winter games venue, and exploring a special residence in the north (a cave dwelling), which is warm in winter and cool in summer, are some of the best winter activities.

Harbin's Ice and Snow Festival, which often has more than one large castle that is made of ice and snow, is also popular among travelers.

January is a good time to experience the culture and atmosphere of Chinese New Year. You could explore interesting temple fairs, watch wonderful folk-art performances, and learn about the many customs of Chinese New Year.

If you want to have a warm winter holiday, Hainan Island (i.e. Sanya) could be your choice with its beautiful beaches and sunny weather. Yunnan is also recommended for its mild weather.

See more on China Weather in January (with travel info).

Tour China with Us

Our travel advisors are very happy to give you suggestions and guidance for your trip planning. They can tailor-make your trip according to your interests and requirements, and help to find the best time of year for you to go to China.

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