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Best Times to Travel to China

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.

April to May — Warm and Comfortable Weather

  • Weather: Average temperature at 10°C (50°F) – 23°C (73°F), warming up, fresh air, but can be continuous drizzle in south China
li riverThe Li River in May

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.

May 1st Labor Day Holiday is not so bad.

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.

June to August — Hot and Busy Summer Time

  • Weather: Average daily temperatures at 25°C (77°F) – 33°C (91°F), rainy season in most areas, especially south and east China
zhangjiajieZhangjiajie Forest Park in July

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:

Monsoon and Typhoons Effects and Our Tips

picnic Our guide will take good care of you during your trip.

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:

  • Use high-speed trains for medium-distance transportation instead of flights.
  • Be flexible with your itinerary — choose a flexible private tour service, like us, if you can.

September to October — Most Clear Days

  • Weather: Average temperatures from 15°C (59°F) – 27°C (81°F), most clear days
The Great Wall of China It's good time to hike on The Great Wall in autumn.

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.

Visiting October 1–7? — Please Book Well in Advance

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.

  • (Less expensive) train/flight tickets are sold out quick and most hotel prices are higher. Do book as far in advance as you can.

November to March — Less Crowded and Lower Prices

the Forbidden City The Forbidden City is quite in winter.
  • Weather: Average high temperatures of 8°C (46°F), in northern China it’s usually below zero

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.

Destinations You Can Visit Whatever the Season

Temple of HeavenTemple of Heaven in Beijing
  • China’s top tourist cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Hong Kong

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.

Want to Experience Traditional and Ethnic Festivals?

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.

Let Us Help You Plan Your China Trip

chinahighlights tour

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 2018.

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