Best Time to Visit China in 2024/2025 (Weather & Top Places)

China covers an extensive land area of nearly 96 million square kilometers. The country spans 50 degrees latitude from south to north and 60 degrees longitude from west to east, with the weather varying considerably from region to region. Generally, it is suitable to visit China year-round; the best time depends on your chosen destination and the type of vacation you seek. If you're planning for your trip to China, we've prepared a guide to help you figure out the best time to visit China.

Beautiful view in GuilinBeautiful view in Guilin

Most of China's territory is located in the northern temperate zone, which results in distinct seasonal changes. It will be rather hot in summer and cold in winter, while the weather in spring and autumn is milder and more comfortable. Let's look at the characteristics of China's four seasons and some festivals worth celebrating.

In Spring (March to May)

Spring is one of the best times to visit China. Between March and May, the weather warms up and becomes comfortable, with temperatures averaging 10-23 °C (50-73 °F). The south of China becomes humid because of rain, while the north of China is still relatively dry. In the spring, most of the cities are full of green scenery and colorful flowers. Plus, the air is fresh after a rain.

Recommended Places:

Xi'an, Hangzhou, Huangshan, Yunnan, Wuyuan, Gansu, Yili (in Xinjiang Province), Shandong

Events and Festivals:

Water Splash Festival: It is a Chinese ethnic minority festival celebrated by the Dai people in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, in mid-April every year. Dai people believe pouring water on people will wash away their bad luck. You can join them and have lots of fun.

Luoyang Peony Festival: The Culture Festival is held from April to May, when peony flowers burst into bloom. You can admire different kinds of peony flowers and partake in many exhibitions in Luoyang.

In Summer (June to August)

In this season, hot sunshine revitalizes most cities in China, and the constant rainfall offers fresh greenery and endless waterfalls to mountain and highland attractions. This makes the scenery most beautiful throughout the year. However, China's temperatures average 28-34 °C (64-82 °F) in the summer.

Recommended Places:

Hulunbuir, Qinghai, Zhangjiajie, Guizhou

Events and Festivals:

Dragon Boat Festival: It occurs on May 5th in the Lunar Calendar (usually in early June). At this time, people in China will eat zongzi. It's a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice with meat and peanuts wrapped in bamboo leaves. You can learn to make zongzi and watch dragon boats racing by the river.

Torch Festival: It is a regional festival celebrated by the Li ethnic group in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan. It occurs on June 24th in the Lunar Calendar (usually in late July). People will parade along the mountains at night, with a small torch in their hands. You can join them, sitting around the big torch, to watch various performances.

Double Seventh Festival: It's also called the Qixi Festival, the Valentine's Day of China. It occurs on July 7th in the Lunar Calendar (usually in August). People celebrate it by giving their sweethearts flowers, chocolates, and other gifts.

In Autumn (September to November)

Autumn, like spring, is thought to be the most pleasant time to visit China. The temperatures remain between 15 and 27 °C (59 and 81 °F). It is warmer than spring and cooler than summer. Autumn brings China lower rainfall, a softer breeze, and more clear days, and it provides ideal conditions for people to enjoy outdoor activities.

Recommended Places:

Guilin, Suzhou, Jiuzhaigou Valley, Kanas (Xinjiang), Wuhan, Henan

Events and Festivals:

Mid-Autumn Festival: One of the most well-known traditional Chinese festivals occurs on August 15th in the Lunar Calendar (usually in late September or early October). There will be a full moon at night during the Mid-Autumn Festival. In Chinese people's opinion, the full moon means reunion. Chinese people worship the full moon with their family at night and eat mooncakes.

In Winter (November to February)

Wintertime temperatures are generally low, basically ranging from -30 °C to 8 °C (-22 °F to 46 °F). Northern China usually has temperatures below zero and snow. In southern China, especially in Yunnan, the temperature is typically above zero and much warmer than northern China. During the winter, the views in the north and south of China are totally different. There will be heavy snow in the north, while trees may remain green in the south.

Recommended Places:

Harbin, Sanya, Yunnan, Taiwan

Events and Festivals:

Spring Festival: The Spring Festival is another important festival for Chinese people. Usually, it falls in late January or early February. People put spring festival couplets on the gate and decorate their homes with red accessories. Parents and elders will give children red papers to wish them luck all year. There will be celebrations in squares or parks. You can enjoy the traditional lion dance with the locals.

Lantern Festival: It falls on the 15th day of the Spring Festival. Eating tangyuan is a tradition of the Lantern Festival. It's a cuisine made of glutinous rice flour with sweet fillings. At night, people will watch lantern parades in parks. You can try to release floating lanterns on the river or lake.

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: It's the biggest event for people to enjoy snow views and ice sculptures. People usually celebrate this festival from December to early February. People in Harbin would celebrate the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and the Spring Festival together. For a better experience, you can visit Harbin Ice and Snow World to admire the best-designed ice sculptures. In this park, you can participate in some snow sports.

Generally, a year in China can be divided into three tourist seasons: peak season, shoulder season, and off season. We recommend you visit China during shoulder season the most. However, whenever you want to visit China, we can tailor-make your trip to make the most of your vacation, offer you an unforgettable trip to China with best views.

Peak Season (May to August)

The peak season in BeijingThe peak season in Beijing

Although it's hot in summer, the view is the best at that time. The trees in nature resorts are greener than in spring, bringing more vigor to the sites, especially to natural resorts like Zhangjiajie and Mountain Huang. Students will have 2 months of summer vacation starting in July. Many parents and schools will plan trips for them.

There's a 5-day holiday from May 1 to 5, plus the weather is usually pleasant at that time, making May also a busy month for sites in China.

Shoulder Season (March to April & September to October)

These four months have the most comfortable weather and beautiful scenery. There are fewer tourists compared to the peak season. While it might not be as stunning as summer, there are many seasonal sights to enjoy. For example, in spring, you can see apricot and cherry blossoms in many spots. In autumn, you can admire the spectacular terraced fields. This is why many people choose to travel during the shoulder season.

Off Season (December to February)

Most places will have their off-season between December and February. At this time, it will be cold and rainy for continuous days in the south of China. Many resorts will close temporarily until the weather is better. However, there is an exception. In the northeast of China, winter is actually the peak season. People would head there for snow sports and ice sculptures.

Not Suggested Times to Visit China

We do not suggest you visit China during these holidays: Labor Day from May 1 to 5 and the Chinese National Day Holiday from October 1 to 7. During these holidays, tourist attractions are very crowded, and you might not have the best experience.

China's vast landscape offers a diverse array of breathtaking destinations, each with its own unique charm and best visiting times. Whether you're heading to natural landscapes, historical landmarks, or vibrant cultural hubs, China has something for everyone. Here are the top 10 places to visit in China, along with the optimal times to visit them:

Guilin (April to May, September to October)

Li River in GuilinLi River in Guilin

Highlights: Li River, Longji Rice Terrace, Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill

Guilin is known for its stunning karst landscape, offering picturesque scenes of limestone peaks, lush green hills, and winding rivers. Spring and autumn are the best times to travel to Guilin. The weather in these two seasons is mild and comfortable, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. You can enjoy the warm sunshine and a gentle breeze.

In Yangshuo County, hiking along the Yulong River is a wonderful experience. You can take a bamboo raft in wharves by the Li River to enjoy the endless view of mountains on both sides of the river. In downtown Guilin, there are also good places to go: Elephant Trunk Hill and Reed Flute Cave. They are all well-maintained natural sites, providing you with an unforgettable journey. In autumn, the Longji Rice Terraces, in a golden color, are quite a beautiful sight to behold.

If you unfortunately meet rainy days, you can visit caves, such as Flute Reed Cave and Crown Cave. They are natural because of karstification. You will see amazing stalagmites and stalactites in these caves.

Recommended Tours:

Yunnan (All-Year Round)

Xizhou Anxcient Town in Dali, YunnanXizhou Ancient Town in Dali, Yunnan

Highlights: Lijiang, Dali, Xishuangbanna, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Erhai Lake, Shangri-la

Yunnan might have the best weather in China. Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan, has the nickname of "Spring City," which means "all four seasons are warm like spring." However, we recommend that you visit Yunnan during April to September. The views of natural landscapes are the best and there will be fewer rainy days during these months. You can take a ride around Erhai Lake and visit ancient towns around the lake. And you can attend ethnic holiday events at Lijiang ancient town and Xishuangbanna, such as Water Splash Festival of Dai people and Torch Festival of Li people.

In early September, the snow starts to fall on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Meili Snow Mountain in Shangri-la. You can enjoy the stunning view of endless mountains covered by snow. We suggest you visit the snowy mountains before November. Because in December and January, the weather in the mountains is cold and snowy. It might be more challenging to visit them. In winter, Yunnan is still worth visiting. The weather in winter is much warmer than other southern cities like Guilin, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Xi'an (March to June & September to November)

The Terracotta Army in Xi'anThe Terracotta Army in Xi'an

Highlights: Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall

Xi'an is a city rich in Chinese civilization and culture. It has a long history of over 7,000 years and was used to be the capital city for 13 ancient dynasties. It was also the start of the Silk Road. Xi'an is friendly to all ages and first-time travelers.

Xi'an is an ideal place to enjoy antique flavor. The best time to visit this ancient city is spring and autumn, from March to May, and from September to November, when the weather is warm and pleasant. In spring, many kinds of flowers will bloom, including tulips, peonies, cherry blossoms, peach blossoms, pear blossoms, and winter jasmine. In autumn, some of the most famous attractions, like the Ancient City Wall and the Qin Terracotta Army, will host outdoor activities.

Beijing (All-Year Round)

The Forbidden City in BeijingThe Forbidden City in Beijing

Highlights: Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square

Like Xi'an, Beijing is another ancient city with a long history. If this is your first trip to China, Beijing is suitable for you. With a rich historical background, Beijing has lots of ancient remains, such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Temple of Heaven. You can visit these places to learn about Chinese history. The Forbidden City was the palace for royal families in Qing dynasty. Now, it's converted into a museum of the royal family. The Great Wall was designed to defend the invaders from the north in ancient times. There are watchtowers and beacon towers for warriors to stand on and guard.

If you prefer a mild climate, visit Beijing from April to October. At this time, the warm weather is very suitable for travel. In winter, especially in January and February, there will be lots of Spring Festival events held in Beijing. You can attend temple fairs and traditional lantern shows. However, be prepared that there will be lots of tourists at all the attractions because Beijing is the most popular city to visit in China.

Recommended Tours:

Tibet (June to September)

Potala Palace in LhasaPotala Palace in Lhasa

Highlights: Lhasa, Mt. Everest

Generally, the best time to visit Tibet is from May to October. During this period, the weather is comfortable at an average of 10°C (50°F). You can see the clear blue sky and stunning snowy mountains.

If you're planning a family tour to tibet, the best time is summer. This includes the summer vacation of your kid. In summer, the oxygen level is the highest around the year, so the effects of high-altitude sickness is milder. Besides, the summer temperature won't be too high because of the high altitude.You will see a clear blue sky with fewer clouds. It's an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking.

Zhangjiajie (March to October)

Towering mountains in Zhangjiajie National Forest ParkTowering mountains in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Highlights: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park

There are two beautiful natural parks in Zhangjiajie: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park. Spring and summer paint the mountains and valleys in Zhangjiajie stunningly green. Zhangjiajie is famous for its mysterious and magical mountainous scenery, which is the real-life version of "Hallelujah Mountain" in the movie Avatar. The mountains and forests in National Forest Park will protect you from sunburn, allowing you to enjoy a pleasant hike around the attractions.

When autumn comes, the temperature will be milder than in spring and summer. There will be more rainy days. It's the best time to see Heaven's Gate on Tianmen Mountain. At this time, you can see the mountains are surrounded by mist and have become more mysterious and sacred.

Related Articles:

Chengdu (March to May and September to November)

Young pandas are having funYoung pandas are having fun

Highlights: Panda Research Center

Like Xi'an, Chengdu is also hot in the summer. Thus, the best seasons to visit this cultural and vigorous city are spring and autumn. Chengdu has the biggest panda base. It's a research center for the breeding of giant pandas. If you're a big fan of pandas, Chengdu Panda Research Center is your best place to watch precious pandas. The baby pandas are often born in late August. When they're 2 to 3 weeks old, you may get a chance to see them in Sunshine Nursery House and Moonlight Nursery House at the base. You can even get a chance to be a volunteer there.

Xinjiang (June to October)

Kanas Lake in XinjiangKanas Lake in Xinjiang

Highlights: Turpan's Flaming Mountains, Kanas Lake

Xinjiang is the largest province in China and is famous for its unique culture of different minorities and stunning natural landscape. It's a part of the Silk Road with many historical sites. The best time to visit Xinjiang is between June and early October.

The weather in the northern and southern parts of Xinjiang may vary. From June to August, the weather is perfect in the northern part of Xinjiang. At this time, Kanas is worth visiting. Kanas has various natural resorts, including lakes, valleys, rivers, and forests. The lush forests are lined with a clear blue lake. There are cabins scattered along the hillsides. The graceful landscape of Kanas is an absolute paradise for photography lovers.

The southern part will be cooler when it's around autumn, from late August to early October. You can visit Flaming Mountain in Turpan. Legend says it's the hottest area in China, just like its name suggests. You can taste the fruits in Turpan. The fruits in Turpan are much sweeter and more juicy. The grapes and raisins here are popular throughout the country.

Inner Mongolia (July to September)

A horse and a yurt on Hulunbuir GrasslandA horse and a yurt on Hulunbuir Grassland

Highlights: Hulunbuir Grassland, Badain Jaran Desert

Bordering Mongolia, Inner Mongolia has a similar climate and environment. The culture here is a blend of traditional Chinese and Mongolian influences. Even in summer, the temperature in Inner Mongolia is around 15–25 °C, making it one of the most popular summer resorts in China. The most charming summer scenery in this place is the endless Hulunbuir grasslands. Wildflowers and ragweed bloom in the grasslands and pastures, and cows, sheep, and horses can be seen everywhere. You can stay in a yurt or camp on the grassland.

If you prefer a more unique trip, visit the Badain Jaran Desert and take a camel ride. Sandy peaks and colorful lakes are worth visiting, too.

Harbin (December to February next year)

Ice Castle in Harbin Ice and Snow WorldIce Castle in Harbin Ice and Snow World

Highlights: Harbin Ice and Snow World, St. Sophia Church

In winter, Harbin becomes a snow kingdom. It's considered one of China's most beautiful snow towns. Harbin has well-equipped snow sports resorts like Yabuli Ski Resort, making it an ideal place to experience winter activities such as skiing and ice skating.

Harbin's International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in the winter is an event you don't want to miss. You can admire various ice sculptures and challenge the 500-meter ice slide in Harbin Ice and Snow World. Besides, you can watch figure skating in this theme park.

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