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The Only Guide You Need to Know the Best Time to Visit China

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Think of China and all you can picture is a magnificent picture of the Great Wall of China and the picturesque pagodas. However, there is more to China than just this. Stretching over 3,000 miles, China is home to the world’s highest plateau and also to deserts, jungles, basins, rainforests and thousand miles of coastline. The country is fortunate to have a wide variety of geographical diversity and that simply means there is so much more to the country than what meets the eye! So what is the best time to visit China? The recommended seasons to visit China would be the spring which is from March to May and autumn which lasts from September to October. Most parts of China enjoy a pleasant weather and the best time to visit would depend on where you plan to go.

best time to visit China


The number of tourists dwindles during the winters and the colder months here last from November to March. However, this is also the time when the most popular attractions in China look spectacular. Let us not only understand what the best time to visit China is but also see what should be considered when:

January and February as the Best Time to Visit China

The months of January and February are mostly cold and dry, especially in the north and the mountainous regions of China.  So if you are in Beijing around this time, expect clear blue skies and patchy snowfall at nights. The other regions of China experience humidity making winters cold and damp. The Chinese New Year is celebrated either in late January or early February and this is one of the busiest times in China.

If you are travelling around late January or early February, do not miss the Chinese New Year celebrations which are elaborate with a lot of lanterns, red scrolls, feasting and lots of fireworks. They are a top China Tourism attraction. The Harbin Ice Festival during early January is an artistic treat. Held in Harbin, the festival has a jaw-dropping display of intricately made ice sculptures. The sculptures are spread over three venues namely the Sun Island Scenic Area, The Ice and Snow World and the Zhaolin Park. The festival is a must see if you are considering January as the best time to visit China.


March is the time of the year, when the temperature starts getting warmer and towards the end of the month, the fruit trees begin to blossom. Not as lush as the ones in Japan, the blossoms in China are mainly seen in the countryside and are nevertheless picturesque. Some cities worth visiting during March are Shanghai, Yangzhou, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. Wuyan has some of the most beautiful villages in China. Thus, March is the best time to visit China if you are looking for a natural treat, devoid of the humidity. Excited? Do check out our China Tour Packages for the best deals from Thomas Cook!

Places to Visit in China in January: Shanghai, Yangzhou, Suzhou, Wuyan and Hangzhou


In spite of the warm temperatures, China experiences rain in the central and southern areas. The landscape is beautifully green during this time and the fruit trees are in full blossom. The Tomb-sweeping Festival happens in April, where people take a day off to tidy up the graveyards and enjoy the spring, so it can be the best time to visit China. The Lusheng Festival is celebrated by the Miao community living in the mountainous areas. The main attractions of this festival are dances in traditional costumes and bullfighting. When you visit in April, these are some of the best things to do in China.


The month of May is actually the best time to visit China; the weather is nice and warm, but not humid. The Yunnan Province sees flower blooms all across covering the mountain slopes and making the whole place look heavenly. This is one of the most preferred months to travel since the place has some interesting events and festivals around this time. Moreover, the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated across major cities and towns and hosts some exciting dragon boat races.


June marks the beginning of the actual summer season and the temperatures they will be hot and humid. However, rain is a common feature at this time and that means the rivers and lakes are full and the vegetation grows in full swing. The Longji rice terraces are worth watching, they create mirror-like surfaces as they are irrigated. They are in fact one of the best places to visit in China during this season.


Summers in China can be very hot and humid, especially in the southern side. The western part of the country, however, is quite dry. The mountain regions are cooler and are well known for their trekking and hiking trails. The landscape at this time of the year is quite stunning.


The month of August means sweltering summers and is not really the season to plan a trip to China. Places with extremely high temperatures must be avoided. Western China has a better climate and it is more suited for travellers.

September and October

As September dawns the weather gets better. It is not hot and humid but pleasantly warm at this time of the year just like in May. This is also the best season to visit China. If you want to journey via the Silk route, this is the most ideal time. The temperatures in Western China are pleasant, making the travel a comfortable one. The Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated around this time of the year. The light paper lanterns and the famed delicacy, the ‘moon cakes’ are a favourite during this time of the year.


Autumn in its full glory can be experienced in November, the clear blue skies and the crisp weather make it a great time of the year to travel. Some parts of Northern China may experience snowfall.  The Lusheng festival is celebrated in November in some parts of China, mainly the Guizhou province.


December brings snow and China experiences extremely low temperatures. Days are cold, crisp and dry. The cold in the Western regions of China is exceptional and travel in these areas during December is not advised. Southern China has mild temperatures.

To sum it up, China can be said to be a year-round destination and there is no specific best time to visit China. It all depends on your weather preferences. However, avoid going during the extremely cold Decembers if you are planning to visit Western China as the temperatures here get extremely cold.

Must Read: 7 Alluring And Enticing Things To Do In China

Places to Visit in China

 1. Beijing

Beijing- best time to visit China

Beijing is the capital of China and can be visited year round. The city has hot and humid summers and cold and dry winters. The city experiences rains in July. Beijing is well known for its world-famous sites like the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. To see the autumn colours at its best October would be a good time to visit.

  • Distance from the Airport: 30.2 km from Beijing Airport
  • Best time to visit: March to May and September to October
  • Must visit: The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 5/5

2. Shanghai

shanghai- best time to visit China

Shanghai is another popular city in China. Summers are hot and humid, sudden downpours are a common feature. Winters are cold and dry and temperatures dip below zero degrees.

  • Distance from the Airport: 46.6 km from Shanghai Airport
  • Best time to visit: March to May
  • Must visit: The Bund, Yu Garden, Oriental Pearl Tower
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

3. Chengdu

Chengdu- best time to visit China


Chengdu has a nice mild climate all year long. Summers are hot and accompanied by rains. Winters are cold. Travel in spring and you’ll see the flowers in full bloom or in autumn when the leaves are falling. The lush blue pools at nearby Jiuzhaigou National Park look amazing against the hues of reds and yellows of leaves.

  • Distance from the Airport: 15.5 km from Chengdu Airport
  • Best time to visit: March to May and September to October
  • Must visit: Dujiangyan Panda Base, Leshan Giant Buddha, Mount Emei
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 5/5

Also Read: Travel To China To Experience Spiritual, Gastronomic Nirvana

4. Kunming

Kunming-best time to visit China

Kunming is one destination which has a green cover all year long.  Winter nights can be really cold and summers can be hot and bring some rain. The Southern cities of Guilin and Yangshuo are warm most part of the year.

  • Distance from the Airport: 25km  from Kunming Airport
  • Best time to visit: March to May and September to October
  • Must visit: Stone Forest, Dian Lake, Yuantong Temple
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

5. Hong Kong

hong kong- best time to visit China

Hong Kong is one of the popular and most visited cities in China.  It has a sub-tropical climate and is warm and humid all through the year. October to March is the ideal time to visit Hong Kong as the weather is pleasant.  While in Hong Kong, it is highly recommended that you visit the Ocean Park and be amazed by the underwater world. Also, visit the Tian Tan Buddha.

  • Distance from the Airport: 32.3 km from Hong Kong Airport
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Must visit: Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Tian Tan Buddha
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 5/5

China being a large country with a large geographical variation has a lot to offer to tourists all around the year. With a variety of festivals and events being conducted, a Chinese vacation means a visual treat for the senses. Be it the cuisine or the culture, adventure or history, China is a highly recommended destination.  While in China, make sure to visit the Disney land in Hong Kong, the one place where even adults become kids.

The Chinese New year is one of the most interesting festivals in China that brings in a lot of tourists year after year.  Heritage sites like the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City give a sneak peek into the Chinese history. China is one country that has managed to maintain its heritage and culture making way for the new technology. All in all, if you are a culture buff, this is the best time to visit China for you!

Chinese food is all about being simple yet delicious. Most of the food is steamed and stir-fried. Rice is the staple food and it is an important part of every meal. Food habits vary from region to region and are partly attributed to the weather conditions there.

The festivals and events conducted in China show the strong influence of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. China is also famous for the Pandas, especially the Giant Panda which is mainly seen here. Chinese tea and medicine have enthralled the world with their benefits. Acupuncture, which is the key component of Chinese medicine, has helped cure a lot of people across the globe.   From being used only by the Royals to now being used by everyone, the China silk has come a long way. With a country as large as China, seeing it all in one trip would not really be possible. However, with the right kind of planning one can certainly visit the major attractions in the country.

Most Recommended: China Tour Packages to experience the beauty of this wonderful country with your loved ones.

Have Questions about Travelling and what is the best time to visit China? Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What things should be carried along?

You can get just about anything here, and cheaper than anywhere else. However, make sure to carry sunscreen and deodorant. If you’re plus sized, you’ll have difficulty finding clothes and shoes to fit. Conversations about family, home, stamps and coins, are great ice-breakers.

  1. How much will it cost?

The prices would vary from city to city.  In big cities it is possible to spend Y750 (approx. INR 7600) on a meal and Y1, 500 (approx. INR 15200) on accommodation, but if you are careful you can get around on Y150 (approx. INR 1500) a day. If you are on a budget trip, stick to the western part of the country as it is cheaper.

  1. I do not speak Chinese. How do I communicate?

English is understood by the service industry, though not by taxi drivers – you’ll need to have your destination written down in Chinese characters. In restaurants, there will generally be an English or picture menu. In the countryside, a little Chinese will help a lot, though most get by with expressive gestures, a phrasebook and some patience.

  1. Is it okay to pay a tip?

Avoid tipping

  1. Will I find Internet connectivity?

The country has a lot of internet cafes and Wi-Fi zones. Hotels also provide internet for a fee.

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