When to go to China?

In general, the best time to visit China is in spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October). China is experiencing comfortable weather, clear skies and limited amount of rainfall during these months.

If you are flexible in traveling dates, it can be advisable to avoid traveling to China from December to February, when especially the north of the country can become freezing cold.

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  check 8x6 best time to visit minus 8x2 reasonable time to visit x 7x7 better not visit World Map Asia  
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The best time to visit China

China can be visited year-round, but timing can optimize your travel significantly. In general, the 'best time to visit' China is in spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October). During these months you can visit all parts of the country and the temperature is very comfortable: 50 to 77°F, or 10 to 25°C. Furthermore: limited amount of rain falls, the skies are clear and you can experience splendid scenery during these months.

Winter time is very cold in the north and the summer time is hot and humid in the south of China. However, since China is a very large country, year-round there are always one or more parts of China that can be visited (as long as you are prepared for the season).

Below you find an overview of the 'best time to go to China', displayed per (climate) region:

  • Northern China: in the north of China the summers are warm and the winters are cold. Summer time and autumn are the best seasons to travel to this part of China (e.g. nice scenery and fresh air by rainfall). Avoid spring time, since sand storms can make visiting this area annoying. In the winter time (December to February) temperature can drop to -40°F or -40°C in the north and northeast of China.
  • Eastern China (including Shanghai): eastern China is best visited during spring (April to June) and autumn (September and October). These are the best months in terms of weather and scenery. Keep in mind that the ‘rainy days’ are more frequent in the east of China. Infrastructure is better in this part of China, making all cities accessible year-round.
  • Central China: June to August is a very good time to visit central China. Spring and autumn are also good, but you can encounter many local tourists (competing for the same accommodations). The winters are short, wet and cold in central China.
  • South of China: given the higher temperature in summer, the South of China is best visited in spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November). In spring you can experience the colorful scenery and comfortable temperature in the South of China, while in autumn the weather is cooler and the rivers are clean. Keep in mind that over 70% of China’s rainfall occurs between the end of May and early October, most falls in the South of the country.
  • Note that typhoons can hit the southeast coast of China between July and September! It can be wise to avoid this part of China during these months, or have yourself well informed in advance about the weather conditions.

  • Western China: the western part of China is best visited from April to October, when flowers blossoming, you can encounter lively markets and the temperature is reasonable.
  • Tibet: the (autonomous) region of Tibet can best be visited from May to October. The winters can become intense cold in Tibet, so it’s better not to visit Tibet in winter time. Be aware that, like in many mountainous areas, the temperature can go from 32°F or 0°C at night to 100°F or 38°C during the day in the summer time.
G Adventures Asia

In general, traveling in China in spring and autumn is more expensive than during other months, due to the higher demand. The price difference can be substantial. People traveling on a tighter budget can consider to go to China in the low season (December to February), provided that preparations have been made for traveling in this season.

The neutral months to visit China

The ‘shoulder’ season is around the month March and around the month November. This is the time when the country is in the transition from a cold to a warmer season, or vice versa. The summer months are considered reasonable to travel to many parts of China.

Better not to go to China

Half November to half March is the official low season in China. Resulting in incredible low prices for transport and accommodations, you will also encounter a lot less fellow travelers. Unless you prefer low prices, fewer fellow travelers and lower temperatures, it can be advisable to avoid traveling to China in the winter months (especially to the higher altitude areas like in the north and the northeast).

It also is advisable to avoid traveling to China during the three weeks below, if you want to avoid the big crowds and high prices, or even shortage of accommodations:

  • First week of 'Lunar' year (Chinese New Year): late January, or early February
  • First week of May: May Day holiday
  • First week of October: National Day

 It is recommendable to avoid traveling to the southeast coast of China between July and September, since this is the typhoon season for this area.

China beaches
China beaches

The best time to visit China
Best time visit China
Temples of China
Temples of China

Beautiful China
Beautiful China

Weather and seasons of China

China is a large country with a large variety of climates. You can find an almost Arctic climate in the northeast, to a tropical climate in the south (e.g. Hong Kong). Temperature extremes during the year go from [-37°F to 95°F] or [-38°C to +35°C] in China.

Summers can be hot; this also is the ‘rainy’ season of China. Over 70% of the rainfall in China occurs between the end of May and early October, mainly in the south. However, rainfall quantities normally are not that large that it will disrupt your travel plans, except for the southern coast in the typhoon season.

The seasons in China are roughly the following:
  • Spring: March to May
  • Summer: June to August
  • Autumn (fall): September to November
  • Winter: December to February

The weather overview pictures below (both °F and °C) perfectly show that the summer time is both the hottest and the wettest season of the year. Further, you can see that during the best seasons to go to China (spring and autumn), the country experiences comfortable weather and a limited amount of rainfall. Finally, they show that China can become pretty cold during the winter months.

Temperature and precipitation overview (°F) Temperature and precipitation overview (°C)
Weather of China (°F) Weather of China (°C)

Map and current weather of China

Drag the yellow iconStreetview iconto a location on the map for the "Google streetview" mode.
Click on the weather icon to see the forecast for the next days.
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Best time to visit specific highlights of China

  • Beijing: the best time to visit Beijing is autumn, although this city can be visited year-round.
  • Great Wall of China:
  • Hong Kong: is best visited early spring and in autumn.

Below you find 2 recommended travel adventures in China, organized by G Adventures.

Essential China China Adventure
Essential China China Adventure

People who want to leave shortly, can find good last minute deals here: save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages

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Skiing in China

Skiing is possible in China!

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Pay special attention to

  • Distances: keep in mind the vast distances when traveling between different destinations in China. This has impact on both your budget and you effective leisure time.
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Interactive 'best time to visit countries' World Map

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Do you have a question about visiting China? Or do you want to share your knowledge of China with other travelers? Please, visit our China forum.

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