Best time to visit China
China's spectacular scenery is flecked with seasonal shades, from the pink azaleas in spring to the crimson leaves of autumn trees.
The best time to visit China is not easily surmised: like ours, their seasons are defined, but they’re a big country with a climate that varies from region to region. You can travel year-round, but you must be prepared for what the seasons might throw at you – the south is subtropical with sweltering summers, the north bears the brunt of harsh winters and central China takes a bit of both. You can travel around more comfortably in spring and autumn; a handy rule of thumb is to travel from south to north in spring and from north to south in summer.
Beijing Weather Chart
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Olly Pemberton from our vacation specialists Exodus shares his opinion on when is the best time to visit China: “Spring is a great time to visit China because it’s off-season for local tourists and the temperature is warmer; in the wintertime Beijing can get very, very cold with temperatures dropping to -20C. If you want to visit the Great Wall, for example, it gets covered in snow in December, which may make it a photographer’s dream, but also makes it quite dangerous to walk on. I think the height of summer is best avoided because temperatures can soar and likewise the beginning of October is ‘Golden Week’, which is when the whole of the country is on vacation and it’s a nightmare to get around. I was there during that time and visited the Forbidden Palace in Beijing and I literally could not move for people; it’s easy to forget that China is huge and a lot of the Chinese have never been to Beijing, so we were all tourists together.”
Festivals & events in China
Duanwu Jie or The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Taoist celebration held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (sometime in May or June). Dragon boat races in long canoes painted with bright colours and powered by up to 80 rowers take center stage, their crew fuelled by zongzi (filled and steamed glutinous rice balls) and xiong huang (a herby rice wine with protective powers).
More about China
Our China travel guide features everything from advice on food and shopping to a brief history of China.
Our China highlights include an interactive map, as well as a list of classic itineraries and travel times.
The list of things to do in China is as long as the Great Wall - start your itinerary planning here.
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