Best time to visit Beijing

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Beijing

Best time of year to visit Beijing

Pleasant periods from March to May and September to October are the best time to visit Beijing. Spring in the city is usually fresh and vibrant, with fewer tourists, affordable prices, and amazing Qingming and Plum Blossom festivals.

You can expect some hot days in September, but for the rest of the fall, you can bring light layers. Due to a National Day celebration in the first week of October, the city gets quite packed, but the ginkgo avenues are definitely worth a stroll.

Summer in Beijing is torrid and crowded, so make sure to book in advance and don't forget your umbrella in case of rain. Choose a period between November and February if you enjoy the cold. The temps can fall below freezing, but there are no crowds and the rates are at their lowest. Take this time to inspect temple fairs or frozen waterfalls in Taoyuan Xiangu.

18 THINGS TO DO IN BEIJING (JANUARY 21 - JANUARY 30)

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

late August–early June • activity

Visit the world's largest wooden building complex

Happy Ice and Snow Season at Bird's Nest

Happy Ice and Snow Season at Bird's Nest

late December-February • event

The Ice and Snow Season at Bird's Nest brings a winter wonderland to Beijing

Frozen Waterfalls in Taoyuan Xiangu

Frozen Waterfalls in Taoyuan Xiangu

late December–February • nature

Large humanmade waterfalls attract ice climbing fans every winter

Lotus Market

Lotus Market

mid-June–August (all year round) • activity

A summer escape for viewing lotus, eating Chinese foods, watching folk performances, and enjoying night clubs

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

March–June | September–November (all year round) • activity

The largest ancient sacrificial complex in China

Hot Pot

Hot Pot

November–March (all year round) • food

This dish was born in the north where people fight the cold with a hot broth

Wintersweet in Bloom

Wintersweet in Bloom

January–March • nature

The flower with a similar name and similar appearance to plum is not real plum

Peking Duck

Peking Duck

all year round • food

Discover this Chinese north-eastern special dish, famous for its thin, crispy skin

Skiing and Snowboarding

Skiing and Snowboarding

December–March • activity

China's ski resorts are unfairly underestimated by the outside world

Sugar Figurines

Sugar Figurines

late January–February • food

Sugar candies are blown into vivid figurines in an instant

Fried Scorpions

Fried Scorpions

all year round • food

Deep-fried scorpion skewers are a real delicacy in China

Tanghulu (Bingtanghulu)

Tanghulu (Bingtanghulu)

late December–late March • food

The taste of Tanghulu and loud street cries of street vendors revive childhood memories in the minds of old Beijingers

Ming Tombs

Ming Tombs

March–May | September–October (all year round) • activity

Explore the famous Tombs of the Ming Dynasty, one of the best-preserved Imperial Chinese burial complexes

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

October–April • nature

With its distinctive seasons, diverse terrains, and various plants, Beijing is home to different bird species

Outdoor Ice Skating

Outdoor Ice Skating

late December–early February • activity

Lakes in Beijing turn into natural outdoor ice rinks in winter

Prince Gong's Mansion

Prince Gong's Mansion

mid-October–April (all year round) • activity

Beijing's largest and best-preserved Qing Dynasty princely mansion

Dumplings

Dumplings

all year round | major holidays • food

This dish has been popular in China since time immemorial

Jiuniang

Jiuniang

December–February • food

Rice wine with high nutritional value and health benefits

14 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Temple Fairs

Temple Fairs

February 12–17, 2021 • event

Experience the traditional Spring Festival at temple fairs in Beijing

Qingming Festival

Qingming Festival

April 04, 2020 • event

Immerse yourself into a strange combination of sadness and happiness

Plum Blossom Festival

Plum Blossom Festival

mid-March–mid-April • event

When the long, dry, and gloomy winter days are finally over, don't miss a chance to see Beijing decorated with fantastic pink blossom splendour

Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán)

Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán)

April–October • activity

The largest existing imperial garden in China will take you back to the royal luxurious yet cosy life

Ginkgo Avenues

Ginkgo Avenues

mid-October–mid-November • nature

Beijing is colored in a yellow palette by ginkgo trees in autumn

The Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan)

The Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan)

April–early November • activity

Once a splendid royal garden and palace now lies in ruins

Red Leaves Festival at Fragrant Hill

Red Leaves Festival at Fragrant Hill

mid-October to mid-November • nature

"I see a thousand hills crimsoned through / By their serried woods deep-dyed"—Mao Zedong

Laba Festival

Laba Festival

January 20, 2021 • event

The combination of a Buddhist holiday and a modern festival

Tulip Blossoms

Tulip Blossoms

late April–early May • nature

The Beijing International Flower Port is a unique kingdom of beauty in the Chinese capital

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

January 24–25, 2020 • event

The biggest holiday of the year will astonish you with colorful parades and delicious food

Longtaitou Festival

Longtaitou Festival

March 14, 2021 • event

On that day people worship dragon hoping for good harvest and rains

Dongzhi Festival

Dongzhi Festival

December 21–December 22 • event

A family-oriented celebration of winter solstice

Double Seventh Festival (Qixi)

Double Seventh Festival (Qixi)

August 25, 2020 • event

The Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month

Double Ninth Festival (Chongyang)

Double Ninth Festival (Chongyang)

October 25, 2020 • event

The combination of the ninth day and the ninth month brings good luck, and the chrysanthemum is a symbol of that day

Last updated:
jan
6.2
feb
6.2
mar
6.9
apr
7.8
may
7.7
jun
6.5
jul
5.1
aug
5
sep
7.5
oct
8.2
nov
6.9
dec
6.4

Beijing weather in January

6.2/10 score
Good
-3° average
average temperatures
1.8 mm
precipitation
9h 27m
daylight duration
Beijing weather in January is harsh. The Siberian anticyclone brings dry and freezing days. The cold air masses come from the Mongolian deserts and ensure low temperatures. Usually, the day temperature is slightly below 0°C (32°F), but at night, it may fall to -10°C (14°F) or even lower. Stopping by Beijing in January is a good idea only in case you can handle low temperatures and biting winds. Otherwise, sightseeing would be too challenging, even in your warmest apparel. The sun is the only thing that moderates the unfavorable conditions. The sky is bright almost all day long, and the sun creates a welcoming ambiance. Besides, snowfalls are unlikely, so you may expect to see snow once or twice.

Beijing weather in February

6.2/10 score
Good
0° average
average temperatures
7.4 mm
precipitation
9h 31m
daylight duration
The first half of February is similar to January. The nights and early mornings are freezing, but by midday, the temperature rises a bit. The sun shining in the cloudless sky barely warms up the air. However, when the days are bright, the subfreezing temperatures and biting winds are not that bothersome. Besides, the low humidity makes the cold less perceptible. But don’t be misled by the sun—it’s still way too chilly to neglect your warmest clothes. By late February, the temperature starts rising, and even the nights become milder. It might snow several times; snowdrifts are a rare occasion as the strong wind blows them away.

Beijing weather in March

6.9/10 score
Good
8° average
average temperatures
9.6 mm
precipitation
10h 23m
daylight duration
A transition month between freezing winter and mild spring, March shows unstable weather. The first half of the month is cold and windy, with the temperature falling below freezing at night. During the day, the air warms up, and the conditions become more suitable for sightseeing. However, you should still get dressed warmly and keep in mind that light snowfalls are not rare in Beijing in early spring. Starting from mid-March, the weather improves rapidly. It gets sunnier and milder outside, the night temperatures don’t drop below 5°C (41°F), while at noon the thermometer may show over 17°C (63°F). The quick rise in the temperature and a noticeable difference between day and night makes it a bit challenging to pack a suitcase for the entire month.

Beijing weather in April

7.8/10 score
Very good
15° average
average temperatures
31.5 mm
precipitation
11h 39m
daylight duration
The weather keeps on getting better. The mornings are rather fresh, but the gentle sun warms up the air and makes the days pleasant for any kind of outdoor activity. You’ll notice a constant increase in the temperature as it crawls up slightly every day. In April, 20°C (68°F) is usual for the thermometer to show, and occasionally it reaches the mark of 23°C (73°F). Besides, the weather is sunny and dry. The number of precipitation days increases compared to March, but it rains only about five days in a month. The combination of such favorable conditions makes April a great time to visit Beijing. A sandstorm could be the only issue. In April, as in the rest of the spring season, the wind may bring dust masses from the Gobi desert—thousands of tonnes of sand might cover the city.

Beijing weather in May

7.7/10 score
Very good
22° average
average temperatures
38.8 mm
precipitation
12h 58m
daylight duration
In May, the weather in Beijing is splendid. The sky is cloudless for about three weeks, promising no rains and an entire day of sunshine. About five-six days may be rainy. The temperature is moderate, ensuring comfortably mild mornings and evenings and warm days. Even at night, the temperature doesn’t fall below 20°C (68°F). The only thing you need to carry just in case is a light jacket. Though there is a risk that this magnificent period would be interrupted by a sandstorm, and the yellow dust would cover Beijing. Combined with the pollution and humidity, the storms could be a real disaster, affecting lungs and irritating eyes. Besides, by the end of the month, the temperature starts rising and might exceed the mark of 30°C (86°F), which is a first sign of the future deterioration of the weather.

Beijing weather in June

6.5/10 score
Good
26° average
average temperatures
97.9 mm
precipitation
14h 09m
daylight duration
In June, the wet season begins in Beijing. The East Asian monsoons bring hot and rainy weather. Compared to late May, a rise in the temperature is not that significant, only a few degrees. However, the humidity increases to over 60%, and the heat becomes hard to bear. The precipitation doubles the spring amount, but rains are not torrential yet. Although June is wet and muggy, the rain has one positive effect as it decreases the industrial smog covering the city. In the last days of June, the temperature may reach 34°C (93°F). As the weather hardly varies throughout the summer, starting from June, the clothes should be light, and sunscreen is a must.

Beijing weather in July

5.1/10 score
Acceptable
27° average
average temperatures
175.4 mm
precipitation
14h 54m
daylight duration
In July, the weather deteriorates even more. The heat grows, and even the morning freshness is gone. The temperature doesn’t decrease during the night, and by noon, it peaks to 35°C (95°F). In the worst-case scenario, it may hit the mark of 40°C (104°F). The days are sweltering, and it’s better to stay inside. For outdoors you better carry an umbrella: it will hide you from both the scorching sun and the rain. The amount of precipitation is twice as much as in June, and it makes July one of the rainiest months. It’s likely to rain every second day. Meanwhile, humidity reaches 70%. The combination of the warm, polluted air and tiring temperature extremes is not the best set for a comfy vacation in Beijing. To run away from the heat, you may consider a day trip to the Bohai Sea, which is relatively close to Beijing. In July, the seawater warms up to 23°C (73°F).

Beijing weather in August

5/10 score
Acceptable
26° average
average temperatures
158.1 mm
precipitation
14h 48m
daylight duration
The first half of the month is as painfully hot as July. The heat is slightly lower early in the morning and closer to the evening. Hence, it’s better to plan any outdoor activities for these periods. In the middle of the day, well-conditioned indoor areas might be your shelter. Besides, the wet season persists, and the high humidity keeps on making the heat difficult to bear. Along with July, August is one of the wettest months. The rains are frequent and do not follow a fixed pattern. For your comfort, you might want to carry an umbrella or a raincoat. Starting from mid-August, the weather improves gradually. The monsoons leave Beijing, the heat decreases, and the rains calm down. This time of the transition from the wet season to dry is excellent for a visit.

Beijing weather in September

7.5/10 score
Very good
21° average
average temperatures
67.9 mm
precipitation
13h 58m
daylight duration
In September, the monsoons responsible for the humid, sultry summer are gone, and the weather improves rapidly. The heat drops to an acceptable level and doesn’t exceed 28°C (82°F). The days are pleasantly warm, while at night, the temperature keeps on decreasing. The gap between the day and night temperature brings back the periods of morning and evening freshness. For these hours, you’d find a light jacket to come in handy. As the wet season is over, the days are sunny, with almost no rain. A brief shower may catch you in the first weeks of the month, but from mid-September, the chances for rain decrease. Generally, the weather in September is magnificent and ideal for exploring Beijing.

Beijing weather in October

8.2/10 score
Excellent
13° average
average temperatures
43.3 mm
precipitation
12h 45m
daylight duration
The beginning of the month resembles the conditions of September and is favorable for a visit. You’ll notice how the temperature starts to drop gradually. The days are still comfortable for walks and sightseeing, but nights are rather cold. Until mid-October, during the day, the thermometer rarely hits the marks lower than 20°C (68°F). However, the nights can be as cold as 10°C (50°F), and the chilly mornings foresee the upcoming winter. If the decrease in the temperature doesn’t bother you, the first half of October is a good time for visiting Beijing. During the day, the air warms up sufficiently, and the rains won’t interrupt your walk. But by the end of the month, it gets cold and windy.

Beijing weather in November

6.9/10 score
Good
5° average
average temperatures
18.4 mm
precipitation
11h 26m
daylight duration
In November, the dropdown in the temperature is abrupt. The first week is somewhat bearable, but later on, the thermometer points only to the figures below 10°C (50°F). Even during the day, the temperature doesn’t rise, and to spend time outdoors, you should get appropriately dressed. At night, the temperature falls below freezing, and the chilly mornings are inevitable in November. Regardless of the rapid decline in the temperature, the dry air combined with the cloudless sky leaves some room for a visit to Beijing. A short, light rain might occur once-twice during the month, but the rest of the time, bright sunshine is likely to accompany your city walks.

Beijing weather in December

6.4/10 score
Good
-2° average
average temperatures
2.4 mm
precipitation
9h 54m
daylight duration
The weather conditions keep on deteriorating quickly. Once the Siberian anticyclone hits Beijing, the temperature drops below freezing. The brisk wind, as cold as -8°C (18°F), makes the cold even more perceptible. Meanwhile, the days are dry and sunny. The cloudless sky may deceive you and make you think that the air warms up under the day-long sunshine. But it doesn’t, and to go outside, you have to put on warm clothes, including a hat and gloves. If you are appropriately dressed, you can walk around and explore the city as aside from the low temperature, the weather is generally nice. Being the driest month of the year, December won’t spoil your walk with a snowstorm. The snowfall is a rare phenomenon, usually occurring early in the mornings or in late evenings.