Forbidden City, Beijing, China

You’ll never get bored in China‘s impressive capital as there’s so much to see and experience. Here is our year-round guide to when is the best time to visit Beijing.

  • In general, the warmest month is July.
  • In general, the coldest month is January.

Why visit Beijing in the Spring

Best time to visit Beijing in Spring : Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square in Spring (c) Vined

Spring through April and May are also good months to visit Beijing, as this is when flowers start to bloom. Temperatures fluctuate (from 0-25°C/32-77°F) so pack plenty of thin layers and some warm socks. There are also fewer tourists, so you can explore the famous cultural sites in relative peace. Hotel prices also tend to drop this time of year compared to the busy summer months.

Why visit Beijing in the Summer

Best time to visit Beijing in Summer : Summer Palace

Beijing Summer Palace (c) Jakub Hałun

From June to August, temperatures can reach a sweltering 40°C (104°F), with the added risks of heavy rainfall and high humidity. This doesn’t seem to deter international tourists, who flock to Beijing at this time of year. On the plus side, the Great Wall of China looks particularly breathtaking on sunny days.

You can also enjoy a leisurely boat ride on Kunming Lake at the Summer Palace, or escape the heat by visiting one of Beijing’s Hutongs (traditional narrow streets or neighbourhoods). Make sure you take plenty of sun cream and an umbrella to prepare for the changeable weather.

Get the best deal on hotels in Beijing

Why visit Beijing in the Autumn

Best time to visit Beijing in Autumn : Ritan Park

Ritan Park in Autumn (c) Andrew Moss

September and October are widely considered to be the best months to travel to Beijing. Temperatures drop to a comfortable 15-25°C (59-77°F) and days are often sunny. Rain is kept to a minimum, although there’s no guarantee it will be dry so bring a raincoat. The city looks particularly attractive as flowers and trees transform into their autumnal colours. Beihai Park and Beijing Botanical Garden are a must-see. What’s more, September is the only month when Beijing Palace Museum displays their most prized ancient paintings.

A word of warning: October 1 marks the start of a week-long national holiday celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Many Beijingers will leave the city to visit friends and relations. In return, tourists from the rest of China flood into Beijing and the main cultural attractions become overwhelmingly busy. This week is best avoided if possible.

Why visit Beijing in the Winter

Best time to visit Beijing in Winter : Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year (c) lme007

In winter Beijing gets very, very cold. Temperatures can drop to -9°C (16°F) and snow is a distinct possibility. It is very important to pack warm clothing – if you’re tall you might struggle to find appropriate clothing in Beijing.

Despite this, winter can be a great time to travel to the city as there will be very few international tourists. What’s more, if you’re in Beijing during Chinese New Year (falls on February 16 in 2018), you can take part in all the festivities the city has to offer, from fireworks to the Spring Festival Gala.

Make sure you also read our How to navigate the weird and wonderful world of Chinese cuisine guide for some culinary advice.

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