When is the best time to travel to China?

China is a unique travel destination. The country offers cultural experiences as well as history and beautiful nature. But when is the best time to travel to China?

Below you can read more about China’s weather, climate and the best travel times.

China’s climate

China's climate

According to Countryaah, China is one of the largest countries in the world and therefore its climate is very different across the country.

In general, it can be said that the same four seasons alternate in China as in Finland; spring, summer, autumn and winter.

  • Spring lasts from March to May
  • Summer lasts from June to August
  • Autumn lasts from September to October
  • Winter lasts from November to February

Seasons everywhere roughly coincide with these months, but the actual duration of the seasons varies from city to city. The weather conditions of the seasons are affected by e.g. the geographical location of the city.

So when is the best time to travel to China?

China is a year-round travel destination that offers unforgettable experiences in all seasons.

Spring and autumn are generally considered to be the best travel times, although regional differences are large. During these months the temperatures are temperate and there will be very little rainfall. China is also a great destination in winter and summer if hot summer weather or cold winter weather is not a problem for you.

However, it is worth taking into account Chinese holidays and public holidays, such as Chinese New Year , when Chinese people spend their holidays. These days, the Chinese travel a lot, so public transportation and hotels can be congested.

Weather for different seasons in different cities in China

As has been said, the climate and prevailing weather vary greatly from region to region. Below you can read more about the different seasons in different cities in China.

Beijing

Beijing

In the capital of northern China, the climate is temperate according to Bridgat.

  • Spring is characterized by pleasantly mild daytime temperatures averaging 11 degrees in March and up to 26 degrees in May. In the spring, the rainfall is also quite low. Note, however, that at night temperatures can drop below zero, and occasionally sandstorms can occur. During the spring months, the magnificent nature of China gradually awakens to its full bloom and dresses in the beautiful green tones of the Great Wall of China, for example .
  • In summer, temperatures are the highest of the year, humidity is high and rainfall is at its hardest. And Beijing can become really hot! Daytime temperatures average 30 degrees, and the hustle and bustle of a big city can become a nuisance when mercury sometimes hurts up to 40 degrees. On the other hand, the Great Wall of China is at its most beautiful at this time, especially if you happen to be on a clear day. The biggest events in late May / early June include the exciting Dragon Boat Festival.
  • In autumn the temperatures are again pleasantly mild, the sun shines from the clear sky and the rains are less frequent than in summer. The most spectacular attraction of this season is the wonderfully beautiful splendor of nature. For example, the Summer Palace and many other Beijing attractions are at their most beautiful, framed by the colors of autumn.
  • Winter is cold in Beijing, and temperatures often drop below freezing. Despite the cold, Beijing’s parks and palaces are especially beautiful covered in snow. In addition, cold weather occasionally refreshes heavy and polluted air.
Beijing weather statistics: OAK PEARL PAINTING APRIL MAY SUMMER HAY LIFE AUTUMN MUD MARRAS CHRISTMAS
Average. highest temperature 2 4 11 20 26 30 31 30 26 19 10 3
Average. lowest temperature -9 -7 -1 7 13 18 22 20 14 7 0 -7
Precipitation e.g. 3 6 9 26 29 71 176 182 49 19 6 2

Xi’an

Xi'an

Xi’an, especially known for its fascinating terracotta army, is located in the Shaanxi province southwest of Beijing. Xi’an’s climate is temperate, and in terms of weather, the city is very similar to Beijing.

  • In spring the temperatures are mild and the rains almost non-existent. Also in Xi’an, the nights can be cold, especially in March and April, and sandstorms can occur. Spring is a beautiful time, and you can admire the beauty of nature, for example, on a bicycle trip along the 14 km long city wall.
  • Summer is sweaty here. Daytime temperatures can rise up to 40 degrees, humidity is high and rainfall is heavy. July and August are the wettest months of the year.
  • In the autumn, the air cools down and temperatures drop to pleasantly temperate again. From early autumn, the average daily temperature peaks in September at 25 degrees. By November, average daytime temperatures have already dropped to 12 degrees. September is also one of the wettest months in Xi’an, but from the end of autumn the rains will decrease. In the fall, the leaves of the trees begin to turn yellow, and the beauty of Xi’an’s brown is worth coming to admire from afar.
  • The winter months are the coldest. Temperatures can drop briskly below zero, snow can rain and the air can be foggy. The highlight of the winter is the Lantern Festival, which creates a unique atmosphere for the darkness of midwinter.
Xi’an weather statistics: OAK PEARL PAINTING APRIL MAY SUMMER HAY LIFE AUTUMN MUD MARRAS CHRISTMAS
Average. highest temperature 5 8 13 21 26 30 31 30 25 20 12 6
Average. lowest temperature -4 -2 3 9 14 19 21 20 16 10 3 -3
Precipitation e.g. 10 10 40 40 70 60 100 70 110 60 20 10

Shanghai

Shanghai

Shanghai is located on the east coast of China. The metropolis is located in a subtropical climate zone, and therefore the weather is warmer than in Beijing or Xi’an.

The seasons are the same as in Beijing, but unlike in the capital, Shanghai does not get very cold even in winter.

  • In the spring, daytime temperatures are mildly warm, and mercury rises to a maximum of 24 degrees when it comes to May. In the spring, the nights are also milder than in Beijing and Xi’an, for example. However, the rainier the closer the year progresses to the summer.
    If you travel to Shanghai in the spring, you can get to admire the cherry blossoms, which usually begin in March.
  • Summer brings warm weather and rain when it comes. July and August are the warmest months of summer, when the average daily temperature can rise up to 32 degrees. Showers can start suddenly and end just as quickly, so it’s a good idea to prepare for them in advance. In early June, when temperatures are still relatively temperate and pleasant, a Dragon Boat Festival will be held, bringing the Suzhou River full of colorful boats.
  • In the autumn, temperatures gradually begin to fall. In September, the daytime temperature still averages 27 degrees, but as winter approaches, the air begins to cool. The weather is generally sunny and dry, but it’s worth noting that temperatures can fluctuate surprisingly much throughout the day. One of the most important events in September is the fascinating Mid-Autumn Festival, during which it is customary to eat traditional moon cakes. In October, nature begins to change, with fall colors staining the big city in charming shades of yellow, red, and brown.
  • In winter, the weather is at its coldest. However, the early winter is still mild, with temperatures averaging 17 degrees during the day in November. The cold wind from the north makes the winter feel much colder. Although night temperatures often drop below zero, snow in Shanghai rarely rains. Rainfall is generally very low during the winter months.
Shanghai weather statistics: OAK PEARL PAINTING APRIL MAY SUMMER HAY LIFE AUTUMN MUD MARRAS CHRISTMAS
Average. highest temperature 8 9 13 19 24 27 32 32 27 22 17 11
Average. lowest temperature 0 2 5 11 16 20 25 25 20 15 9 2
Precipitation e.g. 39 59 81 102 115 152 128 133 156 61 51 35

Chengdu

Chengdu

Chengdu is located in a subtropical climate zone in Sichuan Province in southwest China.

Chengdu’s climate is mild, and even in the winter months the temperatures are steadily pleasant.

  • Spring is mild at first, but the weather is constantly getting warmer as we get closer to summer. You should be prepared for the fact that the weather can vary a lot, and spring can have very cool days from time to time. At this time, on the other hand, it is great to watch nature break out into lush blooms.
  • In summer, Chengdu is warm but humid. July and August in particular are hot, with daytime temperatures rising to an average of 30 degrees. If you want to see pandas in Chengdu Panda Base, the best time to travel is outside of the warmest months. During the summer, pandas prefer to spend a lot of time indoors in their air-conditioned rooms.
  • Autumn starts warm. Daytime temperatures average 25 degrees, but temperatures fall to more comfortable levels during the fall, until in November the mercury rises to only 15 degrees during the day. It is also worth preparing for the changing weather in the autumn. Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit in Chengdu, as nature is at its most beautiful at this time.
  • Winters are mild and dry, although the air is often foggy and cloudy. Chengdu is not as cold in winter as the rest of China, but humid air can feel colder than what the meter looks like. Although the humidity is high, very little rainfall is obtained.
Chengdu weather statistics: OAK PEARL PAINTING APRIL MAY SUMMER HAY LIFE AUTUMN MUD MARRAS CHRISTMAS
Average. highest temperature 10 11 15 21 26 28 29 29 25 21 16 11
Average. lowest temperature 3 5 8 12 17 21 22 22 18 15 10 4
Precipitation e.g. 10 20 20 50 100 110 200 190 130 40 20 10

Sanya and Hainan Island

Hainan Island is located in southern China.

Located on the southern tip of the island, the resort town of Sanya has a tropical climate. The tropical climate means that temperatures here do not fluctuate as much as in mainland China.

Instead of four seasons, the year here is divided into a dry season and a rainy season.

  • The dry season lasts from about November to May and is characterized by high temperatures, low rainfall and windy weather.
  • The rainy season lasts from about June to October and is characterized by high temperatures, heavy rainfall and high humidity. Typhoons experience the island from time to time, most often between June and September.

For most of the year, the island enjoys excellent beach holiday weather.

Sanya weather statistics, Hainan Island OAK PEARL PAINTING APRIL MAY SUMMER HAY LIFE AUTUMN MUD MARRAS CHRISTMAS
Average. highest temperature 26 26 28 30 32 32 31 31 31 30 29 27
Average. lowest temperature 17 19 21 23 25 25 25 25 24 22 21 18
Precipitation e.g. 8 13 19 43 142 198 193 222 251 235 58 11

When is the best time to travel to China

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