Best time to visit China

From glistening city skyscrapers and spiritual monasteries to bamboo rafts and lofty karst mountains, China is a vast and diverse country with so many sights that are just waiting to be explored.

It’s possible to travel to China all year round, but there are some specific climate zones and seasons to bear in mind. We recommend visiting during the spring or autumn when the weather is pleasant and you can dodge some of the crowds by travelling outside of the peak tourist season. For more info, see our climate tips below…

China's climate by region

  • Weather
  • Temperature (celsius)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
North ChinaSunny IntervalsSunny IntervalsSunny IntervalsSunny IntervalsSunny IntervalsSunSunSunSunSunCloudCloud
South ChinaSunny IntervalsShowersShowersShowersShowersShowersShowersShowersSunSunSunSun
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
North China14112127303130262093
South China191921242830313130282420
Two panda bears eating bamboo shoots in china

North China

North China is home to heaps of cultural spots, from the famous Great Wall to nomadic villages, and is known for its dry, hot summers and long, cold winters. On the other side of the coin, the winter months here are very cold and Beijing’s daytime temperatures are usually around freezing. So, if you’re planning a winter break, be sure to pack warm clothing to keep you snug.

We think the best time to explore the North China is in the spring or autumn, from around the end of March to May, when conditions are cool and dry- ideal for sightseeing.

North China trips >

South China

Whether you want to explore ancient lantern-lit cities or sail between breath-taking karst mountains, South China has it all. With more of a subtropical climate than in the north, the south enjoys long, hot and humid summers (with plenty tropical showers thrown in for good measure), and cool, short winters.

Spring and autumn are ideal times to head to the south when the weather is warm and there’s a break in humidity.

South China trips >
Chinese New Year decorative dragon

National Holidays

It’s worth bearing in mind when planning your trip that Chinese New Year occurs in either January or February and most locals take this opportunity to visit family. Therefore, it’s quite difficult to travel during these periods of time as most flights, trains, buses and accommodation are full!

Although April – May and September – October are the best months to visit, we wouldn’t recommend travelling in the first week of May or the first week of October as these are also national Chinese holidays and once again all means of transport and accommodation can get booked up.

  • shaxi
  • Yellow mountains in the clouds
  • beijing wall
  • a shot of shanghai at night
  • china waterways
Monk standing by templeChina Routings
China is a vast country with many culture sights and breathtaking landscapes to explore. Don't know where to begin? See our recommended itinerary routings.
A guide to China routings

Customers stories

Pandas & Crystal Lakes in China | Rod McIntosh

11th March 2015 by Rickshaw Ramblers

Rickshaw Ramblers Rod and Anita travelled to China last autumn, and made sure to keep us in the loop with their incredible adventures along the way.

6 min read

Read More - Pandas & Crystal Lakes in China | Rod McIntosh

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