The best season to visit Beijing is autumn. Beijing is a city with four distinctive seasons. Its summer and winter last long while spring and autumn are short. January is the coldest month (with temperatures below 0℃) while the hottest month is July (sometimes the temperature will reach 40℃). In spring (March to May), Beijing displays wonderful spring blossoms; in summer (June to August), the sky is clear and bright, with the best conditions for photography; in autumn (September to October), the delightful weather definitely provides a comfortable stay here; in winter (November to February), the city takes on a silvery look as it is covered with snow, the best time for skiing and other winter activities.
Spring (March to May): Spring days in Beijing are short, accompanied by dramatic temperature changes. The substantial rise and drop in temperature are very likely to occur in a way that you haven’t expected at all. Today you may still wear winter clothes, but tomorrow you may be surprised to find that summer is coming! Though you might encounter dusty weather conditions in spring, your trip here is indeed not much affected. Dry weather conditions and high winds may cause these dusty days. You may feel uncomfortable if it’s your first visit here. Nevertheless, you will still find warm and pleasant days in May, during which you can go out and enjoy the late spring greenery. It’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water. Sunglasses, hats, lipsticks and moisturizers may be useful, and respirators or inhalers for asthmatics.
In March, the temperature ranges from 0℃ to 12℃. The suns rises at 6:00-6:40 and goes down at 18:10-18:40. Given the temperature variations (dropping as low as -5℃-7℃ overnight), an overcoat and sweater will be useful. You are likely to encounter some windy weather.
In April, the temperature ranges from 8℃ to 20℃. The suns rises at 4:50-5:15 and goes down at 18:30-19:00. Bring spring clothes with you, including light sweaters and a wind jacket. A shirt and a coat is sufficient, and you’ll probably take off your coat when climbing the Great Wall.
In May, the temperature ranges from 14℃ to 26℃. The suns rises at 4:50-5:15 and goes down at 18:30-19:00. It’s neither too hot nor too cold during the May Day holiday, so you can wear either light sweaters or short T-shirts. It’s warm at noon but a little cold at night. The weather is changeable so we suggest that, along with light clothes, you still carry a light sweater and jacket with you. Light rainfall and drizzle at this time will not normally bother you that much.
Summer (from June to August): Though summer does not last long in Beijing, the scorching heat lingers on for days. It’s extremely hot at noon. We suggest that you avoid energetic activity around the middle of the day, and undertake tours earlier or after 1500. Remember to drink more water and bring sun cream, sunglasses and hats with you. We also recommend plenty of fruit, and that Chinese favorite, watermelon!
In June, the temperature ranges from 19℃ to 30℃. The suns rises at 4:50 and goes down at 19:40. At this time, it’s usually sunny and cool in the daytime, and it seldom rains. In the daytime, summer clothes are a good choice, while long sleeves and trousers are better if you are out at night.
In July, the temperature ranges from 22℃ to 30℃. The suns rises at 4:50-7:15 and goes down at 19:30-19:50. During this period, summer clothes are sufficient.
In August, the temperature ranges from 21℃ to 30℃. The suns rises at 5:15-5:40 and goes down at 18:50-19:30. Unlike July, it’s often cooler in the nighttime. So long sleeves and trousers may be needed if you go out in the evening.
Autumn (from September to November): Beijing displays its most extraordinary charm in autumn. It’s never too hot nor too cold at this time. As autumn approaches, you can see the trees are decorated with green, yellow and even red leaves. Apart from visiting such classic scenic spots as the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen Square in the downtown area, you can still go and visit the Great Wall, dotted with a riot of colors in this season. Around November the fiery red leaves on Fragrance Hill are getting brighter and brighter, fascinating to visitors. The cool fresh autumn mornings promise a pleasant day for sure.
In September, the temperature ranges from 15℃ to 26℃. The suns rises at 4:40-6:10 and goes down at 18:00-18:50. It’s cool day and night but hot at noon. Sunny days are the theme of the month and it seldom rains. In the first half of the month, it’s hot, with daytime temperatures around 30℃ and nighttime temperatures around 20℃. Later in the month, the temperature difference between day and night increases, with the daytime temperature below 30℃ and the nighttime temperature around 15℃. What a cool day! We recommend you bring some long-sleeved shirts, jackets or light sweaters with you.
In October, the temperature ranges from 8℃ to 9℃. The sun rises at 6:10-6:40 and goes down at 17:00-18:00. It’s quite dry during this period, so we recommend that you take more water and fruit. During the day long-sleeved shirts or T-shirts should be adequate, along with some warm clothes such as wool vests, wool coats and light sweaters.
In November, the temperature ranges from 0℃ to 10℃. The sun rises at 6:40-7:20 and goes down at 16:50-17:10. Dramatic temperature changes are frequently seen. Freezing cold is the dominant theme of the month and you can expect warmer days only rarely. The weather will simply make you feel colder. Sweaters are not enough on their own, you will need coats or jackets. It will become drier on windy days, so lip salve and other protection from the wind may be useful. The whole heating system of the city will start operating after November 15, which marks the very day when Beijing fully embraces winter. Long johns, thermals and down jackets are also useful.
Winter (from December to February): In winter, the trees in the city all languish in dull gray. So this is not a good time for you to appreciate the scenery. However, if you visit Beijing at this time, you will still be able to have a glimpse of the unique local lifestyle. You can totally go to a bustling temple fair, taste the local hotpot, or experience what the traditional Chinese culture has to offer in the local residences. This is the ubiquitous fun that permeates Beijing in winter. Besides, skiing is also a good option.
In December, the temperature ranges from -6℃ to 3℃. The sun rises at 7:15-7:40 and goes down at 16:50-17:00. We suggest you bring winter clothes, leather jacket, cardigans and sweaters, a good winter overcoat, layered clothing plus scarves, hats and thermal underwear to protect yourself from the cold.
In January, the temperature ranges from -19℃ to 2℃. The sun rises at 7:20-7:40 and goes down at 17:00-17:30. Down jackets are necessary during this period. You will need sweaters and/or thermal underwear, plus thermal footwear, scarves, hats and gloves to protect you from the cold winds.
In February, the temperature ranges from -5℃ to 5℃. The sun rises at 6:50-7:20 and goes down at 5:30-6:00. Sunny days are the theme of the month and it seldom rains. Besides, it’s usually dry and windy during this period of time. We suggest you bring extreme winter gear, including overcoats, leather jackets, wool coats, wool hats, gloves and down jackets with you, along with thermal gear and different layers of clothing.
FYI: The above information is not always 100% accurate as the temperature may go up and down from time to time. It would be sensible for you to bring enough clothes with you in case conditions change.