What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Beijing and Shanghai?

The Far East has always seemed so different and alluring. Almost every part of the Asian continent has a story that attracts people from all around the world. Of course, China occupies the largest chunk of the continent and boasts legendary places and rich history. Beijing and Shanghai are, by far, the most famous urban highlights of this vast country.

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Before we delve into the best time of year to visit Beijing and Shanghai, we need to take a closer look at Chinese weather patterns. China’s climate is quite varied because it covers a large area and a wide variety of latitudes. Although the ideal time to visit is anytime in April, May, September, and October, you can also find plenty of attractions and activities during the remaining months. With this in mind, it seems like the best time to travel to China is in spring, during the months of April and May.

On a different note, you can travel in autumn, specifically from late September to October. Be aware that Chinese winters in the north and the continental center are very rigorous, with a lot of cold days and heavy snowfall, so it’s best to skip the winter adventure. On the other hand, in the south near the Tropics, you can find a reasonably mild climate even in winter.

Spring in Beijing

The Ideal Time of the Year for Visiting Beijing

Speaking of climate, Beijing is in the most temperate area of China. In this part of the country, winters are quite cold, and summers are pretty hot. It has a minimum temperature of -50℉ and January is the coldest month of the whole year when the maximum temperature is 32℉. Summer months bring the temperatures of 86℉ and 88℉. May and June are the sunniest months in Beijing, with 9 hours of sunshine daily. Compared to Hong Kong or Shanghai, it doesn’t usually rain much throughout the year in Beijing. However, most of the rain falls in July and August. If you want to spend your holidays in China and visit the capital, then choose to travel in April, May, September, October or November, as it is the best time to go to Beijing.

Read more: China in October – What Not to Miss

Best Things to See and Do in Beijing

As the capital of China, Beijing represents a vibrant mix of history and modernity. Since it has been the capital of the country for over 800 years, it is home to some of the best remnants of China’s imperial past. Beijing holds secrets of past centuries but it keeps going forward and forward. Its rich and complex historical background only adds a dose of unmistakable charm to every corner of the city. From the Forbidden City to the bar street in Sanlitun, Beijing possesses a unique charm and attracts visitors from all over the world to get lost in the dizzying pace.

The Temple of Heaven in Beijing

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You must visit The Temple of Heaven, where ancient emperors perform solemn rituals for abundant crops; the Summer Palace which used to be the summer retreat of former emperors; and the Ming Dynasty Tombs, the mausoleum of 13 emperors of the Ming dynasty.

The diversity and energy of the city have given Beijing a varied and bustling nightlife. Many people choose to relax at the bars. A wide range shows and performances, especially those in Peking opera, leave spectators breathless and awe-stricken.

Bustling nightlife of Beijing

The Best Time to Visit Shanghai

If you are planning a visit, you have to know what time of the year is the best. Like Beijing, the seasons are also emphasized in Shanghai but the winters are not so harsh. The hottest months are July and August, with maximum temperatures reaching 89℉. During these months, the sun shines 7 hours a day. On the other hand, in January and February, the daylight lasts around 4 hours. January is the coldest month with temperatures that drop to 32℉ and reach a maximum of 46℉. As in the other regions of China, in Shanghai, it also usually rains more in summer. Typhoons sweep the country and bring a lot of rain to the city — the month with the rainiest number of days is June. The best time to travel to Shanghai is in April, May, October, and November because spring and autumn bring less rain than summer does. In addition, temperatures are milder and more pleasant for exploration.

A lovely spring day over Shanghai

Read more: Best Base Jumping Spots in China

Best Things to See and Do in Shanghai

Shanghai is known as the Paris of the East, and it is the largest and most prosperous city in China. It is one of the most significant economic and cultural centers in the country and commonly known as the birthplace of everything considered modern in China. The city competes with New York or Paris in terms of modernity and has a combined culture of both the astonishing East and the progressive West. Shanghai is a tourist destination famous for great historical monuments, as well as modern contour, always expanding and surprising the visitors. You will never be bored in this dynamic metropolis.

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Bright lights of Shanghai at night

Shanghai offers the most amazing shopping experience. Whether you like shopping or not, there are several commercial areas that sell anything imaginable that you are going to explore and enjoy. The main shopping streets such as Nanjing Lu Street and Huaihai Lu Street offer the latest selection of luxury items, while in many traditional outdoor markets, you will get a unique taste of ancient Shanghai.

Autumn in ancient Shanghai

As a sleepless city, the vibrant life of Shanghai goes beyond daylight hours. It is a city of lively nightlife. It has a diverse cultural impact, with cinemas that show foreign and Chinese films and theaters that represent opera, dance, drama, acrobatics, and puppet shows. Some numerous nightclubs and bars are open until the sunrise.

Experience Beijing and Shanghai with your own eyes and ears. Get ready for a memorable journey to these fantastic cities of the Far East and indulge all your senses with astonishing colors and sounds of China.