How to visit Beijing in the winter
Outside cold, but inside warm
Beijing winter lasts four months from Nov 15 to next year’s March 15. In Beijing, central heating system is provided to warm the people’s house and working place usually starting Nov.15 till March 15 next year. Averages temperatures (Celsius) in Beijing range between -10 and 5 degrees according to the annual Beijing Climate.
For Beijing Travel in winter, you are advised to dress warmly - long underwear and jeans, shirt, sweater and down jacket. So a casual warm coat or jacket is probably sufficient for Beijing Sightseeing or other daytime activities. Actually you don’t have to dress in too many layers (sweaters) to avoid getting sweating inside a public warm place where it is inconvenient for your to take off your wet inner clothes.
If you want to travel to the outskirts of Beijing ( Great Wall ) in the cold winter, you can buy a fur hat, gloves, scarves or even army overcoat on the spot.
Beijing is a dry city, so on a fine day, the feeling temperatures are much higher than the actual ones. But on a windy day, you do feel a terrible cold.
Winter Beijing has short days, dark 5pm. Most attractions are closed after 4.30pm. The sights stay open all year round. The advantage going in winter is that there are fewer tourists around.
The tourist crowds are gone so you can get into many sights hassle free.
The prices are lower for flights, hotels and it’s easier to get a good price on a suitable day.
You will enjoy interesting winter activities such ski, spa, ice lantern festival other travel seasons don’t have.
Beijing winter outdoor activities
Despite the short days and dreary weather, Beijingers has plenty of reasons to go outdoors this time of year. For ice-skating, you don’t have to go very far. Beijing has many parks, most of which have huge expanses of lake surface on which to skate. You are advised to skate on the lakes endorsed by the authorities.
These official ice rinks include Shichahai lakes, Zhongshan Park, Zizhuyuan Park and No Name Lake at Peking University etc. Most of them will charge a fee for entry onto the ice. They are only opened when the weather to be cold enough and the ice thick enough, usually between late December and February.
Beijing Ski: Skiing has also become increasingly popular with Chinese as well as international ski travelers. There are over 10 ski resorts around Beijing. Most of the ski resorts are within 1-2 hours’ drive distance.
Beijing Spa Breaks
: A nice soak in one of Beijing’s many hot springs is an excellent way to wash off the dirt and relax your body. We have plenty of Beijing hot springs spa day tours and packages coupled with the Great Wall hiking, Skiing and more activities. There are three popular hot spring
resorts around Beijing: Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort, Jiuhua Spa & Resort and Huaxia Hot Spring.
If you are going to Harbin to view the ice and snow sculptures, but you don’t like the 10-hour train trip to Harbin and the temperature under 20 degree celsius, you are lucky enough to see hundreds of ice lanterns of various sizes on display during the Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern in Beijing Jan 05 – Feb 28, 2011.
Beijing Harbin is about 1249 km apart, 8-10 hours by train and 1 hour and 45 minutes by flight. There are several daily trains and flights connecting the two cities. Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang Province, in the northeadt tip of China, a winter mecca for skiers and holidaymakers.
Winter Great Wall Tour is a bit challenging mainly due to the frozen weather in later December, January and early early February each year in Beijing.
Beijing nowadays rarely snows. But if you plan to do the hike in winter, we do suggest you check the weather report.
Beijing indoor activities
For those who prefer to spend winter days under a roof, Beijing Museums, theaters, concert halls and pubs offer a warm welcome.
Christmas and New Year Activities
Christmas in Beijing and other parts of China has become more and more popular. You will experience great holiday decorations, Christmas eve parties in various hotels in Beijing as well as make sure you see the window displays at Wangfujing Street, Xidan Street, Top 10 Beijing Shopping Malls and many more.
Chinese Spring Festival and Lunar New Year Activities
The Spring Festival of the year 2011 starts from Feb 02 to Feb 17, 2011. The first week of Spring Festival is the most important with numerous folk activities going on and most often celebrated with visits to friends and family as well as greetings of good luck. The Chinese government now stipulates people have seven days off for the Chinese Lunar New Year.
If you happen to visit Beijing during Beijing Spring Festival, you are kindly advised to enjoy and experience the festival just as locals such as visiting various Temple Fairs, see fireworks, go to Lama Temple to pray for the coming new year…