Beijing in January Travel Guide (Weather, Wear, Events & Tips)

Beijing in January

January is the coldest month in Beijing. If you are planning your Beijing tours in January, you’d better check the historical climate data for the whole January weather, and learn about the activities and festivals in Beijing to make the best of your Beijing winter tour.

Beijing in January Travel Guide
Challenging Great Wall climbing in winter

The Weather in January in Beijing

Beijing could be very cold, windy, very dry and more sunny days in January with an average temperature of -4.7℃.

In winter, the wind direction in Beijing is mainly north or northwest. The general wind direction tends to be in line with the direction of mountains and valleys.

In January, it is cold in Beijing only when you go outside. In the indoor places, no matter in the workplaces, dormitories, hotels or transportation areas, there is heating system.

What to Wear and Pack in Beijing in January

In your hotel room or any indoor places, it is all right to wear a sweater or even just a T-shirt. But once you’d like to go out for sightseeing and walk on the streets, you are basically required to wear warmly, down jacket, gloves and hat.

If you don’t want to pack or carry heavy warm clothes all the way from your home country, you may purchase them here in Beijing. Major department stores and free markets sell various kinds of winter clothes. Many travellers would like to go the Silk Street Market for shopping: see  Top 10 Markets in Beijing.

Before packing your wear for your Beijing tour,  please check below the official data for the historical climate for January in Beijing.

Historical Climate Data for January in Beijing

This past 50-year historical weather data is quite useful for you to plan your trip to Beijing well in advance.  You may use the data to decide what to wear and pack on your coming trip to Beijing.

By the way you may also check our  Beijing January Realtime Weather Photos  for more vivid information on the Beijing weather in January.

Date   Average High Average Low Precipitation Extreme High Extreme Low
Jan 012℃-8℃0mm13℃(1976)-17℃(1966)
Jan 022℃-8℃0mm10℃(1976)-16℃(1977)
Jan 031℃-8℃0mm9℃(1963)-15℃(1969)
Jan 041℃-9℃0mm14℃(2002)-17℃(1971)
Jan 051℃-9℃0mm10℃(1995)-17℃(1970)
Jan 062℃-9℃0mm11℃(1995)-16℃(1955)
Jan 071℃-8℃0mm10℃(1995)-15℃(1955)
Jan 082℃-9℃0mm10℃(1995)-17℃(1968)
Jan 091℃-9℃0mm9℃(1984)-18℃(1951)
Jan 102℃-9℃0mm12℃(2002)-20℃(1951)
Jan 111℃-9℃0mm10℃(2002)-20℃(1951)
Jan 121℃-9℃0mm13℃(1975)-20℃(1951)
Jan 131℃-9℃0mm8℃(2003)-23℃(1951)
Jan 141℃-9℃0mm7℃(1986)-21℃(1951)
Jan 151℃-10℃0mm11℃(1971)-19℃(1951)
Jan 161℃-10℃0mm11℃(1986)-18℃(1967)
Jan 171℃-9℃0mm9℃(2007)-19℃(1953)
Jan 181℃-9℃0mm10℃(1969)-17℃(1958)
Jan 192℃-9℃0mm9℃(1952)-16℃(1977)
Jan 202℃-8℃0mm9℃(1961)-16℃(1966)
Jan 212℃-9℃0mm10℃(1955)-15℃(1951)
Jan 222℃-8℃0mm10℃(1959)-16℃(1951)
Jan 232℃-9℃0mm11℃(1979)-14℃(1976)
Jan 242℃-8℃0mm11℃(1979)-17℃(1960)
Jan 252℃-9℃0mm12℃(1979)-16℃(1966)
Jan 263℃-8℃0mm11℃(1992)-15℃(1976)
Jan 272℃-8℃0mm10℃(1952)-18℃(1972)
Jan 282℃-8℃0mm11℃(1987)-16℃(1960)
Jan 292℃-8℃0mm10℃(1983)-15℃(1960)
Jan 302℃-9℃0mm13℃(1993)-18℃(1973)
Jan 312℃-9℃0mm11℃(1951)-15℃(1973)

What is there to do in Beijing in January?

January 01 is the new year’s day. Here in China, we don’t pay as much attention as the western countries to the first day of the new year while we are most focused on Chinese lunar new year according to the lunar calendar.

Check out Top 8 Things to Do in Beijing in the Winter for more travel information in Beijing

But January 01 is also on the list of China’ official holidays. People have one day off on January 01. To prolong the new year holiday, one weekend will be borrowed to be added up to the new year holiday, so people can have a connected three days off for January 01 new year holiday.

If you visit Beijing on the new year’s day, you are required to book your hotel and train or flights well in advance due to the peak tourist period caused by the three-day holiday for the new year.

The cold weather keeps many people away, so some attraction sites are relatively crowd-free. If you’re planning to do any skiing in Beijing, January and is the high season.

So hotels and other accommodations in and around Beijing ski resorts are not cheap.

Though the January weather is definitely a deterrent for travelers, there are a couple of great reasons to visit Beijing in January – the low-cost and the thin crowds.

Beijing could be very cold and windy in January, and very dry also. The exciting point is that many of the city’s indoor areas are warmed by a 24-hour heating system.

January Events, Holidays & Festivals

1. January 01 – 03:  New Year Celebration 元旦新年

China attaches more importance to its own traditional new year – Chinese lunar new year, known as Spring Festival. So New Year’s day is celebrated not as much as it is in other parts of the world because Chinese Lunar New Year is coming soon.

However, people do enjoy one day paid holiday.  More and more young people follow up the western countries for a big holiday, holding parties, having excursions.

Each year the local tourism bureau will hold a fantastic “New Year Celebration” on the eve of the coming new year in a unique way.  Turn to a local travel agency or visit the tourism bureau’s official website for the new year celebration.

2. Xiaohan, or Minor Cold on Jan 05 小寒

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar classifies the year into 24 solar terms. Xiaohan, or Minor Cold, is the 23rd solar term, which falls on Jan 5 this year. Beijing and most areas in China have entered the bitter cold stage of winter.

3. National Police Day on Jan 10 中国人民警察节

China mark the Chinese people’s police day on Jan. 10 as of 2021, the Ministry of Public Security. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, more than 14,000 police officers have laid down their lives, according to figures released by Ministry of Public Security.

4. Dahan, or Major Cold on Jan 20 大寒

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar classifies the year into 24 solar terms. Major Cold, the laster term of the 24 solar terms. The weather is very cold. Special cuisine fit for Major Cold is Laba porridge.

5. January 21 is New Year’s Eve (2023)

From January 21 to 27 is the China’s biggest holiday lasting 7 days. Chunyun (Spring Festival), also known as China’s New Year’s Migration, is the largest human migration that takes place on earth every year. The travel rush usually starts 15 days before and 25 days after the Spring Festival and lasts for 40 days.

6. Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Festival 龙庆峡冰雪节

Opening in the middle of January
But if even it is delayed, you still can go there to have a glimpse of the ice festival site which is under preparation, still a fun.  See  How to Visit Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Festival.

7. Longtan Ice and Snow Festival  龙潭湖冰雪节

Time: Jan 05 -Feb.20  (Subject to the winter temperature)
Venue: Longtan Lake
Entrance Fee: RMB50
See: Longtan Lake Park Ice and Snow Festival

8.  Shichahai Ice Skating Rink 什刹海溜冰场

Time: Jan 05 -Feb.10 (Subject to the winter temperature)
Venue: Shichahai ( Houhai Lake )
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 20:30
Entrance Fee: RMB 10
See: Houhai Winter Ice Skating Rink (Tips, Photos & Map)

Shichahai Ice Skating Rink

10. Ski Resorts in Beijing 北京滑雪场

Visiting a ski resort is a bonus added to make a perfect winter holiday in Beijing. No matter you are a keen skier or non-skier, you can rewind and entertain yourself in a ski resort around Beijing, skiing and participating in snow activities, or just sitting in a cozy snack bar and appreciating the white ski area over a cup of coffee or tea.

See: Top 10 Beijing Ski Resorts

Ski Resorts in Beijing

Beijing Travel Guide in Each Month (Weather, What to do)

Beijing in January Travel Guide Beijing in February Travel Guide
Beijing in March Travel Guide Beijing in April Travel Guide
Beijing in May Travel Guide Beijing in June Travel Guide
Beijing in July Travel Guide Beijing in August Travel Guide
Beijing in September Travel Guide Beijing in October Travel Guide
Beijing in November Travel Guide Beijing in December Travel Guide

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for organized tours to Beijing:

Beijing Winter tour
Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
Beijing Tour
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings

Top 10 Ski Resorts in Beijing
Top 10 Ice Rinks in Beijing
Houhai Winter Ice Skating Rink
How to Visit Great Wall of China in Winter
Top Things to Do in Beijing in the Winter
How to Visit Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Festival
What to see and do at the temple fairs in Beijing
Snow and Ice at Bird’s Nest (National Stadium)
How to Spend Spring Festival in Beijing
How to Spend Christmas Eve in Beijing
Longtan Lake Park Temple Fair

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

2 thoughts on “Beijing in January Travel Guide (Weather, Wear, Events & Tips)

  1. Hi,

    After seeing some great pictures of great wall in snow in the internet, I’m planning to have my January vacation in Beijing, Could you be kind enough to help with below points.

    1. Does it snow at Badaling in this Dec / Jan ?
    2. Can it skiing in kunming lake in front of summer palace, would the lake frozen.
    3. When is the Chines new year.


  2. Dear Nadma,

    Thanks for inquiry!

    1. It is hard to predict the snowing in Dec and Jan. Actually snowing is a rare thing in Beijing! But I still hope you will have the luck to see snow in Beijing.

    2. Yes, basically you are able to skate on the frozen water surface of Kunming Lake in Summer Palace.

    3. Chinese new year 2020: First day of Chinese lunar new year – Jan 25, 2020. The week-long Chinese new year lasts from Jan 24 through Jan 30, 2020.

    Have a nice time in Beijing!

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