Beijing Air Quality | Beijing AQI 2023

Beijing used to be notorious for its bad air quality. What about the air quality in Beijing now?

In 2017, UK media reported the winter had ever been the worst season in Beijing, because the coal consumption would increase to heat millions of residents. The air pollution depends on weather condition a lot. When it's windy or gale comes, the AQI is low, but when the air is stagnant, mostly in winter, the AQI is badly high and all the things seem so dirty. However, the sky in Beijing has become a lot cleaner since 2013. According to Reuters, the average concentration of PM2.5 in Beijing dropped to 58mg per cubic meter in 2017. The city has closed nearly 2,000 factories, closed coal-fired power stations and eliminated more than 2 million high-emission vehicles since 2013. Travelling in Beijing in Winter is not that terrifying as the news reported before.

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Beijing AQI is getting better

The Guardian website said that Chinese media have announced that the "good and moderate" days in Beijing have reached a record of 226 days in 2017. Thousands of environmental inspectors have been transferred to the industrial area around the capital. Heavily polluted vehicles, factories and construction sites have likewise become the targets of governance. The overall level of PM2.5 in Beijing is 40% lower than its peak in 2012-2013. To help you gain a better understanding of the AQI changes in Beijing, we analyzed the US Embassy in Beijing’s PM2.5 data from 2015–2018.

Beijing AQI changes from 2015 to 2018

Beijing AQI

Beijing Air Quality Index 2015 2016 2017 2018
Good Days (0-50) 56 68 67 72
Moderate Days (50-100) 129 130 159 155
USG Days (100-150) 76 128 116 123
Unhealthy Days (>150) 104 39 23 15

From the pie charts above, we can see that from 2015 to 2018, the number of good and moderate days in Beijing has increased significantly, and the number of unhealthy days has decreased a lot. In 2015, Beijing has suffered severe air pollution for 104 days, while in 2018 it has decreased to only 15 days. In 2018, the number of unpolluted days has reached 227. The winter of Beijing, which used to be smoggy and hazardous, has turned blue and clean. Tourists travelling in Beijing are experiencing more of its true colors.

Best Time to Visit Beijing

Generally speaking, Beijing is the capital where you can travel whenever you want. Every season brings you different features of its enduring culture and history. The best time to visit Beijing is from late September to the early November, except for the National Holiday (Oct. 1-7), and Winter Tour in Beijing is also getting popular for now due to the AQI improvement. Though the best travelling timing is influenced by multiple factors for every individual, detailed Beijing Seasonal tips are provided for your reference. >>Learn More about the Best Time to Visit Beijing

How to Portect Yourself from Unhealthy Air when travelling in Beijing

When the air polluted days do occur unluckily during your travelling in Beijing, the following tips might be useful for protecting yourself in advance.

Monitor the AQI in your area in advance: If the AQI is below 100 (Green or Yellow), it is ok to do the outdoor activities such as hiking on the Great Wall; If the AQI is over 100 but under 150, going to visit the opening space such as Tiananmen Square and The Temple of Heaven within certain hours except for the evening, is also ok for most of the insensitive groups; If the AQI is over 150 which rarely happened since 2017, you'd better stay at home or do some indoor activities such as exploring the local cuisine in the restaurant of Beijing.

Bring a Mask: The only mask recommended is the N95- or N100-rated mask, which can prevent over 95% PM 2.5 particles from being inhaled by you. You can buy them at a pharmacy or hardware store in the case of the terrible air quality.

Walk, don't run: When you have to go out and face the bad air outside, make sure that you wear a proper mask and you will not rush but slow down your pace to breathe less impure air.

How to Plan a Beijing Tour

As the capital city of China for centuries, Beijing is an internatinal metropolis with numerous historic scenic sites. You can visit the Forbidden City to witness the royal buildings of the ancient China empire, hike on the incredible Great Wall, and wander along the traditional hutongs to experience the authentic local life...all of your dreams about Beijing can be tangible in our Beijing tours.

Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are also specialized in tailor-made tours that fit you best according to your own interests, requirement, traveling time, etc.

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