Xining Weather & Seasons - Best Time to Visit Xining


Xining is in Qinghai Province on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with an altitude of 2261 meters above sea level. It has a semi-arid climate of continental plateau, with an average annual sunshine of 1939.7 hours, an average annual temperature of 7.6 ℃, a maximum temperature of 34.6 ℃ and a minimum temperature of - 18.9 ℃.

With pleasant weather in cool summer, Xining is known as the "summer capital of China". But summer is also the rainy season. The average annual precipitation is 380 mm, most of which is in July and August. Apart from that, tourists need to mind the strong wind, especially in spring, and the sharp temperature difference between day and night throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit Xining

Tourists can visit Xining all year round with different sceneries in four seasons. It brings blooming flowers in spring, crystal-clear lakes in summer, painting-like golden trees in autumn, and snow in winter. If you want to make your Xining trip more enjoyable with comfortable weather, it is recommended to visit from May to October when both weather and scenery are fine. If you want to see the most beautiful scenery of Qinghai Lake, July and August are the best months. Read more about Qinghai Lake Weather & Seasonal Scenery>

Average Xining Temperature by Month

MonthRecommended RateMax Temp.Min Temp.

Xining Seasons to Go

Xining Weather in Spring (March, April, May)

Temperature: -3.7°C ~ 19.8°C, windy, chilly

Xining in spring is still cold, especially in early spring. What’s more, there are more windy days than in other seasons; therefore, extra attention should be paid to windstorms. But when it enters May, the weather gets warmer and better, which is a good time to enjoy the beauty of spring.

Seasonal Activities:
1) Appreciate various flowers such as the lilac, begonia, and rose in Xining Botanical Garden and main parks such as Xining Renmin Park.
2) Beautiful lakes such as Qinghai Lake and Chaka Salt Lake are always the highlights of a Xining trip.
3) Pay a visit to Dongguan Mosque to see the grand building integrated Han, Tibetan and Islamic styles.

What to Wear & Pack:
From March to early April, it is recommended to wear a coat and sweater since it is still cold. From late April to May, you can gradually take off some thick layers in the daytime. A coat is still needed at night.

Popular Xining Tours: 3 Days Qinghai Short Stay Tour | 4 Days Qinghai Lake Kanbula National Forest Park Geographic Wonder Tour

Xining Weather

Flowers Blooming in Xining Parks and Gardens

Xining Weather in March

  • Max Temperature: 9.5°C / 49.1°F
  • Min Temperature: -3.7°C / 25.3°F
  • Avg Temperature: 2.9°C / 37.2°F
  • Rainfall: 7 mm
  • Rainy Days: 5.2 days
  • UV Index: 6
  • Sunrise: 6:59am-7:43am
  • Sunset: 7:07pm-7:34pm

Xining Weather in April

  • Max Temperature: 9.5°C / 49.1°F
  • Min Temperature: 1.9°C / 35.4°F
  • Avg Temperature: 5.7°C / 42.3°F
  • Rainfall: 19 mm
  • Rainy Days: 6.5 days
  • UV Index: 9
  • Sunrise: 6:20am-6:58am
  • Sunset: 7:34pm-8:00pm

Xining Weather in May

  • Max Temperature: 19.8°C / 67.6°F
  • Min Temperature: 6.3°C / 43.3°F
  • Avg Temperature: 13°C / 55.5°F
  • Rainfall: 43 mm
  • Rainy Days: 10.7 days
  • UV Index: 11
  • Sunrise: 5:56am-6:18am
  • Sunset: 8:01pm-8:25pm

Xining Weather in Summer (June, July, August)

Temperature: 9.5°C ~ 24.6°C, cool and rainy

Not like most cities in China with a hot summer, Xining in summer is rather cool and the scenery is beautiful with green grass and yellow rape flowers, which makes summer one of the best seasons to visit Xining. However, the ultraviolet rays are still strong and it is also the rainy season, so please pay close attention to the weather forecast and be prepared in advance.

Seasonal Activities:
1) Appreciate the vast field of rape flowers around Qinghai Lake, take a hike or bike tour along the lake and feel the summer breeze.
2) Meet the "mirror of the sky" - Chaka Salt Lake on a sightseeing train.
3) Take part in Shaman Festival in Tongren, which usually falls in July or August.

What to Wear & Pack:
Regular summer outfit such as T-shirt, blouse, sneakers, sunscreen cream, sunhat, and sunglasses. Remember to take a light raincoat in this rainy season and bring a coat in case it gets cold at night.

Popular Xining Tour: 4 Days Qinghai Lake Chaka Lake Tour from Xining | 6 Days Tongren Shaman Festival Tour

Xining Weather

Qinghai Lake & Chaka Salt Lake

Xining Weather in June

  • Max Temperature: 22.6°C / 72.7°F
  • Min Temperature: 9.5°C / 49.1°F
  • Avg Temperature: 16°C / 60.9°F
  • Rainfall: 59.2 mm
  • Rainy Days: 14.6 days
  • UV Index: 12
  • Sunrise: 5:53am-5:57am
  • Sunset: 8:25pm-8:35pm
  • Xining Weather in July

  • Max Temperature: 24.6°C / 76.3°F
  • Min Temperature: 11.5°C / 52.7°F
  • Avg Temperature: 18°C / 64.5°F
  • Rainfall: 88.2 mm
  • Rainy Days: 15 days
  • UV Index: 12
  • Sunrise: 5:58am-6:18am
  • Sunset: 8:20pm-8:35pm
  • Xining Weather in August

  • Max Temperature: 23.9°C / 75°F
  • Min Temperature: 11.1°C / 52°F
  • Avg Temperature: 17.5°C / 63.5°F
  • Rainfall: 74 mm
  • Rainy Days: 13.8 days
  • UV Index: 11
  • Sunrise: 6:19am-6:43am
  • Sunset: 7:42pm-8:19pm
  • Xining Weather in Autumn (Sept, Oct, Nov)

    Temperature: -5.6°C ~ 19°C, chilly day with fine weather

    Xining in autumn starts to get cold, especially in October and November, the temperature can be below 0°C. After the rainy season, the rainfall also drops, which makes it more convenient for outdoors activities. In autumn, the streets, parks and mountains in & around Xining are dotted with yellow trees, a different scene you can not see in other seasons.

    Seasonal Activities:
    1) Visit must-go attractions for a Xining trip such as Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery and Dongguan Mosque.
    2) Take a leisure hike to Laoye Mountain or Riyue Mountain to see the trees with leaves turning yellow.
    3) Appreciate the golden Populus euphratica forest in Golmud, the appealing scenery exclusive to autumn.

    What to Wear & Pack:
    It is recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, thin sweaters, windbreakers, and jackets in early autumn. A thick coat is always needed at night. If you are going to visit Xining in November, you should prepare winter outfits.

    Popular Xining Tour: 4 Days Qinghai Lake Landscape Tour Plus Tongren Authentic Tibetan Culture and Art Exploration | 5 Days Qinghai Lake Cycling Tour

    Xining Weather

    Autumn Scenery of Xining City

    Xining Weather in September

  • Max Temperature: 19°C / 66.2°F
  • Min Temperature: 7.5°C / 45.5°F
  • Avg Temperature: 13.2°C / 55.8°F
  • Rainfall: 54.4 mm
  • Rainy Days: 13.1 days
  • UV Index: 9
  • Sunrise: 6:44am-7:07am
  • Sunset: 6:58pm-7:41pm
  • Xining Weather in October

  • Max Temperature: 13.9°C / 57°F
  • Min Temperature: 1.5°C / 34.7°F
  • Avg Temperature: 7.7°C / 45.8°F
  • Rainfall: 20.5 mm
  • Rainy Days: 7.3 days
  • UV Index: 6
  • Sunrise: 7:08am-7:35am
  • Sunset: 6:17pm-6:56pm
  • Xining Weather in November

  • Max Temperature: 7.8°C / 46°F
  • Min Temperature: -5.6°C / 21.9°F
  • Avg Temperature: 1.1°C / 34°F
  • Rainfall: 3.9 mm
  • Rainy Days: 2.4 days
  • UV Index: 3
  • Sunrise: 7:36am-8:05am
  • Sunset: 5:57pm-6:16pm
  • Xining Weather in Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb)

    Temperature: -13.6°C ~ 7.8°C, cold, dry and windy

    Xining in winter is extremely cold. There is little rainfall and with the blowing wind, you can obviously feel the dry weather. As the temperature drops sharply, it is very likely to meet some snow days. Besides, it’s the off-season of traveling Xining, there will be much fewer tourists in the attractions.

    Seasonal Activities:
    1) Have fun on the frozen Qinghai Lake and it seems that the mirror-like lake has really become a mirror. You can take some beautiful pictures as you stand on the lake in sunshine.
    2) Take some indoors activities such as visiting the Tibetan Medicine Culture Museum.
    3) Take a hike to the Amne Machin Snow Mountain.

    What to Wear & Pack:
    Winter coats, gloves, scarfs, leather jackets, down coats, woolen hats, sweaters, thermal clothes, etc. You can take some facial cream and hand cream to protect your skin from the dry weather.

    Popular Xining Tour: 3 Days Qinghai Short Stay Tour | 5 Days Amdo Tibetan Culture Experience Tour

    Xining Weather

    Frozen Qinghai Lake & Magnificent Amne Machin Snow Mountain

    Xining Weather in December

  • Max Temperature: 7.8°C / 46°F
  • Min Temperature: -11.6°C / 11.1°F
  • Avg Temperature: -1.9°C / 28.5°F
  • Rainfall: 1.2 mm
  • Rainy Days: 2.2 days
  • UV Index: 2
  • Sunrise: 8:06am-8:24am
  • Sunset: 5:56pm-6:06pm
  • Xining Weather in January

  • Max Temperature: 1.4°C / 34.5°F
  • Min Temperature: -13.6°C / 7.5°F
  • Avg Temperature: -6.1°C / 21°F
  • Rainfall: 1.2 mm
  • Rainy Days: 2.7 days
  • UV Index: 2
  • Sunrise: 8:15am-8:25am
  • Sunset: 6:07pm-6:37pm
  • Xining Weather in February

  • Max Temperature: 4.3°C / 39.7°F
  • Min Temperature: -10°C / 14°F
  • Avg Temperature: -2.8°C / 27°F
  • Rainfall: 2.2 mm
  • Rainy Days: 3.4 days
  • UV Index: 4
  • Sunrise: 7:44am-8:14am
  • Sunset: 6:38pm-7:06pm
  • How to Plan a Xining Trip

    How to Get to Xining: You can fly to Xining from Beijing (2.5h), Shanghai (3h), Guangzhou (3h15min), Lhasa (2-3.5h), Xian (1.5h), etc. or take a bullet train to Xining from Xian (4-5h), Lanzhou (1h10min-1.5h), Zhangye (2h), Jiayuguan (3.3.5h), Dunhuang (6h), etc.

    Best Time to Visit Xining: Months from May to October are the best because the temperature is moderate and comfortable.

    Where to Stay in Xining: Xining downtown is most recommended. If you are going to visit Qinghai Lake or Chaka Salt Lake, you can also choose the hotels nearby.

    Xining is the starting point and transfer center for a Qinghai tour. It’s suitable to spend 1 day discovering the top attractions in Xining, including the Kumbum Monastery, Dongguan Mosque, Tibetan Medicine & Tibet Culture Museum. The vast and beautiful Qinghai Lake, about 2.5 hours’ drive from Xining is the No.1 must-visit attraction. You can spend one day here appreciating the water scenery, hiking or biking along the lake or taking a Qinghai Lake cruise (cruise is only available from May to October). With one more day, you can expand trip to the Chaka Salt Lake, known as Mirror of the Sky for its stunning reflected natural landscape on the salt lake. Another day is needed. Usually, people take 3~4 days to visit the three destinations together to explore the cultural and natural highlights of Qinghai.

    ☛ 3 Days Qinghai Short Stay Tour
    ☛ 4 Days Enchanting Qinghai Lake Chaka Salt Lake Tour

    With short driving distance, there are a few less-known but incredible destinations you can visit, such as the Tongren with authentic Amdo Tibetan Buddhist culture and famous Regong Arts, Kanbula National Forest Park with magnificent Yellow River and Danxia landform. If you’re interested and have more time, you can continue the Buddhist cultural trip to Xiahe (Labrang Monastery) and Linxia (Bingling Temple) in southern Gansu.

    ☛ 4 Days Qinghai Lake Kanbula National Forest Park Geographic Wonders Tour
    ☛ 4 Days Qinghai Lake Landscape Tour plus Tongren Authentic Tibetan Culture & Art Exploration
    ☛ 5 Days Amdo Tibetan Culture Experience Tour

    Northwest and southwest China are mysterious lands full of natural beauty and cultural charms. Tourists often make a long trip from Qinghai to neighboring Zhangye (Rainbow Mountains), Jiayuguan, Dunhuang (Mogao Caves) of Gansu along the Silk Road, or make a Sky Train trip to “Roof of the World” - Tibet, visit Potala Palace, Mount Everest, Namtso Lake..., or explore Badain Jaran Desert in Western Inner Mongolia, go further to Urumqi, Turpan and more destinations in Xinjiang and travel land to Jiuzhaigou, Ruo’ergai of Sichuan.

    ☛ 7 Days Qinghai Lake Zhangye Danxia Badain Jaran Desert Wonders Tour
    ☛ 6 Days Xining to Lhasa Train Tour by Qinghai Tibet Railway
    ☛ 6 Days Xining to Lhasa Train Tour by Qinghai Tibet Railway
    ☛ 12 Days Epic Silk Road Tour including Qinghai Lake and Zhangye Danxia

    You can choose from our most popular Qinghai tour packages covering excellent sightseeing and the best local experiences. As an experienced and professional China travel agency, China Discovery also offers customized tour service to help you design a unique trip on your own. Just contact us, tell us your schedule and preferences, we will create a memorable China Qinghai tour for you.

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    Recommended Xining Tours

    Top 3 Xining tours chosen by most customers to explore Xining in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary,or tailor your own trip now with us.

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    Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

    Customize a Trip