Xinjiang Weather & Seasons - Best Time to Visit Xinjiang
Xinjiang is far away from the sea and is located deep inland with high mountains around it. The ocean airflow is not easy to reach, forming an obvious temperate continental climate. The temperature difference is large, and the sunshine time is sufficient (the annual sunshine time reaches 2500 ~ 3500 hours). The precipitation is small, and the climate is dry. The average annual precipitation in Xinjiang is about 150 mm, but the precipitation varies greatly in different regions. The temperature in southern Xinjiang is higher than that in Northern Xinjiang, and the precipitation in Northern Xinjiang is higher than that in southern Xinjiang. In the coldest month (January), the average temperature is below minus 20 °C in northern Xinjiang. The absolute minimum temperature on the northern edge of the basin once reached minus 50.15 °C, which is one of the coldest areas in China. In the hottest month (July), the average temperature in Turpan, known as "Flaming city", is above 33 °C, and the absolute maximum temperature once reached 49.6 °C, ranking first in China. Due to the great daily temperature difference in most parts of Xinjiang, it has always been said that "wear leather jacket early, wear yarn at noon, and eat watermelon around the stove".
Best Time to Visit Xinjiang
Xinjiang is so vast. It is the kind of place that you can travel all year round. Different seasons allow you to enjoy different Xinjiang.
April to June is the spring season in Xinjiang. You can go to blooming Apricot Valley, Tianshan Tianchi Lake, Hemu scenic spot, Kanas Scenic Spot, Sayram Lake, and Huocheng Lavender base to enjoy flowers, take a boat and hike around; July to August is the peak tourist season to visit grasslands like Nalati prairie, Bayinbuluk prairie, Karajun prairie, etc. At this time, the weather has begun to cool and the fruits and melons have become ripe in Turpan, Hami, and Kashgar. September to early November is the best season for photography tourism in Xinjiang to see the beautiful Kanas Scenic area, exploring Taklimakan Desert with golden Populus euphratica forest. Mid-November to March is the cold and long winter. Many people will travel to the foot of Tianshan Mountain and Altay mountain and have fun in the ski resorts.
Helpful Travel Tips on Xinjiang Weather
- ● Time Difference: Since China only has one time zone and it uses Beijing time for the whole country, and Urumqi is far away from Beijing, the local people in Xinjiang use the time zone which is two hours behind official Chinese Time. For example, the sun rises at around 10 am in Urumqi in winter.
- ● Big Temperature Difference: In Kashgar and most regions of Xinjiang, temperature varies largely between day and night, regularly differing more than 10 degrees centigrade. You’d better prepare warm jackets for your trip, because it’s quite cold at night (except summer) and in high-altitude areas, or when you visit in winter.
- ● Strong UV: The UV in Kashgar is strong and the sunshine hours are very long, so it is strongly advised that you take sunblock articles, like sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses, etc.
- ● Dry Air: Kashgar is dry all year round. So you should drink enough water and bring some moisturizing cream, lip balm, moisturizing mask, etc.
- ● Different Local Time: Though located northwest China, Xinjiang, including Urumqi and Kashgar, uses the official national standard time - Beijing Time (UTC/GMT+08:00). But the actual sunrise time is at least 2 hours later than Beijing and the sunset & dark time is over 2 hours later as well. Get ready for the time difference during your Kashgar trip and the whole Xinjiang tour.
Weather Forecast for Major Cities in Xinjiang:
Average Xinjiang Temperature by Month
|Month||Recommended Rate||Max Temp.||Min Temp.|
Xinjiang Seasons to Go
- In spring, it gets warm and receives more sunshine in the Spring of Xinjiang. The temperature of the underlying surface of the desert and Gobi increases rapidly, and the temperature rises rapidly. On the Tianshan Mountain and Tianchi Lake scenic areas, the wildflowers start blooming. Other recommended famous scenic spots include Bayinbrook grassland, Nalati grassland, Sayram Lake, and you will find a vivifying spring: blooming flowers, green grassland, and innumerable cattle and sheep. The weather condition in spring is frequent gales, sandstorms, and floating dust in spring, especially in the spring of Southern Xinjiang. There are a lot of dull and chaotic floating dust days, but after spring rain, apricot blossoms, peach blossoms, and pear blossoms are in full bloom. You can go to Apricot Valley aka Xinhuagou, Ili to see the romantic apricot blossoms on the grassland.
- • What to Wear in Xinjiang in Spring: It is still very cold in the early spring and it is recommended to wear down jackets, sweaters, winter coats, winter boots in March and early April. From May, you can wear long skirts and sweaters, windbreakers, casual clothes, jackets, etc. Remember to put on thick layers for the cold night.
- ✔ Popular Xinjiang Tour: 10 Days Stunning Ili Apricot Blossom and Naraty Grassland Tour
Urumqi in Spring
Kashgar in Spring
Turpan in Spring
Shache in Spring
Altay in Spring
Hotan in Spring
Ili in Spring
Kucha in Spring
- Summer is the peak season for traveling in Xinjiang. The average temperature in July is 20 ~ 25 °C in Northern Xinjiang, with moderate temperatures. It is hot in the basin and desert. However, in mountainous areas, scenic areas like Tianshan Mountain, Altay mountain, and Kunlun Mountain, the average temperature in July is generally less than 10 °C. You can feel the feeling of "four seasons in a day" by traveling to Tianshan Mountain once. Therefore, even if you travel to the mountains in midsummer, you must take enough clothes to avoid freezing weather. The oasis temperature in southern Xinjiang Plain is 25 ~ 27 °C, which is slightly higher than that in North China Plain (23 ~ 25 °C); The average maximum temperature from June to August is above 38 °C. The extreme maximum temperature observed once was 49.6 °C, and the extreme maximum temperature on the ground was 76.6 °C.
- • What to Wear in Xinjiang in Summer: It is recommended to wear a sun block shirt, sunhat for the UV is very strong. Also, you need to bring cotton and linen shirts, thin skirts, thin T-shirts and other breathable clothes for the daytime and bring thick layers for the early morning and night. Winter outfits are needed when you are in the mountainous areas and nighttime.
- ✔ Popular Xinjiang Tour: 11 Days Best Xinjiang Landscape Tour
Urumqi in Summer
Kashgar in Summer
Turpan in Summer
Shache in Summer
Altay in Summer
Hotan in Summer
Ili in Summer
Kucha in Summer
- Autumn in Xinjiang features relatively cool temperatures and frequent winds. Autumn in Xinjiang is characterized by fruits and autumn leaves. Here is a saying, "Turpan grapes, Hami melons, Korla fragrant pears, everyone praises". There are many varieties of melons and fruits in Xinjiang. Because of the large temperature difference between day and night, these melons and fruits are very sweet. October to November is also the best season to visit the Kanas Scenic Area to see the fall foliage, to cross the Taklimakan Desert, to travel along the ancient silk road, and to watch the golden Populus euphratica on the roadside.
- • What to Wear in Xinjiang in Autumn: It is recommended to wear shirts, long skirts and thin sweaters, windbreakers, casual clothes, jackets, sneakers for the early autumn, and winter coats (nighttime) and sweaters in late October and November. Since late October, you can wear more winter clothes to keep warm.
- ✔ Popular Xinjiang Tour: 7 Days Classic Road Trip to Heavenly Kanas Lake
Urumqi in Autumn
Kashgar in Autumn
Turpan in Autumn
Shache in Autumn
Altay in Autumn
Hotan in Autumn
Ili in Autumn
Kucha in Autumn
- The winter in Xinjiang is very long and cold. The average temperature in January in the north of Northern Xinjiang is mostly below - 15 °C. The annual snow days in Northern Xinjiang are generally 25 ~ 45 days. Snow generally begins to fall in mid-October on the north slope of Tianshan mountain and the south foot of Altai mountain. The snow covers the middle and high mountains in winter and lasts for 5 ~ 7 months. Since the 1980s, Xinjiang has gradually carried out ice skating, skiing, ice sculpture, and many other winter activities with many nice ski resorts in the mountainous areas of Altay, and Urumqi.
- • What to Wear in Xinjiang in Winter: It is recommended to wear winter coats, gloves, scarfs, leather jackets, down coats, woolen hats, sweaters, snow boots.
- ✔ Popular Xinjiang Tour: 9 Days Taklamakan Desert Ancient Silk Road Tour
Altay Winter Scene ©丹小丹 / mafengwo
Urumqi in Winter
Kashgar in Winter
Turpan in Winter
Shache in Winter
Altay in Winter
Hotan in Winter
Ili in Winter
Kucha in Winter
How to Plan A Xinjiang Tour
How to Get to Xinjiang: Urumqi is the transfer hub of Xinjiang, and it receives flights from Beijing (4h), Shanghai (5h), Xian (4h), Chengdu (4h), Chongqing (4h), Changsha (4.5h), Xining (2.5h), Dalian (4h), Guangzhou (4.5h), Lanzhou (2.5h), Yinchuan (3h), etc., as well as high speed trains from Xian (13.5h), Lanzhou(10.5h), Xining (9.5h), Zhangye (7.5h), Jiayuguan (6h), Dunhuang (4h), etc.
Best Time to Visit Xinjiang: It is available to visit Xinjiang all year round, but May ~ October is the best time for the most comfortable weather and most beautiful scenery
A longer Xinjiang trip is more recommended and worthwhile because of its large scale. Most travelers start a Xinjiang tour from Urumqi – the tourist distribution center equipped with convenient airlines. Some travelers also unveil a Xining experience from Kashgar – the transfer hub in southern Xinjiang.
A classic Xinjiang tour takes 6 ~ 8 days, including 2~3 days in Urumqi (Xinjiang Regional Museum, Nanshan Passture) and Heavenly Lake, 1~2 days in Turpan (Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez System, Bezeklik Thousand Buddhas… ), and 3 ~ 4 days in Kashgar (Kashgar Old City, Karakul Lake, Tashkurgan Fort…). Don’t miss Kanas - the God’s private garden, and it takes at least 3 full days to enjoy its beautiful lakes, bays, forests, rivers and villages.
Many travelers prefer a Silk Road tour involving Gansu and Xinjiang discovery together. It needs about 2~3 days to explore Dunhuang highlights, 2~3 days to visit Zhangye essences and 1~2 days to enjoy Jiayugan landmarks. It is also recommended to spend 1 ~2 days visiting Xining and Qinghai Lake.
☛ 10 Days Classic China Silk Road In-depth Tour (Xian – Dunhuang – Turpan – Urumqi - Kashgar)
☛ 411 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar)
In fact, the Silk Road broke into three routes in Xinjiang, and they passed through many cities in Xinjiang. For adventurous travelers looking for something different along the glorious road, just spend about 2 weeks visiting legendary Turpan, Korla, Kuqa, Kashgar, Tashkurgan, etc.
☛ 13 Days In-depth Xinjiang Silk Road Adventure Tour (Urumqi - Turpan - Korla - Kuqa - Takilamakan Desert - Minfeng - Hongtan - Kashgar - Tashkurgan)
☛ 6 Days Qinghai Lake Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains Tour (Xining - Qinghai Lake - Chaka Lake - Zhangye)
☛ 9 Days Taklamakan Desert Ancient Silk Road Tour (Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Hotan - Ala'er - Kucha - Urumqi)
Many travelers visit Xinjiang for the extraordinary scenic beauty. It is easy to find some places to envelop yourself in nature or capture some excellent photography, such as grasslands, lakes, villages, and some other geographical wonders in 1 ~ 2 weeks.
☛ 10 Days Stunning Ili Apricot Blossom and Naraty Grassland Tour (Urumqi - Sayram Lake - Qingyuan - Naraty - Kuitun - Urumqi)
☛ 11 Days Best Xinjiang Landscape Tour (Urumqi - Burqin - Kanas - Karamy - Sayram Lake - Karajun Grassland - Kuitun - Urumqi)
- Xinjiang Tours
- Urumqi Tours
- Kashgar Tours
- Turpan Tours
- Tashkurgan Tours
- Kanas Tours
Popular Xinjiang Tours
- How to Plan Xinjiang Trip
- Top Xinjiang Destinations
- Xinjiang Attractions & Things to Do
- Xinjiang Transportation
- Urumqi Travel Guide
- Turpan Travel Guide
- Kashgar Travel Guide
- Shache Travel Guide
- Altay Travel Guide
- Hotan Travel Guide
- Kucha Travel Guide
- Ili Travel Guide
- Taklamakan Desert
- Xinjiang Maps
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Useful Xinjiang Travel Guide
Recommended Xinjiang Tours
Top 3 Xinjiang tours chosen by most customers to explore Xinjiang in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary,or tailor your own trip now with us.
- 11 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Cultural Relic & Unrivalled Landscape)
Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi - Kashgar
- 8 Days Classic Xinjiang Tour including Urumqi Turpan Kashgar Tashkurgan
Urumqi - Turpan - Kashgar - Tashkurgan
- 13 Days In-depth Xinjiang Silk Road Adventure Tour
Urumqi / Turpan / Korla / Kuqa / Taklimakan Desert / Minfeng / Hongtan / Kashgar / Tashkurgan