Tibet Travel Guide

China  
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Best Times to Visit Tibet

The best time to visit Tibet is from June to August. Situated high on a plateau, Tibet experiences low temperatures and frost for the majority of the year. Summer is the only time where temperatures hover in the 70-degree range during the day. Plus, oxygen content is the highest in the summer, making it easier to acclimate to the altitude. Spring and fall are also good times to visit if you're looking to beat the summer crowds, but expect chilly, winter-like nighttime temperatures. On the upside, spring and fall provide better visibility than the summer months if you've come to see Mount Everest. Winter is characterized by freezing temperatures. And roads to the mountains and other remote attractions can be closed off due to the elements. Plus, entry permits are not given to foreign visitors from February to March and sometimes to early April.

Weather in Tibet

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Average Temperature (°F)
44
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54
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60
34
67
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45
61
34
52
23
46
16
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Average Precipitation (in)
0
0
0
0
0.04
0.12
0.2
0.2
0.08
0.04
0
0
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Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

June to August

While you'll likely come across full tours and more tourists at top attractions, the benefits of a summer visit far outweigh the inconvenience of crowds. Not only is there more availability at hotels and top attractions, but remote points of interest are also more accessible. What's more, plenty of cultural festivals take place during this time of the year. All these perks, however, do come paired with high lodging rates. Another caveat to keep in mind is that summer constitutes monsoon season, which occurs in July and August. But compared to more southeastern destinations in Asia, the few inches of rain that Tibet sees is considered mild. If you want to avoid the heavy precipitation, visit in June. Whichever month you choose to visit, be sure to bring a coat. Daytime temps linger in the 70s but come nighttime, lows can dip to the high 40s.

Key Events:

  • Shoton Festival (August)
  • Ganden Thangka Festival (August)
  • Nagchu Horse Racing Festival (August)

September to October

If you don't mind chilly temps, this is a great time to visit Tibet. Temperatures are in the 60-degree range during the day before dipping down to the mid-40s at night in September and low 30s in October. Your reward for enduring these wintry nighttime temps? Fewer crowds at attractions and lower travel rates. You'll also experience higher oxygen content in comparison to the colder months. And if Everest is part of your itinerary, visibility becomes better during these months, as the fog and rainy weather of monsoon season lifts to reveal more of Mount Everest from its base camp. Keep in mind though that just because this time of year experiences fewer tourists doesn't mean you won't run into crowds here and there. Travelers visit during this time of year specifically to beat crowds and to hike Everest, as it's less windy and makes for a safer trek.

November to March

Visiting Tibet during the winter can be a challenge. Temperatures fall quickly once November hits and stay low until spring starts. November experiences highs in the low 50s but drops down to the low 20s at night. December and January experience daytime highs in the 40-degree range, but dip as low as the teens come nighttime. Because of these harsh temperatures, amenities aren't as widely available. Roads to remote attractions may be blocked due to snow, some restaurants close for the season and oxygen content is lower, so you may have a harder time breathing. However, there are some notable benefits for visiting during this time. Everest's visibility is at its best and travel rates (including attraction admission and hotels) can be discounted as much as 50 percent. Once February rolls around, Tibet stops processing foreign travel applications and closes its borders to foreign visitors until the end of March to early April.

Key Events:

  • Tibetan New Year/Losar (February)
  • Butter Lamp Festival (March)

April to May

Once Tibet decides to process entry applications again (it can vary year to year), April and May are a fine time to visit. You'll certainly beat the crowds if you can manage to get to the region right after its borders open again. Temperatures in April shoot up to the 60s during the day but remain in the low 30s at night. In May, more visitors start to arrive as highs climb to the high 60s and nighttime temps inch closer to the 40-degree range. Visitors will encounter lower travel rates during this time and higher oxygen content come May. Everest visibility is also prime during springtime, meaning you can snap a photo of the world's tallest mountain without having to worry about pesky clouds or fog getting in your shot. 

Key Events:

  • Saga Dawa Festival (April)

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