Top 10 Things to Do in Beijing in Winter

Beijing’s winter starts from early November to early March every year with chilly cold and dry climate. There would have several snowy days, thus tourists can enjoy the different views in these scenic areas. Besides, joining in lots of interesting winter activities in Beijing with local people like skating and skiing is also a lot of fun. What to do in Beijing during winter? Here under is a list, which provides feasible choices for travelers.


Appreciating Snow Scenery of Forbidden City

One of the top places to visit in Beijing in winter is Forbidden City. As time passed by, the 600-year-old Forbidden City doesn’t weaken its charm but increase its cultural deposits. After a snowy day, the snow adds white color to the red and yellow Forbidden City, creating a totally different view. The solemn imperial palace for 24 ancient emperors coexists with the soft and elegant snowflakes, mitting a graceful atmosphere. You must see snow scenery of Forbidden City once in your life.

 Recommended Tours:  
 2 Days Mini Group Beijing Tour with Forbidden City from $299
 Book a Forbidden City Ticket

Watching Great Wall of China Covered by White Snow

Being one of popular Beijing attractions, in winter, Great Wall of China becomes a fairy-tale world after snow, consisting of snow covered steps, white tree branches and white mountains. Looking afar, the Great Wall is like a giant white-grey dragon zigzagging on a white giant blanket of snow. Tourists can bring a camera to capture splendid moments and leave wonderful memories. Badaling and Mutianyu are recommended to appreciate snow scenery in winter.

 Recommended Tours:
  One Day Private Badaling Great Wall Hiking from $102

Skating at Shichahai

On the list of Winter Activities in Beijing, skating is a very interesting one. You can join in local people and enjoy the happiness of this exciting activity. Shichaihai becomes a natural ice rink in winter every year. Benefiting from various skating facilities including ice skates and ice cars, skating is suitable for people of all ages. In order to meet the needs of visitors, this ice rink is divided into two parts: Ice Car Area and Ice Skate Area. Besides, Taoranting Park, Old Summer Palace and Weiming Lake in the Peking University also welcome skaters in winter. For people who are afraid of chilly weather, they can choose some indoor rinks, such as New World Skating Rink and the Rink at the Olympic Sports Center.

Skiing at Huaibei Ski Resort

Skiing is one of the welcomed Beijing winter activities. For the purposes of entertainment and fitness, both adults and children can ski on the snow field easily and happily, and enjoy the endless fun of skiing. Huaibei Ski Resort is highly recommended among many ski resorts, which is located at 67 kilometers (42 miles) northeast away from Beijing center. It is praised as the most beautiful one in the city with Great Wall of China as the background. This place has the most professional facilities and provides warm services. The entire ski resort adopts the advanced artificial snowmaking system imported from Europe in order to provide the best experience for skiing enthusiasts. It is also equipped with three cable car lines, four drag lifts, seven ski slopes and one conveyor belt for skiing. Besides, it is convenient to rent various ski equipment here such as snow suit, gloves, helmets, skis, snow goggles and snowboards. Besides Huaibei Ski Resort, there are other popular ski resorts in Beijing, such as Jundushan, Nanshan, Shijinglong, Qiaobo Ice & Snow World and Badaling Ski Resort.

Warm up with Beijing Mutton Hot Pot

When it comes to Beijing in winter things to do, natives’ love for mutton hot pot is unparalleled. People of different age groups often call friends or families to go to the mutton hot pot restaurants at intervals, especially in winter. Low temperature and cold winds make the boiling mutton hot pot very enticing. The happiness can be greatly improved just thinking about this scene. The soup of mutton hot pot is clear and tastes light, very different from the red spicy Sichuan hot pot. The mutton is good for promoting blood circulation, nourishing blood and resisting coldness. 

Hot Spring Bathing at Gubei Water Town

Located about 140 kilometers (87 miles) away from Beijing center, Gubei Water Town is adjacent to Simatai Great Wall. It is a popular holiday resort with traditional Chinese style buildings, rivers and mountains. Gubei Water Town is rich in geothermal resources, which are exploited from 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) deep bedrock at the foot of Simatai Great Wall south slope, making it one of top places to visit in Beijing in winter. The water includes abundant iron, sulfur, magnesium and other trace elements with the temperature of around 60℃ (140℉) which are beneficial to the human body. The water quality is excellent and it is an authentic natural hot spring water. Taking a bath in hot spring not only can relax muscles and eliminate fatigue, but also promote blood circulation and accelerate body metabolism. 

Whether it's an open-air bath or an indoor pool, you can fully enjoy the comfortable steam here. Appreciating the solemn scenery of Great Wall while bathing is definitely a wonderful thing to do in Beijing in winter. At Gubei Water Town, different styles and temperatures of hot springs can satisfy all your needs.

Enjoying Ice Lanterns Festival at Longqing Gorge

Longqing Gorge, located about 85 kilometers (53 miles) away from Beijing downtown, is one of popular Beijing attractions in winter. The annual Ice Lantern Festival attracts lots of tourists from all over the world. The 70-meter-high (230-foot-high) Longqing Dam is a must-see, on which has grand ice waterfalls. Colorful ice lanterns, various snow sculptures and gorgeous flower lanterns constitute the scenery of the fairy world. Longqing Gorge Ice Lanterns Festival has different themes every year. Groups of ice lanterns bring endless joy and happiness to travelers. Coupled with the advanced design of sound, light and electricity, the ice lanterns in Longqing Gorge is full of charm.

Seeing Ice Cascades at Black Dragon Pool

Situated at a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) long gorge of Shicheng Town, Miyun County, Black Dragon Pool (Heilongtan in Chinese) is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Beijing. You shouldn’t miss the impressive scenery of ice cascades in this scenic area if you visit Beijing in winter. Upon entering the scenic area, you will see a huge ice waterfall, as if come into an ice and snow kingdom. There are more beautiful scenery if you continue to walk inside, such as ‘Tongtian Waterfall’. ‘Tongtian Waterfall’ is the best-looking waterfall here with the height of more than 10 meters (33 feet). As one of best places to visit in Beijing in winter, there is also an annual Snow & Wind Bell Festival held in Black Dragon Pool every winter. You can see lots of colorful and variously shaped bells. When the wind blows, the bells make a pleasant and comfortable sound, making people stop and listen unconsciously.

Visiting National Museum of China

Located at east side of Tian’anmen Square, the National Museum of China displays outstanding traditional Chinese culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist cultural. This museum covers 70,000 square meters (84,000 square yards) totally, with a 42.5 meters (46 yards) high building, containing 5 floors above ground and 2 floors underground. Equipped with 48 exhibition halls, the National Museum of China has more than 1.4 million collections, including 815,000 pieces of ancient cultural relics, 340,000 pieces of modern cultural relics, 240,000 pieces of rare ancient books and artworks. Tourists can see exquisite bronze wares, Buddhist statues, jade wares, porcelains and wood carvings here. Besides, more than 40 temporary exhibitions are held here every year. The indoor heating inside the museum helps tourists keep away from the cold weather. Visiting this place is one of worthy things to do in Beijing in winter.

Attending Temple Fairs During Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year usually falls in January or February, the winter season in China. During the festival, many celebrations will be held, among which temple fairs are the most popular in Beijing. So when you plan your winter activities in Beijing and happen to go there during the festival, do put it on your itinerary. Temple Fair is a traditional Chinese folk cultural event. In general, the Chinese New Year Temple Fairs are held from 1st day to 15th day of first Chinese lunar month. Tourists can watch folk performances like lion dance, wrestling and traditional operas. Besides, there are many local snacks for tourists, including Steamed Rice Cakes with Sweet Stuffing, Steamed Pork Dumplings, Yellow Pea Cake, Cooked Beef or Sheep Tripe and Glutinous Rice Roll with Sweet Bean Flour. On the list of Best Temple Fairs in Beijing, Ditan Park Temple Fair, Longtan Park Temple Fair, Summer Palace Temple Fair and Grand View Garden Temple Fair are most popular ones.
 Further Reading:
6 Places to Visit in Beijing in December
6 Places to Visit in Beijing in January
5 Places to Visit in Beijing in February
- Last updated on Apr. 14, 2023 by Catherine He -
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