When is the best time to visit Tibet?
The best time to visit Tibet is in May or October, when the skies are largely a clear, beautiful blue. But it is possible to visit any time between April and November, when most areas of the country are accessible and temperatures are surprisingly warm at 43F-66F, despite the altitude.
Tibet is on a high altitude plateau, with much of the country experiencing permafrost throughout the year. It gets extremely cold and snowy between December and March. Although picturesque, this can prevent flights from entering the country and makes much of Tibet’s mountainous landscape inaccessible.
Speak to someone
who's been there
Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Tibet specialists
- Make an inquiry
Tibet Climate Guide
|Everest Base Camp||-4°C 6mm||-3°C 4mm||-1°C 6mm||3°C 7mm||6°C 7mm||10°C 28mm||9°C 90mm||9°C 103mm||7°C 37mm||4°C 17mm||0°C 1mm||-1°C 2mm|
|Gyantse||4°C 0mm||6°C 0mm||9°C 2mm||13°C 4mm||16°C 15mm||19°C 46mm||19°C 93mm||18°C 93mm||17°C 43mm||13°C 6mm||9°C 2mm||6°C 0mm|
|Lhasa||6°C 0mm||9°C 1mm||12°C 2mm||15°C 7mm||19°C 24mm||23°C 75mm||22°C 124mm||21°C 130mm||19°C 58mm||16°C 9mm||11°C 2mm||7°C 1mm|
|Tingri||2°C 5mm||3°C 5mm||6°C 7mm||10°C 7mm||13°C 9mm||17°C 38mm||16°C 107mm||15°C 118mm||14°C 44mm||11°C 16mm||6°C 1mm||4°C 3mm|
Month-by-month guide to traveling in Tibet
Visiting Tibet in January
January is typically cold but dry and sunny, with temperatures at night dropping well below freezing. However, this is also Tibet’s windiest month and the wind chill makes it seem much colder. You won’t be able to travel much beyond the cities because of the harsh weather conditions, but prices are much cheaper during the winter season and you’ll have the sites pretty much to yourself.
Visiting Tibet in February - March
The weather is extremely cold and often snowy during this period, making much of the country inaccessible beyond the main cities. In addition, the Chinese government often does not issue Tibet permits to foreigners during a six week period during this time, for Tibetan New Year.
Events & Festivals
- Tibetan New Year typically falls in February, and is celebrated by a week-long festival of horse races, archery and dancing.
Visiting Tibet in April
Temperatures begin rise, melting the snow and opening up more areas to visit. This is still before the summer so you’ll avoid the highest prices and visitor numbers. This is still in the dry season so you’re likely to have clear skies and great views of the mountains. Traveling outside of Lhasa will provide you with spectacular wintery landscapes, with snowy mountains and frozen lakes.
Visiting Tibet in May
The weather is generally warm and sunny in May, with clear skies and great views. Temperatures at the lower altitudes average at around 20°C (just under 70°F) although due to the high altitude this can feel warmer in the sun. It gets a little busier with more visitors arriving to take advantage of the inclement climate, so prices also start to rise. Flowers begin to bloom and the trees turn green.
Visiting Tibet in June
Temperatures get warmer again but from mid-June the rainy season begins so the whole of June is generally cloudier than in April and May. This is still before the busiest summer months though, and offers pleasant conditions for walking in the mountains.
Events & Festivals
- Incense Festival is a one-day event in June, during which Tibetans dress up as spirits and dance to ‘scare away’ the ghosts which are said to prowl on this day.
- Sho Dun Festival is held to worship Buddha, and is celebrated with bonfires at night and operas and picnics held in parks during the day.
Visiting Tibet in July - August
This is rainy season in Tibet so there is often cloud cover, which means if you’re trekking in the mountains during these months you may not get clear, panoramic views. However, this is also the time of year when the alpine flowers bloom and the mountains are at their most verdant. Temperatures are also mild and pleasant.
Visiting Tibet in September
The rain is usually over by September and temperatures are still warm, making September a lovely time to visit Tibet. Colorful autumn foliage begins to appear across the landscape.
Visiting Tibet in October
October is one of the most popular times to visit Tibet because the days are long, dry and generally sunny. Daytime temperatures average between 15 and 20°C (60-70°F), although the high altitude makes it feel warmer.
Events & Festivals
- Harvest Festival usually falls during October, celebrated by prayers, singing, dancing and drinking.
Visiting Tibet in November - December
The weather is typically dry, sunny and very cold during November and December, with temperatures dropping well below freezing at night. There aren’t usually many people visiting during this time, so prices tend to drop accordingly.
Events & Festivals
- Tsong Khapa Festival commemorates the death of Tsong Khapa by lighting fires on the roofs of all monasteries.
Why travel with Audley?
- 100% tailor-made tours
- Fully protected travel
- Established for over 20 years
- 75% of our clients would recommend us
Practical tips for traveling to Tibet, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.
Request a brochure
Our detailed brochures feature trip ideas and travel experiences recommended by our specialists.
Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Tibet