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The best time to visit Tibet is between May and October when the skies are largely clear and blue, temperatures reach double digits, and the ice has melted.

Tibet is on a high altitude plateau, with much of the country experiencing permafrost throughout the year. However, it is possible to visit most areas anytime between April and November. Despite the altitude, it is surprisingly warm during these months, with temperatures reaching up to 23°C in June.

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.

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Month-by-month guide for travelling in Tibet

On-route to Gyantse, Tsetang

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.

On the road to Gyantse

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.
Glaciers on-route to Gyantse, Tsetang

Visiting Tibet in April

Temperatures begin to 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. Travelling outside of Lhasa will provide you with spectacular wintery landscapes, with snowy mountains and frozen lakes.

Yumbulagang Palace

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.

Lhasa, Tibet

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.
Tsetang to Gyantse

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.

Monks at Sera Monastery, Lhasa

Visiting Tibet in September

The rain is usually over by September and temperatures are still warm, making September a lovely time to visit Tibet. Colourful autumn foliage begins to appear across the landscape.

Yumbulagang Palace

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.
Glacier near Pomi, Tibet

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

  • Tsongkhapa Festival commemorates the death of Tsongkhapa by lighting fires on the roofs of all monasteries.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for travelling to Tibet, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest FCDO travel advice.

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