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Best Time to Visit Tibet

  • by Nance
  • Last Updated: 2022-08-05

The beauty Tibet has to offer is just incomparable. With plateau-climate and picturesque landscape, the place offers to be a perfect tourist destination.

Deciding what’s the best time to visit Tibet is an important question. Generally speaking, April to October is the best time to travel to Tibet. But the specific month depends entirely on your interest, or what you want to see and to do. In fact, Tibet can be visited at any time of the year, but at certain times of the year is better than other times.

Best places to visit in Tibet in the season of Summer:

  • Namtso
  • Mt.Kailash and Lake Manasarovar

Best places to visit in Tibet in the season of Winter:

  • Lhasa, the City of Sunshine
  • Mt. Everest, the Peak of Heaven

Best Time to Visit Lhasa

Barkhor Street is actually a circumambulation around Jokhang Temple.

Lhasa is suitable to be visited all year round. In spring, everything in Lhasa comes back to life with a landscape full of greenery. Summer is the peak season and the air is humid. You can walk around the unique highland temples and Barkhor Street.  Although the air in Lhasa is a little bit drier in autumn, it is suitable for hiking.  There are several classic trekking routes around Lhasa such as Lhasa--Tsurphu Monastery—Yangpachen or Lhasa--Ganden Monastery--Chimpuk--Samye Monastery. Winter in Lhasa is cheap and warm, making it a good time to see the snow-capped mountains.

Monthly temperature overview of Lhasa,

Month Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun.
Average High Temp 8 ℃ 11 ℃ 13 ℃ 17 ℃ 21 ℃ 25 ℃
Average Low Temp -8 ℃ -4 ℃ -1 ℃ 3 ℃ 7 ℃ 12 ℃
Month Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Average High Temp 24 ℃ 23 ℃ 22 ℃ 18 ℃ 13 ℃ 10 ℃
Average Low Temp 12 ℃ 12 ℃ 10 ℃ 4 ℃ -3 ℃ -7 ℃

>>See more Lhasa tour

Best Time to Visit Everest Base Camp

Golden summit of Mt.Everest.
The golden summit of Mt.Everest.

April-June and September-October are the best time to visit Everest Base Camp. In the spring and autumn season, there is less rain and more sunny days so tourists are more likely to see the summit of Mount Everest clearly.

July-August is the peak tourist season for Everest Base Camp. This season is the rainy season in Tibet, and the air is warm and moist. But it’s the most comfortable season for tourists. Tourists who are worrying about altitude sickness can choose to travel in summer. During this period, they will get the best physical comfort experience in Tibet.

Monthly temperature overview of Everest Base Camp in Tingri,

Month Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun.
Average High Temp 3℃ 5℃ 7℃ 12℃ 16℃ 21℃
Average Low Temp -17℃ -15℃ -11℃ -5℃ 0℃ 6℃
Month Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Average High Temp 20℃ 19℃ 19℃ 13℃ 9℃ 6℃
Average Low Temp 8℃ 7℃ 4℃ -6℃ -11℃ -15℃

>> See More Everest Base Camp Tour

Best Time to have Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra and Kora

Devout pilgrims.
Trek around Mt. Kailash.

A “yatra” is a pilgrimage with a religious purpose and a kora is a circuit around a sacred site. The best time for a Mount Kailash Manasarovar yatra and kora is May to October. This is due to the warmer temperature and higher oxygen content.

From July to August, although it's the rainy season in Tibet, it usually rains at night. So it's still a good time to have a kora around Mt.Kailash due to the warmer temperature and higher oxygen content.

Monthly temperature overview in Ngari,

Month Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun.
Average High Temp 0℃ 0℃ 4℃ 11℃ 15℃ 19℃
Average Low Temp -15℃ -13℃ -9℃ -3℃ 1℃ 7℃
Month Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Average High Temp 22℃ 21℃ 19℃ 13℃ 9℃ 5℃
Average Low Temp 10℃ 10℃ 6℃ -2℃ -7℃ -11℃

>> See more Kailash Tour

Best Time to Visit Namtso

Namtso Lake

The best time to visit Namtso is from May to September. The weather is pleasant and not hot even in July and August. There is a clear blue sky, green meadows, many nomads, rare birds, wild cattle and sheep. Autumn is a good time to see the starry sky at Namtso. It is not recommended to visit Namtso in winter or spring as the lake is frozen and there's no accommodation.

Monthly temperature overview of Namtso,

Month Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun.
Average High Temp 2℃ 4℃ 7℃ 10℃ 14℃ 19℃
Average Low Temp -16℃ -14℃ -9℃ -4℃ 0℃ 6℃
Month Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Average High Temp 18℃ 18℃ 17℃ 12℃ 7℃ 5℃
Average Low Temp 7℃ 6℃ 6℃ -3℃ -11℃ -15℃

Best Time to Experience Tibet Culture

Shoton Festival
During the Shoton Festival, you will see more about Tibetan Buddhism and culture.

If your wholesale reason to visit Tibet is to see their nomadic culture then June through early September would be the best choice. There are several big festivals meanwhile, such as Saga Dawa Festival in Jun, Samye Dolde in Jul, Shoton Festival in Aug, etc.

These summer months let you see nomads who are on the high grasslands with their sheep and yaks. These months undoubtedly bring some clouds & rain. However, to see their culture, no other month would be as appropriate as June and all the way to September. Tibet people are very glad to invite you to attend the celebration. It’s a time to experience Tibet folk customs and Buddhist culture.

>> See more Tibet Cultural Tour

Best Time to Trek in Tibet

Take a break during trekking.
Have a stop and enjoy the scenery on the way!

The trekking season in Tibet is from late April through late October, out of which the most suitable months are:

  • Starting of May until the end of June
  • Early September through late October

These months give you good views of the mountains along with the ideal conditions for trekking and camping as it is generally dry during this period. Trekking in the summer months is not advised as it will rain in these months at least 3 times per week. There will be a cloudy sky, and you'll not witness any clear skies during the daytime. Proper trekking equipment and clothing can make your trekking time delightful and hassle-free.

>> See more Tibet Trekking Tour

Best Time to Be a Part of The Tibetan Horse Festival

Horse racing competition.
A wonderful moment of the Horse Racing Festival.

The Horse Racing Festival is an important part of Tibet culture, especially the daily life of people in Tibet. Horse Racing Festival is the most distinctive holiday in Tibet especially in the pastoral areas of Tibet. From July to August, it is the most beautiful season in grasslands with lush aquatic plants, so a Horse racing festival will be held in these months.

It usually lasts about 10 days. At present, the influencing horse racing festivals in Tibet are Nagqu Horse Festival (around August ) and Gyantse Horse Race (around July). On the eve of the horse racing festival, thousands of herdsmen wear colorful costumes, riding horses to go to the horse racing festival. Around the racetrack, a tent village was pulled out in the twinkling of an eye, and the grand horse racing festival suddenly brought a spectacular, fully functional tent city to the prairie. The whole event can be divided into two major categories: horse racing and horse riding skills. In the evening, the herdsmen will ignite a pile of bonfire in the prairie, staying around the flaming fire, singing and dancing happily.

>> See more Tibet Festival Tour

Best Time to Visit Tibet for Budget Travelers

Yamdroktso Lake
Yamdroktso Lake in winter.

From November to April of the following year, traveling to Tibet is relatively cost-effective, and it is the best season for travelers with a tight budget. Winter is the off-season in Tibet, with relatively lower consumption in scenic spots, transportation, accommodations, etc. Excluding some places like Namtso Lake, Mt. Kailash and some trekking routes, all other destinations in Tibet can be visited in the winter.  By the way, Tibet's winter is not as cold as most people's imaginations. Instead, it's warm due to intensive sunshine.

Note:

From February to March, most of the Tibet area is closed to foreign travelers, because February and March are sensitive months for Tibetans. The authorities usually stop issuing Tibet travel permits from the beginning of February. However, Tibet will reopen in early April.

>> See more Tibet Winter Tour

Summary

The most suitable time for your visit to Tibet is based on the reason for your visit.

  • January- February, April- May and then October- December is considered to be the best months to see Everest clearly.
  • June to September is the ideal period for seeing the Tibetan nomadic lifestyle.
  • The perfect months for trekking in Tibet are April through late October.
  • The major cities of Tibet can be traveled all year round even during winters.
  • February- March, Tibet usually gets closed till April.

Related Articles

  • Tibet Weather in June
    June is a good time for traveling in Tibet for its the weather condition. Before you go, you may know what to wear, how to acclimate yourself, how to arrange your activities in this month as well as the places to visit.

  • Tibet Weather in November
    November is still a good time to visit Tibet. We will show you the upsides of traveling in this month and related travel guide accordingly, such as what to wear, place to visit, etc.

  • Tibet Weather in January
    It takes courage to travel to Tibet in January because it's the coldest time in a year. Tourists are suggested to know more about the weather in winter, and prepare well to start this journey.

  • Tibet Weather in April
    April is a fantastic month to travel to Tibet. The climate becomes warm, but it's better for tourists to take precautions before they come to Tibet. Visiting the Potala Palace and Barkhor street could be amazing for every tourist.

  • Tibet Weather in March
    The weather in March is cold, dry, and sunny. However, foreign travelers are not allowed to travel to Tibet in this month. There are some recommended tourist destinations including Lhasa city, Shigatse, and Nyingchi.

  • Tibet Weather in October
    October is also one of the best time to travel to Tibet, as the weather starts to cool down with less rain and more sunshine. In October, Tibet is covered with golden yellow color, just like a fairy tale world.

  • Tibet Weather in December
    December is the low season for tourists. Before you choose to travel to Tibet during this month, it's good to know more about the weather and places to visit.

  • Tibet Weather in May
    May is one of the best time to travel to Tibet with dry, sunny and cool weather. In May, the weather is getting warm with little rainfall, trees turn green, and flowers start to blossom.

  • Tibet Weather in July
    July in Tibet is warm, and it is the beginning of the rainy season. Although it rains a lot, it always rains at night. There some recommended places when you travel to Tibet in July, such as Lhasa city, Namtso Lake, Shigatse, etc.

  • Tibet Weather in February
    The Tibet weather in February is cold but the cost would be the low for your traveling in Tibet. Only a few destinations like Lhasa, Shigatse, Everest are recommended to visit.

  • Tibet Weather in September
    Tibetan September is the peak tourism season. The climate is comfortable and cool. There are some recommended tours for this month, such as Lhasa tour, Shigatse tour, Yamdrok Lake tour, and hiking tour.

  • Tibet Weather in August
    Tibet weather in August is warm and comfortable because of the high altitude. It's the best time to travel to Tibet as a lot of traditional Tibetan festivals will be held in this month.

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Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by Aman***
2022-06-14

Hi, I am thinking of visiting Tibet and Nepal in Nov or Dec 2022 during the low season. 10-14days. Are the palaces and monasteries open to tourists in the winter ? Are the handicraft shops and well-known cafes open too ? If I do not take a liking to the local food, are there other food choices available for tourists? I would like to include some short hiking in the trip if possible. Appreciate to have your advice and suggestions on a Travel Plan with bugdet. Thank you so much.

Catherine
Answered by Catherine 2022-06-14

Dear Amanda, Thank you for sending us an inquiry! This is Catherine from Great Tibet Tour at your service.  Great Tibet Tour is a local tour operator based in Lhasa, Tibet. It was founded in 2005 and recommended by Lonely Planet as one of the best reputed local Tibet travel agencies. We specialize in arranging Tibet travel for foreigners, as well as other parts of China & Nepal.  In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to visit Tibet and Nepal. To have a travel plan with budget, you'd better join a small group tour in Tibet to lower the cost. Here is the recommended itinerary, and you can have a small hike around Rongbuk Monastery. 

At present, Nepal has opened, whereas Tibet remains closed. It is expected to open next year. I think we can plan this trip for 2023. For food, there are Nepali, Tibetan, Indian and vegetarian food for choices.

Asked by shei***
2018-04-08

Hi.We are looking at your tours, travelling from England, as we would love to visit Tibet.However, I am really worried about altitude sickness and therefore missing out on the 1st couple of days and wonder how this would impact on our tour.We went to Peru 2 years ago and I had altitude sickness, requiring bed rest and oxygen for 2 days.I would be grateful if you could let me know what would happen if I had altitude sickness on the 1st couple of days.

nance
Answered by Nance 2018-04-08

To prevent the occurrence of altitude sickness, you need to have a proper rest and avoid strenuous activities days before you go to Tibet. After getting off the plane, you should try not to carry heavy things or run and avoid outdoor activities. Nifedipinum, Nuodikang Capsules, and Suoluomabao Capsules may help you prevent the occurrence of altitude sickness when you are taken three days before arrival to a highland. Most visitors to Tibet will suffer from at least some symptoms which will generally disappear through acclimatization in several hours to several days. After 1 or 2 days acclimation, almost all of them can adapt to the local environment and these symptoms will disappear. And, we have equipped oxygen tank and medical kit for emergency use. Please don't worry on this point as there're hundreds of thousands of travelers coming to Tibet every year of all ranges of conditions. According to your request, I recommend you join our 6 days Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse Group Tour, This is a lower elevation travel in Tibet. After sightseeing in Lhasa head straight to the coiling scorpion-lake of Yamdrotso before heading and the glacier-draped Karola pass to Gyantse with its must-see Pelkor Chode Monastery with Gyantse Kumbum. A 90mins drive away is Shigatse, with its impressive Tashilump Monastery, one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in Tibet.