Summer is part of the high season in Beijing and is the ideal time for visitors looking to avoid the extreme cold of Beijing's winter. July, particularly, is one of the hottest months of the year and also one of the wettest, so rainfall is frequent, although it is also the month of festivals and important celebrations.
Some of the best things to see and do in Beijing in July include taking in some of the best open views from the Olympic Tower, attending the Dance Festival, visiting the Water Cube water park, getting discounted tickets to the city's museums and enjoying the Beer Festival.
1. Attend Beijing International Music Festival
The International Music Festival is an annual event held in July in Beijing since 1998 and has become one of the largest and most popular music festivals in China. During the 2 weeks of its celebration, the city becomes a live music stage, with performances by local and international artists in various musical genres such as classical music, opera, jazz, pop and rock.
This festival also includes cultural events, art exhibitions, educational programs and even traditional Kung Fu shows. It also features unique collaborations and fusions of different cultures and musical genres performed by some of the most prominent artists such as Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell and Plácido Domingo.
If you want to enjoy a traveling event in different parts of the city, this festival is a unique opportunity to enjoy music and culture in a vibrant setting, and is a celebration of music and cultural diversity in China and around the world, as well as one of the best things to do at night in Beijing.
2. See the best open views of the city from the Olympic Tower
The Beijing Olympic Tower was built for the 2008 Olympic Games and, at 258 meters high, is one of the city's iconic structures. From there you can get spectacular views of the city and its surroundings and although it can be visited at any time of the year, July is especially recommended to contemplate the Beijing skyline during clear days.
In July the city of Beijing has warm weather, which means that the views from the tower are especially clear and sharp. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city, including the skyscrapers of the financial district, the historic hutongs and the majestic Summer Palace.
In addition, July is the ideal time to watch the sunset from the tower's main observatory and to discover the exact moment when the sun slowly sinks behind the mountains surrounding the city and the Olympic Village.
Also in July, the Olympic Park hosts the Beer Festival, so you can enjoy a wide variety of craft beers, local food and live entertainment while taking in the views from the tower.
Details of interest
- Price: entrance to the tower observatory has an initial cost of approximately 10 euros per person.
- Location: Olympic Village, Beijing.
- Hours: Every day from 8:30 am to 10:00 pm.
3. Experience the Beijing Celebration of the Arts
The Beijing International Performing Arts Festival, held each year in July, features a wide variety of performances, from traditional Chinese opera to ballet, experimental theater and contemporary dance.
The aim of this event is to promote culture and the arts, as well as to foster international cultural exchange and cooperation, so if you are interested in getting to know the local idiosyncrasies, it might be of interest to you.
The festival takes place in various venues around the city, including theaters, concert halls and outdoor spaces, some near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Participating artists and groups come from both China and other Asian countries, allowing you to experience different cultures and artistic styles. In addition, there are parallel activities such as art exhibitions, workshops and conferences.
The entrance to this festival has an initial cost of approximately 5 euros per person and some shows last less than 1 hour, so it is even compatible with a short stay in the city. If that is your case, here is a list of activities you can do to discover Beijing in 2 days.
4. Attend the Beijing Dance Festival
If you want to be part of one of the traditional events in the Chinese capital, you can't miss the Dance Festival, an annual event held in July that features a variety of dance styles, from classical and contemporary dance to ethnic and traditional dances.
This festival takes place at various venues throughout the city, including theaters, concert halls and outdoor spaces. Some of the most prominent venues are the National Opera House of China, the Poly Theater, the Tianqiao Theater and the Capital Theater, which is one of Beijing's classic venues.
Please note that ticket prices are cheap at around 75 euros per person, although in some cases you can find tickets for 15 or 20 euros if you book in advance. Anyway, I recommend you not to miss this event, which is one of the main events in Beijing during the summer.
5. Enjoy the Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditionally Chinese event held every year on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which in the Gregorian calendar usually falls in July. This celebration commemorates the death of the poet and patriot Qu Yuan and is celebrated throughout the country and also in other parts of the world with large Chinese communities.
In Beijing, the Dragon Boat Festival takes place on Kunming Lake in Yuyuantan Forest Park. During the festival, teams of dragon boats, decorated with dragons and other popular Chinese motifs, compete in a race on the lake. You can get there by Metro, bus or cab or also on Beijing's hop-on-hop-off sightseeing buses.
During the festival, admission to the park is generally free, but you may have to pay a fee to participate in certain activities or attractions. Another typical custom of this celebration is eating zongzi, a glutinous rice cake filled with different ingredients.
6. Visit the Olympic Village's Water Cube Water Park
If you are planning to visit Beijing with children or want to have a different experience during the summer in the city, you can visit the Olympic Village Water Cube Water Park, which was built as part of the 2008 Olympic Games and has a variety of water attractions, such as water slides, flowing rivers, wave pools and play areas for the little ones.
This water park is known for its distinctive architecture, which includes a translucent acrylic bubble facade that covers most of the building. The facade resembles a giant water bubble and gives the site its name. Outside the building you can also find swimming pools and a relaxation area with benches and umbrellas for lounging.
The entrance fee is around 30 euros per person for adults, but prices may increase during weekends or holidays. In addition, the park also offers discounts for children, seniors and large groups. Tickets can be purchased online or at the park's ticket office. Note that in some cases it may be included in the best Beijing tours, so you can get better prices.
Details of interest
- Price: Entrance to the water park has a starting cost of approximately 30 euros for adults and 15 euros for children between 5 and 12 years old.
- Location: Water Cube, Olympic Village, Beijing.
- Hours: Every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
7. Take refuge from the heat in the malls
July can be extremely hot in Beijing and an alternative option to take refuge from the heat is to visit the city's shopping malls, many of which are located in iconic locations, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Beijing's vibrant atmosphere and take a break between each attraction.
Some of the city's largest and most popular shopping malls are the Oriental Plaza Shopping Center or the Yansha Shopping Center, which feature retail outlets, but also cinemas, restaurants, spas and beauty salons, so you can spend an entire afternoon there if you wish. In the urban area of Beijing you can also visit the Silk Market.
The city's shopping malls are an excellent option to take refuge from the heat during the month of July, but they also offer much more than just air conditioning. So if you visit Beijing in summer, don't hesitate to explore these places while enjoying the cool atmosphere and all the services they have to offer.
8. Join the Beijing Beer Fest
The Beer Festival is one of Beijing's most popular non-traditional events and is held every year in July at the Olympic Park. There you can enjoy a wide range of local and international craft beers, along with a wide variety of food and live music.
During the festival, the park is transformed into a kind of beer city, with several stages, commercial stalls and many food trucks that are part of Beijing's best food tours. Admission is free and includes access to see live bands and musicians performing and providing a festive and lively atmosphere.
This festival is an excellent opportunity to experience China's beer culture, taste local and worldwide beers, and enjoy the atmosphere of the city. It's an event that attracts thousands of visitors every year and is very popular with locals and tourists alike - you won't want to miss it!
9. Get discounted tickets to the city's museums
During your visit in July you can visit the best museums in Beijing and it is the ideal month to do it economically, since during the summer most of the exhibitions make available to visitors discounted tickets or days when you can enter for free, such as Mondays.
Other alternatives to get cheap tickets are to buy them in advance online, use discount coupons, which many tourist service providers offer when you hire other excursions, or choose a guided tour that includes a visit to the main museums of the city.
Keep in mind that during the hot summer visiting a museum, besides being an economical option due to the discounts available, is a good option to enjoy a cool environment away from the sweltering temperatures of the city's outdoor attractions.
10. Have fun at Beijing Kite Festival
The International Kite Festival is an annual event held in July in Beijing and is one of the largest kite events in the world, which brings together participants and spectators from different countries and for a few days modifies the skyline of the Great Wall of China, filling the sky with kites.
The festival is organized in Chaoyang Park and, during the event, you can see thousands of kites of all shapes and sizes, from traditional Chinese kites to modern kites with creative designs, making it one of the best activities to do with children in the capital.
In addition to the kite exhibition, the festival also features various kite-related activities and competitions, such as races, parades and aerobatic flying shows. There are also food and drink stalls, as well as activities for children and families.
This colorful event, which is free of charge, offers a unique opportunity to experience Chinese culture and tradition through kite making. If you find yourself in Beijing during July, this is one event you won't want to miss.
Beijing temperatures in July
In July the Chinese capital offers warm and humid weather with temperatures averaging 31 °C, with lows of 20 °C and highs of 35 °C, very different temperatures from what you will find if you visit Beijing in October or during the autumn months, which is one of the most recommended times to avoid the sweltering heat.
Be aware that humidity can make the weather feel hotter and stickier than the actual temperatures suggest and that this can generate some rain, so I advise you to always carry adequate clothing, raincoat and umbrella.
The tourist flow in Beijing in July
July is part of the peak season in Beijing, as it coincides with the Chinese summer and school vacations. This means that you will encounter a large influx of local and foreign tourists visiting the city.
Beijing's main tourist sites, such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China and the city's most famous temples, tend to be quite busy in July, with long lines to get in and crowds of people at the sights, so be aware that you might be delayed at the ticket booths.
To avoid long waits, I advise you to book accommodations and sightseeing in advance to escape the crowds.
Prices in Beijing in July
July is considered one of the high season months, which means that some prices may be higher than other times of the year, especially for accommodations and food.
Prices for attractions can vary according to popularity and demand, but also tend to be higher for popular activities such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. However, many attractions, such as museums, also offer discounts to students and senior citizens.
Prices for public transportation, such as buses and the Metro, remain stable throughout the year, although you should keep in mind that July is an economical time to visit Beijing.
What to pack when visiting Beijing in July
July is one of the hottest months of the year in Beijing, but it is also a wet and rainy time in the city, so I advise you to pack the following items in your suitcase:
- Lightweight T-shirt
- Bathing suit
- Lightweight pants
- Comfortable shoes
- Rain jacket
- Light coat