10 Things to Do in Beijing in March

March marks the beginning of spring in Beijing and is one of the best times to visit the city, as it offers warm weather and fewer tourists. Here are the best things to do during the third month of the year.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

11 min read

10 Things to Do in Beijing in March

Beijing Monument | ©phudd23

Spring is one of the best times to visit Beijing. Not only because you can escape the extreme temperatures of winter and the sweltering, humid heat of summer, but also because you'll find so many interesting things to do, including festivals and the city's colorful gardens.

Among the best things to see and do in Beijing in March are taking some of the best photographs of your trip from the Marco Polo Bridge, attending a concert at the capital's Opera House during the opening of the season, walking the paths of the Old Summer Palace and making the most of the discounts at the Silk Market.

1. Participate in the Lantern Festival

Yuanxiao Lantern Festival| ©Rene Mensen
Yuanxiao Lantern Festival| ©Rene Mensen

The Yuanxiao Lantern Festival, or Lantern Festival, is a typical event in the Chinese lunar calendar and is held every year on March 15. This is an important festival in China and particularly in Beijing, as the city is filled with colorful lanterns and people eat glutinous rice dumplings called yuanxiao as part of the festivities. If you visit the capital in March you can be part of this tradition.

In addition, during this festival Beijing dawns with lanterns in the shape of animals, plants and characters from Chinese mythology, which are hung in parks, streets and buildings. Locals enjoy traditional games such as tossing coins in the air or trying to guess riddles, as well as typical food. One of the epicenters of this celebration is the Forbidden City.

Another important tradition of the Lantern Festival is the parade of dragons and lions, which often includes spectacular performances of acrobatics and traditional dances. Lantern throwing competitions and fireworks displays are also common.

Book the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Tour

2. Attend the opening of the Peking Opera season

Peking Opera House| ©Jorge Láscar
Peking Opera House| ©Jorge Láscar

The Peking Opera season is one of the Chinese capital's most distinguished cultural events and opens each year in March with a performance featuring the local orchestra.

The Peking Opera House is known for its unique architecture and impressive stage, making it one of the most outstanding places to enjoy traditional Chinese opera, which in its concerts performs everything from classical opera to modern works. If you plan to visit the capital in March, you can enjoy these performances.

Traditional Chinese opera concerts usually also include classical dances and a staging of colorful costumes and decorations, so it is considered a style in itself that has been passed down from generation to generation for more than 200 years and is recommended during the tours of the best tours of Beijing, because it is a traditional activity of the city.

If you want to immerse yourself in the culture and history of China, especially if you plan to travel in March, visiting the local Opera House is an excellent opportunity to enjoy one of the best things to do during the night.

Details of interest

  • Price: tickets for the performances have a starting cost of approximately 18 euros per person.
  • Location: 2 West Chang'an, Dongcheng, Beijing.
  • Hours: Shows start at 8pm.

3. Enjoy Beijing International Film Festival

Film Festival| ©Qingxu huang
Film Festival| ©Qingxu huang

March is considered one of the best times to visit Beijing, and not only because of the city's pleasant weather, but also because you will be able to attend one of the most important world events in the Chinese capital, which is the International Film Festival.

This festival has been held every year in Beijing since 2011 and is a must for filmmakers and stars from all over the world, as well as one of the most representative events in Asia. It aims to promote the local film industry and increase cultural interaction between China and other countries. The festival screens films from different genres and countries, including feature films, documentaries and animated films.

In addition to screenings, the festival also includes a series of cultural events and activities, such as panel discussions, seminars, workshops and award ceremonies. The festival has several sections, including the Tiantan Competition, the Asian Film section, the Documentary section, the New Talent section and the Star Films section.

This event attracts a large number of celebrities and film personalities, making it an important meeting place for professionals in the entertainment industry. It is also an opportunity for international filmmakers to learn more about Chinese culture and its ever-growing film market.

The festival usually runs during the second half of March and can extend into early April.

4. Visit the Great Wall of China with pleasant weather and few tourists.

Sunset on the Great Wall of China| ©Bernard Goldbach
Sunset on the Great Wall of China| ©Bernard Goldbach

If you are planning to visit the Great Wall of China in Beijing, March is an excellent time to do so. First of all, the weather is quite pleasant. Although it can be chilly at night, during the day temperatures usually reach 15°C, making it comfortable for walking and exploring the Great Wall. In addition, March is a dry month in Beijing, so you will have a better chance of avoiding the rains.

March is also a relatively quiet time to visit the Great Wall. Unlike the summer months, which are usually packed with tourists, in the early spring you'll find fewer crowds and can take the tour more leisurely to take some of the best photographs.

Finally, March is also an ideal time to enjoy the natural scenery surrounding this historic monument. At this time of year the fields of peach and cherry blossoms begin to bloom, creating a colorful atmosphere surrounded by greenery.

Book the bus transfer to the Great Wall

5. Marvel at the cherry blossoms in Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park| ©vincentraal
Jingshan Park| ©vincentraal

The sakura, which is the cherry blossom, is one of the distinctive symbols of Asian countries. It is particularly famous in Japan, but in China it also has a direct relationship with the local culture and in Beijing Jingshan Park is the ideal place to discover the cherry blossom in March.

During spring, the cherry trees in the park are covered with pink and white blossoms, creating a unique atmosphere. The best time to enjoy this spectacle is in late March, but the exact date may vary depending on weather conditions.

In addition to the cherry blossoms, Jingshan Park has several places of interest, such as Coal Hill, which offers panoramic views of the Forbidden City and downtown Beijing, highlighted by the hutongs. There is also a 9-story pagoda at the top of the hill, which is a popular place to take pictures and enjoy the views.

6. Walk the flowered paths of Temple Park

Temple Park Trails| ©Dan Kamminga
Temple Park Trails| ©Dan Kamminga

Temple Park, located in central Beijing, is famous for its stunning flowering trails in March. Every year, when spring arrives, the park becomes a colorful spectacle of flowers, attracting visitors from all over the world and is often included in the best tours of the city.

Peonies, chrysanthemums and tulips can be found in the park and in early spring these flowers bloom in their full splendor, covering the paths with a carpet of bright colors that is magical for visitors. So if you plan to visit Beijing in March you can visit the gardens to take pictures and enjoy the relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

In addition, you can also find some of Beijing's finest temples and ancient pagodas that bear witness to China's rich history. The tranquil atmosphere of the park is also ideal for taking a break between excursions and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The natural beauty of the scenery, combined with its rich history and culture, make this a unique place to include in your travel itinerary.

Book Summer Palace, Lama Temple and Panda Garden Tour

7. Capture the best pictures of your trip from the Marco Polo Bridge

Marco Polo Bridge| ©Ken Marshall
Marco Polo Bridge| ©Ken Marshall

The Marco Polo Bridge, so named because it was a favorite of the famous traveler, is one of the longest in the world and offers a breathtaking view of the Yangtze River and the city of Wuhan. In March, with clear skies and dry weather, you can visit it to take some of the best pictures of your trip.

From the bridge you can enjoy the panoramic views and if you have your camera with you you can capture the beauty of the skyline. In addition, there are numerous viewpoints along the walkway that offer different perspectives.

Some of the most popular places to take pictures include the visitor center, where you can get 360° views of the city and the river, all from this bridge on the outskirts of Beijing that is as much a part of Chinese history as Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City.

The main tower of the bridge also offers an observation deck from which you can get an even higher view. During your visit in March you can also avoid the large crowds and take your time to capture the best moments.

8. Discover the peach blossoms of the Temple of the Lamas

Temple of the Lamas| ©xiquinhosilva
Temple of the Lamas| ©xiquinhosilva

In March, the Temple of the Lamas in Beijing offers a very beautiful natural spectacle during the peach blossom, which is highlighted by pink flowers that create a magical and colorful landscape that you can discover during a walk.

The peach blossom is a very popular event among locals and tourists alike, and attracts crowds of people every year. In addition to enjoying the natural scenery, visitors can also participate in religious ceremonies and activities at the temple such as incense burning and prayer.

Typical food stalls are also set up, which are often included in the best food tours in Beijing.

During this experience, in addition to enjoying the beauty of nature, you can also learn a little more about Buddhist culture and traditions at this important place of worship.

Book the Summer Palace, Lama Temple and Panda Garden tour

9. Get seasonal closing discounts at Silk Market

Silk Market| ©Wendy Stirba
Silk Market| ©Wendy Stirba

The Beijing Silk Market, one of the most famous silk markets in China, is a place where visitors can find silk products, clothing, jewelry, watches, handicrafts and many other items. This market is located in the central business district of the city and is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.

The seasonal closing of the Beijing Silk Market occurs in March and during this time vendors offer great discounts on their products. It is a great opportunity for buyers to get amazing deals, especially on clothing and silk.

Discounts offered during the seasonal closing range from 30% to 70% off on products of different quality. Also, vendors are willing to negotiate prices, so it is always advisable to bid lower and try to bargain for an even better price.

Every March brings a great opportunity to get great discounts at the Silk Market, so if you are planning to visit Beijing during the third month of the year, don't miss a unique opportunity to get great deals on some of the best Chinese products.

10. Enjoy the spring food!

Dumplings| ©Ewan Munro
Dumplings| ©Ewan Munro

In Beijing, spring food is very popular in March. You can try dishes like egg roll with onion, glutinous rice with red beans and egg dumplings. The Chinese capital is known for the quality of its food, so don't miss the opportunity to try some of the local dishes during your visit.

Among the most popular spring food dishes in Beijing are spring rolls, which are stuffed with fresh vegetables and served with a sauce. It is also common to eat spring vegetable soup, which is made with fresh seasonal vegetables.

Lacquered duck, which can be enjoyed year-round, is particularly popular during the spring, although you can also find it if you visit Beijing in winter, and is one of the classics of the capital's cuisine. It is also considered a celebratory dish served on special occasions.

Book a gastronomic tuk tuk tour

Temperatures in Beijing in March

Beijing in March| ©Cory M. Grenier
Beijing in March| ©Cory M. Grenier

In March, the temperature in Beijing improves substantially after the winter cold. The minimum is 2 °C and the maximum is 16 °C, although average temperatures of 14 °C are common. In general, I recommend packing warm clothes to cope with the cooler days, although you will at least avoid the rains.

Towards the end of March the weather becomes warmer and more pleasant, making it an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the city before the arrival of the summer tourists.

Beijing's tourist flow in March

Palace| ©Álvaro Verdoy
Palace| ©Álvaro Verdoy

March is part of Beijing's off-season, so there is a smaller influx of tourists than in summer, although towards the end of the month spring begins to draw visitors as the weather becomes more pleasant and it is a good time to explore outdoor sites such as the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven.

In addition, March is the month of the Peach Blossom Festival, an annual event that attracts many visitors to the city to see the beautiful blossoming trees and enjoy festival-related activities. It is also a great opportunity to enjoy Beijing's best bicycle tours.

In general, although the tourist crowds in March in Beijing are not as high as in other months, it is still a good idea to book in advance and plan an itinerary to avoid crowds and make the most of your time in the city.

Prices in Beijing in March

Forbidden City| ©Seba Della y Sole Bossio
Forbidden City| ©Seba Della y Sole Bossio

March is considered one of the off-season months in Beijing, which means that prices for tourists may be lower compared to the summer months. However, prices can vary depending on various factors and March is a very dynamic month.

Prices for accommodation, meals and transportation in Beijing during March are inexpensive as there is less demand from tourists. In addition, some hotels and restaurants may offer special promotions. However, it is worth noting that some tourist sites, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, maintain the same admission prices throughout the year.

Also, during the Chinese Golden Week, which usually takes place in early March, prices for transportation and accommodation tickets may increase due to the large number of tourists visiting the city, especially from the domestic market, but other than these cases it is an economical time to visit the Chinese capital.

What to pack to visit Beijing in March

Luggage| ©Ezequiel Garrido
Luggage| ©Ezequiel Garrido

In March in Beijing you will find dry but somewhat cold weather, especially during the first few days of the month, so I recommend packing your suitcase with the following items:

  • Winter coat
  • Wool scarf
  • Warm gloves
  • Woolen hat
  • Warm and comfortable boots or shoes
  • Thermal clothing
  • Thick pants
  • Wool sweaters or jackets
  • Wool socks
  • Thermal T-shirt