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What’s the Weather Like in Tibet in Winter

Time: 30-08-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Tibet's elevation ranges from about 2,000m in the valley areas to over 8,000m on some mountain peaks. Because of its high altitude, the temperature within Tibet are vary inversely with elevation, growing colder as elevation increase. The average annual air temperature is about -2°C in the plateau of north Tibet, 8°C in the valley of south Tibet, and 10°C in south-east Tibet. Most parts of Tibet have a cold weather in winter, while other parts might be warm and mild. To make sure that you have a great experience in different areas of Tibet in winter, we'll give you some ideas about the average temperature of Tibet areas, what to wear in winter, things to do in Tibet winter, and some of the most recommended routes in winter.

Tibet Winter Temperature
Tibet Winter Temperature

Part 1. Average Temperature in Lhasa and Its Surroundings
Part 2. What to Wear
Part 3. Things to do in Winter
Part 4. Popular Tours in Winter

Part 1. Average Temperature

Lhasa – Due to the small variation in annual temperature, winter in Lhasa is not as cold as people think. The daytime weather is much warmer with an average temperature of 7°C, which is higher than many northern Chinese cities. It may be very cold at night when the temperature plummet to below zero. So, it is suggested to add some warm clothes at night.

Winter Temperature of Lhasa
  Avg Temperature Max Temperature Min Temperature
Dec -0.65°C 7.7°C -9°C
Jan -1.6°C 6.9°C -10.1°C
Feb 1.1°C 9°C -6.8°C

Namtso – Namtso winter is generally long, cold, and dry with a big temperature difference between day and night. Due to the high altitude and cold weather, the lake starts to get frozen in January. Namtso winter is really cold, especially when it’s windy. If you want to go to Namtso in winter, remember to check the weather in advance as the road to Namtso might be blocked by heavy snowfall. Heavy snow may also result in slippery roads, so please be careful while driving or walking.

Winter Temperature of Namtso
  Avg Temperature Max Temperature Min Temperature
Dec -16°C - - 8°C 7.7°C -9.0°C
Jan 6.9°C -10.1°C
Feb 9.0°C -6.8°C

Nyingchi – The winter of Nyingchi is not as chilly as other parts of Tibet, especially in remote western Tibet. Instead, Nyingchi winter is warm and comfortable with the average temperature above 8°C. It snows during some cold months but the average temperature is still above 0°C.

Winter Temperature of Nyingchi
  Avg Temperature Max Temperature Min Temperature
Dec 9.8°C 1.4°C -4.4°C
Jan 8.3°C 0.5°C -5.0°C
Feb 9.5°C 2.3°C -2.7°C

Shannan – In general, the winter of Shannan is comfortable and suitable for travelling. Though the daytime weather is chilly and snowy, sunny weather can be expected every day. When night comes, the temperature will drop to minus 20 degrees due to the big temperature difference between day and night, so you’d better bring enough warm clothes.

Winter Temperature of Shannan
  Avg Temperature Max Temperature Min Temperature
Dec 0.0°C 8.9°C -7.4°C
Jan -0.4°C 8.0°C -8.3°C
Feb 2.4°C 10.0°C -5.3°C

Shigatse – Shigatse’s winter starts from December when temperature drops low. The average daytime temperature in winter is around -3 degree. Nights is very cold with temperature as low as -10 degree.

Winter Temperature of Shigatse
  Avg Temperature Max Temperature Min Temperature
Dec -2.7°C 6.8°C -12.2°C
Jan -3.7°C 5.6°C -13°C
Feb -0.8°C 7.9°C -9.4°C

EBC – During winter time, all of the mountain ranges become snow-white. Temperature of EBC is typically low in winter, especially during the morning and night. Weather is harsh with an average temperature of -17℃. Though it is extremely cold in winter, the Everest views make the trip worth it. Winter is an excellent time to visit Mount Everest Base Camp as long as you make full preparation for the harsh weather.

EBC Winter Tour
EBC Winter Tour

Winter Temperature of EBC
  Avg Temperature Max Temperature Min Temperature
Dec -20°C --10°C 4°C -14°C
Jan 4°C -17°C
Feb 4°C -14°C

Mount Kailash – Winter is not a good time to visit Kailash, since the temperature can go - 10 to -15 in the morning and evening. If there’s sun during the day, you might not feel that cold. However, it is awfully cold at night time when temperature drop to really low. Snow often falls in winter months. Heavy snow might cause the road to Kailash to be blocked. Generally, tourists do not choose to visit Kailash in winter months.

Part 2. What to Wear

As you can see above, Tibet winter is not as harsh as most people imagine. It is cold only during the night and most of the winter days are sunny and pleasant. If you want to travel to Tibet in winter, you will need a thick sweater, down jacket, long johns, woolen pants, warm shoes. Besides, don’t forget accessories like scarves, a hat, warm socks, sunglasses and gloves. If you want to go for a hiking or trekking in winter, you need to prepare more for winter trek clothing

Part 3. Things to do in Winter

Winter is a magical time to be in Tibet. There are so many beautiful sceneries to see and exciting outdoor activities to do. To ensure that you have a great winter vacation in Tibet, we have written an article that lists 10 Magical Things to Do in Tibet During Winter, including explore the Potala Palace, see the pilgrims, join a kora, and watch monks’ debate, etc. Below is our list of the top 5 must-do things in Tibet in winter. Hope it is useful and wish you a happy winter holiday!

Things to do in Winter
Things to do in Winter

1. Explore the Potala Palace
2. See the Pilgrims at Jokhang Temple
3. Join the Barkhor Kora
4. Watch Monks Debate at Sera Monastery
5. Visit Samye Monastery - the Birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism

Part 4. Top 4 Most Recommended Tibetan Tours in Winter

With towering mountain ranges, tranquil holy lakes, deep canyons, majestic natural sceneries, Tibet is a charming winter destination that never should be missed. If you are interested in seeing natural beauty and experiencing the authentic Tibetan culture, winter is the best time. Have no idea where to go? Below are some of the best itineraries that are available for winter.

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Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Ms. Ho*** from: When to get my Tibet permit

Hello, we are considering to travel in Tibet in summer. We are a family of 5, two adults and three kids, age 13(then), 10, 8. We are interested in the 10 days Mt. EBC & Namtso Lake Group tour. We are US citizens with valid 10-year Chinese multiple entry visa, which we have applied when we went to Beijing in 2019. We are currently living in South Korea.  


1. Are kids suitable (or even allowed) for this tour?  

2. If kids can join, are there any discount deals for kids?

Answered by Helen

Dear Ms. Ho***,

    Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour and welcome you to join our 10 days Mt. Everest & Namtso Lake group tour. For your questions: 1. Your kids are suitable for this tour. Travelling in Tibet is as safe for kids as it is for their parents. While the high Tibetan plateau may be the highest place on the planet, very often, the kids that visit this region are more adaptable and have fewer problems than their parents. We also have arranged wonderful Tibet tours for many families with kids such as a tour to EBC for a family with a 3-year-old son, a 9-year-old girl and a 11-year-old boy, they did have fun in Tibet and there is no problem for them. Or you can take some medicine under the guidance of doctor to prevent high altitude before enter Tibet. 2. If kids travel with you, we'll offer some discount for them, please check your email and find more detailed information. Thanks & Regards

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