Shenyang has a humid continental climate which is characterised by extremes. Summers (June through August) are hot and humid, whilst winters (November through March) are dry and bitterly cold.
During summer, temperatures are usually in the 20s but can reach the 30s Celsius. If you’re looking for a holiday in the sun this can be the perfect time to visit, on the other hand you are free to escape the heat by exploring the many indoor attractions, such as The Mukden Imperial Palace. Before booking your flight to Shenyang, you should bear in mind that rainfall increases during this period, with most rainfall occurring in July and August.
Spring (April through May) and autumn (September through October) are good times to book a flight if you wish to avoid both the heat of summer and cold of winter. During spring, Shenyang will be decorated by lush green plants, whilst autumn will greet you with sunshine nearly every day. The climate of these periods, with temperatures on average anywhere between 4 and 23 degrees, lends itself perfectly to exploring the city. There is significantly less rain in these months, compared to summer, however, you may still need an umbrella.
If book your flight to Shenyang for winter, you must be prepared for the cold weather. Temperatures are usually below freezing and can reach as low as -16 degrees in the coldest month of January. March and November are slightly warmer with temperatures on average between -4 and 7 degrees. Winter can be a beautiful time to visit Shenyang, when the city sees some snow and many festivals occur, such as, the Ice & Snow Festival. Starting in December, this festival allows international and local visitors the chance to enjoy a whole host of entertainment, try their hand at skiing and admire magnificent ice and snow sculptures. Other examples of celebrations during this time are, Chinese New Year, which sees parties with dragon dancers, fireworks, lots of eating, drinking and merriment and also the Temple Fair, where you can watch traditional folk dancing, see local craftwork and taste delicious food at a number of temples across the city. Both of these take place in February. These popular events can see an increase in visitors to the area and in addition to more people visiting during winter for the ski season, this can in turn see an increase in flight prices and hotel rates. It is therefore advised to book in advance to get better deals.
Like most cities in China, Shenyang offers each visitor a rare glimpse into the unusual merger between past and present. Nestled within the bustling metropolitan landscape lies a curious array of ancient monuments steeped in local history and culture. Despite its initial overly-industrialised feel, this city has so much to offer a keen-eyed and adventurous traveller. There are sites to whet the appetite of just about everyone, whether you prefer to seek out the remnants of an ancient Chinese dynasty or simply want a boutique shopping experience in the heart of the city.
The Mukden Imperial Palace, home of the early Qing dynasty, is a great place to start your trip. Besides Beijing’s Forbidden Palace, it is the only other of its kind, making it a real must-see when in Shenyang. Once you’ve spent the morning strolling through these opulent Imperial rooms, complete your journey into the ancient world by exploring the Zhaoling and Fuling tombs of the Qing dynasty emperors, finishing off with a stop at the Liaobin Pagoda.
After you’ve had your fill of palatial architecture and ancient folklore, it’s time to get into the heart of modern China. Enjoy a walk through the Botanical Gardens, especially in spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom, before heading to Zhongshan Square. Not only is this a great point to begin a shopping trip, but for many, this is also a wonderful place to sit, relax and enjoy the mesmerising city lights before heading to a nearby bar or restaurant to sample the local beer or sushi.
Most travellers with arrive at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport (SHE), which is located 20 km south of the city centre. Passengers usually depart from the airport in two ways. Firstly, there is a regular shuttle bus that travels to the nearby train station. Or, you have the option of travelling by taxi, but it’s always important to agree your fee with the driver before setting off.
As well as the shuttle bus and taxi service, Shenyang also has a very developed transport system. The inner city buses can take you wherever you need to go, but unless you can read Chinese, it’s best to pick up an area map. In addition to the large central train station, there is also a metro line that will take you both north and south of the city.