Why Shanghai Lhasa Train is Recommended?

1. No matter you choose Shanghai to Lhasa route or Lhasa to Shanghai route, Shanghai is an ideal city for both international arrival and departure because there are many international flights and cruises connecting the global world.

2. There is a daily train guaranteed for both Shanghai to Lhasa route or Lhasa to Shanghai route. You don’t have to wait another day.

3. If you travel Shanghai with Tibet by train, you will have a wonderful contrast experience – modernity and spiritual land.

The Shanghai Lhasa Train has to run as far as 4373km (2,717 miles) from eastern China to far western China, through 8 provinces, and lifts up more than 5000 meters from lower-altitude Shanghai (0m) to Tanggula Mountains (5068m). It takes about 48 hours to travel between Shanghai and Lhasa by train.

Shanghai Lhasa Train
Our dear customers Alexia and Bruno visited the Bund in Shanghai

Shanghai Lhasa Train Schedules and Fares

12 February 2020 Last updated at 19:01

Currently there are only 2 daily trains operating between Shanghai and Lhasa - Z164 from Shanghai to Lhasa and Z166 from Lhasa to Shanghai. There are 11 midway train stations along the train journey, including Suzhou, Nanjing, Bangbu, Xuzhou, Zhengzhou, Xian, Lanzhou, Xining, Delingha, Golmud, Ngachu.

Shanghai to Lhasa Train Z164 Timetable

Every day, the Train Z164 leaves Shanghai Railway Station at 20:18. After about 46 hours train riding, Z164 get to Lhasa Railway Station at 17:30 on the third day.

Railway StationsArrival TimeDeparting TimeStop DurationRiding Time
Shanghai - 20:08 - -
Suzhou 20:53 20:57 4mins 45mins
Nanjing 22:54 23:05 9min2 2hrs 46mins
Bangbu 00:34 00:49 5mins 4hrs 26mins
Xuzhou 02:04 02:12 8mins 5hrs 56mins
Zhengzhou 05:07 05:14 7mins 8hrs 59mins
Xian 11:14 11:24 10mins 15hrs 6mins
Lanzhou 18:17 18:34 17mins 22hrs 9mins
Xining 21:07 21:27 20mins 24hrs 59mins
Delingha 01:29 01:31 2mins 28hrs 21mins
Golmud 04:15 04:34 25mins 32hrs 07mins
Nagchu 14:56 15:10 6mins 42hrs 46mins
Lhasa 19:30 - - 47hrs 22mins

Lhasa to Shanghai Train Z166 Timetable

The returning train Z166 departs from Lhasa Railway Station at 11:25am, and arrives at Shanghai Railway Station at 11:51 on the third day (about 48hrs 26 mins in total).

Railway StationsArrival TimeDeparting TimeStop DurationRiding Time
Lhasa - 11:30 - -
Nagchu 15:08 15:14 6mins 3hrs 38mins
Golmud 01:15 01:40 25mins 13hrs 45mins
Delingha 04:13 04:17 4mins 16hrs 43mins
Xining 08:55 09:15 20mins 21hrs 25mins
Lanzhou 12:11 12:32 21mins 24hrs 41mins
Xian 20:34 20:44 10mins 33hrs 4mins
Zhengzhou 02:50 02:58 8mins 39hrs 20mins
Xuzhou 05:43 05:56 15mins 42hrs 13mins
Bangbu 07:15 07:20 5mins 43hrs 45mins
Nanjing 08:53 09:01 8mins 45hrs 23mins
Wuxi 10:27 10:31 4mins 46hrs 57mins
Suzhou 10:53 10:57 4mins 47hrs 23mins
Shanghai 11:51 - - 48hrs 21mins

Shanghai Lhasa Train Ticket Fares

There are three types of seats on the Shanghai Lhasa Train - Soft Sleepers, Hard Sleeper and Hard Seat. The Soft Sleeper, with 4 comfortable berths in a private cabin is the most popular among travelers. It also provides more facilities, such as TV, Power Charge, etc. But there are only about 64 Soft Sleepers on the train. The Hard Sleeper is the second-class ticket. In the Hard Sleeper Carriage, there are 6 Hard Sleepers in a compartment. Please note that the Hard Sleeper is not “hard”. It is just not as soft as the Soft Sleepers. There also Hard Seats available. But they are not recommended for a long journey like from Shanghai to Lhasa. Check following table for details:

Shanghai to Lhasa Train Z164

Route Details Train Number Z164 Duration 47hrs 22mins Ticket Fares Shanghai-Lhasa (Arrive on the 3rd day)
Depart from Shanghai Railway Station Arrive at Lhasa Railway Station Hard Seat 402.5 (RMB)
Departing time 17:30 Arriving Time 18:25 Hard Sleeper
793.5/817.5/841.5 (RMB)
Train Type Z-series Distance 4373km Soft Sleeper
1262.5/1310.5 (RMB)

Lhasa to Shanghai Train Z166

Route Details Train Number Z166 Duration 48hrs 21mins Ticket Fares Lhasa-Shanghai (Arrive on the 3rd day)
Depart from Lhasa Railway Station Arrive at Shanghai Railway Station Hard Seat 402.5 (RMB)
Departing time 11:30 Arriving Time 11:51 Hard Sleeper
793.5/873/913 (RMB)
Train Type Z-series Distance 4373km Soft Sleeper
1262.5/1310.5 (RMB)

Important Notice: Above train schedules and fares are only for reference, please contact us to catch up on the latest information. But we usually will keep them updated.

Shanghai to Lhasa or Lhasa to Shanghai?

Taking the train route from Shanghai to Lhasa or from Lhasa to Shanghai? Actually both are great ideas. According to our customer history, the amount of travelers who took the train route from Shanghai to Lhasa is larger than the amount of travelers who took trains from Lhasa to Shanghai. From the point of landscape sightseeing, Shanghai to Lhasa train journey will be more scenic because the most beautiful section of Qinghai Tibet Railway – Golmud to Lhasa can be enjoyed in the daytime. It is helpful to acclimatize the altitude as the train runs from the lower plain to the high plateau. If you want to end your Tibet trip with a leisure and fast air transfer, you can then take a train to Tibet first.

There are also two good reasons to take the opposite route (Lhasa to Shanghai): 1) it is much easier to obtain a train ticket from Lhasa to Shanghai; 2) passengers can enjoy the beautiful scenery in Qinghai Province, such as Hoh Xil and Qinghai Lake.

- Check Out What Beautiful Attractions You Will See along the Qinghai Tibet Railway Trip from Shanghai >

Shanghai Lhasa Train
A Train Is Runnig on Tanggula Mountains

Major Stops along the Railway to Get Food Supply and Stretch Legs

During the train journey more than 47 hours between Shanghai and Lhasa, there are 11 midway train stations along the train journey for passengers to get on and get off the train, including Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing, Bangbu, Xuzhou, Zhengzhou, Xian, Lanzhou, Xining, Golmud, Ngachu. For the passengers who take the whole train journey, you can use the stopping time to stretch your legs, breath some fresh airs and get some supplies of food and drinks.


The Shanghai Lhasa train usually take a stop around 6~9 minutes at Nanjing Railway Station. Nanjing used to be the Capital City of Six Dynasties in China’s history and has brilliant cultural heritage. It is only about 2 hours train ride from Shanghai, and famous for Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, Confucius Temple, Qinhuai River, Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, etc.


The capital city of Henan Province – Zhengzhou is an ancient city which has a history over 3000 years. It is located near the Yellow River. The most popular place in Zhengzhou is the world famous – Shaolin Temple. The train will stop at Zhengzhou for 7~8 minutes.


After 15 hours’ train trip, you will get to the most magnificent ancient capital city in China – Xian. Though you can’t get off the train to visit the world famous heritage site Terracotta Warriors which is about an hour’s driving from Xian downtown, you can still feel the historical atmosphere in this great ancient city. The train usually stops for 10 minutes at Xian Railway Station.


Lanzhou is the city of Yellow River. The Shanghai Lhasa train will stop for 15 minutes at Xining Railway Station. You can use the stopping time to stretch your legs and get food supply if necessary. Lanzhou Hand-pulled Noodle is the most famous snack there. The city Lanzhou is also the transportation hub of northwestern China.


Xining is the starting point of Qinghai Tibet Railway. Currently all the China Tibet trains have to pass by Xining and go to the “sky road”. The city is famous for Qinghai Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in China. You can see the edge of the lake clearly if you take the train from Lhasa to Shanghai. While for the train from Shanghai to Lhasa, passengers can’t see the lake because it is the night time when the train passing by Qinghai Lake.


The train usually stops for 25 minutes in Golmud Railway Station. If you take train from Beijing to Lhasa, it will be around 10pm when the train gets to Golmud. If you set out from Lhasa, you will get to Golmud in the early morning around 7am when is good time to see the Tibetan antelopes.


Ngachu is a vast prefecture in Tibet with an average altitude of 4500 meters. It is the most important Livestock region in Tibet. The fresh air here will impress you strongly. The train Z164 from Shanghai to Lhasa will stop 18 minutes here.

>> 8 Days Lifetime Tibet Train Tour from Shanghai

Shanghai Lhasa Train
Nanjing City Is the Forth Station of Shanghai to Lhasa Train
Shanghai Lhasa Train
Zhengzhou If Famous for Shaolin Temple
Shanghai Lhasa Train
World Famous Terracotta Warriors in Xian
Shanghai Lhasa Train
Largest Lake in China - Qinghai Lake
Shanghai Lhasa Train
Beautiful Nagchu Grassland

Which Seat Class to should I take, Soft Sleeper, Hard Sleeper or Hard Seat?

According to our local experience, we strongly suggest travelers choose the Soft Sleeper instead of the Hard Sleeper and Hard Seat to ensure a more comfortable and safer trip because passengers will have to stay a night on the train.

Comparison between Soft Sleeper and Hard Sleeper

Soft SleeperHard Sleeper
Amount of Sleepers 4 6
Size of Sleeper Width:700mm/Length:1900mm Width:500mm/Length:1800mm
TV Yes No
Power Supply Yes No
Vacuum Flask Yes Yes
Door Yes No

Learn more about Soft Sleeper and Hard Sleeper >

(Important Notice: Since there are usually about 64 Soft Sleepers on each train to Tibet, so you’d better confirm your trip and book the train tickets as early as possible. Currently passenger can book the train ticket 30 days in advance.)

Facilities on Shanghai Lhasa Train – Life on the Train

Air Conditioning and Oxygen Supply There is an air-conditioning system on the train to create an comfortable temperatue and ensure a clean and fresh air. There are also two kinds of oxygen supply systems equipped with on the train. One is a ‘dispersion-mode’ oxygen supply system, which spreading oxygen in the train’s cars through the air-con system. The other system is directly used by passengers through independent port.
Food and Drink There is a dining carriage in the middle position of the train which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and some snacks. Only some Chinese food and cuisines are provide: rice, vegetables, meals and soups. You can also buy the packed food from the Food Trolley. Hot water is provided all the time. The water received from the washing area is not drinkable.
Luggage Storage If you are taking a Soft Sleeper, you can put your luggage or suitcases on the luggage closet above the door in each Soft Sleeper Carriage. It is about 16 inches (40cm) high and 20 inches (50cm) wide. If you are taking a Hard Sleeper, just place your luggage and suitcases on the luggage racks above the window by the side of aisle.
Toilet and Washing The toilets in Soft Sleeper Carriages are one western-style toilet and another squat toilet. While in the carriages of Hard Sleepers and Hard Seats, there are only squat toilets available. Bring toilet papers on your own. There is a simple washbasin at each side of the carriages. Only cold water is provided, undrinkable.
Compartment In the Soft Sleeper Compartment, there are a small table, a heat-retaining vacuum flask, and a trash can. Under the table is a plug to get power supply. There is also a small TV fixed on the door near the aisle. Close to the window, there is an outlet of oxygen. While in the Hard Sleeper Compartment, there are some other friendly facilities – a small table, a thermos, a dustbin.

Tibet Travel Permit and Train Travel

A Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is the MUST-DOCUMENT to take a train to Lhasa from Shanghai. Travelers need the Tibet Travel Permit to book the train ticket and board the train in Shanghai Railway Station. The photocopy of Tibet Travel Permit is also available if you don’t have the original permit in your hands. (The original permit is required if you take the trains from Chongqing, Xian and Lanzhou to Lhasa) Please remember to dumplicate at least 3 copies of Tibet Travel Permit because the permits are required for many occasions. When you checking in at railway station, the office man may take one of your Tibet Travel Permit copy away. The permit can only be issued in Tibet by the Tibet Tourism Bureau, and also can be only applied by travel agency behalf of travelers. It needs about 15~20 days to obtain the permit.

How to Apply for Tibet Travel Permit

1. Contact a us to work out and confirm an itinerary in Tibet;

2. Send us the scanned copies of your passport, and provide an available address in China(hotel or local agency) to receive your permit;

3. We apply for the Tibet Travel Permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa;

4. Once the permit is issued, we will send the original permit to you by post.

> Learn more detail about Tibet Travel Permit Application

Xian Lhasa Train and Tibet Travel Permit
A Sample of Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit)

How to Book Shanghai Lhasa Train Tickets

There are two ways to book the Train Tickets – book on your own or contact a travel agency to book for you. If you are already in Beijing or other cities in China, you can go to any of railway station to book the train tickets. Original passport and photocopy of Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is required. You can ask the conductor to provide your preferred sleepers (upper or lower) if they are available. You can also provide us your passport information, and we will book the train tickets for you online.

Some useful tips to increase the chance of successful ticket booking

1. Contact us to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit as soon as possible. Then try to book the ticket about 30 days in adance;

2. If you fail to obtain a ticket for Shanghai to Lhasa Train, you can change a starting station, such as Chengdu, Beijing, Lanzhou and Xining. These cities also offer bigger chance to get a train ticket.

Shanghai Lhasa Train
Tibet Train Soft Sleeper Compartment

How to Get to Shanghai Railway Station

Shanghai Railway Station is the only train station in Shanghai which operates trains to/off Tibet. You’d better distinguish it from Shanghai South Railway Station, Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and Shanghai West Railway Station. It is located at No. 303 of Moling Road in Jing'an Distric, about 48km from Pudong International Airport, 4.5km from the Bund, and 19km from Hongqiao Internaitonal Airport.

You can take subway Line 1, Line 3 and Line 4 to Shanghai Railway Station. And you’d better get there at least 1 hour before the train departure hour so that you have enough time to pick up ticket and check in.

How to Shorten the Shanghai Lhasa Train Travel

Distance: about 4373km

Duration: about 47hrs 10mins

Taking a train travel from Shanghai to Lhasa or from Lhasa to Shanghai, one has to spend nearly 2 full days on the train. Don’t want to spend such long time? Here are some good plans to shorten the Shanghai Lhasa train travel:

Shanghai – Beijing – Lhasa

Compared with Shanghai Lhasa train route, the Beijing Lhasa route takes only about 40 hours to finish. So you can firstly take a high speed train (about 5 hours), or take a flight (about 2.5 hours) to Beijing, then take the train Z21 to Lhasa.

Shanghai – Xian – Lhasa

It takes only about 31 hours to get to Lhasa from Xian by train. So you can board the train Z164 (from Shanghai) or Z264 (from Guangzhou) to go to Lhasa. But you firstly get to Xian first. Currently you can take both trains and flights to Xian from Shanghai. The high speed bullet trains take about 6~7 hours to reach Xian while the flights need about 2.5 hours to get to Xian.

Shanghai – Xining – Lhasa

Want the shortest train ride to Lhasa? The best way is to fly to Xining, the starting city of Qinghai Tibet Railway, then take a train to Lhasa. It takes only about 3.5 hours to fly to Xining Caojiabao Airport from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. In Xining, you can spend one or two days acclimatizing the high plateau altitude so that you want take a big risk of suffering from high altitude sickness. Since every train to Lhasa will make middle stop at Xining, so you will have a much flexible choice of trains for different hours.

Shanghai Lhasa Train
The Train Is Running on Qinghai Tibet Plateau

B-Plan for Shanghai Lhasa Train

1. Take a flight to Tibet

Taking a flight can be a good Plan-B. Currently Shanghai has only two flights connecting Lhasa - one make middle stop at Chengdu and another at Xian. It takes about 7 to 8 hours to get to Lhasa Gongga Airport. You can book the flights several months befor your trip to get to cheaper price. But the flights are usually very expensive during tourism peak seasons (May to October).

Flight NumberDepartureArrivalDuration
MU2335 06:45am 14:40am 7hrs 55mins
TV9882 14:25am 21:20pm 6hrs 55mins

(The above flight info is just for reference only. You can contact us for the updated flight schedules, ticket availabilities, price and other info.)

4 Days Best of Tibet Tour from Shanghai | 7 Days Classic Shanghai Tibet Highlights Tour | 11 Days Shanghai Lhasa Everest Impression Tour

2. Take Train to Tibet from other Cities

If you are not able to obtain a train ticket of Shanghai to Lhasa Train, you can take a train from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangzhou. You can also enlarge your choices to Lanzhou and Xining. These two cities operate two exclusive trains Z917 (Lanzhou to Lhasa) and Z6801 (Xining to Lhasa).