Why Xian Lhasa Train is Recommended?

1. Xian is a great a hub to shorten both the long air travel and train travel from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu to Lhasa. It takes only about 31 hours to get to Lhasa by train from Xian.

2. You can choose the Train Z165 from Shanghai to Z265 from Guangzhou.

3. It is a wonderful chance to visit the world famous man-made wonder – Terracotta Warriors

Though Xian is a very important gateway city to Tibet, but it currently hasn’t operated any train route which makes Xian as the starting station. To take a train to Lhasa from Xian, one has to board a train from Shanghai or Guangzhou. The rail road lasts about 1,780 miles (2,864 km). From Xian, you have to pass only 4 midway stations (Lanzhou, Xining, Golumd and Ngachu) before final arrival at Lhasa Railway Station.

▷ How to Travel from Xian to Tibet

Xian Lhasa Train
Our dear customer Lucia and her family visited Terracotta Warriors in Xian

Xian Lhasa Train Schedules and Fares

13 December 2022 Last updated at 17:38

Every day, the Train Z165 leaves from Shanghai Railway Station at 20:08pm and gets to Xian Railway Station at 11:14, and makes a stop around 10 minutes. While the train Z265 departs from Guangzhou Railway Station, reach Xian Railway Station at 09:36am of next day, and make a stop around 9 minutes.

The Xian Lhasa Train tickets differ by ticket class. The Soft Sleepers, 4 sleepers in a private room with more facilities are the most expensive one as well as the most popular among foreign travelers; The Hard Sleepers, 6 sleepers in a compartment, are cheaper. The Hard Seats are the cheapest, but only recommended for short travel. Check following table for details about Xian Lhasa Train Schedules and Fares:

Xian Lhasa Train Timetable

Referential Currency: RMB=1USD
  • Train No.
  • Departure / Train Staiton
  • Duration
  • Seat Type / USD Price / Availability

Note: Train information is subject to final confirmation due to the delay of data occasionally.

Choose one of our Top Xian Tibet Train Tours below or chick to check All Xian Tibet Tours>

☞ 10 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Memory Tour by Train

☞ 7 Days Tibet Tour from Xian by Qinghai Tibet Railway

☞ 9 Days Wonderful Shanghai Xian Lhasa Contrast Tour

Xian to Lhasa or Lhasa to Xian?

Both Xian to Lhasa and Lhasa to Xian are good idea. You can choose it according to your itinerary in China. Since Xian is usually visited as a midway destination in a long China Tibet trip instead of the international arrival or departure city, so if you start your vacation from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, you can firstly take a flight or high speed train to Xian, then take a train to Tibet. If you start your tour from southwestern cities such as Chengdu, Kunming, Chongqing, you can take flights to Lhasa from these cities, and then take a train to Xian, and extend your vacation to Beijing, Shanghai, etc. If you want to take a flight directly from Kathmandu, you can take the Xian to Lhasa route.

Another key factor is the ticket booking. The train tickets for Xian Lhasa trains are always in a big demand. Bug generally speaking, it is a little bit easier to book a ticket for Lhasa to Xian train than Xian to Lhasa train. Currently passenger can book the train ticket 30 days before the departure.

Xian Lhasa Trains
Breathtaking Landscape along Qinghai Tibet Railway

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

Since it is a journey more than 30 hours between Xian and Lhasa by train, you may be interested in some major cities along the way where the train would stop for long time, and you can use the stopping time to stretch your legs, breath some fresh airs and get some supplies of food and drinks.


Both the train from Beijing to Lhasa or Lhasa from Beijing will take a stop around 20 minutes in the daytime at Lanzhou Railway Station. You can get off the car and get some rest and take a glimpse of this city of Yellow River. The city is known for its Lanzhou Noodles.


Xining is famous for having the largest salt lake in China – Qinghai Lake. No matter you take the train from Beijing to Lhasa, or from Lhasa to Beijing, you can see part of this beautiful plateau lake. The train usually stops at Xining for 20 minutes.


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.

Xian Lhasa Train
Beautiful Qinghai Lake in Xining, Qinghai Province
Xian Lhasa Train
Golmud View from Window on the Train

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 Xian 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.

Check All Tibet Train Facilities >

Tibet Travel Permit and Train Travel

A Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is the MUST-DOCUMENT to take a train to Lhasa from Xian. Travelers need the Tibet Travel Permit to book the train ticket and board the train in Xian Railway Station. The original permit is required. 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 will 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 Xian 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 Xian 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. If you fail to book the ticket of Xian to Lhasa train, you can try booking tickets of former stations (cities) to Lhasa, such as Zhengzhou, Xuzhou, even Shanghai. If you have managed to obtain a ticket from those cities, and your confirmed gateway city to Tibet is Xian on the Tibet Travel Permit, you have to board the train at Xian Railway Station.

2. When you find it hard to book a ticket for Xian to Lhasa train, you can change a starting station, such as Lanzhou and Xining. These two cities offer bigger chance to get a ticket.

Xian Lhasa Train
Lower Soft Sleeper on Tibet Trains

B-Plan for Xian Lhasa Train

1. Take a flight to Tibet

Xian Xianyang International Airport currently operate around 5~6 flights to Lhasa Gongga Airport each day during tourist peak season (from May to October). We suggest you take morning flight so that you can get to Lhasa in the afternoon, and have enough time to adjust yourself to the high altitude and air pressure.

☞ 7 Days Xian Lhasa Highlights Tour by Flight

2. Take Train to Tibet from other Cities

If you are not able to obtain a train ticket of Xian to Lhasa train, you can take a train from Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai, which may be longer trips but easier to get a ticket. 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). At the same time, trains from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing will also make stops at Lanzhou and Xining.

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