How to Travel from Xian to Tibet (Lhasa)

Xian, China’s ancient capital seeing the vicissitudes of 13 dynasties, enjoys a long-standing history. Together with Beijing and Shanghai, it is a must for every first comer to China. Traveling to Xian helps you explore China’s breathtaking antique and mysterious story through its extraordinary archaeological sights. In addition, Xian is also a gateway to Tibet if you want to travel to Tibet after you admire the stupendous scenery of China. In 641, Princess Wencheng was granted by Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty to King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet for marriage. It took her about half a year to get to Lhasa from capital Chang’an (present Xian) by carriage. But now, you are able to have a Xian Tibet tour much more conveniently and comfortably.

Why Travel from Xian to Tibet

·Convenience to Reach Xian: Located in the heart location of China, Xian is one of the major transportation junctions in China. You can easily get to Xian by flights and high speed trains after your tour in China’s other tourist cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Chengdu, etc. There are also some international flights to Xian directly.

·Two Destinations with Different Beauty : As the old capital city and the Buddhist land, Xian and Tibet are two destinations with different beauty. In Xian, you can probe into China’s old history by discovering the numerous cultural sites. Visiting Tibet allows you to see the heavenly high-plateau views and sublime Buddhist culture. In Xian and Tibet, you can also enjoy their different cuisine and featured snacks.

·Easy Transportation between Xian and Tibet: With a linear distance of about 1,300km, Xian and Lhasa (provincial capital of Tibet) are connected by air routes and railways. There are daily flights and trains between Xian and Lhasa. It is quite convenient to travel between them.

How to Transfer between Xian and Tibet

How to Get to Tibet from Xian

Xian Xianyang International Airport, located about 25km northwest of Xian city center, is the main airport serving Xian. It operates both domestic and international flights to/off Xian. At present, there are daily domestic flights between Xian and most major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Kunming, Changsha, Xiamen, Nanjing, Qingdao, etc. As for international flights, Xian is connected with Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc.

High speed train becomes more and more popular for China travel. Xian can be reached by high speed trains from many tourist destinations, economical center and nearby cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Kunming, Guiyang, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, etc.

Xian Tibet Flights

Generally, there are about 7 flights from Xian to Lhasa, including 5 nonstop flights and 2 direct flights with a stop at Xiahe or Xining. The fastest flight takes only 3 hours and 20 minutes. We suggest you take a morning flight so you will get more time to adapt the high altitude. Besides, there are 1 ~ 2 daily flights to Nyingchi and Shigatse. So it is also available to take a flight from Xian to Nyingchi or Shigatse before traveling to Lhasa. You are suggested to take a morning flight to Tibet, so you will have time to take a rest and acclimatize the high altitude. Check more about Xian Lhasa Flights> for reference only.

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Ticket(Full Price)
Xianyang Airport
Gonggar Airport
3h 25m - - TW - - - Airbus A319
2280 ¥
Economy Class
Xianyang Airport
Gonggar Airport
3h 20m S - T - TF - Airbus A319
2280 ¥
Economy Class
Kunming Airport
Gonggar Airport
4h 15m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
2280 ¥
Economy Class
Xianyang Airport
Gonggar Airport
4h 30m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
2280 ¥
Economy Class
Xianyang Airport
Gonggar Airport
3h 20m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
Economy Class
Xianyang Airport
Gonggar Airport
3h 20m SM - - TFS Airbus 319
2280 ¥
Economy Class

>> 7 Days Xian Lhasa Tour by Flight

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Xian Lhasa Trains

Though there is no train departing from Xian to Lhasa, the trains from Shanghai and Guangzhou to Lhasa both take a stop in Xian. The whole train journey from Xian to Tibet takes about 31~32 hours, much shorter than trains from Beijing (40 hours), Shanghai (46 hours) and Guangzhou (53 hours). The train journey is amazing, especially in the Xining Lhasa section, and you can enjoy divers beautiful scenery along the road. Check more about Xian Lhasa Trains>

>> 7 Days Tibet Tour from Xian by Qinghai Tibet Railway

>> 10 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Memory Tour by Train

What to See in Xian and Tibet

What to See in Xian

Xian Tibet Tour

World-shaking Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Terracotta Warriors and Horses, as Xian’s premier attraction, is a large collection of life-sized soldiers and horses with vivid expressions. It has guarded the mausoleum of China’s first emperor – Qinshihuang for more than 1,800 years. Considered as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, it is a must-see if you travel to Xian.

Various Theme Museums

There are lots of museums which are exhibited with different historical collections in Xian. Shaanxi History Museum is the most impressive one with a huge number of artifacts. Extremely well-organized chronologically with detailed English information boards about the various dynasties, cultural, religious and economic history over past few thousand years, it delivers much knowledge to every traveler. Forest of Stone Steles Museum is collected with the steles, calligraphy exhibits and imperial hitching posts from all over the China. If you are really into calligraphy, half a day is needed to visit. Xian Banpo Museum is remarkable as a civilization run by women. You can take a close look into how people lived there 6,000 years ago. Moreover, there are Xian Qujiang Museum of Fine arts, Huanguanmen Site Museum of Xian Tang City Wall, Xianyang Museum and Qinling Underground Palace’s Exhibition Hall and so on to provide you different experience. In order to understand the exhibitions better, you are suggested to travel with a professional travel guide.

Old Structures

Xian has many old structures till now. Xian once was a walled city in ancient times and the massive city wall divides the city into the inner part and the outer part. Xian Ancient City Wall, also called Xian Ming Dynasty City Wall rebuilt in Ming Dynasty (1368~1644), is the largest, earliest and most complete city wall that has survived in China. It is available to have a leisurely stroll or biking on the city wall. Bell Tower and Drum Tower, located in the heart of Xian city, is a symbol of this city. Both of them were built around 1830. Climbing to the top of one of them, you can get a wonderful view of the Xian city and surrounding quarters. Big Giant Pagoda, another famous landmark of Xian, is one of China’s perfect examples of Tang-style pagoda. The surrounding Da Cien Temple can also date back to Tang Dynasty.

Others: It is also recommended to pay a visit to Muslim Quarter especially at night for some of the best street food of your life and a pretty amazing atmosphere. Muslim Quarter is also full of stalls selling different kinds of handicrafts and souvenirs. There are several song and dance shows performed in Xian to enjoy, like Tang Dyansty Show, A Song of Everlasting Sorrow, Xian Tangle Palace, etc.

What to See in Tibet

Xian Tibet Tour

Holy Buddhist Palaces & Monasteries

As a Buddhist kingdom, Tibet is dotted with some palaces and numerous monasteries and temples. Potala Palace, listed in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites, is the landmark of Lhasa and Tibet. As the winter palace of Dalai Lamas, it once was the traditional administrative center of Tibet. Its red and white architecture is so attractive that many shutter bugs visit Lhasa to take some nice shots of it. Visiting Jokhang Temple is a real discovery in the mysterious land. Housing the life-sized statue of the Shakyamuni at his age of 12 which is brought to Tibet by Wencheng Princess in Ming Dynasty, Jokhang Temple has attracted endless pilgrims. Sera Monastery is another important in Lhasa. The featured Buddhist scripture debating is held there. Tashilhunpo Monastery, located in Shigatse, is the seat of successive Panchen Lamas. It enjoys a sprawling amalgam of traditional Tibetan monastic style and all halls, chapels and other structures are connected by precipitous steps and narrow alleys. Palcho Monastery in Gyantse is well-known for its Nepal-style Kumbum Stupa. The stupa is cherished with diverse Buddhist statues and murals. In addition, there are countless Buddhist monasteries and temples, like Drepung Monastery, Ganden Monastery, Samye Monastery, Ramoche Monastery, etc.

Snow-covered Mountains

Honored as the Roof of the World, Tibet is also a land of mountains. There are four world-famous mountains locates in or through Tibet, including, Himalaya Ranges, Gangdis Ranges, Kunlun Mountains and Karakoram Peaks. The first peak in Tibet must be Mount Everest –the highest peak in the world. Located on the border between Nepal and China, it is the dreamland of mountaineering adventurer. Regular travelers are able to get a glimpse of its charming face as well. For religious followers of Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, Mount Kailash (located in Ngari) is holy center of the world. Apart from its religious influence, its natural appearance is also enchanting. Namjagbarwa Peak, located in Nyinchi, is sky-scraping with its majestic appearance and precipitous shape. There are also many glaciers around the peak.

Sacred Lakes

Tibet enjoys the best scenery of high plateau lakes in China. Among over 1,500 lakes in Tibet, most are situated on the land with an attitude above 4,000 meters. Namtso Lake, Yamdrok Lake and Manasarovar Lake are three greatest sacred lakes in Tibet. With the water supply from the melting snow water, all of them are purely clean and tranquil. The views around the lakes are always beautiful as well, like the touchable blue sky, brilliant snow-capped peaks, some Tibetan animals, etc.

Other High Altitude Landscape: Because of the special location and climate, Tibet is blessed with many other natural landscapes, like glaciers, forest, prairies, etc. Recommended attractions include Karola Galicer, Midui Glacier and Lulang Forest and so on.

Helpful Links: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Tibet| Three Holiest Lakes | Top 10 Most Monasteries in Tibet

>> 4 Days Holy City Lhasa Private Tour - Heart of Tibet

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>> 8 Days Lhasa Mount Everest Private Tour

How to Plan a Xian Tibet Tour

Usually a classic Xian Tibet tour can be either long or short, but it needs at least 6 days for arrival, sightseeing and arrival.

In 6 days tour, you can have enjoy 6 Days Xian Lhasa Highlights tour

Day 1: Xian Arrival. You can get to Xian by flight or high speed train.

Day 2 ~ 3: Xian Sightseeing and Flight to Lhasa. You can spend 2 days visiting the highlights of Xian city, including Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter and Shaanxi History Museum. After sightseeing on Day 3, take a flight to Lhasa.

Day 4 ~ 6: In next 3 days, you can visit the landmarks of Lhasa, including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Moanstery, Sera Monastery, Norblingka and Barkor Street.

Day 7: Lhasa Departure.

If you don’t want to miss the incredible landscape along Qinghai-Tibet Railway, choose a train journey from Xian to Tibet instead, or take a flight to Xining first and then take a train to Lhasa.

>> 8 Days Lhasa Mount Everest Private Tour ( Lhasa / Shigatse / Everest)

Most of our customers started their tour from Beijing and spend 2 ~ 3 days traveling Beijing or Shanghai, then take a high speed train to Xian and finally visit Tibet.

>> 10 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Memory Tour by Train

>> 9 Days Wonderful Shanghai Xian Lhasa Contrast Tour

Necessary Permits for a Xian Tibet Tour(Dont Worry! We Will Obtain All the Permits For You)

Tibet Entry Permit

Tibet Entry Permit, also called TTB permit, is necessary for any non-Chinese passport holders who want to visit Tibet. Without this permit, you can’t board the train or flight from Xian to Tibet. It is only issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau and applied by travel agency on behalf of travelers. It needs about 15 days to apply it. Learn more >

Tibet Border Pass

Visiting some remote destinations (like Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Manasarovar Lake…) in the border area between Tibet and other countries, Tibet Border Pass is a must. Issued by Tibet Armed Police Border Corps, it can’t be applied by travelers individually, neither. You need to contact a Tibet travel agency like Tibet Discovery to apply it. Learn more >

Alien Travel Permit

When foreign travelers travel other prefectures beyond Lhasa, such as Shigatse, Shannan, Ngari, you must get an Alien Travel Permit. This permit can be applied after your arrival in Tibet. Your tour guide will take you original passport and Chinese visa to apply for the permit. It takes only about 30 minutes to get the permit usually. Learn more >

Chinese Visa

Chinese Visa, issued by Chinese Embassy or Consulate for foreign travelers, is a must document to entry into China. It is also necessary to apply the different travel permits before or during your trip. If you travel from Kathmandu, instead of Xian, to Tibet, Tibet Group Visa will be a substitute of Chinese Visa. Learn more >

Tips for Xian Tibet Tour

Independent Travel Not Allowed

In order to protect the fragile environment and local culture, all non-native passport holders need to use the travel service from an authorized agency, like Tibet Discovery. Tour itinerary and services can be tailor-made.

High Altitude Sickness

Every traveler should pay special attention to high altitude sickness – a possible uncomfortable pathological reaction in high plateau when the oxygen is thin. Before your journey to Tibet, you are suggested to take a full physical examination and ask your doctor to make sure you can visit Tibet. During your trip, avoid doing strenuous exercise and remember to always keep warm. Starting your trip from lower-altitude area (like Lhasa) to higher-altitude area (Shigarse, Everest, Ngari...) will be helpful.

Best Time for a Xian Tibet Travel

In general, you can visit Xian all the year around. But in summer holiday (July & August) and some big festivals (like National Day), it will be crowded. Lhasa is available to travel in all months. But if you want to extend your tour to Namtso, Mount Everest and Mount Kailash, please travel in late April ~ early October. Because the temperature might be rather low and the road might be frozen in other months. It will not be safe and comfortable to drive. The most comfortable time for Tibet travel is May ~ November.

Packing and Wearing Ideas

Traveling to Tibet, two bags (a large backpack and a smaller carry-on bag) are recommended. It will be convenient to put your documents and valuables in your carry-on bag. It is also important to bring warm clothing. You’d better dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets) that you can easily add or remove as the temperature changes frequently. Since the air is rather thin, you need some stuff like sunscreen cream or hats to protect you from the strong sunlight.

Most Recommended Xian Tibet Tour Packages

Customize Your Own China Tibet Trip

Which destinations do you want to visit in China?

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Beijing (City of heritage sites)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Xian (Heart of ancient China)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Shanghai (Fashion or tradition?)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Hong Kong (Where East meets West)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Chengdu (Hometown of Giant Panda)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Guilin (Stunning rivers and villages)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Yunnan (Diverse scenery and culture)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Zhangjiajie (Real Avatar World)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Jiuzhaigou (Fairyland on earth)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Dunhuang (Heart of Chinese Art)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Yangtze Cruise (Relaxing and enjoyable)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Huangshan (Most poetic mountains)

The Others

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  • Choose or tell us your favorite destinations
  • Provide your travel style, dates, group size, contact info
  • Our specialist send your itinerary, quotation by email within 24hrs


1.Our experts will get back to you within 24 hours.

2.Based in Lhasa, you can rely on our knowledge!

Contact Us


Which destinations do you want to visit in Tibet ?

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Lhasa (Cultural and traffic center)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Mount Everest (Highest peak in the world)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Namtso Lake (Unbelievable pure holy lake)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Shigatse (Gate to Everst/Kailash)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Gyantse (Historical city of hero)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Nyingchi (Switzerland Landscape)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Mount Kailash (Dream for pilgrims & hikers)

  • Travel to Tibet from China

    Shannan (Trace of Tibetan civilization)

The Others


Only 3 Steps to GO

  • Choose or tell us your favorite destinations
  • Provide your travel style, dates, group size, contact info
  • Our specialist send your itinerary, quotation by email within 24hrs


1.Our experts will get back to you within 24 hours.

2.Based in Lhasa, you can rely on our knowledge!

Contact Us


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