Travel to Tibet by Train

Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the highest railway in the world.

Those who want to visit Tibet usually choose to take sky train on the world’s highest railway, that is the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. This is also the only railway to Tibet up to now, extending to a distance of 1,956 kilometers. Since the official operation of Qinghai-Tibet Railway in 2006, numerous foreign travelers are attracted to take a train to Tibet by the breathtaking scenery along the trainway, like the clear blue sky and white clouds, the grasslands with yaks and sheep, snow-covered mountains, shivering rivers, etc.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, as the only railway connecting mainland China and Tibet, is very busy all year round. Tourists choose to travel to Lhasa by train, not only because of the stunning scenery along the railway, but also the gradual ascent of altitude. Currently, 7 major cities have direct trains to Lhasa, including Xining, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Lanzhou. Among these cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu are most popular gateway cities to Tibet and considered as the first stops of China tour.

Taking a train to Tibet is very convenient and cheap, so having a Tibet train tour is very popular and attractive for both domestic and foreign tourists. While, the train tickets to Tibet are in large demands and sold out very quickly, due to the prevalence of sky train. Therefore, it is quite difficult for individual travelers to get a train ticket to Tibet in peak tourism season. When you confirm your trip to Tibet, you should contact a Tibetan local travel agency at once to book the tickets for you.

If you think taking trains to Tibet from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou is too long and you may feel exhausted, you can choose to transfer to Xining by flights first. Xining is the nearest city to Tibet and also the starting point of Qinghai-Tibet Railway, so you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes and have a shorter train tour. Moreover, there are more trains passing and starting from Xining, thus taking a train from Xining to Tibet is more convenient.

Train from Beijing to Tibet

At present, there is only one daily train starts from Beijing West Railway station at 20:00 and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 12:40 on the third day. This No.Z21 train takes about 40 hours and 40 minutes on the railway, covering 3753 kilometers through the major land of China.

Train from Shanghai to Tibet

The No.Z164, a daily train, departs at 20:10 from Shanghai Train station and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 19:30 on the third day. The whole duration of the sky train is about 47 hours and 20 minutes, and you will cross 6 provinces of mainland China.

Train from Chengdu to Tibet

The No.Z322 train from Chengdu to Lhasa departs every other day at 21:37 from Chengdu North Railway Station and arrive at 9:55 at Lhasa Railway Station on the third day, taking about 36h and 18m.


  1. When arriving in Lhasa, you’d better have a good rest to adapt to the high altitude, temperature, and thin air in Tibet.
  2. Because of the popularity of train tickets to Tibet, you’d better ensure your trip at least 3 months earlier so that the travel agency can book the tickets for your in advance.
  3. Before boarding the trains to enter Tibet, you should prepare and keep all the permits you need well.

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