How to Travel from Beijing to Xi’an

Xi’an sits right in the heart of China, roughly 1,200 kilometers (about 750 miles) southwest of Beijing. It’s renowned for its deep historical roots and vibrant cultural significance, marking the beginning of the ancient Silk Road. Many travelers opt to include Xi’an in their Beijing tours as it’s steeped in history and culture, offering diverse attractions and experiences.

If you’re planning a trip from Beijing to Xi’an, you’ve got a few travel choices at your disposal. You can reach Xi’an from Beijing through various means such as flights, high-speed trains, or overnight sleeper trains. In this guide, we’ll delve into the specifics of each option for your journey.

 

Travel from Beijing to Xi’an by High-Speed Train (Recommended)

  • Starting Station: Beijing West Railway Station
  • Arrival Station: Xi’an North Railway Station
  • Duration: roughly 4-6 hours
  • Ticket Prices: Business Class (CNY 1,627.5 – CNY 1,815.5), First Class (CNY 824.5 – CNY 922.5), Second Class (CNY 515.5 – CNY 577.5)
  • Train Schedule: about 20 pairs of high-speed trains per day

If you’re considering a high-speed train from Beijing to Xi’an, you’ve got a plethora of options to pick from. Approximately 20 pairs of high-speed trains make daily trips between Beijing West Railway Station and Xi’an North Railway Station. These trains zip along at a rapid 300 km/h (186 mph) pace, completing the 1,216 km (756 mi) journey in roughly 4 to 6 hours. Ticket prices fluctuate based on the seating class, typically averaging between CNY 515.5 to 577.5 (USD 70 – 80) for a second-class seat. It’s wise to book your tickets ahead of time as these trains are highly sought after and tend to sell out swiftly. You can reserve your tickets either online or at the station.

 

Beijing West Railway Station

The Beijing West Railway Station sits on East Lianhuachi Road, in Beijing’s Fengtai District. It’s a major transportation hub and among the largest and most bustling railway stations across China. This station connects travelers to destinations in various parts of south-central, southwest, northwest, and south China, offering both high-speed and regular train services.

With a sleek, expansive four-story building, the station is well-equipped to cater to travelers. The first floor serves as the arrival hall housing exit gates and luggage storage. On the second floor, you’ll find the departure hall hosting ticket offices and entrance gates. Moving up to the third floor, you’ll discover the waiting hall, which accommodates waiting rooms and boarding gates. The fourth floor is the transfer hall, where you’ll find access to the subway station, as well as several shops and restaurants.

Reaching Beijing West Railway Station is convenient via subway lines 7 or 9, both of which stop at the station. There’s also a multitude of buses servicing the station, such as bus numbers 9, 21, 40, 50, 52, 65, 67, 89, 96, 109, 122, 309, 349, 373, 387, 414, 616, 661, 663, 673, and 694. If you prefer a more direct route, taxis or private cars are also an option to get to the station.

 

From Xi’an North Railway Station to Iconic Xi’an Tourist Attractions

  • To get to the Terracotta Army, you can ride Metro Line 2 to Beidajie Station. Transfer to Line 1 to Banpo Station, then exit from the metro at Exit A. From there, catch Bus 307 to Bingmayong Station. This travel route typically takes at least 2 hours. Or, you can opt for a taxi or car ride, which costs about CNY 150 and takes around 1 hour.
  • For the Ancient City Wall in the city center, take Metro Line 2 to Yongningmen Station. It’s a short 5-minute walk to the South Gate of the Ancient City Wall, taking around 35 minutes in total. Alternatively, a taxi or car ride to the wall will cost about CNY 25 and take 15 minutes.
  • Traveling to the Shaanxi History Museum involves taking Metro Line 2 to Xiaozhai Station, followed by a 15-minute walk to the museum, totaling around 45 minutes. A taxi or car ride to the museum costs about CNY 35 and takes 25 minutes.
  • To reach the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, take Metro Line 2 to Dayanta Station. It’s a 10-minute walk to the pagoda, requiring about 40 minutes in total. A taxi or car ride there costs about CNY 30 and takes 20 minutes.
  • For Tang Paradise, take Metro Line 2 to Dayanta Station. It’s approximately a 15-minute walk to Tang Paradise, making the journey about 45 minutes. Alternatively, a taxi or car ride will cost about CNY 35 and take around 25 minutes.

Recommended Tours in Xi’an:

 

Travel from Beijing to Xi’an by Airplane (Fastest)

  • Duration: 2-2.5 hours
  • Ticket Costs: CNY 600 to CNY 2,200
  • From: Beijing Capital International Airport and Daxing International Airport
  • To: Xi’an Xianyang International Airport

When traveling from Beijing to Xi’an by plane, you’ve got a few options available to you. Daily flight frequencies can fluctuate based on dates and availability, but typically there are around 30 flights each day from both Beijing Capital International Airport and Daxing International Airport to Xi’an Xianyang Airport. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines are the two carriers offering nonstop flights on this route.

Air travel is the quickest and most convenient method, taking approximately 2 to 2.5 hours for the journey. However, it tends to be the priciest option, with one-way ticket costs ranging between CNY 600 to CNY 2,200. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the extra time and expenses involved in getting to and from the airports, situated at a distance from the city centers.

 

From Xi’an Xianyang International Airport to Top Xi’an Tourist Attractions

Xi’an boasts several prominent attractions like the Terracotta Army, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the City Wall, the Muslim Quarter, and the Shaanxi History Museum. When traveling from Xi’an Xianyang International Airport to these places, you have various transport options to consider.

  • To reach the Terracotta Army, one route involves taking the Airport Shuttle Bus Airport – Xi’an Railway Station Line to Xi’an Railway Station, followed by Bus Line 42 to Fangzhicheng Transportation Hub. Then, board Tourism Line 5 or 306 to Terracotta Warriors bus station, followed by a 650-meter (710 yards) walk to Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum. This journey usually takes 2-3 hours and costs around CNY 30. Alternatively, a taxi ride to the Terracotta Army costs approximately CNY 180-270 and takes about 65 minutes.
  • For the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, taking the Airport Shuttle Bus Jiyuan Hotel Line to Jiyuan Hotel, followed by a 10-minute walk to Xiaozhai Station and a ride on Metro Line 3 to Dayanta Station, can get you there in around 1.5-2 hours for about CNY 30. A taxi to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda costs about CNY 130-190, taking approximately 60 minutes.
  • Traveling to the City Wall involves a similar route to the Jiyuan Hotel, then a walk to Xiaozhai Station and a metro ride to Zhonglou Station for about 1.5-2 hours at around CNY 30. A taxi costs approximately CNY 100-150, taking about 50 minutes.
  • For the Muslim Quarter, following the Jiyuan Hotel Line and taking Metro Line 3 to Beidajie Station, transferring to Metro Line 1 to Zhonglou Station, and walking for about 15 minutes can get you there in approximately 2-2.5 hours for about CNY 30. Alternatively, a taxi costs around CNY 100-150, taking about 50-60 minutes.
  • Heading to the Shaanxi History Museum involves a similar transportation route with a similar time frame of 1.5-2 hours and a cost of around CNY 30. A taxi will cost approximately CNY 110-180, and take about 50 minutes.

 

Travel from Beijing to Xi’an by an Overnight Train (Slow but Budget)

Starting Station: Beijing West Railway Station

Arrival Station: Xi’an Railway Station

Distance: 1,200 km (746 mi) – 1,279 km (795 mi)

Duration: 11.5-17 hours

Train Schedules: Around 10 pairs of regular overnight trains

If you’re considering traveling from Beijing to Xi’an via an overnight train, you have various options to choose from. Around 10 pairs of regular overnight trains operate between Beijing West Railway Station and Xi’an Railway Station. Soft sleeper tickets typically range from CNY 435.5 – 460.5 (USD 60 – 64), hard sleeper from CNY 292.5 – 308.5 (USD 41 – 43), and hard seats from CNY 148.5 – 156.5 (USD 21 – 22). Among these, the Z19/20 trains are often recommended for their relatively shorter travel time.

These overnight trains offer different types of seats including deluxe soft sleeper, soft sleeper, hard sleeper, and hard seat. The deluxe soft sleeper is the most comfortable and expensive option, featuring a private cabin with two berths, a sofa, a table, and a private bathroom. The soft sleeper is also comfortable but accommodates four berths in one cabin with a shared bathroom. The hard sleeper is cheaper but comprises six berths in an open cabin without a door or curtain for privacy. The hard seat is the least comfortable and cheapest option, often crowded, noisy, and not ideal for a long journey. For a lengthy trip like Beijing to Xi’an, choosing a sleeper option is advisable for a more restful journey. Hard seats might be uncomfortable and tiring for most travelers.

Opting for an overnight train allows you to combine transport and accommodation in one, arriving at your destination in the morning, ready to explore the city. However, compared to high-speed trains or flights, the overnight train might be less comfortable, especially with hard seat or sleeper options. Sharing space, limited amenities, and a potentially bumpy ride are some drawbacks. It might also be less convenient and flexible compared to faster transport options with more frequent departures and shorter travel times.

Recommended Tours from Beijing to Xian:

 

From Xi’an Railway Station to Top Xi’an Tourist Attractions

Xi’an hosts various top tourist spots like the Terracotta Army, Ancient City Wall, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Muslim Quarter, and the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. If you’re traveling from Xi’an Railway Station to these attractions, you’ve got a few options:

By Metro: Using the metro line, you can reach these landmarks. For the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, take line 4 to Wanshuiquan Station, transfer to line 3, and alight at Xiaozhai Station. To visit the Ancient City Wall, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, and the Muslim Quarter, take line 4 to Beidajie Station and transfer to line 2 for Yongningmen Station or Bell Tower Station. For the Terracotta Army, take line 4 to Xingzheng Zhongxin Station, then transfer to line 1 and disembark at Fangzhicheng Station.

By Bus: Buses like no. 5, 9, 41, or 103 will take you from Xi’an Railway Station to Xiaozhai Station for the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Alternatively, buses no. 6, 11, or 46 head to South Gate Station for the Ancient City Wall, or buses no. 4, 7, or 43 stop at Bell Tower Station for the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, and the Muslim Quarter. Buses no. 914 or 915 go from Xi’an Railway Station to Bingmayong (Terracotta Army) Station for the Terracotta Army.

By Taxi: Taxis are available to these attractions from Xi’an Railway Station, with fares around CNY 30 (USD 4) to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, CNY 15 (USD 2) to the Ancient City Wall, CNY 10 (USD 1) to the Bell Tower, and approximately CNY 120 (USD 16) to the Terracotta Army.