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Urumqi Travel Guide


Urumqi is the capital city of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China, located in the northwest corner of the country. It is the largest city in the region and serves as a hub for transportation and commerce.

Urumqi is known for its unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty, making it a popular destination for travelers.

Xinjiang Urumqi International Bazaar

Chinese: 乌鲁木齐 wū lǔ mù qí

Location: Central Xinjiang

Population (urban area): 4,082,000

Why visit Urumqi?

  • Experience unique ethnic culture – Urumqi is home to a diverse mix of ethnic groups, including Uygur, Han, Kazakh, and more, each with its own distinct culture and traditions.
  • Marvel at breathtaking natural scenery – From the stunning Heavenly Lake to the snow-capped mountains and rolling grasslands, Urumqi boasts some of the most beautiful natural scenery in China.
  • Discover the city’s rich history – Urumqi has a long and fascinating history, with many ancient sites and artifacts to explore, including the Xinjiang Regional Museum.
  • Explore the bustling markets and bazaars – The Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar and other markets in Urumqi offer a unique shopping experience, with a vast array of local handicrafts, food, and souvenirs.
  • Sample delicious local cuisine – Urumqi is famous for its delicious local cuisine, including Xinjiang lamb skewers, hand-pulled noodles, and other traditional dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Top Urumqi Attractions

Urumqi Weather

Urumqi has a continental arid climate with large temperature differences between day and night. The region experiences extreme temperatures in both summer and winter, with temperatures ranging from -30°C to 40°C. The best time to visit Urumqi is from May to October when the weather is mild, and the landscapes are at their most beautiful. During this time, temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C, making it comfortable to explore the city’s attractions and natural wonders.

In the winter months, from November to April, temperatures drop below freezing, and the city experiences frequent snowfall. This time of year is not ideal for outdoor activities, but the city’s indoor attractions, such as museums and cultural sites, are still open and accessible. Visitors should be prepared for the cold weather by packing warm clothing and appropriate gear.

Xinjiang Heavenly Lake
Heavenly Lake in Summer

Urumqi Transportation

Getting to Urumqi

Getting to Urumqi is relatively easy, with daily flights from major cities in China and other international destinations. The city’s International Airport, located about 16 km northwest of the city center, is the largest airport in Xinjiang and serves as a hub for airlines such as Air China, China Southern Airlines, and Hainan Airlines. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or bus to the city center.

Getting around Urumqi

Within Urumqi, there are several transportation options available, including buses, taxis, and subways. The city has a comprehensive bus system that covers most of the city’s attractions and neighborhoods, with fares ranging from 1 to 2 yuan per ride. Taxis are also widely available and offer a convenient way to get around the city, with fares starting at 8 yuan for the first three kilometers and then increasing based on distance. The subway system, which currently has one line, is a fast and efficient way to travel between different parts of the city.

Tips for Traveling in Urumqi

Here are some useful travel tips when traveling in Urumqi:

  • Respect the local culture and customs– Urumqi is home to a diverse mix of ethnic groups, and it’s essential to respect their traditions and beliefs, especially in religious sites. Dress modestly and be mindful of local customs and etiquette.
  • Pack appropriate clothing and gear– Urumqi has a continental arid climate with large temperature differences between day and night, so it’s essential to pack clothing that is appropriate for the season and activities you plan to do. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun, and warm clothing and appropriate gear during the winter months.
  • Try the local food and snacks– Urumqi is famous for its delicious local cuisine, including Xinjiang lamb skewers, hand-pulled noodles, and other traditional dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample the local food and snacks, especially in the bustling markets and bazaars.
  • Bargain when shopping in the markets and bazaars– Bargaining is a common practice in Urumqi’s markets and bazaars. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price, but be respectful and polite.
  • Plan your transportation in advance– Urumqi is quite spread out, and traffic can be heavy, especially during rush hour. Plan your transportation in advance and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
Xinjiang Food - International Bazaar
Sample Urumqi Local Cuisine

Our Top Urumqi Tours

Below are our top recommended Urumqi Tours which offer a convenient and stress-free way to experience the top attractions and cultural highlights of Urumqi. All the tours are led by knowledgeable and experienced local guides.

One-Day Urumqi City Exploration Tour

2 Days Classic Turpan Tour from Urumqi

4 Days Urumqi Tour with Heavenly Lake and Nanshan Pasture

5 Days Best Urumqi-Kashgar Tour by Flight

See more Urumqi Tours

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