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Beijing to Xian?

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Perth, Australia
posts: 1,142
reviews: 32
Beijing to Xian?

Hey all, I'm in the midst of planning my 30 day trip to China.

My partner and I are spending 6 days in Beijing to start, then down to Xian for 2 nights. My question is, should we get a plane or should we train it?

I'm keen to experience a train to see all the scenery, but I am really not keen on an overnight train. I don't want to sleep on one at all. So, keeping that in mind, is there a fast train to Xian? Are tickets hard to come by? When do they get released for purchase?

Thanks very much in advance! :)

Magog, Canada
posts: 30,127
reviews: 611
1. Re: Beijing to Xian?

That is a personal choice.

Yes there is a fast train, about 5.5 hours vs 2 hours of flying (not counting that when you fly you need to get to the airport, check-in, security and wait for luggage). Tickets are released 20 days prior to travel date.

To learn about trains in China, read http://www.seat61.com/China.htm

Perth, Australia
posts: 1,142
reviews: 32
2. Re: Beijing to Xian?

Thanks so much! And for not judging about the not sleeping on a train either- I have friends who have gone and want to crucify me for not wanting the "experience". Truth be told, I've known people who have things stolen and such and it just doesn't appeal to me :)

Beijing, China
Destination Expert
for Beijing
posts: 5,000
reviews: 82
3. Re: Beijing to Xian?

I've taken the fastest train, which is 4'40", and overall the journey took about seven hours door to door. Flying, without any delays, takes about five and a half hours. Ticket availability is unpredicatble. I bought mine 4 or 5 days ahead of time and there were lots of empty seats on the day.

Magog, Canada
posts: 30,127
reviews: 611
4. Re: Beijing to Xian?

On the Beijing-Xian train you have the Deluxe soft sleeper which is a private room with your own toilet. Check that link I gave you.

Beijing, China
Destination Expert
for Guilin, Xi'an, Tibet
posts: 4,747
reviews: 3
5. Re: Beijing to Xian?

There are plenty of bullet train for 5-6 hrs daily, but only one 4'40" train operating daily early afternoon. For high speed line Beijing-Xian, no problem to obtain wanted time if acting as soon as you arrive in Beijing, although normally 2-3 days ahead of time is already fine. (one day or even by showing up if off season)

Edited: 1:21 am, April 18, 2013
posts: 97
6. Re: Beijing to Xian?

If you like to take train(for scenery on the way from Beijing to Xi'an),You have to book train ticket advance(as usual 6 to 10days). tanks wbptrip

Xi'an, China
posts: 914
reviews: 11
7. Re: Beijing to Xian?


Since you have two nights spend at my city. What you can do like this:

Day 1 take bullent train arrive in xian at 13:00, take taxi back to the hotel check in your hotel room, tour in city , bike on the city wall, stroll to the Muslim quarter, to have dinner at the local resturant over there.

Day 2 take public bus to the terra-cotta warriors museum( 2.5 hours inside the museum), after lunch back to city visit the shanxi history museum and little wild goose pagoda, to enjoy the nigh show at the Big wild goose pagoda

Day 3 take early flight to your next city.

Hope this help


Xi'an, China
posts: 27
8. Re: Beijing to Xian?

You can take the fast train to xi'an .you can get tickets easier. Only four sleeper in fast train.many trains from Beijing to xi'an.


Xi'an, China
posts: 14
reviews: 1
9. Re: Beijing to Xian?

I think when you arrived in Beijing,you 'd better go to train-ticket counter to buy the train tickets,we usually buy the train ticket before five or seven days(this is unstable,It depend on Ministry of Railways,and the time of buying ticket will be advanced,during Chinese festival holidays,Perhaps,before ten days)

Specially, you'd better avoid the labor day (a lot of tourist will be visit Great Wall and Terra-Cotta Warriors museum,),if you want to relax and enjoy your tour completely in China (29/4-1/5 three days are holiday).

have a nice trip

Ivan in Xi'an

Seattle, Washington
posts: 25
reviews: 51
10. Re: Beijing to Xian?

We just returned from China and recommend the high-speed train between Xian and Beijing. It took us 4.5 hours and was far more convenient than getting to an airport 2 hours in advance and going through security. The trains in China are super efficient and leave exactly on time. Our top speed was 310 km/hr. Different classes available--check to see what the level is between Business, First and VIP--and different trains have different travel times. We opted for one of the fastest ones and bought tickets online in advance. Just to set expectations, the scenery between Xian and Beijing is nothing to write home about--very industrial and sky was thick with smog the whole way. But I heartily recommend high-speed rail in China.