How to Travel from Shanghai to Xining: Flights, Trains...

Shanghai the gateway city of China, is usually acknowledged international metropolis in southeast China where you can feel the vigor of this fast-growing city, while Xining on the high plateau, the capital city of Qinghai province is usually a starting point to explore northwest China and the scenery along the Silk road.

These two cities are 2,150 km away from each other. For the long distance, it is most recommended to travel to Xining from Shanghai by air, and it takes about 3 hours. There are also normal overnight trains available to Xining from Shanghai but it will take about 25-28 hours. For travelers, visiting both Shanghai and Xining is a good tour combination if you want to experience the modern vibes of China and the stunning natural beauty and wildness on the highland. The article has provided you with more specific information about how to travel from Shanghai to Xining to help you plan a better Shanghai Xining tour.

Shanghai to Xining Map

Shanghai Xining Transportation Map

Shanghai to Xining by Flight - Top Recommended

Taking a flight is the most recommended way to travel from Shanghai to Xining. You can choose the direct flights from Shanghai to Xining and there are also few stopover flights that will make a stop in Xian or Lanzhou.

Since Xining is a popular tourist destination during the summer peak season, please book your flight in advance. Flight schedules can be influenced by many factors. Please feel free to contact us for the most suitable flight for you according to the date of your travel plan.

Airport Information

Shanghai Pudong International Airport (上海浦东国际机场, IATA: PVG)
Location: No.6000, Yingbin Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 上海市浦东新区迎宾大道6000号
Transportation: It is about 45 km, 1 hour’s drive from downtown; about 45 km, 50 minutes’ drive from the Bund, Yu Garden; around 42 km, 50 minutes’ drive from Shanghai World Financial Center; about 22 km, 30 minutes’ drive from Shanghai Disney Resort.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (上海虹桥国际机场, IATA: SHA)
Location: No.2250, Hongqiao Road, Changning District, Shanghai 上海市长宁区虹桥路2550号
Transportation: The airport is about 20 km, 40 minutes’ drive from the city center; about 20 km, 30 minutes’ drive from the Bund, Yu Garden; around 22 km, 35 minutes’ drive from Shanghai World Financial Center; nearly 43 km from Shanghai Disney Resort; about 60 km, 1 hour’s drive from Pudong Airport.

Xining Caojiabao International Airport (西宁曹家堡机场, IATA: XNN)
Location: G0612, Huzhu Tu Autonomous County, Haidong City, Qinghai Province青海省海东市互助土族自治县G0612
Transportation: It is about 33km to the southeast of Xining city, 40 minutes by car; 50 minutes by shuttle bus. It’s about 175 km to Qinghai Lake, 2 hours 40 minutes by car; about 320 km to Chaka Salt Lake, 4 hours 15 minutes by car.


Shanghai to Xining by Train

Besides taking a flight, the other choice to Xining is taking a train from Shanghai. For the long distance, there is not any bullet train connecting the two cities yet, and two overnight trains Z376, Z164 depart from Shanghai Railway Station and arrive at Xining Railway station and the duration is about 25 to 28 hours. The price for a hard seat ticket is about CNY 255 (updated on 29, April, 2021), and CNY 435 for hard sleeper, CNY 688 for soft sleeper.

Railway Station Information

Shanghai Railway Station 上海火车站
Location: No.303, Moling Road, Jing'an District, Shangai (上海市静安区秣陵路303号)
Transportation: It’s about 5 km to the Bund (about 20 minutes’ drive); about 5 km to Shanghai Museum (about 15 minutes’ drive); about 7 km to Yuyuan Garden (about 20 minutes’ drive); about 10 km to Lujiazui (about 25 minutes’ drive)

Xining Railway Station 西宁火车站
Location: NO. 128 Huzhu Middle Road, Chengdong District, Xining City, Qinghai Province 青海省西宁市城东区互助中路128号
Transportation: It's about 6 km (20 min by car, 40 min by bus) to downtown, 28 km (40 minutes’ drive) to Xining Caojiabao International Airport

How to Plan a Shanghai Xining Tour

How to Travel in Shanghai

It usually needs 2 to 3 days to travel to Shanghai. When you are in Shanghai, you can stop by the bund or take a cruise ship on the Huangpu river to appreciate the stunning Shanghai skyscrapers like Shanghai Tower, the Oriental Pearl Tower, etc, and view the skyline and experience the modern and exotic atmosphere of the city. Then, you can take an interesting visit to the nearby Yu Garden, and savor tasteful local snacks at the adjacent Yuyuan Bazaar. Then go to Nanjing Road and Tianzifang as well as Xintiandi to do some shopping! Later, you can pay a visit to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center and Shanghai Museum which will give you an overview of the city’s ambitious plans for the future and the history of its past. Besides, you can also stop by at Jade Buddha Temple to see the largest jade Buddha in the world.

Recommended Shanghai Tours

☛ 2 Days Classic Shanghai City Tour
☛ 3 Days Shanghai Past and Present Contrast Tour

How to Travel in Shanghai Silhouette of Pudong Skyline Seen from the Bund

How to Travel in Xining

Tourists often start a Qinghai tour from Xining. You can have one day trip visiting the top attractions in & near Xining city, including the Kumbum Monastery, Dongguan Mosque, China Tibetan Medicine Culture Museum, etc. Usually, most travelers will not miss the beautiful Qinghai Lake, which is about 145km away from Xining, If time allows, you can visit the “Mirror of Sky” Chaka Salt Lake, and Kanbula National Forest Park with one more day respectively. Also, for those who are interested in Amdo Tibetan culture, you can travel from Xining to Tongren, take one day to visit Rongwo Monastery, and extend a trip further to Bingling Temple, Labrang Temple, and Langmu Temple in southern Gansu. Traveling from Xining to Dunhuang, Zhangye, Jiayuguan along the ancient Silk Road is an awesome and rewarding experience highly suggested for you. Meanwhile, you can take a Xining Lhasa train to discover the holy land of Tibet or hop on a bullet train to explore Xinjiang.

Recommended Xining Tours

☛ 3 Days Qinghai Short Stay Tour
☛ 6 Days Xining and Lhasa Train Tour

Qinghai Lake Qinghai Lake

Travel Worry-free with China Discovery

If you just want to focus on the trip itself without worrying too much about anything else, you can consider travelling with us! We at China Discovery provide comfortable and efficient private travel service for our clients who have booked one of our tour packages. No matter when your flight/train arrives, our friendly tour guide and driver in every city will wait for you there, then escort you to your hotel or any location you want to visit with an air-conditioned and non-smoking vehicle. During the trip, everything such as ticket, transfer, accommodation, meal will all be taken care of and you only need to focus on what you are interested in. The tour can be tailor made according to your plan, time, interests and demands. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us and tell us your needs.

How to Plan a Xining Trip

How to Get to Xining: You can fly to Xining from Beijing (2.5h), Shanghai (3h), Guangzhou (3h15min), Lhasa (2-3.5h), Xian (1.5h), etc. or take a bullet train to Xining from Xian (4-5h), Lanzhou (1h10min-1.5h), Zhangye (2h), Jiayuguan (3.3.5h), Dunhuang (6h), etc.

Best Time to Visit Xining: Months from May to October are the best because the temperature is moderate and comfortable.

Where to Stay in Xining: Xining downtown is most recommended. If you are going to visit Qinghai Lake or Chaka Salt Lake, you can also choose the hotels nearby.

Xining is the starting point and transfer center for a Qinghai tour. It’s suitable to spend 1 day discovering the top attractions in Xining, including the Kumbum Monastery, Dongguan Mosque, Tibetan Medicine & Tibet Culture Museum. The vast and beautiful Qinghai Lake, about 2.5 hours’ drive from Xining is the No.1 must-visit attraction. You can spend one day here appreciating the water scenery, hiking or biking along the lake or taking a Qinghai Lake cruise (cruise is only available from May to October). With one more day, you can expand trip to the Chaka Salt Lake, known as Mirror of the Sky for its stunning reflected natural landscape on the salt lake. Another day is needed. Usually, people take 3~4 days to visit the three destinations together to explore the cultural and natural highlights of Qinghai.

☛ 3 Days Qinghai Short Stay Tour
☛ 4 Days Enchanting Qinghai Lake Chaka Salt Lake Tour

With short driving distance, there are a few less-known but incredible destinations you can visit, such as the Tongren with authentic Amdo Tibetan Buddhist culture and famous Regong Arts, Kanbula National Forest Park with magnificent Yellow River and Danxia landform. If you’re interested and have more time, you can continue the Buddhist cultural trip to Xiahe (Labrang Monastery) and Linxia (Bingling Temple) in southern Gansu.

☛ 4 Days Qinghai Lake Kanbula National Forest Park Geographic Wonders Tour
☛ 4 Days Qinghai Lake Landscape Tour plus Tongren Authentic Tibetan Culture & Art Exploration
☛ 5 Days Amdo Tibetan Culture Experience Tour

Northwest and southwest China are mysterious lands full of natural beauty and cultural charms. Tourists often make a long trip from Qinghai to neighboring Zhangye (Rainbow Mountains), Jiayuguan, Dunhuang (Mogao Caves) of Gansu along the Silk Road, or make a Sky Train trip to “Roof of the World” - Tibet, visit Potala Palace, Mount Everest, Namtso Lake..., or explore Badain Jaran Desert in Western Inner Mongolia, go further to Urumqi, Turpan and more destinations in Xinjiang and travel land to Jiuzhaigou, Ruo’ergai of Sichuan.

☛ 7 Days Qinghai Lake Zhangye Danxia Badain Jaran Desert Wonders Tour
☛ 6 Days Xining to Lhasa Train Tour by Qinghai Tibet Railway
☛ 6 Days Xining to Lhasa Train Tour by Qinghai Tibet Railway
☛ 12 Days Epic Silk Road Tour including Qinghai Lake and Zhangye Danxia

You can choose from our most popular Qinghai tour packages covering excellent sightseeing and the best local experiences. As an experienced and professional China travel agency, China Discovery also offers customized tour service to help you design a unique trip on your own. Just contact us, tell us your schedule and preferences, we will create a memorable China Qinghai tour for you.

Qinghai Lake Erlangjian Scenic Area in Qinghai Lake
Tongren Rongwo Monastery Tibetan Monks in Rongwo Monastery of Tongren
Badain Jaran Desert Badain Jaran Desert Jeep Safari
Qinghai Tibet Train Xining to Lhasa Train on the Qinghai Tibet Railway

Recommended Xining Tours

Top 3 Xining tours chosen by most customers to explore Xining in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit