How to Get from Xining to Urumqi: by Flight or Train 2023

The ancient Silk Road was an influential trade route and a communication bridge connecting northwest China and Central and West Asia. Stretching from Xian to Xinjiang through the Hexi Corridor, the Silk Road nowadays is a splendid travel route for cultural fans and nature lovers. The beautiful Qinghai Lake and Chaka Salt Lake attract lots of visitors to Qinghai. After your Qinghai Lake tour and witnessing the plateau landscape, you may plan to travel westward further to Xinjiang from Xining. There are different transportations you can take. Which one is better? Any nice places to visit between the two cities? How to plan a Xining Urumqi itinerary? We will give you the most useful travel guide one by one.

How Far is Urumqi from Xining?

Xining is located in the northeast of Qinghai and northeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, about 150 km (2.5 hours’ drive) from Qinghai Lake and 300 km (4 hours’ drive) from Chaka Salt Lake.

Urumqi lies in central Xinjiang and middle-north slope of the Tianshan Mountain, about 167 km (less than 1 hour’s bullet train ride) from Turpan and nearly 770 km (11 hours’ drive) from Kanas Lake.

Xining to Urumqi Distance: Urumqi is situated about 1,598 km (993 mi) northwest of Xining.

How to Get from Xining to Urumqi?

At present, you have two ways to travel from Xining to Urumqi: by flight (within 3 hours) and by high speed bullet train (9 ~ 9.5 hours). Check more details below to decide the more suitable choice for you.

Xining to Urumqi Xining to Urumqi Transportation Map

Option 1: Xining to Urumqi by Flight - the Faster Way

Flight Time: within 3 hours

Frequency: 3 ~ 4 flights per day

From & To: Xining Caojiabao International Airport 西宁曹家堡国际机场 (XMN) → Urumqi Diwopu International Airport 乌鲁木齐地窝堡国际机场 (URC)

When traveling from Xining to faraway Urumqi, taking a flight is clearly faster and more comfortable. The air travel is less than 3 hours. So, flying is more recommended for travelers who have tight schedules and like aerial views better.

Generally, there are 3 to 4 direct flights flying from Xining Caojiabao International Airport to Urumqi Diwopu International Airport. Those flights all take off from Xining in the afternoon hours between 13:15 and about 21:00. The airline carriers are China Southern Airlines and Sichuan Airlines.

Tips: Better book the flight ticket as early as possible, especially during the peak tourist seasons from April to October.

Xining to Urumqi Flight Xining Caojiabao International Airport
Xining to Urumqi Flight Urumqi Diwopu International Airport

The following are the real-time Xining to Urumqi (Wulumuqi) flight schedules with detailed flight numbers, departure time and airport, arrival time and airport, ticket prices. You can contact us to get the further travel guide and flight ticket booking advice.


Airports Information

Xining Caojiabao International Airport (西宁曹家堡国际机场, IATA: XMN)
Location: Huzhu Tu Autonomous County, Haidong City, Qinghai Province 青海省海东市互助土族自治县
Transportation: about 28 km, 40 minutes’ drive to downtown Xining; about 26 km, 30 minutes’ drive to Xining Railway Station; about 55 km, 1 hour’s drive to Kumbum Monastery; about 27 km, 40 minutes’ drive to Dongguan Mosque; about 175 km, 3 hours’ drive to Qinghai Lake; about 320 km, 4 hours 10 minutes’ drive to Chaka Salt Lake; about 135 km, 2 hours’ drive to Tonrgen.

Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (乌鲁木齐地窝堡国际机场, IATA: URC)
Location: Yingbin Road, Xinshi District, Urumqi City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 新疆维吾尔自治区乌鲁木齐市新市区迎宾路
Transportation: about 17 km, 30 minutes’ drive from the Urumci city center; about 25 km, 30 minutes’ drive from Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar; about 15 km, 20 minutes’ drive from Xinjiang Museum; around 75 km, 1 hour’s drive from Tianchi Lake (Heavenly Lake) of Tianshan; nearly 75 km, 1.5 hours’ drive from Nanshan Pasture.

Option 2: Xining to Urumqi Train - A Longer but Scenic Journey

Train Time: about 9 ~ 9.5 hours

Frequency: 3 trains per day

From & To: Xining Railway Station 西宁站 → Urumqi Railway Station 乌鲁木齐站

Running Speed: 200 km/h

With the operation of Lanzhou-Xinjiang High Speed Railway, there are some high speed bullet train running from Xining to Urumqi every day. The entire bullet train journey takes around 9 hours to 9.5 hours. Though this land transportation costs more time, it’s very popular and unique for it perfectly links Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan and other cities of the ancient Silk Road together. Therefore, it’s very interesting to follow the past route by a new modern vehicle.

Normally, Xining sends 3 bullet trains to Urumqi daily, which depart from the Xining Railway Station at about 10:00, 11:00 and 12:20. The train travel is a little bit longer, but you can make stops in Zhangye (Rainbow Mountains of Danxia Landform), Jiayuguan, Dunhuang (Mogao Caves), and Turpan (Jiaohe Ancient City, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Cave) to enrich your train journey and discover wild northwest China.

Useful Links:

▶ Xining to Urumqi Bullet Train Schedules
▶ Urumqi to Xining Bullet Train Schedules

Xining to Urumqi Train Xining Railway Station
Urumqi Railway Station Urumqi Railway Station

Railway Stations Information

Xining Railway Station 西宁站
Location: No.128, Huzhu Road, Chengdong District, Xining City, Qinghai Province 青海省西宁市城东区互助路128号
Transportation: about 5 km, 15 minutes’ drive to city center; about 33 km, 1 hour’s drive to Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Monastery); only 2 km, 10 minutes’ drive to Dongguan Mosque; about 152 km, 3 hours’ drive to Qinghai Lake; about 300 km, 4 hours’ drive to Chaka Salt Lake.

Urumqi Railway Station 乌鲁木齐站
Location: No.1, Gaotie Beiliu Road, Tunhe District, Urumqi, Xinjiang 新疆维吾尔自治区乌鲁木齐市头屯河区高铁北六路1号
Transportation: about 10 km, 20 minutes’ drive to the city center; about 15 km, 30 minutes’ drive to Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar; about 7 km, 15 minutes’ drive to Xinjiang Museum; about 71 km, 1 hour 10 minutes’ drive to Tianchi Lake of Tianshan Mountain; about 65 km, 1.5 hours’ drive to Nanshan Pasture.

China Train Travel Tips

Class of Ticket

You can usually choose from the First Class Seat, the Second Class Seat or Business Class Seat on the high speed trains. While, there are three types offered on the normal train, including Soft Sleeper, Hard Sleeper and Hard Seat. learn more >>

Book, Collect, Alter and Cancel

Foreign tourists can book train ticket online or via a ticket agency, or buy the tickets physically at the train station with your valid passport. Train ticket alteration and cancellation are only available at ticket counters. learn more >>

Board & Get off

1) Prepare your passport and China Visa; 2) Get to the right train station at least 30 mins in advance; 3) Collect your train ticket; 4) Read your train ticket; 5) Pass the security control; 6) Pass through Security & Luggage Checks; 7) Find the right waiting room; 8) Cross the ticket checking gate; 9) Get to the right platform; 10) Get on your train. learn more >>

Baggage Allowance

Passengers don’t need to check luggage separately. Each passenger is allowed to carry luggage in certain weight and volume, but without limitation of amount and types. learn more >>

Facilities and Service

All high speed trains in China are equipped with advanced facilities and good service, including luggage racks, air-conditioner, power socket, dining car, hot water, etc. learn more >>

How to Plan Your Xining Urumqi Tour

The travel route and places to visit of your Xining Urumqi tour totally depend on your holiday time and personal schedule. Most travelers spend 1 day on visiting the Qinghai Lake from Xining. With more time, you can take another day to enjoy the famous “Mirror of the Sky” - Chaka Salt Lake and have a classic Xining city tour with the Kumbum Monastery and other landmarks. Furthermore, you can spend a longer exploration of Qinghai, visit the Tongren (Regong Arts), Kanbula National Forest Park, etc. An in-depth Qinghai travel takes 7 days covering both cultural and natural highlights.

▶ Popular Qinghai Lake Tours | ▶ Popular Xining Tours

Next, you can travel from Xining to Zhanye, spend 1 to 2 days viewing the incredible Rainbow Mountains in Zhangye Danxia Geopark, visiting Mati Temple, Pingshanhu Grand Canyon. Continue your Silk Road adventure with a day trip to Jiayuguan and Dunhuang which is most known for the Buddhist art gallery - Mogao Caves is suitable for 1 or 2 days’ stay. Afterwards, you can transfer to Liuyuan to catch a bullet train to Turpan, feel the surprising heat, explore ancient relics and check unique landform there. Later, travel to Urumqi, visit the tranquil Heavenly Lake (Tianchi Lake) of Tianshan Mountain, Xinjiang Regional Museum and Grand Bazaar.

Xinjiang is vast and beautiful, full of amazing natural scenery and ethnic culture and history. We strongly advise you extend trip from Urumqi to more wonderful destinations. Northern Xinjiang is best for natural sightseeing and southern Xinjiang is ideal for exploring the cultural treasures. Top recommended destinations beyond Urumqi include fairyland Kanas Lake, beautiful Syram Lake, spectacular Kalakun Grassland, the historical Kashgar, Khotan, etc.

☛ 8 Days Xinjiang Classic Tour (Urumqi-Turpan-Kashgar)
☛ 9 Days Kanas Fairyland Tour from Urumqi

Qinghai Lake Tour Beautiful Qinghai Lake
Dunhuang Tours Mogao Caves in Dunhuang
Xinjiang Urumqi Tour Tianchi Lake of Tianshan Mountain
Travel Xining & Urumqi with China Discoevry

As a leading travel agency in China who dedicates to offering high-quality China tours, China Discovery has helped thousands of travelers enjoy their trips to Xining, Urumqi, Silk Road, Beijing, Shanghai etc., in China. Traveling with us, you can enjoy worry-free tour services as well as well-organized itineraries, even our assistance of Chinese Visa application, convenient airport/train station pick-up & drop-off and transfer between all scenic spots, knowledgeable tour guide, safe & licensed private vehicle, satisfactory accommodation and dining and so on. To fully focus on the trip itself without worry any details, you can choose from our most popular Silk Road tour packages or contact us to design a wonderful Silk Road adventure on your own.

Recommended Urumqi Tours

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

Taking a relaxing cruise on Heavenly Lake
11 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Cultural Relic & Unrivalled Landscape)

Lanzhou / Zhangye / Jiayuguan / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar

Abakh Khoja Tomb
10 Days Classic Silk Road Tour (Xian/Dunhuang/Turpan/Kashgar)

Xian / Dunhuang / Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar

Tashkurgan Fort (Stone City Ruin) in the morning of September
8 Days Classic Xinjiang Tour including Urumqi Turpan Kashgar Tashkurgan

Urumqi - Turpan - Kashgar - Tashkurgan

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.

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