How to Get from Lanzhou to Urumqi: by Flight or Train

The Silk Road is a mysterious and famous travel route in Northwestern China, where people dream to track back, appreciate the wild landscape and feel the cultural charm. Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu, is a vital transportation hub for visiting Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang on the Hexi Corridor and an important gateway city to further Xinjiang regions along the Silk Road. At present, you can travel from Lanzhou to Urumqi by flight and by train (bullet train and normal train). Check the detailed Lanzhou to Urumqi distance, train and flight times, schedules to plan your Silk Road travel.

How Far is Urumqi from Lanzhou?

Lanzhou Location: Lanzhou is located in the south of Gansu and southeast of Zhangye and Dunhuang.

Urumqi Location: Urumqi is situated in central Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China and the northwest of Dunhuang.

Lanzhou to Urumqi Distance: Urumqi lies about 1,927 km (1,197 mi) northwest of Lanzhou. Currently, there are two ways you can take to travel from Lanzhou to Urumqi, by flight (about 3 hours) and by train (bullet train or overnight normal speed train).

Lanzhou to Urumqi Lanzhou to Urumqi Transportation Map

Option 1: Lanzhou to Urumqi by Flight

Flight Time: about 3 hours

Frequency: over 20 direct flights per day

From & To: Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport → Urumqi Diwopu International Airport

Flying is the fastest and most convenient way of getting from Lanzhou to Urumqi. The air travel is merely 3 hours. Each day, there are more than 20 non-stop flights flying from Lanzhou to Urumqi between 10:00 am to 22:15 pm. The Urumqi Diwopu International Airport is around 17 km from the downtown area. After landing, you can take a taxi or take our private car to get to your hotel in the city center with 30 minutes’ drive.

Our Advice: If you travel directly from Lanzhou to Urumqi, the flight is most recommended. But if you plan to visit Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang in Ganzu or Hami (Kumul), Tupan of Xinjiang, the bullet train below is more popular and convenient for you can stop by the destinations.

Lanzhou to Urumqi Flight Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport
Lanzhou to Urumqi Flight Urumqi Diwopu International Airport

Airports Information

Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport (兰州中川国际机场, IATA: LHW)
Location: Zhongchuan Town, Yongdeng County, Lanzhou, Gansu 甘肃省兰州市永登县中川镇
Transportation: about 67 km, 1 hour 20 minutes’ drive from downtown Lanzhou; around 70 km, 1 hour 20 minutes’ drive to White Pagoda Mountain; about 62 km, 1 hour 20 minutes’ drive from Gansu Provincial Museum.

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: Lanzhou to Urumqi by Train - More Popular for A Silk Road Trip

1.Lanzhou to Urumqi Bullet Train

Train Time: about 10 hours 10 minutes ~ 11 hours

Frequency: 3 trains per day

From & To: Lanzhou West Railway Station 兰州西站 → Urumqi Railway Station 乌鲁木齐站

Running Speed: 200 km/h

After the operation of Lanzhou-Xinjiang High Speed Railway (Lanxin High Speed Railway), the train travel between Lanzhou and Urumqi has been cut down to 10 ~ 11 hours only. Which means, you can take a fast bullet train travel along the ancient Silk Road all the way to Urumqi in Xinjiang. So far, there are 3 bullet trains (D trains) running from Lanzhou to Urumqi each day. They start from Lanzhou West Railway Station in the morning and get to Urumqi Railway Station in the end. All bullet trains will arrive in Urumqi on the same day. You can choose from a First Class Seat or a Second Class Seat. The journey is a little longer, but there are over 10 midway stations you can stop and have a visit, such as Xining (Kumbum Monastery, Qinghai Lake), Zhangye (Danxia Geopark - Rainbow Mountains), Jiayuguan, Dunhuang (Mogao Caves), Hami, Turpan, etc. It’s a wonderful train travel route for Silk Road cultural fans.

Lanzhou to Urumqi Train Lanzhou to Urumqi Bullet Train
Urumqi Railway Station Urumqi Railway Station

Railway Stations Information

Lanzhou West Railway Station 兰州西站
Location: No.197, West Xijin Road, Qilihe District, Lanzhou, Gansu 甘肃省兰州市七里河区西津西路197号
Transportation: about 8 km, 40 minutes’ drive to downtown Lanzhou, White Pagoda Mountain; only 2 km, 10 minutes’ drive to Gansu Provincial Museum.

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.

Check the real-time Lanzhou to Urumqi (Wulumuqi) bullet train schedule below with updated train numbers, times, train tickets and fares.

Referential Currency: RMB=1USD
  • Train No.
  • Departure / Train Staiton
  • Duration
  • Seat Type / USD Price / Availability

Note: Train information is subject to final confirmation due to the delay of data occasionally.

2.Lanzhou to Urumqi Normal Train

Train Time: about 17 hours ~ 23.5 hours

Frequency: about 20 trains per day

From & To: Lanzhou/Lanzhou West Railway Station 兰州/兰州西站 → Urumqi Railway Station 乌鲁木齐站

Running Speed: 120 km/h

At the same time, there are nearly 20 normal speed trains running from Lanzhou to Urumqi on the old Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway. The trains are all overnight trains running at slower speeds and getting to Urumqi the next day. Except the longer duration, facilities are simper and basic on these normal trains. Three kinds of tickets are offered: Soft Sleeper, Hard Sleeper and Hard Seat.

Lanzhou to Urumqi Train Lanzhou Railway Station

Railway Station Information

Lanzhou Railway Station 兰州站
Location: No.393, East Huochezhan Road, Chengguan District, Lanzhou, Gansu 甘肃省兰州市城关区火车站东路393号
Transportation: about 4.5 km, 25 minutes’ drive to the city center; about 7 km, 40 minutes’ drive to White Pagoda Mountain; about 10 km, 30 minutes’ drive to Gansu Provincial Museum.

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 Lanzhou Urumqi Tour

Most travelers visit Lanzhou and Urumqi together with other wonderful destinations along the Silk Road, such as Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Xining, etc. The travel route and length totally depends on your own schedule and personal interests. Usually, it takes one week or longer days to explore the most outstanding destinations.

Lanzhou is more often used as a transportation hub and there is not many interesting places to visit. One day is enough to visit the top landmarks in the downtown area. Zhangye is just 3 hours’ bullet train distance from Lanzhou. You can take 1 to 2 days to visit the Rainbow Mountains and surrounding sites. Jiayuguan, only 1.5 hours’ bullet train journey from Zhangye is suitable for one day brief visit. Go westward, the Dunhuang Mogao Caves is the brightest pearl on the Silk Road. You can spend 2 to 3 days exploring the fabulous Buddhist Grottoes, Mingshashan (Echoning Sand Mountains), Crescent Lake, etc.

Next, you can continue the Silk Road bullet train travel to Turpan, take 1 to 2 days to physically feel the heat of the Flaming Mountain, discover the Jiaohe Ancient City, Karez System, taste the superior sweet Turpan grapes. Within 1 hour’s bullet train ride, you will get to Urumqi. You can have a day trip to the magnificent Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Mountain. If time allows, you can take another day to visit the Xinjiang Museum, Grand Bazaar and one more day to the Nanshan Pasture.

Xinjiang is vast and beautiful. Many travelers spend a long trip visiting more destinations, such as the cultural center - Kashgar, fairyland Kanas Lake, splendid Kalakun Grassland. A classic Xinjiang tour covering Urumqi, Kashgar, Turpan needs around 8 days. With more time, you can visit Ili, Korla, Syram Lake and more amazing destinations of Xinjiang. Whether you plan to visit destinations along the Silk Road or other parts of China, we have many popular tour packages you can choose from and customzied service to design a special trip on your own. Contact us to get start!

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