Shanghai to Dunhuang Travel Plans - How to Get from Shanghai to Dunhuang 2024

Shanghai and Dunhuang is a perfect tour combination if you want to experience the modern and the ancient of China at the same time. Shanghai is a widely acknowledged international metropolis in southeast China where you can constantly feel the vigor of this fast-growing city, while Dunhuang sits in Gansu Province, northwest China, once a busy city on the ancient Silk Road and preserves the precious Mogao Caves.

These two cities are 3115km (1935.6 mi) away. It is most recommended to travel by flight (6-9 hours). Train is available to Lanzhou West Railway Station and then need to transfer to Dunhuang (25-35 hours). This article has provided you with more specific information about how to travel from Shanghai to Dunhuang to help you plan a better Shanghai Dunhuang tour.

Get from Shanghai to Dunhuang by Plane

Taking a flight is the most recommended way to travel from Shanghai to Dunhuang. You can choose a stopover flight which will make a stop in Xian or Lanzhou, and take a connecting flight to finish the transfer.

Shanghai to Dunhuang Flight

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport respectively have one seasonal stopover flight (6 - 9 hours) to Dunhuang International Airport as listed below. This is for your reference only. Please feel free to contact us and tell us the date of your travel plan so that we can update you with the specific flight information.

✈ Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (上海虹桥国际机场 IATA: SHA)

Address: No. 2250, Hongqiao Road, Changning District, Shanghai (上海市长宁区虹桥路2550号), about 13km, 40 minutes’ drive from downtown.>>Know More about Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

✈ Shanghai Pudong International Airport (上海浦东国际机场 IATA: PVG)

Address: No. 300, Qihang Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai (上海市浦东新区), about 30km, 55 minutes’ drive from downtown. >>Know More about Shanghai Pudong International Airport

✈ Dunhuang International Airport (敦煌国际机场 IATA: DNH)

• Address: Mogao Town, Dunhuang City, Jiuquan City, Gansu (甘肃省酒泉市敦煌市莫高镇), 13km, 25 minutes' drive to the east of Dunhuang downtown. >>Know More about Dunhuang International Airport

Shanghai to Dunhuang Flight via Xian

You can take a connecting flight from Shanghai to Dunhuang via Xian all year round. But the numbers and schedule of the flight is not certain. Usually there are 1 - 4 flights a day and you will need about 6.5 – 9 hours in total.

Note: Flight schedule 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.

Get from Shanghai to Dunhuang by Train - Shanghai to Dunhuang Train

So far, there is no direct train from Shanghai to Dunhuang Train Station. But you can take a train to Lanzhou Railway Station and then transfer to Dunhuang, which takes about 25-35 hours. This option is quite time-consuming so is not recommended.

Shanghai Railway Station (上海站)

• Address: No. 303, Moling Road, Jing'an District (上海市静安区秣陵路303号), about 5km, 20 minutes’ drive from the Bund. >>Know More about Shanghai Railway Stations

Lanzhou Railway Station (兰州站)

• Address: No. 393, East Road, Lanzhou Railway Station (兰州市火车站东路393号), about 5km, 20 minutes’ drive from Lanzhou downtown. >>Know More about Lanzhou Railway Stations

Dunhuang Railway Station (敦煌站)

• Address: 217 Provincial Highway, Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu (甘肃省酒泉敦煌市217省道), about 12km, 20 minutes’ drive from Dunhuang downtown. >>Know More about Dunhuang Railway Stations

Shanghai to Dunhuang Train via Xian

You can take a high speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Xian North Railway Station first, then transfer to Dunhuang Railway Station, which run by G and D trains and the whole trip takes about 28 hours.

Leisure-pace Silk Road Trip from Shanghai to Dunhuang - Strongly Recommended

When you travel from Shanghai to Dunhuang, you usually need to make a stop in Xian. Xian is the ancient capital of 13 dynasties, home to the famous Terracotta Warriors, and also where the ancient Silk Road, an important route of trade and culture in world history, starts. The ancient Silk Road stretches from Xian to Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang and far in northwest China and other countries. So to enrich your Shanghai Dunhuang tour, it is highly recommended for you to take a Silk Road trip from Shanghai all the way to Xian, Zhangye, Jiayuguan, and Dunhuang.

The whole trip will need about 10 days. You can spend 2 nights in Shanghai. Then take a plane to XianXian and spend another two nights there to see the Terracotta Army, the Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter, etc. After that, fly to Zhangye to see the spectacular Danxia landform and other attractions such as Giant Buddha Temple. Then drive or take a train (about 2 hours) to Jiayuguan and see the Jiayuguan Pass which is renowned as the “First and Greatest Pass under Heaven". Then you can head to the last destination - Dunhuang and spend the last two nights there.

Recommended Tour:10 Days Legendary Silk Road Tour from Shanghai

How to Plan a Shanghai Dunhuang Tour

It usually needs at least five days to travel Shanghai and Dunhuang. When you are in Shanghai, you can stop by Shanghai Museum to see many international-standard exhibits of bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, and jade. Then, take an interesting visit to Yu Garden, a shining star among all the ancient Chinese gardens, and savor tasteful local snacks at the adjacent Yuyuan Bazaar. Then go to Nanjing Road, a shopping paradise, to experience the modern atmosphere of the city and take a walk along the Bund to appreciate the stunning Shanghai skyline! Then the next day, you can pay a visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center which will give you an overview of the city’s ambitious plans for future and stop by at Jade Buddha Temple to see the largest jade Buddha in the world and numerous religious artifacts, ancient statues and Buddhist scriptures.

The next day when you arrive in Dunhuang by morning plane, you can go to the Echoing Sand Mountains to have fun in the vast desert and find out why Crescent Lake has never dried up for so many years. Then spend another day exploring Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass) which used to be a military defensive pass along the ancient Silk Road, the Ruin of Great Wall of Han Dynasty which was built to fight against Xiongnu in the ancient times, Yadan National Geological Park which features Yardang landforms, and Yangguan Pass which was the gate to another branch of ancient Silk Road. The last day you can admire thousands of colorfully painted Buddhist statues and have an eye-feast on the exquisite mural paintings in the 2000-year-old Mogao Grottoes.

If you have more days, you can stop by in some cities in the middle such as Xian, Zhangye or extend your trip to Beijing.


Recommended Tours Covering Shanghai and Dunhuang:

>>10 Days Legendary Silk Road Tour from Shanghai

>>9 Days Silk Road Tour with Best of China Golden Triangle Cities

Travel from Shanghai to Dunhuang The Bund Travel from Shanghai to Dunhuang Our Guests visited Dunhuang Mogao Cave

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, accomodation, 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.

Recommended Shanghai Dunhuang Tours

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

Watch a documentary film in the Dome Theater of Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center

3 Days Best Dunhuang Culture and Scenery Tour


Crescent Lake has been a famous attraction for more than 1200 years

9 Days Silk Road Tour with Best of China Golden Triangle Cities

Beijing / Xian / Dunhuang / Shanghai

Zhangye Danxia Geopark - the Rainbow Mountains

10 Days Legendary Silk Road Tour from Shanghai

Shanghai / Xian / Zhangye / Jiayuguan / Dunhuang

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