How to Get to Turpan

Turpan, a prefecture-level city in Xinjiang, is quite known as the lowest and the hottest point in China. Its name may directly stir up a vision of barren deserts and grapevines. In fact, it has been a post for weary Silk Road travelers, diplomats, couriers and traders for millennia. Till now, it is still a worth-visiting destination offering a dramatic experience with sightseeing and cultural suck. In Turpan, there is brilliant project of Karez System, informative Turpan Museum, splendid ruins of Jiaohe Ancient City, 15-century-old Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, peaceful Tuyuk Valley, etc.

Though Turpan does not have an extensive public transport system like many modern cities, it can be reached conveniently by flight or by train. Besides, it’s easy to travel around by road. Here we provide you with specific transfer information about Turpan, including how to get to Turpan from major gateway cities, such as Urumqi, Dunhuang, Lanzhou, etc., as well as how to get around Turpan. Read our ultimate Turpan transportation to help better travel Turpan in 2023.

Where is Turpan - Turpan Location

Xinjaing is located in the northwest part of China and Turpan is located in the central part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It has a geographical coordinate of 41°12″~43°40″ north and 87°16″~91°55″ east, bordering Hami in the east, Bayingolin in the west and south, Urumqi and Changji in the north. Turpan is about 167 kilometers (about 104 miles) to Urumqi (capital city of Xinjiang), 1353 kilometers (about 840 miles) to Kashgar (another popular destination in Xinjiang) and 800 kilometers (about 497 miles) to Dunhuang (a good gateway city in Gansu).

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Get to Turpan by Flight

Turpan Jiaohe Airport (吐鲁番交河机场) is the only airport serving Turpan. There are several direct domestic flights to Turpan. If you want to travel from some other cities to Turpan, you can fly to Urumqi first and then transfer to Turpan.

Turpan Jiaohe Airport (IATA: TLQ)

Address: Northwest of Gaochang District, Turpan City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 新疆维吾尔自治区吐鲁番市高昌区西北

Connected Cities: Beijing (5.5h), Lanzhou (2.5h), Changsha (4.5h), Zhengzhou (4.5h), Korla (1h), Burqin (1h15min), etc.

Turpan is connected with some domestic cities by irregular flights. Usually, there are more flights available in peak seasons (May ~ October). It is important to verify the schedule before your flight trip to Turpan because sometimes there are daily flights and sometimes only weekly flights accessible. Generally, it is available to book a flight to Turpan from Beijing (5.5 hours), Lanzhou (2.5 hours), Changsha (4.5 hours), Zhengzhou (4.5 hours), Korla (1 hour), Burqin (1 hour 15 minutes), etc. Learn more about Turpan Jiaohe Airport: Location, Flight Schedules, Transportation>

Major Turpan Flight Schedules:

Notes: It is also viable to get to Urumqi first and then take a high speed train (1h) to Turpan or get to Turpan by train as the train schedule is more regular.

Turpan Jiaohe Airport

Turpan Jiaohe Airport

Turpan Jiaohe Airport Location

Turpan Jiaohe Airport Location

Get to Turpan by Train

Turpan is just located in Lanxin High Speed Rail which connects Lanzhou (the provincial capital of Gansu and the transfer hub in northwestern China) and Xinjiang, so it is quite convenient to take a high speed train from Lanzhou to Xinjiang. The trains also take a stop at Xining (Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, etc.), Zhangye (Zhangxia Danform, Matisi Temple, Giant Buddha Temple…), Jiayuguan (Jiayuguan Pass, First Beacon Tower, Overhanging Great Wall…) , Dunhuang (Mogao Caves, Mingsha Mountain Crescent Lake, Yadan National Geologic Park…), etc. It is very convenient for tourists to take an ancient Silk Road trip. Besides, there are normal trains running to Turpan from many major domestic cities.

Turpan North Railway Station

Address: Northwest of Gaochang District, Turpan City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (吐鲁番市高昌区新丝路与交河大道交叉口)

Transportation: Turpan is about 14 km (about 30 minutes’ drive) away from Turpan Downtown, 2 km (about 8 minutes’ drive) from Turpan Jiaohe Airport, 16 km (about 30 minutes’ drive) from Jiaohe Ancient City, 11 km (about 20 minutes’ drive) away from Karez Museum. There are several buses transferring from Turpan North Railway Station to the downtown area and you can also call a taxi.

Turpan North Railway Station is the most frequently-used train station and the only high speed railway station in Turpan City. It receives daily high speed trains from Xian (about 12.5 hours), Lanzhou (about 9.5 hours), Xining (about 8 hours), Zhangye (about 6.5 hours), Jiayuguan (about 5 hours), Dunhuang (about 3.5 hours), Hami (about 1.5 hours), Urumqi (about 1 hour), etc. There are also available normal trains to Turpan North Railway Station from Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Kunming, Zhengzhou, and cities at long distances, but almost all the trains are overnight trains taking more than 24 hours.

In addition to Turpan North Railway Station, Turpan Railway Station (吐鲁番站) in Turpan City also serves passengers. It always runs normal trains between Turpan and other cities in Xinjiang, including Urumqi, Kashgar, Hetian, Korla, Kuche, Aksu, etc. For travelers who plan to go to Kumtag Desert, we suggest you take a high speed train to Shanshan North Railway Station (鄯善北站) which is only 12 km to the desert. Most of the high speed trains to Turpan also have a stopover at Shanshan North Railway Station.

▶ Turpan Train Stations

Turpan High Speed Rail Map

Turpan High Speed Rail Map

Turpan North Railway Station

Turpan North Railway Station

Turpan North Railway Station

Turpan North Railway Station Location Map

Get from Urumqi to Turpan

Train Time: about 4 hours-12 hours

Distance: 167 km (about 104 miles)

Duration: within 1 hour by high speed train, 1.5 ~ 2.5 hours by normal train, 1 hour by flight, about 3.5 hours by driving or long-distance bus

Undoubtedly, Urumqi is the best gateway to Turpan and Turpan is the best extension of a Urumqi tour. As the tourist distribution center of Xinjiang, Urumqi is easily reached by flight or by train. There are up to 150 air routes connecting Urumqi with lots of domestic cities (like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Xining, Lhasa, Khotan, Kashgar, Korla… ) and several international cities (like Kuala Lumpur, Alam-Ata, Phuket, Baku in Azerbaijan, and Tashkent in Uzbekistan and so on).

There are high speed trains, normal trains, long-distance buses and sometimes flights to take you from Urumqi to Turpan. Taking a high speed train is the most convenient way and you can transfer between them within 1 hour usually. A normal train from Urumqi to Turpan takes 1.5~2.5 hours usually, and a long-distance bus takes about 3.5 hours. There are no regular flights from Urumqi to Turpan and it is only available in peak seasons, sometimes with a stopover in Korla. A nonstop flight between Urumqi and Turpan needs about 1 hour’s trip, but it takes longer time to pass the security check in advance and wait in the waiting room.

▶ How to Get to Urumqi | Urumqi to Turpan Travel

☛ 5 Days Urumqi Discovery to Turpan and Heavenly Lake
☛ 6 Days Urumqi and Turpan Highlights Tour

Get from Dunhuang to Turpan

Distance: 800 km (497 miles)

Duration: 3.5 hours by high speed train (from Liuyuan)

Dunhuang is an attractive destination holding irreplaceable significance along the Silk Road. Many travelers prefer a Xinjiang tour for a more complete Silk Road experience after their Dunhuang exploration. And Turpan is a great spot between Dunhuang and Urumqi. Taking a high speed train is the most recommended way to travel from Dunhuang to Turpan. Please note there is no direct high speed train from Dunhuang City to Turpan City, and you have to transfer to Liuyuan (210 km, about 2 hours 15 minutes’ drive from Dunhuang City) to catch a high speed train to Turpan. Both Liuyuan South Railway Station and Liuyuan Railway Station operate high speed D-trains to Turpan North Railway Station and the whole train trip costs about 3.5 hours. In order to enjoy the most efficient trip from Dunhuang to Liuyuan, we suggest you use the private transfer service from China Discovery.

There are normal trains (5.5 ~ 10 hours) from Liuyuan and long-distance buses (over 10 hours) from Dunhuang City as well, but a high speed train is more recommended because of the shorter duration and better environment.

▶ How to Get to Dunhuang | Dunhuang to Turpan Travel

☛ 10 Days Classic Silk Road Tour (Xian - Dunhuang - Turpan - Kashgar)
☛ 12 Days Silk Road Tour from Beijing (Beijing - Xian - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi)

Get from Lanzhou to Turpan

Distance: 800 km (497 miles)

Duration: 2.5 hours by flight or 15.5 ~ 25 hours by train

Lanzhou is one of the best transfer hubs in northwestern China and it is also a good start of a Silk Road tour. Travelers can easily book a flight from many major domestic cities or a high speed train from Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, etc. It offers convenient transfer to Turpan, both high speed trains and flights. There are about 3 weekly nonstop flights flying from Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport to Turpan Jiaohe Airport at a duration of about 2.5 hours. Compare with flights, only a few travelers choose to travel by train. There are about 10 daily Lanzhou-Turpan train, departing from Lanzhou Railway Station to Lanzhou West Railway Station to Turpan North Railway Station. In order to save your time, it is also available to take a train (about 13 hours) to Hami first, and then take a high speed train (2 ~ 2.5 hours) to Turpan.

Lanzhou to Turpan Flight | Lanzhou to Turpan Train

☛ 11 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Urumqi - Kasgar)

Get from Kashgar to Turpan

Distance: 1353 km (841 miles)

Duration: at least 12.5 hours by train, or about 16.5 hours by driving

Urumqi, Turpan and Kashgar are golden triangle tourist cities in Xinjiang as well as three treasured cultural sites to explore Xinjiang and the Silk Road charm. Many visitors, especially first-timers, will travel these three destinations in one go. In fact, there are no nonstop flights or high speed trains between Kashgar and Turpan, and the daily normal trains take about 12.5 ~ 22 hours. However, it is quite convenient to transfer between them by using Urumqi as a transfer station. You can easily take a 2 hours’ flight from Kashgar to Urumqi and then take a high speed train or drive directly from Turpan to Urumqi.

☛ 8 Days Xinjiang Classic Tour (Urumqi-Turpan-Kashgar)

Kashgar Airport

Kashgar Airport

Inner Public Transportation in Turpan

At present there is no metro operating in Turpan City and you can only travel around by public bus, taxi or private driving.

Public Bus: There are about 10 bus routes in Turpan City and you can take a bus in the downtown area. However, it is not convenient to travel between two of the main attractions or transfer hubs.

Taxi: Taking a taxi is quite easy in Turpan City and it takes less time than public buses. What you need to know is that most of the taxi drivers in Turpan don’t understand English and you need to write down your destination in Chinese in advance.

Bicycle or Chart: Bicycle is popular with those who are interested in taking a stroll around the city and a donkey cart riding is also a very interesting experience. If you just want to take a short stroll, both are good choices.

Urumqi Taxi


Travel with China Discovery

Want to enjoy a worry-free Turpan tour? Traveling with China Discovery is strongly recommended. Our local travel guide and driver will pick you up at the airport or train station as you arrive with an air-conditioned and non-smoking vehicle, and then escort you to your hotel or every attraction listed in your itinerary. Great freedom will be given to you whenever you need to stop for sightseeing and photography. You are sure to enjoy a comfortable, safe and efficient experience.

Far more than that, China Discovery is professional to provide high-quality customizable tours. We have got 3,220+ good reviews on, and 1,570+ China travel reviews from the customers. Before your trip, our experienced travel expert will communicate with you one-to-one and organize everything (accommodation, transfer, itinerary…) well. On your trip, our local travel guide will accompany you all the way and introduce the highlights of every place to you. All the experience can be tailor-made according to your group size, travel time, physical condition, personal interest, travel budget and other needs. Feel free to contact us to start your worry-free private tour now!

Turpan Transfer

Private Transfer from China Discovery

How to Plan A Turpan Tour

How to Get to Turpan: There are high speed trains to Turpan from Xian (about 12.5h), Lanzhou (about 9.5h), Xining (about 8h), Zhangye (about 6.5h), Jiayuguan (about 5h), Dunhuang (about 3.5h), etc. and flights from Urumqi (1h), Beijing (5.5h), Lanzhou (2.5h), Changsha (4.5h), Korla (1h), Burqin (1h15min), etc. Many travelers also travel to Urumqi by flight first and then transfer to Turpan.

Best Time to Visit Turpan: May to October is the best time to visit Turpan. It is cold in late autumn and winter (November ~ next February) and rather windy in early and mid-spring (March and April). The temperature is high in summer, but you will get a lot of sweet fruits.

Generally, a classic Turpan tour takes 2 ~ 3 days. If your time is limited, you can focus on the essence of Turpan City. We suggest you spend 1 day touring the highlights of Turpan City, such as Karez System - a magic project bringing out underground water to this barren land, Turpan Museum where lots of historical exhibits including mummies are collected and Jiaohe Ancient City - the world's largest and oldest city ruins, and another day exploring its attractive surroundings, including Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Cave with exquisite murals & profound Buddhist culture, Flaming Mountain Grand Canyon with breathtaking landform, and peaceful Mazar Village (in Tuyuk Valley) where people still live traditionally. If you have one more day, don't miss Kumtag Desert, a beautiful desert offering amazing desert landscape and many interesting activities (like jeep safari, desert hiking, desert surfing, etc.).

☛ 2 Days Turpan Essence Tour from Urumqi

Of course, it's far from enough if you just visit Turpan. Travelers always travel Turpan with Urumqi - the tourist center in northern Xinjiang together. It needs about 1~2 days to visit landmarks of Urumqi City, like Xinjiang Regional Museum, Red Hill Park and Erdaoqiao Grand Bazzar. Heavenly Lake, only 70 km away from Urumqi downtown is a must. If you are interested in Muslim culture and Silk Road culture, don't hesitate to go to Kashgar, one of Xinjiang's golden triangle tourist cities together with Turpan and Urumqi. In Kashgar, there is time-honored Kashgar Old City, yellow-tiled Id Kah Mosque, busy Grand Sunday Bazaar, etc.

☛ 5 Days Urumqi Discovery to Turpan and Heavenly Lake
☛ 6 Days Urumqi and Turpan Highlights Tour
☛ 8 Days Xinjiang Classic Tour (Urumqi - Turpan - Kashgar)

If your time allows, traveling along China's Silk Road is strongly recommended. You can trace the footprints of ancient travelers from Xian - China's old capital city of 13 dynasties, to Qinghai (Xining, Qinghai Lake), Gansu (Zhangye, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang) and Xinjiang (Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar). An in-depth Silk Road tour can be 2 weeks long, but you can spend a shorter time admiring the essence at your own pace.

☛ 10 Days Classic Silk Road Tour (Xian - Dunhuang - Turpan - Kashgar)
☛ 11 Days In-depth Wild Silk Road Adventure Tour (Lanzhou - Zhangye - Jiayuguan - Dunhuang - Urumqi - Kasgar)
☛ 12 Days Silk Road Tour from Beijing (Beijing - Xian - Dunhuang - Turpan - Urumqi)

Turpan Tour Mazar Village in Tuyuk Valley Heavenly Lake of TianshanPotala Pa Heavenly Lake of Tianshan Zhangye Danxia Lanform Mrs. Chan's group from Canada visited Matisi Temple along the Silk Road

Recommended Turpan Tours

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

Jiaohe Anicent City Sunset
2 Days Turpan Essence Tour from Urumqi

Urumqi - Turpan

Hospitable Uygur People at Turpan Grape Valley
5 Days Dunhuang to Turpan Silk Road Culture Tour

Dunhuang / Turpan

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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