Getting from Beijing to Xian

Xian (Xi’an) is a historic city located in the Shaanxi Province. It is best known for being the gateway into the Army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses , historical site located outside the city but within easy reach by bus. Having been the capital for 13 dynasties , the city is reach in historical sites and places to see. So don’t come here only for the terracotta warriors. The world’s largest city wall can be found here and there are plenty of pagodas and temples to visit, too.

The capital city of Beijing is well connected to the rest of the country so finding a way to get to Xian is not hard. You can choose between planes, trains and renting a car (with driver).

Quick summary

The best way to get between Beijing and Xian is by train. It’s not the fastest but offers good value for money. Plus, choosing a sleeper means you’ll be tackling this journey in a very cost-efficient way.

Flights from Beijing (airport code: PEK) to Xian

Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XIY) is the largest airport in the northwest part of China, hub for China Eastern Airlines. It connects to 79 domestic cities , as well as to some international ones.

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is the main airport serving Beijing and China. It is the busiest airport in Asia and the second busiest in the world. It is hub for Air China, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines.

There are direct flights between Beijing Capital and Xian operated by: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Joy Air, Shanghai Airlines and Sichuan Airlines. The flight time is about 2h.




In mid-May expect to pay from US$197 for a single ticket on China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines or Air China. A return trip would set you back from US$393 on the above mentioned airlines.

>>book a flight to Beijing

Trains from Beijing to Xian

Traveling by train is the best way to cover the distance between the two cities. Choose a sleeper and you’ll be using the time effectively. There are five trains per day departing Beijing. You should consider choosing the Z trains (7:57 p.m., 8:03 p.m.) which are top-quality air-conditioned sleeping-cars , with restaurant car and bar. The T trains aren’t a bad option either but it’s less likely for the staff to speak English.

The travel time is about 22 h and the soft sleeper single fare is US$80 if you book online (or US$62 if you book in China).

>>read more about Train Travel in China

Driving from Beijing to Xian

You can rent a car (with a driver, preferably) and travel between Beijing and Xian. The distance between the two cities is 1114 km and takes about 13 hours to drive (without breaks). Plan to stop along the way and make sure you arrange for accommodation and meals for the driver, as well.

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