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Beijing to Lhasa Train

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As one of the 3 initial railway routes of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the Beijing to Lhasa train Z21 stretches as far as 3757 km and crosses over 8 provinces. Up to now, there is only one pair of trains running directly between the two cities: Z21/ Z22. It takes around 40 hours and 53mins from Beijing to Lhasa, for a long distance trip like this, a soft sleeper or a hard sleeper is highly recommended which allow a more comfortable trip.

The Beijing to Lhasa train was launched in July, 2006. One of the most popular entry cities to China, Beijing is considered as the best place to begin Tibet Journey. Known as the capital and one of the most vibrant cosmopolitans of China, Beijing is often the first option for foreign travellers to access China. Passengers who choose to travel from Beijing to Lhasa by rail will be able to enjoy magnificent scenery changes from eastern flatlands to plateau.

Beijing to Lhasa Train Schedule

Train Number Departure Arrival Duration Distance Frequency Ticket Price
Z21(Beijing-Lhasa) 20:00 12:30 40:30 Hours 3,757km daily ¥720
Hard sleeper
Soft sleeper
Z22(Lhasa-Beijing) 15:30 08:20 40:50 Hours daily ¥720
Hard sleeper
Soft sleeper

*Note:The actual arrival and departure time of train, please refer to the information on your ticket, or consult your travel consultant.


About ticket price:


The ticket prices above are the net price. In reality, as traveling in Tibet is so popular that the actual ticket demand far exceeds the supply, in-bound and out-bound tourists have to pay more than the net price to buy tickets. The actual price is subject to the market fluctuation. In some cases, the actual price could be double than the net price. Despite the uncertainty and difficulty in purchasing train tickets, Travel Tibet China would manage to book tickets at a reasonable price ( usually 20 percent lower than the market price) and promise to offer free service for it. If tourists only want to buy train tickets via Travel Tibet China without intending to travel to Tibet, Travel Tibet China will have to charge a small amount of service fee.


Alternative for the Shortage of Beijing-Lhasa Train Tickets during High Season (July---August)


The peak travel season of Qinghai-Tibet Railway normally comes during summer holiday ( July—August). By then, the demand for soft sleeper tickets will far exceed the actual supply, approximately over 1000% as it can offer. Sadly, Beijing railway station can only meet 10% of tourists’ needs.

To secure your travel, we suggest a viable alternative plan:

Instead of taking non-stop train from Beijing to Lhasa, you can fly from Beijing to Xining (or Lanzhou) and then get train ticket from Xining (or Lanzhou) to Lhasa. And this alternative plan would cost extra 250 US Dollars, per person.

Fly from Beijing to Xining (or Lanzhou) and Transfer To Lhasa by Train

Alternative Beijing-Lhasa Travel Route Makes Sense in Three Aspects:

a.It can shorten tourists’ time on the train, because it only takes 21 hours from Xining to Lhasa. Tourists can save 20hours of long and tiring train journey, roughly half way of Beijing-Lhasa train route. And then you continue to head to Lhasa from Xining Railway Station, the essence and beginning of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

b.It can secure your train journey. There are many trains departing from Xining to Lhasa. As a result, it can ensure that visitors will be able to get on board successfully and can minimize the risk of failing to buy ticket from Beijing.

c.The trains bound to Lhasa from Xining normally start from late afternoon. It enables visitors to have longer time to enjoy the scenery from Golmud to Lhasa. Otherwise, if one departs from Beijing, he or she only has several hours to enjoy the scenery, because the time train arrives in Golmud is at night, at around 22:15.

Tips: If the original plan of buying non-stop train from Beijing is insisted, Travel Tibet China cannot ensure 100% of buying the ticket because of the shortage of Beijing-Lhasa train tickets from Beijing railway station. As a result, you may face changing date or degrading to hard sleeping berth, even fail to travel to Tibet. Therefore, the above alternative plan is highly recommended and workable during high season. We feel very sorry for the extra 250 US dollars. Hopefully, you can accept our suggestion and choose a more secured way of travel.

Of course, you can choose to stay in Xining for a couple of days and travel in Xining. Xining is a well-known attraction in Tibetan region. Xining has many attractions: such as Kumbum Monastery, the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism-Lama Tsongkhapa (one of the six prestigious monasteries in Tibet) and Qinghai Lake, the largest inland lake. If you are interested in staying in Xining, you can consult our travel consultants.

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