Tibet Train from Beijing to Lhasa: Learn more about Beijing

The Beijing-Lhasa train route is also known as the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The train journey from Beijing to Lhasa takes approximately 40-48 hours, covering a distance of about 3,757 kilometres (2,335 miles). The departure and arrival times may vary depending on the season and any changes made by the railway authority. Launched in July 2006, the Beijing Lhasa train (T27) is one of the original routes of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, along with the Chengdu to Lhasa and Xining to Lhasa lines. The train departs from Beijing West Station.

great wall of china2

 It is always recommended to check the latest schedules with the official railway website or an authorized agent. Here is an example of the typical plan for the Beijing-Lhasa train:

Train No.DepartureArrivalsDurations
Z21Beijing West
38 Hrs
Route Option 2
Z55Beijing West
16.98 Hrs
On Route StationsBeijing West—>Shi Jiazhuag—>Yangquan North—>Taiyuan—>Zhongwei—>Lanzhou
Transit Route
08:55 (2nd Day)
11:17 (3rd Day)
26.37 Hrs
On Route StationLanzhou —>Xining—>Germu—>Amdo—>Nakchu—>Nakchu
Route Option 3
G429Beijing West
Lanzhou West
8.78 Hrs
On Route StationsBeijing West—>Shijiazhuang—>Zhenzhou East—>Xián North—>Lanzhou West
Transit Route
08:55 (2nd Day)
11:17 (3rd Day)
26.3 Hrs


Beijing is the best place to begin the Qinghai-Tibet train journey

Beijing is an excellent starting point for a journey to Tibet because of its convenient transportation and China’s historical attractions. As the capital and a vibrant cosmopolitan city, Beijing is a popular choice for foreign travellers entering China. Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport globally, capable of accommodating travellers worldwide.

tibet train near highway

Foreign tourists can land in Beijing and visit attractions like the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Great Wall, and Tiananmen Square before heading to Tibet via the Qinghai-Tibet railway. Additionally, some tourists may continue their journey to Nepal through Tibet. The Beijing-Tibet-Nepal route is highly favoured by travellers exploring Asia.

Famous Places you must Explore in Beijing

Great Wall of China 

great wall of china

Beijing, the capital city of China, is a vibrant and dynamic destination that offers a plethora of attractions. One of the most popular places to visit in Beijing is the iconic Great Wall of China. Stretching across thousands of miles, this ancient marvel of engineering and architecture is a testament to human perseverance and ingenuity. As you traverse the wall, you can’t help but be in awe of the breathtaking landscapes that surround you. From lush green mountains to rugged terrains, the Great Wall offers a truly mesmerizing experience.

Forbidden City of Beijing

Another must-visit place in Beijing is the Forbidden City, which served as the imperial palace for nearly five centuries. This majestic complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and showcases the grandeur and opulence of China’s imperial past. As you step through the imposing gates, you are transported back in time to an era of emperors and dynasties. Explore the intricate halls, pavilions, and gardens, marvel at the exquisite architecture, and learn about the rich history and cultural significance of each structure.

Temple of Heaven

great wall of china1

For those seeking a spiritual experience, a visit to the Temple of Heaven is a must. Built-in the 15th century, this magnificent temple complex was a place where emperors would come to pray for good harvests and divine guidance. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, with its iconic blue roof and intricate wooden structure, is a sight to behold. Wander through the sprawling gardens, take part in traditional ceremonies, or simply find a quiet corner to meditate and soak in the tranquillity of this spiritual sanctuary.

National Museum of China

If you’re a fan of Chinese art and history, the National Museum of China is a treasure trove of cultural riches. With a collection spanning over 5,000 years, this museum showcases the best of Chinese art, calligraphy, porcelain, and ancient artefacts. Immerse yourself in the artistic legacy of China as you wander through the galleries, marvelling at masterpieces that have stood the test of time.

Traditional Hutongs Street in Beijing

No visit to Beijing is complete without exploring the bustling streets of the city’s traditional hutongs. These narrow alleyways are a window into the local way of life, where you can witness the fusion of old and new. From traditional courtyard houses to trendy boutiques and hip cafes, the hutongs offer a glimpse into the evolving face of Beijing. Take a leisurely stroll, interact with the friendly locals, and savour delicious street food as you immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.

Beijing Olympic Park

In addition to these iconic attractions, Beijing also offers a wealth of other options for visitors. From the serene Summer Palace and the modern marvels of the Olympic Park to the lively markets of Wangfujing Street and the enchanting beauty of the Ming Tombs, there is something for everyone in this captivating city. Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply a traveller seeking new adventures, Beijing promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more.

Beijing Train Station Detail Information

Beijing West railway station is situated at No. 118, Lotus Pond Park East Road, Fengtai District, Beijing. It has entrances on the second floor in the north and entrances for ticket verification in the south. The station also offers exit 2 (northeast), south entrances, parking lots, ticket outlet 1, P5 underground parking garages, and other facilities.

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Beijing Capital Airport – Beijing Railway Station Transportation

  1. Airport Shuttle Bus No.03 connects Capital Airport and Beijing Railway Station
  2. Taxi fare: about RMB 120 ( 28km )
  3. The subway. Line 2 has four exits: C and D for leaving, and A and B for entering.
  4. Subway line 2 connects to Beijing South Railway Station (line 4), Beijing West Railway Station (line 9), and Beijing North Railway Station (lines 2 and 4). See Beijing Subway Map for details.

Cafes and Restaurants
There are some clean and quality cafes and restaurants available at Beijing Railway Station like KFC.

Tibet Travel Permit is Must needed document to take Beijing Lhasa Train

To travel to Tibet from Beijing by train, you need a permit. You can book tickets without them, but you must have them to board the train. Backpackers cannot enter Tibet independently, so you need a travel agency to help you apply for the Tibet Travel Permit in advance. The permit and your ticket will be checked during check-in. A photocopy of the permit is acceptable in Beijing. Usually, travel agencies obtain the permit a few days before your train journey and deliver it to your hotel. Once approved, the train ride offers breathtaking views and encounters with Tibetan culture. It also provides time for introspection and a sense of tranquillity. The permit is worth the effort for the transformative experience of exploring Tibet’s beauty, culture, and spirituality.

Tibet Travel Permit Girl permit copy

To explore Tibet by train, you need a Tibet travel permit. This permit is crucial and different from a Chinese visa. To obtain it, book a tour with a registered travel agency in Tibet. They will assist with the application process and provide knowledgeable guides. Apply in advance with accurate personal information to avoid rejection. 

What sort of window view do we expect to see on Tibet Train?

Just like a car road trip, one can enjoy the scenery on both sides. The stunning scenery along the Beijing-Lhasa railway will never disappoint. As the train passes Xining and enters the Golmud region, breathtaking views appear one after another. Capture this memorable experience with your camera. Major attractions include Qarhan Salt Lake, Yuzhu Peak, Kekexili Nature Reserve, Tuotuo He River, Tangula Pass, Tsonag Lake, Qiangtang Prairie, Namtso, etc.

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Riding the Qinghai-Tibet train is an unforgettable experience. The train is designed for high altitudes and offers breathtaking views. For more information on the scenery, Please check here.

Travel Tips for Catching Your Train

  1. Verify your train ticket and ensure that you arrive at the appropriate train station.
  2. You will be granted access to the train 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. The train will be sealed off 5 minutes before departure, so make sure to be punctual.
  3. While waiting in the designated area, please consult the real-time train schedule and a display showing the boarding time for your train.
  4. Form a queue for the ticket inspection conducted by the ticket collectors or insert your ticket into the turnstile (be certain to select the correct platform).
  5. Present your ticket to the train attendant stationed at the doorway of your train carriage before embarking on your journey.
tibet Train on Grassland Views

Important things to Note:

  • The schedule above is only for reference.
  • Foreign tourists must obtain a Tibet Entry Permit before buying a train ticket to Tibet. Ticket-only service is not available.
  • Tibet train tickets sell out fast, so inquire 3-5 months before departure.
  • Limited tickets from Beijing to Lhasa, so fly to Xining and take a train to Lhasa instead.

Feel free to contact us to inquire about customizing a Tibet tour that includes a flight to Tibet. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.


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About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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