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Frequently Asked Questions about the Beijing to Xian Train

How long does it take to go from Beijing to Xian by Train?

It takes 4 to 6 hours to go from Beijing to Xian by bullet train or 11 to 15 hours by sleeper train.

What time is the first Beijing to Xian Train?

The first train leaves Beijing West Station at 06:27 and arrives in Xian at 11:03.

How many trains go from Beijing to Xian per day?

There are 28 trains from Beijing to Xian every day. 19 high-speed bullet trains and 9 slow, sleeper trains.

How much does the Biejing to Xian Cost?

Tickets cost from ¥515 ($73) for a fast train and ¥148 ($21 for a slow train).

About the Beijing to Xian Train

Bell Tower, Xi'an
Bell Tower, Xi’an

There are 28 daily trains running between Beijing and Xian. 19 of these are the ultra-modern high-speed trains and 9 of these are the slower sleeper trains. The trains run from 06:27 in the morning to 22:06 at night (correct as of December 2019, source: Trip.com).

The fastest of the high-speed trains takes just four hours and twenty minutes from Beijing to Xian.

Types of Train

Beijing to Xian High-Speed (Bullet) Train

China’s high-speed rail network is one of the best in the world. The bullet trains usually have 8 carriages, but sometimes double this on popular routes. The carriages are made up of the following seats: –

  • 2nd Class – Rows of three seats on one side of the isle and two on the other.
  • 1st Class – Larger seats with two on one side of the isle and one on the other.
  • Business Class – One seat on each side of the isle.

Pro tip: The 2nd Class seats are comfortable with plenty of leg room, and fine for this journey.

Beijing to Xian Sleeper (Slow) Train

The sleeper trains are an excellent option for travellers on a budget. Not only are the fares very cheap by international standards, but you can save on a night’s accommodation and wake up in Xi’an.

The sleeper trains have the following sleeping/seating options:

  • Hard Seat – Not recommended for this journey. The seats are uncomfortable and upright and the carriages are very busy with people standing/sitting in the aisles.
  • Hard Sleeper – Open plan carriage with rows of three beds. Perfectly comfortable for this trip.
  • Soft Sleeper – Four berth cabins with lockable doors. If you are not on a tight budget then this is a more comfortable option, but not necessary.

How much is a ticket from Beijing to Xian?

Fast Train Ticket Prices

ClassCost (RMB)Cost (USD)
2nd Class ¥515.50 $73.00
1st Class ¥824.50 $117.00
Business Class ¥1627.50 $230.00

Sleeper Train Ticket Prices

ClassCost (RMB)Cost (USD)
Hard Seat ¥148.50 $21.00
Hard Sleeper ¥272.50 $39.00
Soft Sleeper ¥415.50 $59.00

Average prices from Trip.com correct as of December 2019. Converted using XE.com and subject to change. See schedule below for exact prices for each Beijing to Xian train.

How to Buy Tickets for the Beijing to Xian Train

Tickets go on sale one month in advance (for busy routes additional trains are sometimes added nearer to departure date).

At the Station

Tickets can be purchased from any station in Beijing (and indeed China). At Beijing West Station where the Xian trains depart, the ticket office is to the left of the main entrance. It is unlikely you will find anyone speaking English, though you may be lucky.

If you don’t speak Chinese you will need to research the train you want online and write down the train number, seat option and date, but you might as well just book the whole thing online (see below).

China Railways Booking Agency

There are China Railway booking agencies throughout Beijing and you can purchase tickets here for a small transaction fee of ¥5 ($0.70). As with the stations, it is even less likely to find English speaking staff.

Online

So, how can you buy a ticket if you don’t speak Chinese? As someone who has lived in China for nearly 5 years, I can say that by far the easiest way to book is using the Trip.com app (or website).

Trip.com charge a ¥30 ($4.25) transaction fee but it’s so easy that I don’t mind paying this. Everything is in English and it’s easy to search for trains and pay online. You will then be emailed a reference number which you just present at the ticket window next to the station. You can also pick up your tickets booked on Trip at the booking agencies (for the additional ¥5).

Where do I get the Beijing to Xian Train From?

All trains for Xian leave from Beijing West Station. The fast trains go to Xian North Station and the sleeper trains go to the more central Xian Railway Station (with the last train going to Xian South).

Current Beijing to Xian Train Schedule

Trains from Beijing West to Xian North (Bullet Train)

Trains from Beijing West to Xian Railway Station (Sleeper)

Beijing to Xian Schedule

Trains from Beijing West to Xian South (Sleeper)

Beijing to Xian Schedule

Prices obtained from Trip.com in December 2019. Prices are in RMB (yuan).

Where to stay in Xian?

Xi’an offers everything from budget accommodation like the fantastic Travelling with Hostel next to the South gate to more luxurious hotels like the nearby Howard Johnson Plaza. Check Booking.com for a full list of options.

Looking for things to do in Xian? It’s not just all about the Terracotta Warriors and there is plenty to do in and around the city. See my comprehensive Xian City Guide for more.

Need a VPN for China? Check out which will be the best for you: Best VPN in China.

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