If you are going to visit Beijing, you are advised to include Xian on your travel agenda. It takes either approxi 11 hours by express overnight train or one and half hours by flight from Beijing to Xian, or vice versa. If you want to enjoy an exotic experience of taking a train travel, going to Xian from Beijing by overnight train is highly recommended.
Unlike flight online booking, train ticket booking is quite time consuming and uncertain with its booking system still based on a very traditional and offline stage. Train booking experience is not cool, often involved in much human communication and many local regulations
Tip # 01: Find your ideal train from Beijing to Xian
There are about 12 daily trains connecting Beijing and Xian with the fastest train taking 11 hours and slowest 15 hours. Of the 12 trains, only 4 trains offer direct train service between Beijing and Xian. Others are passing through trains. So you are suggested to buy the train tickets linked to one of the 4 direct trains listed as below
T41 Beijing – Xian ( 16:43 – next morning 05:22)
T231 Beijing – Xian ( 16:55 – next morning 06:42)
Z19 Beijing – Xian (21:18 – next morning 08:19) (hot)
Z53 Beijing – Xian (21:24 – Next morning 08:250
Soft Sleeper Tikcet Price: RMB 417 down level ( 4 bed cabin )
Usually a local travel agency will charge you extra for handling and delivery fees. If you book more tickets, you can bargain with them to reduce handling and delivery fees.
Tip # 03: How to take a train from Beijing to Xian
1) Since all the trains are all overnight trains, I would suggest you packing food, or snacks and drinks for both dinner and breakfast.
2) Like other Chinese cities, Beijing Western Railway Station is very busy. Keep a tight hold or eye on your ticket and belongings when you go through security check by using a conveyor belt for luggage checks, much like what you get at the airport.
3) Once in the hall, you see a huge train schedule board providing timely information on the trains in and out. Though all the city names are all in Chinese, you till can find your train and in which platform your train leaves by recognizing your train number and arabic number ( platform number ) on the right of that train number.
4) A clerk from the waiting lounge will check your train ticket before you go to your platform for embarking.
5) At the entrance to the train, passengers must give the tickets to the conductoress of the rail car to exchange for a boarding card. The card shows your berth number same with the ticket. Once you are on the train and the train is moving, the conductress will walk to you again to check your passport or ID card for security reason. When the train is about to arrive, the conductress will approach you to exchange the card back for the ticket.
5) Four people in one compartment – two upper berths and two lower berths. Most people prefer lower berth to avoid the clumsiness of climbing. So lower berth are harder to get than upper berths. The sheets, one pillow and quilt are very clean and tidy. High up there is a big luggage rack. Well, you will find some portable window seats.
6) There is always hot water available on the trains in flasks. If you have your own glass and tea, you can use the hot water to make the tea.
7) Each sleeper is with a LCD TV. i.e. 4 LCD per compartme
8) The train is well equipped with some useful facilities on both ends of the car – a three-basin wanshing room, two clean toilets, one free hot water cooker. If you have your own glass and tea, you can use the hot water to make the tea.
9) All the compartments are non-smoking. But for heavy smokers, please don’t be dissappointed. On each linked area between two rail cars, you can smoke! One ashtray is hung on the wall of the linked area.
Tips # 04: Watch out for fake train tickets
Train tickets are the hottest products on the market in China, especially duriing Chinese public holidays. This lucrative mmarket has generated many train tickets selling vendors. So avoid buying tickets from the local vendors and train ticket counterfeiters.
Tips # 05: Avoid taking trains during China public holidays
The train tickets are hard to get during the following Chinese festivals and we kindly suggest you buy air-tickets on these special day:
New Year’Day ( 1st Jan, three-day holiday )
Spring Festival ( later Jan and early Feb )
Tomb Sweeping Day ( Early April, 3-day holiday )
Mid-Autumn festival ( Aug-Sept, 3-day holiday )
May Day ( 1st May, three-day holiday)
National Day (1st Oct, week-long holiday
Chinese New Year ( later Jan and early Feb )
Xian Railway Station is located just to the north of the northeast corner of Xian City Wall. The main road “Jiefang Road” ends at Xian Railway Station – its north tip and connects southward the Dong Dajie. The ticketing office (except selling Bullet Train Tickets) is to the right of the main entrance if you face the train station. You are requested to buy train tickets in advance to secure the hard or soft sleeper tickets back to Beijing or other cities.
The Xian tourism bus terminal is located in the square on the right side of the train station if you face the station. There are four major tourism bus routes including Raiway Station to Terra Cotta Army ( Buse 5 ), to Qianling Tomb ( Bus 3 ), Famen Temple (Bus 2) and Huanshan Mountain (Bus 1). For the detailes, please check the below:
Tourism Bus 1: Railway Station to Huanshan Mountain
Leave: 8:00am from the station
Return: 05:00pm from Huanshan
Fare: RMB 22