Xi'an is situated in the very heart of China's transportation network. It is easy to reach by plane, train and bus. Please read below for more information about arrival and departure into Xi'an, as well as different means of getting around the city.
Xi'an is served by the Xi'an Yang Airport, which is located around 45 kilometers from the city, about a one hour drive. As the fourth largest airport in China, the Xi'an Yang International Airport (XIY) has several flights to and from Xi'an to the major tourist stops such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Urumuqi and other cities in China.
Direct international flights are also available to Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and a few other Asian cities. International airline routes from Germany, France, Britain, America and Canada are available via transfers in Beijing and Shanghai. Presently, with a total of 25 international air routes, Xi'an has become the city with most international connections in Western China.
The CAAC office, located at Dongmen Wai, Shimao Dasha in Xi'an at telephone number (8629) 8248-1111, delivers airline tickets free of charge. You can also book tickets through the Xi'an Hua'an Airlines ticket office at No. 60 Nan Dajie at telephone number (8629) 8724-1503 . Discounts are possible.
Travelers should aim to arrive at least 2 hours before your flight. For inquiries you can contact Xi'an Yang International Airport (8629) 8724-1503.
The busy train station, in the northeast corner of town, just outside the city walls, is a major terminus for the east-west line which splits just east of the city, one branch going north to Beijing, the other east to Shanghai. The train station is opened 24 hours.
Hotels also offer train ticket booking service for a nominal service charge. Trains can really be packed with people during holidays so be sure to buy train tickets one week in advance of travel, especially during peak travel seasons.
City to City Bus
The Xi'an Bus Station is located just to the northwest of the railway station square. Long-distance buses commute between Xi'an and many large cities, covering 18 provinces and over 300 cities and counties. Regular buses connect to Zhengzhou (573km/355 miles; 9 hr.; RMB111), Luoyang (425km/264 miles; 7 hr.; RMB65), Taiyuan (685km/425 miles; 12 hr.; RMB128), and Tianshui (380km/236 miles; 6 hr.; RMB60). Six buses connect to Pingyao (7am-12:30pm; 8 hr.; RMB115) and to Yan'an (402km/249 miles; 6 hr.; RMB52-RMB68). Five afternoon sleeper buses connect to Yinchuan (720km/446 miles; 15 hr.; RMB110).
People usually buy bus tickets on the same day of travel. As most buses arrive at night, it's best to have a destination in mind and hail a taxi.
The largest concentration of city buses is found outside the train station at the northern end of Jiefang Lu. There are other clusters just outside the South Gate, and at the southern end of Yanta Lu, just north of the Big goose Pagoda.
Most buses are self-service, so remember to prepare some small change prior to boarding. Normal buses cost RMB1 per person and air-conditioned buses are RMB 2 per person.
Bus #603 and #611 are particularly useful (see table below) There are also many mini-buses, with the price generally ranging from RMB 0.5 to 4 according to the distance of the journey. Take good care of your belongings, as pickpockets target both residents and tourists alike in crowded places.
There are plenty of taxis cruising the streets and they can be hailed anywhere. Most taxis are green Santana sedans that charge RMB 6 for the first 3 km (2 miles), then RMB 1.40 per additional kilometer.
If you take a taxi at night after 11 pm, the flag-down rate will increase to RMB 7 and then RMB1.8 for each extra kilometer. Each waiting time of 5 minutes adds an additional charge to the passenger fee of 1 kilometer.
The nicer taxis will charge RMB 8 for the first 2 km and RMB 2.4 for every extra km. Drivers use the meter in town, but for the longer distance destinations (such as the Terra-cotta Warrior Museum, airport, etc.) you will need to agree on a price prior to departure. It is a good idea to write down your destination in Chinese since taxi drivers in Xi'an often do not speak English.
As the streets are wide and flat, bicycling is a good way to get around. All the major streets have bike lanes controlled at major intersections by officials with flags. There are, however, few bike parks, and most people run the risk of a RMB 10 fine by leaving their bikes padlocked to railings. Make sure you have a good security chain for your bike. You can rent a bike at many hotels. They usually charge RMB 20 a day, with a deposit of up to RMB 200. Alternatively you can purchase a new bicycle for anywhere from RMB150 ¨C 300; or buy a used second hand bike for RMB 50 ¨C 120.