Lhasa Transportation
Lhasa

Lhasa Transportation

By Kelly PangUpdated Jun. 10, 2021

Lhasa can be accessed by air, train, or by bus, but it is most convenient for tourists to get to Tibet by air.

By Air

Lhasa's Gonggar Airport is 97 kilometers from Lhasa City. It takes about one hour  to get to downtown Lhasa by bus, and the fare is 20 to 25 yuan. Buses from Shigatse or Tsetang to Lhasa also stop at the airport.

At Gonggar Airport there are flights to Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xi'an, Xining, Guangzhou, Chamdo, Kunming, and Katmandu.

Flights to/from Chengdu are the most regular and reliable. Tickets in and out of Lhasa are hard to obtain a week before and after the Shoton Festival.

Gonggar Airport flight information: Tel. 0891-6246465.
Lhasa's air ticket booking office: 1 Nangre Road; Tel: 0891-6833446; 0891-6822393 (at night).

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By Railway

The Qinghai-Tibet railway, also called Lhasa Express, is the world's highest railway line. It runs from Xining in Qinghai Province, past China's largest lake, Qinghai Lake, to Golmud.

Qinghai-Tibet Railway MapQinghai-Tibet Railway Map

Oxygen is released into the cabins at Golmud to prevent altitude sickness and is on hand in canisters for the Golmud to Lhasa leg.

This leg of the journey offers breath-taking scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet railroad, and takes in a couple of railway world records: the highest  railway station (Tanggula Pass, 5,072m/16,640ft) and the highest railway tunnel (Fenghuoshan, 4,905m/16,093ft).

>>See more facts about  Qinghai-Tibet Railway

There are trains to Lhasa from Beijing (48 hours), Xi'an (36 hours), Chongqing (47 hours), Chengdu (48 hours), and Xining (25 hours). It is extremely hard (to the point of impossibility) to buy a train ticket into Tibet during peak travel time from May to October.

The booking fee for obtaining a ticket is ridiculously high, as expensive as 1,000 yuan (around 150 USD)[2021], higher than the ticket itself. Even you are willing to pay that money, you can’t be guaranteed a ticket.

Please contact us to book your train tickets

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Tibet Train Schedule for 2021

Tibet trains run daily between Lhasa and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Xining, and Xi’an, but every other day from/to Chengdu and Chongqing.

Contact us to check Chengdu/Chongqing train datesfor 2021.

Train Route Train Number Departure Arrival Duration
Beijing–Lhasa Z21 08:00 12:10 +2 40 h 10 m
Shanghai–Lhasa Z164 20:07 19:30 +2 47 h 10 m
Guangzhou–Lhasa Z264 11:45 17:05 +2 53 h 20 m
Chengdu–Lhasa Z322 21:37 09:56 +2 36 h 19 m
Chongqing–Lhasa Z223 22:25 09:55 +2 5 h 31 m
Xi'an–Lhasa Z265 09:45 15:45 +1 29 h 51 m
Z165 11:22 19:30 +1 32 h 08 m
Lanzhou–Lhasa Z323 09:26 09:56 +1 24 h 30 m
Z21 12:30 12:31 +1 23 h 59 m
 Z265 17:00 15:45 +1 22 h 45 m
Z165 18:37 19:30 +1 24 h 53 m
Xining–Lhasa Z323 12:20 09:56 +1 21 h 36 m
Z6801 13:50 11:20 +1 21 h 30 m
Z21 15:20 12:30 +1 21 h 30 m
Z265 19:45 15:45 +1 20 h 00 m
Z6811 20:30 17:18 +1 20 h 48 m
Z165 21:20 19:30 +1 22 h 10 m

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Chongqing to Lhasa trains all stop at Lanzhou and Xining. Please contact us for a price of train ticket

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Getting Around

Getting to and from the Airport

Most tourists are picked up from or driven to the airport as part of their tour.

Airport buses greet all incoming flights. Tickets are sold on the bus. Seats are in high demand, so get on early to guarantee a seat.

Airport buses leaves between 05:30 to  13:00 each day from the courtyard in front of the CAAC building on Niangre Road (娘热路), a few minutes’ walk east of the Potala Palace.

A taxi to or from the airport costs about 200-300 yuan. [2021]  

Taking a minibus is the cheapest way to get around in the city. The fare is 2 yuan no matter how far you go. Both buses 1 and 2 run from Norbulingkha to Lhasa  Bus Station.

Buses 3 and 5 go to Dreprung Monastery and 4 goes to Sera Monastery. There are privately run minibuses or jeeps following certain fixed routes and the fare is also 2 yuan. Most of them stop at Tibet Hospital in Jokhang Square.

Taking a taxi should cost you 20 yuan no matter where you go in the city. You can share a taxi with others in Lhasa. The price is 20 yuan per drive as long as you don’t go outside the city. So don’t hesitate to hail a taxi with passengers on board. Actually, it is very hard to find an empty taxi.

Taxis are hard to hail in Lhasa at night or on rainy days. The demand is very high, and you may need to wait for around 10–20 minutes to get one.  

But if you want to go out of town, you'd better negotiate with the driver over the price. For Dreprung Monastery, you ought to pay about 30 yuan.

Tricycle cabs are common on the streets of Lhasa, and are an interesting sight. If you want to ride one, just wave your hands. Riding a tricycle is a good way to enjoy the the city at a slow pace.

A tricycle usually takes two people and the price varies from 7 yuan to 15 yuan for short trips. Before getting on don't forget to negotiate the price.

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