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Beijing to Xi'an by Train or Plane

Both domestic flights and high-speed trains travel frequently between Beijing and Xi'an, one of the most popular tourist routes in China. But which one is better?

Beijing to Xi'an by High-Speed Train vs Plane


Plane Bullet Train
Ticket Price 450 – 2230 CNY (USD 66-328) 515.5 – 1627.5 CNY (USD 76-239)
Duration 2 – 2.5 hours 4.5 – 6 hours
Total Travel Time 6 hours 7 – 8 hours
Punctuality Sometimes there will be delays Punctual
Seat Space Cramped More leg room
Traveling with children Not recommended Recommended

Beijing to Xi'an plane vs bullet train

Price

High-Speed Train

Price for bullet trains is fixed. Second class seat on Beijing to Xi'an high-speed trains is USD76 per ticket; first class is USD121 per ticket.

Plane

Air fare fluctuates according to the season and command. A flight ticket from Beijing to Xi'an is usually at USD66 to USD238.

From Beijing to Xi'an, during the off season (from January to March and Novermber to December, Spring Festival and New Year's Holiday excluded), or when airlines have major discount, air ticket can be cheaper than high-speed train ticket. During peak season like from April to September, high-speed train ticket is much cheaper.

Travel Time

The high-speed train from Beijing to Xi'an takes 4.5 to 6 hours for the journey. Compared to plane, less time will be spent on local transportation if you take a high-speed train. Beijing to Xi'an bullet trains operate at Beijing West and Xi'an North railway stations. Local transportation spends about 30 minutes from both stations to the center of the cities.

The flight itself from Beijing to Xi'an will take 2.5 hours, plus an hour to 2 hours from the airport to the city center. Security check and check-in time at the airport take a longer time than at the train station.

To sum up, the flight from Beijing to Xi'an is much faster than the high-speed train. But the total travel time from door to door doesn't have much difference.

Punctuality

Flights are more likely to delay than high-speed trains due to its sensitivity to the weather. High-speed trains are more stable and they are nearly 100% on time.

Which is Better if Travel with Children

If you are traveling from Beijing to Xi'an with children, or with families as a group, it is recommended to take a high-speed train instead of a flight, because of the following reasons:

  • Seats on high-speed trains have more space than on the plane. The second class on a bullet train is basically the same as the ecomomy class on the plane, but provide more leg room.
  • You can walk around to stretch your leg or appreciate the scenery outside of the window when the train is running.
  • Internet and electronic devices like cell phone can be used on a high-speed train.
  • If you would like to save the daytime for sightseeing, a high-speed overnight train is a good choice for you, and it can also save you one night's hotel bill. Soft sleeper which have four berths in a private compartment is perfect for a family.

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