The distance between Chengdu and Zhangjiajie is 866 kilometers (538 miles). We recommend traveling by plane as there are no direct trains from Chengdu to Zhangjajie.
However, if you're looking for a cheaper option and have plenty of time, the train is the way to go as taking the train in China is an experience in itself and is a great way to enjoy the Chinese countryside views as well as make friends and experience Chinese life on a train!
How to get to Zhangjiajie from Chengdu by air
There are just a few flights a week to Zhangjiajie from Chengdu. Direct flights take approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes, and the flights go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with Air China. Tickets start at approximately 125 USD but will double or triple in the lead up to peak season.
If you're okay with a layover you can fly with China Southern or Sichuan Airlines, both stop in Xining. All of these options will have you flying into Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport.
How to get to Zhangjiajie from Chengdu by train
Taking trains from Chengdu to Zhangjiajie, you will need to change once. In the first two options you don't have to change station, but for more direct options you will need to transfer between two stations in the same city/town...
Your first option is to take the train from Chengdu East Railway Station (15 per day) or Chengdu Railway Station (2 daily) to Yichang East Station. This takes approximately 7 hours and there are options to do this overnight. From here, you can take train K1609 or K1473 to Zhangjiajie Railway Station at 00.41am or 1.31pm respectively. The second train takes about 5 hours. This is the faster option.
Your second option is to take high-speed train G2855 at 12:06 from Chengdu East Railway Station to Liuzhou (which takes about 7.5 hours), and then take overnight train K748 at 21:03 for 11 hours from Luizhou to Zhangjiajie Railway Station.
The most direct train option is to transfer at Huaihua in Guizhou, but it requires a cross-city taxi in Huaihua:
1. G2371: 07:03 Chengdu Dong (East) to Huaihua Nan (South) 12:23 (5h20m)
Transfer from Huaihua Nan (South) to Huaihua Station in 2h 45m.
2. K1374: 15:08 Huaihua to Zhangjiajie 18:46 (3h 38m)
Total journey time: 11h 43m
You could also transfer in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou, which has overnight train options as for Liuzhou above but is more direct, though a cross-city taxi is needed between Guiyang North and Guizhou Station.
Transfering in Sanjiang, a Dong minority town in Guangxi, you could have a quick look at the amazing Dong architecture and an oil tea supper in the evening before catching the overnight train to Zhangjiajie.
Note: Train info is subject to change. You can use the China Highlights train ticket service to instantly check journey options and ticket prices per seat category, or to find out the latest availability on both stretches. Tickets for these journeys by train range from approximately 46 USD to 245 USD.
Chengdu to Zhangjiajie Travel Tips
The best time to go to Zhangjiajie is when there are no public holidays in China, as it gets really busy, and when the weather is best.
Between September and early November, the weather is comfortable. You can also go between April and June if you don't mind humidity and the occasional rain.
Chinese public holidays will lead to more expensive accommodation and flights (and sold out flights), these times are:
- China's summer holiday season (July and August)
- Labor Day (May 1–3)
- National Day (October 1–7)
- Spring Festival (late January or early to mid February)
We recommend you get to the airport at least 2½ hours before departure, and 3 during peak times. There can be really long check-in and security lines during holidays and weekends. Train stations also get very busy and train tickets get sold out well in advance at these times, especially before Chinese New Year (Spring Festival).
- Beijing – Xi'an – Zhangjiajie – Guilin/Yangshuo – Shanghai
- Beijing – Xi'an – Zhangjiajie – Yangtze River – Shanghai
Touring Zhangjiajie and Chengdu
Zhangjiajie is really a once-in-a-lifetime destination. We've got plenty of Zhangjiajie tours depending on how much time you have and how active you want to be. We can take you around for four full days to explore everything these gorgeous mountains have to offer, or take you on a one-day tour of the glass bridge and Baofeng lake.
If you need help planning your trip to Chengdu, check out our Chengdu tours. These can be customized to suit a budget or other requirement too, whether you're looking to see the incredible giant panda or want to explore Chengdu's neighboring villages.
And of course, our tours can be tailored to your needs. Please contact us here if you've got any special requests or requirements, or need help navigating your journey from Chengdu to Zhangjiajie.