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Shanghai to Lhasa Train

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Shanghai to Lhasa Train - Ticket Price & Cost, Schedule, Route, Fares, Permit, Booking 2020

Getting to Lhasa from Shanghai by train will be a great journey for tourists who want to deeply experience the highest land. There is only one daily train from Shanghai to Lhasa. Train Z164 will start from Shanghai Railway Station at 20:10 and arrive at Lhasa Railway Station at 19:44 in approximately 3 days.

The Z164 (return Z166) train connecting Shanghai and Lhasa was one of the three early railway links with Tibet. This railway line travels across 8 provinces from eastern to western China traveling a total of 4373 kilometers each way in total. It normally takes about 47 and a half hours from Shanghai to Lhasa. As the train travels through the spectacular mountain ranges, the conductors in each compartment will use Chinese, Tibetan and English languages to introduce renowned scenic spots along the railway line as well as discussing Tibetan customs, the making of Tibetan dishes, etc.

Shanghai to Lhasa Train Schedules and Fares

Shanghai Lhasa Train Schedules and Fares

Shanghai to Lhasa Train Z164 Timetable

Every day, the Train Z164 leaves Shanghai Railway Station at 20:18. After about 46 hours train riding, Z164 get to Lhasa Railway Station at 17:30 on the third day.

Train Number Departure Arrival Duration Distance Frequency Ticket Price
Z164(Shanghai-Lhasa) 20:08 19:35 47:27 Hours 4,373km daily ¥793.5
Hard sleeper
Soft sleeper

Timetable of Lhasa to Shanghai Train - No.Z166

The returning train Z166 departs from Lhasa Railway Station at 11:25am, and arrives at Shanghai Railway Station at 11:51 on the third day (about 48hrs 26 mins in total).

Train Number Departure Arrival Duration Distance Frequency Ticket Price
Z166(Lhasa-Shanghai) 11:30 11:51 48:21 Hours daily ¥793.5
Hard sleeper
Soft sleeper

*Note:The actual arrival and departure time of train, please refer to the information on your ticket, or consult your travel consultant.

About ticket price:

The ticket prices above are the net price. In reality, as traveling in Tibet is so popular that the actual ticket demand far exceeds the supply, in-bound and out-bound tourists have to pay more than the net price to buy tickets. The actual price is subject to the market fluctuation. In some cases, the actual price could be double than the net price. Despite the uncertainty and difficulty in purchasing train tickets, Travel Tibet China would manage to book tickets at a reasonable price ( usually 20 percent lower than the market price) and promise to offer free service for it. If tourists only want to buy train tickets via Travel Tibet China without intending to travel to Tibet, Travel Tibet China will have to charge a small amount of service fee.

Shanghai to Lhasa Train day-by-day Timetable

No. Train Stations Sation in Chinese Arrival Time Dept. Time Staying Days
01 Shanghai 上海 --- 20:10 -- Day 01
02 Suzhou 苏州 20:55 20:58 3 minutes Day 01
03 Wuxi 无锡 21:20 21:23 3 minitues Day 01
04 Nanjing 南京 22:56 23:05 9 minitues Day 01
05 Bengbu 蚌埠 00:37 00:40 3minitues Day 02
06 Xuzhou 徐州 02:09 02:20 7minitues Day 02
07 Zhengzhou 郑州 05:07 05:14 8 minitues Day 02
07 Xi'an 西安 11:14 11:24 10 minitues Day 02
08 Lanzhou 兰州 18:17 18:34 17 minitues Day 02
09 Xining 西宁 21:07 21:27 20 minitues Day 02
10 Golmud 格尔木 04:21 04:46 25 minitues Day 03
11 Nagqu 那曲 14:56 15:10 18minitues Day 03
12 Lhasa 拉萨 19:30 --- --- Day 03

Most of the major attractions along the Shanghai-Lhasa railway route will be seen as the train enters Golmud, for the highlights of Qinghai-Tibet train exist in Xining-Lhasa railway section.


To be able to board the Shanghai-Lhasa train, foreign tourists have to show your passport, Tibet Travel Permit, and train ticket to the train inspector. If tourists want to travel in Tibet, you need to find a licensed and trustworthy travel agency to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit.

For detailed introduction of how to apply for Tibet Travel Permit.

Where to recharge your mobile phones and electronic devices?

The powerplugfor chargers are located in the corridors OR under your table inthe cabin with the 4 soft sleepers (in between the 2 lower bunks).

Can touristshave shower in the train?

Unfortunately, there is no shower room in the train.Dobring some wet wipesin stores anda smalltowel, and small but equally important thing:toilet/tissue paper.

Is it possible to swap ticket with other people to stay with friends or family inthe same cabin?

Yes. It is acceptable.You may ask conductor to swaptickets with other passengers to stay with your family or friends.

Is smoking allowed in the cabin?

Smoking is strictly forbidden in the trainas thetrain is tightly sealed and pressurized and oxygen is pumped into the carriagewhen the train ascends to extreme altitude. It would be devastating if thetrain caught fire.

Is it necessary to carry Tibet Travel Permit all the time?

Make sure you have your passport, Tibet Travel Permit andticket with youas you could be checked many times during the longjourney.

It is advisable to havemany copies of Tibet Travel Permit.

How can we minimize the effect of altitude sickness?

The effect of altitude sickness onpassengers varies. Yet, to minimize or ease the impact of altitude sickness,one mayprepare somealtitude sickness tabletsbefore boarding the train and take some whenthe train climbs to plateau. There is no need to worry too much thealtitude sickness, the train is built withoxygen suppley system. It is easy to use.

Why Shanghai Lhasa Train is recommended?

1. No matter you choose Shanghai to Lhasa route or Lhasa to Shanghai route, Shanghai is an ideal city for both international arrival and departure because there are many international flights and cruises connecting the global world.

2. There is a daily train guaranteed for both Shanghai to Lhasa route or Lhasa to Shanghai route. You don’t have to wait another day.

3. If you travel Shanghai with Tibet by train, you will have a wonderful contrast experience – modernity and spiritual land.

The Shanghai Lhasa Train has to run as far as 4373km (2,717 miles) from eastern China to far western China, through 8 provinces, and lifts up more than 5000 meters from lower-altitude Shanghai (0m) to Tanggula Mountains (5068m). It takes about 48 hours to travel between Shanghai and Lhasa by train.

Facilities on Shanghai Lhasa Train – Life on the Train

Air Conditioning and Oxygen Supply There is an air-conditioning system on the train to create a comfortable temperature and ensure clean and fresh air. There are also two kinds of oxygen supply systems equipped with on the train. One is a ‘dispersion-mode’ oxygen supply system, which spreading oxygen in the train’s cars through the air-con system. The other system is directly used by passengers through the independent port.
Food and Drink There is a dining carriage in the middle position of the train which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and some snacks. Only some Chinese food and cuisines are provided rice, vegetables, meats, and soups. You can also buy packed food from the Food Trolley. Hot water is provided all the time. The water received from the washing area is not drinkable.
Luggage Storage If you are taking a Soft Sleeper, you can put your luggage or suitcases on the luggage closet above the door in each Soft Sleeper Carriage. It is about 16 inches (40cm) high and 20 inches (50cm) wide. If you are taking a Hard Sleeper, just place your luggage and suitcases on the luggage racks above the window by the side of the aisle.
Toilet and Washing The toilets in Soft Sleeper Carriages are one western-style toilet and another squat toilet. While in the carriages of Hard Sleepers and Hard Seats, there are only squat toilets available. Bring toilet paper on your own. There is a simple washbasin on each side of the carriages. Only cold water is provided, undrinkable.
Compartment In the Soft Sleeper Compartment, there are a small table, a heat-retaining vacuum flask, and a trash can. Under the table is a plug to get power supply. There is also a small TV fixed on the door near the aisle. Close to the window, there is an outlet of oxygen. While in the Hard Sleeper Compartment, there are some other friendly facilities – a small table, a thermos, a dustbin.

Altitude Change of Shanghai to Lhasa Train

Shanghai lies at sea level. The subtle altitude change between Shanghai and Lanzhou will not cause any discomfort to you. After Lanzhou, the altitude climbs slowly to 2,275 meters at Xining. Xining is the first station where altitude sickness is likely to occur for a few passengers.

The altitude begins to ascend and reaches 2,829 meters when arriving at Golmud at 04:15. After Golmud, the altitude increases sharply by more than 1,000 meters in less than 100 kilometers, causing altitude sickness for some passengers. When arriving at the world’ s highest railway pass, the Tanggula Pass (5,072m), most tourists will suffer from altitude sickness. Then, the altitude drops slowly as you travel south through Nagqu and finally reaches 3,650 meters in Lhasa.

Oxygen Supply and Altitude Sickness on the Shanghai to Lhasa train

Sometimes called “mountain sickness”, altitude sickness is a group of symptoms that can strike if you walk or climb to a higher altitude too quickly. Characterized by symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, altitude sickness is the biggest concern for traveling to Tibet.

Air-conditioning alone is not sufficient to make a cozy environment on the train to Tibet. The oxygen supply is the key element to ensure passengers' comfort and safety. There are two oxygen-supply systems on each train. One is used for increasing the oxygen level in the train, by temperature and air pressure controlling systems, when the train enters into the plateau zone. The other is directly used by passengers through an independent port. There are oxygen supply tubes and masks in each cabin for emergencies. Private oxygen masks are provided to every passenger, whatever ticket they have. In sleeping berth cars, you can find outlets on the wall beside the windows, while in seat cars, you can find outlets under your seat.

How to Book Shanghai Lhasa Train Tickets


There are two ways to book the Train Tickets – book on your own or contact a travel agency to book for you. If you are already in Beijing or other cities in China, you can go to any of railway station to book the train tickets. Original passport and photocopy of Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is required. You can ask the conductor to provide your preferred sleepers (upper or lower) if they are available. You can also provide us your passport information, and we will book the train tickets for you online.

Some useful tips to increase the chance of successful ticket booking

1. Contact us to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit as soon as possible. Then try to book the ticket about 30 days in adance;

2. If you fail to obtain a ticket for Shanghai to Lhasa Train, you can change a starting station, such as Chengdu, Beijing, Lanzhou and Xining. These cities also offer bigger chance to get a train ticket.

How to Get to Shanghai Railway Station

Shanghai Railway Station is the only train station in Shanghai which operates trains to/off Tibet. You’d better distinguish it from Shanghai South Railway Station, Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and Shanghai West Railway Station. It is located at No. 303 of Moling Road in Jing'an Distric, about 48km from Pudong International Airport, 4.5km from the Bund, and 19km from Hongqiao Internaitonal Airport.

You can take subway Line 1, Line 3 and Line 4 to Shanghai Railway Station. And you’d better get there at least 1 hour before the train departure hour so that you have enough time to pick up ticket and check in.

How to Shorten the Shanghai Lhasa Train Travel

Distance: about 4373km

Duration: about 47hrs 10mins

Taking a train travel from Shanghai to Lhasa or from Lhasa to Shanghai, one has to spend nearly 2 full days on the train. Don’t want to spend such long time? Here are some good plans to shorten the Shanghai Lhasa train travel:

Shanghai – Beijing – Lhasa

Compared with Shanghai Lhasa train route, the Beijing Lhasa route takes only about 40 hours to finish. So you can firstly take a high speed train (about 5 hours), or take a flight (about 2.5 hours) to Beijing, then take the train Z21 to Lhasa.

Shanghai – Xian – Lhasa

It takes only about 31 hours to get to Lhasa from Xian by train. So you can board the train Z164 (from Shanghai) or Z264 (from Guangzhou) to go to Lhasa. But you firstly get to Xian first. Currently you can take both trains and flights to Xian from Shanghai. The high speed bullet trains take about 6~7 hours to reach Xian while the flights need about 2.5 hours to get to Xian.

Shanghai – Xining – Lhasa

Want the shortest train ride to Lhasa? The best way is to fly to Xining, the starting city of Qinghai Tibet Railway, then take a train to Lhasa. It takes only about 3.5 hours to fly to Xining Caojiabao Airport from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. In Xining, you can spend one or two days acclimatizing the high plateau altitude so that you want take a big risk of suffering from high altitude sickness. Since every train to Lhasa will make middle stop at Xining, so you will have a much flexible choice of trains for different hours.

About Shanghai to Lhasa train FAQs:

Q1. How to Get Help on the Train?

Some of the staff on the train speak English and they are easy-approaching and hospitable to foreign tourists. If one runs into any trouble, you may ask the head of conductor for help. Most of the passengers may have symptoms of altitude sickness (such as headache, fatigue, difficult sleeping, lack of appetite, etc.) as the train reaches Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Now, you may switch on the oxygen outlet to inhale oxygen to ease the discomfort. If the symptom gets worse, you may find the conductor for help and the doctor on the train will come and give you timely treatment.

Q2. How can we minimize the effect of altitude sickness?

The effect of altitude sickness on passengers varies. Yet, to minimize or ease the impact of altitude sickness, one may prepare some altitude sickness tablets before boarding the train and take some when the train climbs to plateau. There is no need to worry too much the altitude sickness, the train is built with oxygen supply system which is easy to use.

Q3. Is smoking allowed in the cabin?

Smoking is strictly forbidden in the train as the train is tightly sealed and pressurized and oxygen is pumped into the carriage when the train ascends to extreme altitude.It would be devastating if the train caught fire.

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