With the development of transportation, more and more vehicles such as trains and airplanes are available for tourists who want to travel to famous cities in the world. For tourists who want to travel to Tibet from Frankfurt or Munich, Germany, they can go to cities of other countries by flights. There are now four major airports in Germany, namely the Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport, Cologne Bonn Airport and Bremen Airport, carrying millions of passengers from Germany to other places of the world every day. However, there is no direct flight from Germany to Tibet. If people from Germany want to go to Tibet, they need to firstly take flights to cities like Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong, and then transfer flights or trains which head for Tibet. Another choice is that they can take flights to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, and then get into Tibet via flights, trains or vehicles.
There are frequent flights to China from Germany and tourists can find a relatively good price by comparing the price among different websites and finally get the best deal. The average flight times are:
a. Frankfurt or Munich to Beijing: non-stop - 9 hours 10 minutes, one-stop – up to 20 hours 45 minutes (WAW, KBP, CAI)
b. Frankfurt or Munich to Shanghai: non-stop - 10 hours 35 minutes, one-stop – up to 29 hours 55 minutes (DEL, SVO, HKG)
c. Frankfurt or Munich to Guangzhou: indirect flights only, one-stop – from 14 hours up to 30 hours (HKG, CAI, MCT)
d. Frankfurt or Munich to Chengdu: non-stop - 9 hours 50 minutes, one-stop – up to 20 hours 35 minutes (HKG, PEK, AMS)
e. Frankfurt or Munich to Hong Kong: non-stop - 11 hours 5 minutes, one-stop – up to 27 hours 20 minutes (DEL, HEL, SVO)
Tibet is a special region in China. Foreign tourists must apply for a Tibet Permit to visit Lhasa, Shigatse and other areas of Tibet, along with passport and valid Chinese Visa or Tibet Group Visa. Once upon your arrival in China, you can get your Tibet Travel Permit from the reception desk of the hotel you booked. Otherwise you won’t be able to get aboard trains or flights to Lhasa. If needed, you can get the permit at the airport or railway station from our staff directly.
With convenient transportation, Beijing is regarded as the best gateway city to Tibet. There is currently only one direct flight to Lhasa from Beijing every day, and the journey only takes about 5 hours. The flight gets off from Beijing Capital International Airport and lands at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport. An economy airline ticket from Beijing to Lhasa is about USD 500.
Once getting to Beijing, visitors can take a direct train from Beijing to Lhasa. As the first stop of the train, it is rather easy to get a train ticket in Beijing. The railway distance between Beijing and Lhasa is as far as 3757 kilometers, crossing 8 provinces and over 30 cities. There is only one direct train (Z21) from Beijing to Lhasa every day. It sets off from Beijing at around 20:00 and arrives in Lhasa at 12:10 on the third day, a duration of about 40 hours. The peak season of Tibet tour is from May to September, when a train ticket from Beijing to Lhasa is hard to obtain due to huge demand. For tourists who can’t buy a direct ticket, they are suggested to take a flight to Xining, a city of Qinghai Province, and then take a train to Tibet.
Several connecting flights from Shanghai to Lhasa are available every day, and they will make stops at cities like Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Kunming. For a normal flight, it takes only about 8 hours to fly from Shanghai to Lhasa. While for a flight which makes stops at multiple cities, it will takes as long as 26 hours to get to Lhasa. An airline ticket from Shanghai to Lhasa usually starts from USD 455.
There is currently one direct train Z164 from Shanghai to Tibet every day. It sets off from Shanghai at 20:10 and arrives in Lhasa at 19:15 on the third day, covering a railway distance of about 4373 kilometers from eastern China to far western China, which makes it the second longest railway route to Lhasa (after the Guangzhou Lhasa Railway).
There are several connecting flights from Guangzhou to Lhasa every day. The flights get off from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and land at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, with stopovers in Chongqing or Chengdu. The average flight duration is between 5 hours 55 minutes and 10 hours 30 minutes. An airline ticket from Guangzhou to Lhasa usually starts from USD 455.
The railway connecting Guangzhou and Lhasa covers a distance of nearly 5,000 kilometers, making it the longest one among all of the railway routes to Lhasa. It takes over 53 hours to get to Lhasa from Guangzhou, crossing 6 provinces (Tibet and Guangdong excluded). The train sets off from Guangzhou at 11:45 every day and arrives in Lhasa 17:05 on the third day.
A flight from Chengdu to Lhasa only takes 2 hours 15 minutes on average. Therefore, Chengdu has always been one of the most popular gateway hubs for travelers to take flights to Lhasa. There are more than 15 direct flights from Chengdu to Lhasa every day, which get off from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and land at Lhasa Gongga International Airport. An airline ticket from Chengdu to Lhasa usually starts from USD 233 (economy class), which is affordable for most of the tourists.
The railway connecting Chengdu and Lhasa covers a distance of about 3,070 kilometers. The train sets off from Chengdu at 21:37 every other day and arrives in Lhasa at 9:55 on the third day, a duration of about 36 hours. There are 6 midway stations on the way, including Guangyuan, Lanzhou, Xining, Delingha, Golmud and Nagchu. One thing that needs to be noticed is that in months like January, April, May, August, November, and December, trains from Chengdu to Lhasa departs on odd days (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc). While in months like February, March, June, July, September, and October, the trains departs on even days (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc).
Visitors from Hong Kong can only take connecting flights to Lhasa, as there is currently no direct flight between the two places. They can take flights to Xining or Chengdu first and then transfer trains to Lhasa. Or they can take trains from Hong Kong (Kowloon Station) to Guangzhou, and then transfer trains there to Lhasa. The latter option might be fun and adventurous, as the railway distance connecting Guangzhou and Lhasa is the longest railway route in China ( nearly 5,000 kilometers), a duration of nearly 60 hours.
Travel Tips: Fares of flights change over various factors like airline companies, flight time and particular service. Tourists had better confirmed their exact flight or train prices with airline companies or train stations.
Visitors can take direct flights to Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport) from Frankfurt or Munich Airports in Germany. It takes only 11 hours to fly from Germany to Kathmandu. However, tickets for a direct flight between Kathmandu and Germany are expensive. For those who want to save money, they can firstly take connecting flights from Berlin or Dusseldorf to Nepal, where they can get to Tibet via flights or overland. In this way, they can save money in transport costs.
Kathmandu is the only foreign city where direct flights to Lhasa are available. With short distance (about 600 kilometers) and fly duration (about 90 minutes), a lot of travelers choose to get to Lhasa from Kathmandu by flights. The Kathmandu Lhasa air route is considered to be one of the most beautiful air routes in the world, as visitors can get a bird’s-eye view of the summit of Mount Everest when the plane flies over the Himalayas. Flights between Kathmandu and Tibet are available every day, operated by Air China, Tibet Airlines, and Sichuan Airlines. The average price for an airline ticket from Kathmandu to Tibet usually starts from USD 400.
For visitors who want to immerse themselves in the landscape along the way from Kathmandu to Lhasa rather than hurrying to their destination, they are recommended to get to Lhasa from Kathmandu via overland.The overland distance between Lhasa and Kathmandu via Girong Port is about 1,000 kilometers and journey along the way is just like an epic adventure. Apart from different scenery of Himalayan ranges from different prospects, there are many other great attractions which is worth a visit, such as the wide stretch of land, vast grasslands, and shimmering holy lakes. If you don’t want to worry much about the complicated transfer, you can hire tour vehicles from our company to take you to Rasuwagadhi Fort, where stands a bridge which marks the boundary between China and Nepal. You need to cross the bridge before going through customs. When you are through with the customs formalities, your guide and the driver will take you to Gyirong Town, from which you may begin your journey in China.