First, one needs to get to Xian first. Flights and high speed trains are recommended for the relatively short duration while normal speed overnight sleeper trains can be good choices for a day tour to Terracotta Army. Upon landing by flight, take airport shuttle bus to Xian Railway Station to board bus no. Tourist 5 (306) to Terracotta Army; if arriving by high speed train, take free shuttle bus running from North Railway Station to Terracotta Warriors and Horses; arriving by normal speed train, the bus no. Tourist 5 (306) is right to the east of the station exit.
Step 1: Get to Xian by Flight or Train
From Beijing by Flight
Usually, there are more than 20 flights departing from Beijing Capital International Airport and landing at Xian Xianyang International Airport every day, and the frequency is about one hour. Air ticket fare for economy class is changeable between CNY600 and CNY2,000 because of different airlines and the flight dates, and the whole trip takes about 2 hours.
From Beijing by High Speed Train
From Beijing West Railway Station, you can arrive at Xian North Railway Station by taking high speed train. Nearly 15 departures are available for passengers each day from 06:53 in the morning to 18:55 in the evening. Their departure interval is diverse between 30 minutes and an hour and a half approximately. It costs CNY500 to CNY1,700 according to various seat type. The high speed train takes 4.5 to 6 hours for a single trip.
From Beijing by Normal Speed Train
Besides, you can also take an ordinary train from Beijing West Railway Station to arrive at Xian Railway Station. Every day, 9 trains are operated from 14:22 to 22:15 with an interval of about one hour, and the ticket fare of soft sleeper is not more than CNY440.5. The whole way will take more than 10 hours, longer than high speed trains.
Among them, T231 and Z19 departing in the evening and arriving in the morning are recommended. Saving daytime, they are good choices for travelers making a one day tour to Terracotta Army
From Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
, you can take a high speed train taking 6 to 7 hours to get to Xian North Railway Station. It departs between 06:09 and 17:05 from morning till afternoon. Ticket fare for first class seat is CNY1,095, and for second class seat and business class seat are CNY669.5 and CNY2,114 respectively.
From Shanghai Railway Station
, there is also an overnight high speed train D306 to Xian North Railway Station. Running from 22:55 to next 10:06, it saves the daytime and makes a day tour from Shanghai to Terracotta Army possible. Ticket fare for a soft sleeper is CNY960.
From Shanghai by Normal Speed Train
Normal speed trains are also available from Shanghai Railway Station to Xian Railway Station. Almost 20 hours are needed for a single trip, and the fare of soft sleeper is CNY509.5 per person.
There are three direct flights from Hong Kong to Xian airport each day. It could take 3 hours and cost from CNY1,500 to CNY3,000. You can also go to the nearby city Shenzhen to take the flight to Xian airport between 06:15 and 21:05 at a cost of less than CNY1,130 per person.
How to get to Shenzhen Airport from Hong Kong:
There are almost 8 shuttle buses to Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport
from Sheung Wan, Tsim Sha Tsui Harbor City, Ocean Park, Disneyland Resort or Hong Kong Airport in Hong Kong, so you can choose any one of them to reach the destination. Their intervals are 15 to 30 minutes, and the duration and ticket fare are 1.5 to 2 hours and CNY130 to 150 mostly.
From Hong Kong by High Speed Train
There is no direct train between the two cities. A transfer in Shenzhen is recommended. From Shenzhen North Railway Station
, there are three high speed trains per day, taking around 9.5 to 10 hours on the way to Xian North Railway Station. A first class seat costs CNY 1,401 and a second class seat costs CNY 888.
How to get to Shenzhen North Railway Station from Hong Kong:
1. By MTR + subway: Take MTR East Rail Line to Lok Ma Chau and cross the border to Futian Checkpoint. Then take Shenzhen subway line 4 to get there.
2. By ferry + subway: Take a ferry at Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal to Shenzhen Shekou Cruise Port in an hour. The ferries are available at 09:00, 11:30, 13:15, 14:20, 15:30, 17:00, 18:00 and 19:30, and the fare is HKD140 for an economy class cabin and HKD180 for a first class cabin. Then walk to Shekou Port subway station and take subway line 2 to Civic Center; then transfer to line 4 to head for the North Railway Station.
By coach: Direct cross-border coaches to the North Railway Station are available Hong Kong – Macau Ferry Terminal, Wanchai, Times Square at Causeway Bay and Harbour City at Tsim Sha Tsui, and they are scheduled from 07:30 to 17:00. It takes around 2h and costs HKD80-90 /person.
From Hong Kong by Normal Speed Train
Also, a transfer in Shenzhen is needed. Visitors are recommended to go to Shenzhen Railway Station
to take the train to Xian Railway Station. A single trip takes 24-29.5 hours and a soft sleeper costs less than CNY799/person.
How to get to Shenzhen Railway Station from Hong Kong:
Shenzhen Railway Station is next to Luohu Port which you can reach from Hong Kong by MTR East Rail Line directly, and the whole journey time from Hung Hom to Luohu is about 45 minutes.
Step 2: Get to Terracotta Army from Xian Airport/ Xian North Railway Station/ Xian Railway Station
From Xian Railway Station
After getting out of the station, go eastward to the East Square, where you can take bus no. tourist 5 (306) to the Terracotta Army. Ticket fare is CNY7 and duration is about 70 minutes.
Please note that there are fake buses of no. tourist 5 around the train station. See more about Avoiding Traps, telling how to stay away from the fake buses and fake Terracotta Army sites.
From Xian North Railway Station
If arrive in Xian by high speed train, taking free shuttle bus operating between the North Railway Station and Terracotta Army would be a good choice. The travel time is 1 hour or so. Besides, you can take bus no. 266 to reach railway station, and then board the bus no. tourist 5 (306) to get to the destination.
From Xian Airport
Taking airport shuttle bus or taxi to Xian Railway Station in about one hour, you will find bus no. tourist 5 (306) to Terracotta Army parking on the east square of the train station. Or take airport shuttle bus at a cost of CNY31.5/person to reach Lintong Bus Station to get on bus no. Lintong 101 to arrive at the Terracotta Warriors and Horses.
Further Reading: How to Get to Terracotta Army from Downtown Xian