Xining Travel Guide

Xining Travel Guide

Xining Facts

Click to enlarge,
or go for more Xining Maps

Chinese Name: 西宁市 (xī níng shì)
Location: Referred to as China's Summer Resort Capital, Xining, the capictal of Qinghai Province, is located on the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the upper reaches of Huangshui River. 

Population: 2,333,700
Area: 7,649 square kilometers (2,953 square miles)
Nationalities: Han, HuiTibetan

Administrative Division: At present, this city has four districts (Chengzhong, Chengdong, Chengxi, Chengbei and Haihu), three counties (Huangyuan, Huangzhong, Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County)


Xining is also called the Summer Resort Capital of China for its cool summer. The region also provides a number of attractions making a visit to the area well worth considering. The scenery of the Qinghai Lake, provides an escape from fervent cities and allows you to experience beautiful natural sceneries. The lake itself is quite amazing. The Birds Island, situated on the northwest of Qinghai Lake, is waiting to present you with an extensive array of birds. To the city's southwest, is the birthplace of the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. The gem of the Tibetan culture- Kumbum Monastery was built here. To the north of Xining is the Northern Buddhist Temple. Climbing the temple will reward you with a view of the city from the mountaintop. A site not to be missed is the Dongguan Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in northern China.

Recommended Tours:

Silk Road Safari: 13 days to Xining, Lanzhou and other cities.
Bicycle Route        Qinghai Lake Cycling Race Route

The popularity of the region has been enhanced by convenient transportation and accommodation. Xining Caojiabao Airport, located around 28 kilometers (17 miles) from city center, is one of high-altitude airports in western China.  Xining Railway Station operates trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Qingdao, Urumqi and other provinces.
 Airport           Xining Railway Station

Sutra Debating, Ta'er Monastery
Sutra Debating, Kumbum Monastery
Qinghai Lake
Qinghai Lake

 History: It is the political, economic, scientific and technological, cultural and traffic center of Qinghai Province. The activities of human beings in this region can be traced to 2,100 years ago. During the Western and Eastern Han Dynasties, owing to its developing agriculture, the city was paid more attention due to its economic and martial significance. 

 Physical Features: As well as being the important hinge between the central plains and the western part of China in ancient time, Xining was the most common passing channel of the famous Silk Road. Until now, it is still the only road by which to enter the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

 Local Highlights: With a population of more than two million, Xining is the first city on the upper reaches of the Yellow River to achieve a population into the millions. There are about 37 nationalities living here, including Han, Hui, Tu and Tibetan. The local traditions and customs are influenced by these distinctive nationalities, in particular the Tibetan group.

 Local Foods: For most visitors from both home and abroad, Xining provides a variety of delicious food and snacks. You can find some special meat products easily here for this is also a pasturing area. However, at the same time, don't forget that your health should be put on the first position.

Further Reading:

 Dining        Nightlife        Shopping        Festivals

- Last modified on May. 05, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Xining Travel
Asked by Kartika from INDONESIA | Jul. 10, 2019 01:43Reply
Hello, I plan to visit Xining in Sept'19 for 2days .
Is it possible if I rent car with driver for 1day tour to Caka Salt Lake, Qinghai Lake, Sun Moon Mountain & Menyuan Rapesseed Flower? and the next day I still rent car and go to Kanbulu National Forest Park & Ta'er Temple. If it possible, am I need to consider hotel at Xining or any other city around attraction that i mentioned. Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Sally from USA | Jul. 10, 2019 19:26

Yes, most visitors will rent a car with a driver to travel around these places. It is better to book a hotel near your attractions.
Asked by LS from CHINA/US | Apr. 30, 2019 19:03Reply
Hi! I am thinking about traveling to Xining in a few weeks with a friend.
I am a foreigner living in Wuhan, and I have a Chinese residence visa. My friend is visiting China and has a general Chinese tourist visa, I think. Are there any special visa requirements for visiting Xining that we need?

Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Ben from UNITED KINGDOM | May. 05, 2019 01:16

Hi, no special visa requirement is need. Have a nice trip!
Asked by Aline from CHINA | Apr. 23, 2019 23:06Reply
I am trying to find a Hostel or a Yurt to sleep at near Qinghai lake.
Any recommendations?

Thank You.
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice from USA | Apr. 25, 2019 17:57

Gesang Haiyun Hotel is recommended and it is near the Qinghai Lake Scenic Area. The Chinese name is 青海湖格桑海韵假日饭店.
Asked by Stephen Whyte from CANADA | Apr. 10, 2019 03:30Reply
What is the bus schedule for a long distance bus from Xining to Xiahe?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lavelle from GERMANY | Apr. 12, 2019 00:28

As I know, there is only one bus at 08:20 that can take you to Xiahe directly. It takes around 4.5 hours on the way. The ticket fare is CNY80/person.
Asked by Boo from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 04, 2019 21:03Reply
visit Chaka Salt Lake and Qinghai Lake in May 2019, arrived to Xining by Train at 1045AM.
And I booked return train ticket from Xining next day on 02/05/2019 at 1525PM.

I only have time to visit Chaka Salt Lake and Qinghai Lake
at 11AM(01/05) to 3:25PM(02/05) and we are 2 people.

My question is
1. Can I able to rent a car or rent a car with driver for the trip?
2. Can I stay in a traditional yurt tent near the Chaka Salt Lake or Qinghai local Lake village?
3. Can I join any groups? or how can I get people to the car?

Answers (2)
Answered by Annabelle from GERMANY | Jan. 07, 2019 23:23

1. Yes, you can hire a private car with driver to save time.
2. Yes, you can find several yurt tent nearby the lake. You can experience it.
3. You can share the private car with other tourists. Generally speaking, you will easily find the private car nearby the railway station. And the driver will tell you the cost for one person. Then you two can wait for other tourists to go together.
Answered by Booyun Han from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 08, 2019 02:21

Great !!!
Many thanks Annabelle
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)