8 Days Shanghai to Tibet Train Tour

This 8 Days Classic Tibet Train Tour from Shanghai is designed for those who want to visit ancient and modern cosmopolis of China – Shanghai and the mysterious holy land Tibet. First visit the city highlights of Shanghai and then take the train to Tibet with the marvelous landscapes such as snow-capped mountains, pure sky and tranquil lakes passing by. After arrive at Lhasa, you will fully experience the Tibetan Buddhism and local ethnic cultures in the top monasteries and local villages.


  • Visit the top attractions of Chengdu and Xining including Leshan Buddha and Qinghai Lake.
  • Take the Qinghai-Tibet Trian to Lhasa with the most beautiful sceneries passing by.
  • Experience Tibetan Buddhism in significant monasteries in Lhasa.
  • Meet the tranquil lakes, white snow mounatians, shimmering rivers and rare animals in Lhasa.
  • Enjoy the starry sky and stunning sunrise of Mt. Everest.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Shanghai Arrival
  • Day 2: Shanghai
  • Day 3: Shanghai-Lhasa
  • Day 4: Shanghai-Lhasa
  • Day 5: Lhasa Arrival 
  • Day 6: Lhasa
  • Day 7: Lhasa 
  • Day 8: Lhasa Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1  Shanghai Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:Shanghai Arrival

Welcome to Shanghai! Our tour guide will pick you up from Shanghai airport and then escort you to your hotel for check-in. The rest of day is just free for you to explore the city.

Day 2 Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities:Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Yu Garden, Yuyuan Market , Jade Buddha Temple
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you will drive to visit Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center which shows you the Shanghai’s past, present and future. Then proceed to the elegant Yu Garden; a typical private garden in China with nearly 500 years history. Stroll at Yuyuan Market where you can find some best Shanghai local snacks.

In the afternoon, you will visit the famous Jade Buddha Temple; the most famous Buddhist temple in Shanghai.

Day 3 Shanghai-Lhasa by Train

Sightseeing and Activities:the iconic Bund, Nanjing Roacd, Jinmao Tower, train to Lhasa
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you will walk around the iconic Bund; the best place to enjoy the amazing skyline of the New Pudong District, and then feel the flourishing Nanjing Road which is known as China’s No.1 Shopping Street.

After that, you will climb up to the top of the famous Jinmao Tower to get a fantastic bird’s eye view of the “Paris of the East”. At night, you will be escorted to Shanghai railway station for the train to Lhasa. ( 48 hours 39 minutes; 4373km )

Day 4 Xi’an-Lanzhou-Xining Train Travel

Sightseeing and Activities:Xi’an-Lanzhou-Xining Train Travel
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you are in the daytime during the journey of Xian-Lanzhou-Xining, enjoy the majestc northwestern scenery of China.

The Xining to Golmud part of the train journey is mostly in the dark, which is one of the disappointments. That’s why most of our travelers choose to fly to Xining firstly from Shanghai, then tour from Xining to Lhasa by the highest altitude railway of the world.

Day 5 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa Arrival

Kunlun Mountain Pass in Golmud, Qinghai

Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

You are in Golmud, Qinghai Province when you are awake, and heading towards to Lhasa, the last part of your train tour. The highest point will reach 5,072 meters above sea level, snow-capped mountain sightseeing all around.

Arrival at Lhasa at around 20:15, and our Tibetan tour guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in Lhasa. Free fro the rest of the day to acclimate yourself to the high altitude.

Day 6 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkor Street
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, climb up to the famous Potala Palace and get a great view of Lhasa’s urban areas. You will have a good chance to view the traditional Tibetan architecture, hear the story of the Dalai Lamas and see chapels in which they studies, rested and worked.

In the afternoon, visit the holiest Jokhang Temple, which is within walking distance from Potala Palace. You will see many pilgrims worship within or nearby the temple and hear red-robed Lamas praying there. Then take a relaxing walk in a large circular path around Jokhang Temple at Barkor Street, where you can buy or appreciate traditional Tibetan artifacts, religious implements, antiques, books, etc.

Day 7 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Norbulingka Park, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
Meals:Breakfast, Luch

Norbulingka Park in Lhasa

After breakfast, drive to visit the Norbulingka Park, where you will explore the beautiful gardens and experience one of the most holy sites in Tibetan Buddhism. Then proceed to Drepung Monastery which was once the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery housing 10,000 monks in its heyday.

In the afternoon, move to Sera Monastery, where you will have chance to experience “Buddhism Scriptures Debating”, which are unique to Sera and are quite famous.

Day 8 Lhasa Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa Departure

Today is free for you until you are transferred to the airport for your flight to next destination.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Shanghai JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square New World Shanghai Hotel Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Wujiaochang
Lhasa Luxury St. Regis Lhasa Resort Lhasa Gang Gyan Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel

Service Included:

  • Entrance fees to all scenic spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Permits: Tibet Travel Bureau Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit, Military Permit;
  • Local flavor meals indicated in the itinerary;
  • Personal local English-speaking tour guide in every destination;
  • Private transfers with experienced driver between airports, hotels, scenic spots, etc;
  • Arrangements: charges of planning, handling, operational and communication;
  • Centrally located hotels in each destination.

Service Excluded:

  • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China;
  • China Entry Visa Fees;
  • Optional tours or activities you’ve chosen;
  • Tips & gratitude to drivers and guides;
  • Personal expenses.

Travel Tips:

  1. Tibet Permits

There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Tibet Discovery, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)

  1. Available Months to Visit Tibet

Generally speaking, May to early October is the best time to for a Mount Kailash trip. July and August are the peak season and rainy season. It may be too cold to travel in Kailash area from November to March. There is usually heavy snow. The conditions in Namtso Lake and Mount Everest area are quite similar with Kailash. While other places like Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse are suitable for travel all year around.

  1. High Altitude Sickness

The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.

  1. How to Go to Tibet

Basically you have two options – flight and train. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing(4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs), Chengdu(2.5hrs), Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa. Kathmandu also has several flights to Lhasa each week.

If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing(40.5hrs), Xian(32hrs), Chengdu(43hrs), Shanghai(47hrs), Chongqing(42hrs), Lanzhou(25hrs), Xining(22hrs), Guangzhou(54hrs).

  1. Packing and Wearing Ideas

Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended. As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in Spring and Autumn. A pair of durable and comfortable shoes is necessary.