How to Buy Train Tickets in China

Since China has a railway system covering more than 70,000 km with more than 1600 passenger stations, train travel has always been one of the major transportation means of Chinese people. For tourists traveling in China, train travel is much cheaper.

How to buy train tickets in China

There are three ways for passengers to buy train tickets.

1  Train stations and ticket offices

Passengers could buy train tickets at the train ticket windows, including the ticket windows at the train stations, auto ticket machines and ticket offices scattered around the city. The pre-sale period of ticket offices is 58 days in advance.

Usually there are several ticket windows in the ticket office of train stations. English language ticket window is available in some big cities. If there is no English window in the station, you can try to ask the working staff for help and they will find someone speaking English to help you. It is suggested that you write the train number, starting and arrival stations, date of departure on a paper and show it to the conductor.
Ticket machines can only be used by Chinese ID holders.
Ticket offices are scattered in the city. CNY 5 service fee charged for each ticket.

Ticket Window for English Speaking Passengers

2  Online

The official train booking website of www.12306.cn . Only Chinese version is available. Passengers are required to register by one’s real name and  use a China UnionPay Card to make an online payment. Therefore, it is difficult for foreign tourists to book by themselves.

The pre-sale period of online booking is 60 days in advance.

Another way to book online is through online booking agency. We Chinatour.net offers a reliable train ticket booking service. We have train schedules in English and various payment methods. Only a few service fee charged. Book a Train Ticket

3 By telephone

Telephone booking is available in a few cities and only Chinese language is available.

ChinaTour.Net offers an online train booking service. We have train schedules in English. It will be very easy for you to find your target train. Then, we will book the ticket for you. Only a few service fee charged. Click here to book a train ticket. After the confirmation of the booking, you need to print out the paper ticket in the railway stations or ticket offices with the order number and the passport.

Related information about train travel

How to Take Trains in China?

China Train Stations

China Train Tickets and Seat Classes

How to Buy Train Tickets for Children in China

How to Collect Train Tickets

China Train Tickets Change and Cancellation

Train Travel Tips in China

Food and Drink on the Train

China Train Luggage Allowance

Train Travel Safety

China Train Facilities

High Speed Trains

Spring Festival Rush and National Day Rush

When is the best time to book a ticket in advance?

Train Travel between Major Cities

2 Comments

  1. Bauke Meijer July 12, 2016

    Hello,
    Do I need special permits for the train from Xian to Lhasa 24 september 2016 ? If yes, how can I get this forms ??
    Best regards

  2. Author
    graceli July 12, 2016

    Tibet permit is required when you get on the train. Foreigners are not allowed to travel in Tibet independently. You have to book a tour with a travel agency, then the agency will give you a Tibet permit. We offer Tibet travel service. Click here to book a Tibet tour.

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