Trains are one of the most convenient and comfortable ways to travel around China, especially as more and more rail lines are added each year. Weve outlined the most important info you need to know to get your train tickets and start traveling across China!
First, grab your passport.
You will need your passport to purchase tickets at the train station or ticket office, and youll also need to bring it with you while traveling. To book tickets online or by phone, you will need to use your passport number.
Next, you will begin one of the several ways to go about booking your train tickets:
How to Book Train Tickets
1. Purchase Train Tickets at the Train Station
This is the most straight forward way to get train tickets, but its not always the easiest. Foreigners should expect to wait in a long line to purchase tickets at the ticket window, as only Chinese IDs are accepted at the self-service ticket machines in the station. Once at the ticket window, you can choose the train that youd like to take, but be careful as some trains can sell out quickly, especially around Chinese holidays.
Note that some ticket agents only speak Chinese, so you may want to prepare a written Chinese version of the train details with the destination and times to minimize confusion.
Train tickets can be purchased at a Train Station 28 days before departure.
2. Purchase Train Tickets at a Ticket Office
Ticket offices can be found throughout major cities and generally do not have the same long lines as the train stations. However, like at the train station, ticket agents may only speak Chinese, so prepare your train details beforehand.
Note that most ticket offices only allow purchases in cash and charge a 5RMB service fee.
Train tickets can be purchased at a Ticket Office 28 days before departure.
3. Book Train Tickets Online
You can also book tickets on China Railways site at www.12306.cn. Unfortunately, the website is only in Chinese and tickets must be purchased with a China bank card, so this is not the easiest solution for all travelers.
Those who are able to book on the site can pick up their tickets at the train station.
Train tickets can be purchased online 30 days before departure.
4. Book Train Tickets through ChinaClickGo.com
Dont want to deal with the hassle of purchasing train tickets? ChinaClickGo can do it for you!
Our concierge service operates Monday to Friday, 10:00 -18:00 (China Standard Time). All you need to do is send us your full name, passport number, and your destination. We will send you the train options to choose from (unless you already know which train you want to book).
You can choose to pick up your tickets at the train station, or have them delivered to your hotel/local address. You pay for the service only!
Click on Read more below to learn more about our Concierge Service.
Train tickets can be booked through ChinaClickGo 30 days before departure.
Other Important Information
Always bring your passport.
Give yourself enough time to arrive at the train station, collect your tickets, and locate your gate.
Purchase your tickets in advance if possible, especially if your trip is during a holiday like Chinese New Year or the National Holiday. Tickets will sell out quickly.
Children standing below 1.2 meters ride for free. Children standing between 1.2-1.5 meters tall will need a childrens ticket.
Scan the QR below