Xining Travel Tips

Xining Travel FAQs and Tips introduce the city and zip codes, post offices, useful numbers, hospitals, banks for foreign exchange, Government and famous universities. When plan your trip to Xining, view our answers to questions about Xining travel to get better understanding of Xining.

Xining is an ancient plateau city with a history of more than 2,100 years. It is called Xiping Pavilion in ancient times. It was once the place where the post-Han general Zhao Chongguo camped out, the capital of Nanliang, the throat of Silk Road, the gateway of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the Central Plains, and one of the birthplaces of Hehuang culture (河湟文化). Traveling in Xining and around is all about experiencing Tibetan and Muslim culture and enjoy superb plateau landscape. The most famous and popular attractions inlcude Qinghai LakeTaer MonasteryDongguan Great Mosque, etc.

Useful Numbers

  • China International country code number: 0086
  • Xining city code number: 0971
  • Ambulance: 120
  • Fire: 119
  • Police: 110
  • Check Telephone Number: 114
  • Weather Report: 12121, 96121
  • Xining Railway Station Inquiry: 0971-12306
  • Railway Station Ticket: 0971-95105105
  • Traffic Bureau: 0971-6145660
  • International Ticket Reservation: 0971-8189098
  • Taxi Company: 0971-5132378

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Best Time to Visit Xining

Summer is the best time to visit Xining. Summer in Xining is cool, with the daily average temperature lower than 17 centigrade. It is a good place to escape the unforgiving heat during summer time. You can enjoy a cool summer when you go to Xining and visit Qinghai Lake. The period from May to Sep. with the most weather condition is the best time to visit. The spring scenery in Xining is fine in May. Bird islands on Qinghai Lake are full of migratory birds flying from the south. It is a good time for Xining Birding Tours. Except the comfortable weather condition, many of the region's colorful festivals occurs this time.

In July, Xining enjoys a comfortable climate and is also the best season for watching the rape flower in Xining, with the rape blossoming covering the hills and fields, golden and brilliant. July and August is a good time to visit Qinghai Lake. The lake is beautiful with mountains and lakes. Both sides are golden and beautiful. The annual Qinghai Lake International Road Cycling Race will also be held at this time. 

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What to Wear in Xining

Xining belongs to plateau climate region, with long cold winter, shorter spring, cool summer and autumn. In Xining, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are freezing, dry, and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 6°F to 75°F and is rarely below -1°F or above 84°F. 

Spring (March through May)

  • Weather: Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold. Highs range from 70.3°F (21.3°C) and 45.5°F (7.5°C) with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is rare with 1 to 7 days of significant precipitation per month.
    What to Wear: Spring in Xining is still chilly in the morning and at late night, coat, jacket, sweater, thick pants are needed.
    Things to Do: Spring is the busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for spring outings to local parks, such as Xining Botanical Garden and Huangshui Forest Park, etc.

Summer (June through August)

  • Weather: The middle-year months have comfortably cool weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see the most precipitation with 8 to 10 days of precipitation per month.
    What to Wear: Summer is the most pleasant season in Xining, with comfortable weather. Tourists may need to carry sun scream, hat, and thin clothes.
    Things to Do: It is the best time to visit Xining, all the attractions such as mosques and historical and cultural sites are waiting for exploration, short trip to countryside is also a good choice. June – August is the slowest season for tourism in Xining, so lodging and other accommodations may cost less than usual.

Autumn (September through November)

  • Weather: Fall daily highs range from 67.9°F (19.9°C) and 43.9°F (6.6°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 1 to 8 days per month. 
    What to Wear: Long pants, sweater, coat and down jacket is needed in late autumn.
    Things to Do: If you travel to Xining in late October, maybe you may encounter a beautiful snow covered land if you are lucky. Tourism is fairly slow during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be lower priced.

Winter (December through February)

  • Weather: Weather is far too cold this time of year in Xining to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 47.9°F (8.8°C) and 34.1°F (1.2°C). On average, it rains or snows a insignificant amount: consistently 0 times per month. 
    What to Wear: Winter in Xining is cold, so you’d better prepare more warm clothes with you during this period.
    Things to Do: These times of year are the second busiest with tourists. It is the best time for skiing and other activities at Ice and Snow Fetsival, local folk festivals are also the attractiveness in this season.

How Many Days Are Needed for Xining Travel

Though many travellers use Xining as a stopover to the Qinghai–Tibet Tours, it’s also a wonderful place to encounter the province’s varied cultures and impressive scenery. Generally speaking, 2-3 days are suggested for Xining travel, you can have enough time to visit the temples and mosques, taste the local food and snacks, and tour around the Qinghai Lake.

How to Get to Xining

Xining is the transportation hub of Qinghai Province, which can be reached in many ways. Caojiabao International Airport is the only civil airport in Xining, operating flights to major cities in China. Xining serves as the intersection of Lanzhou - Qinghai Railway and Qinghai-Tibet Railway. It is relatively convenient to reach Xining by trains. Xining has many high-speed and national highways connecting with the surrounding cities, and major cities in the west have long-distance buses to Xining.

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Where to Stay in Xining

Xining is not a big city, although it doesn't offer luxury hotels, it hosts many good hotels with clean and comfortable accomodation condition and nice service. If you want to go shopping or just stroll in streets, Chengxi District is a good choice, while Chengzhong District has the most convenient transportation. The attractions in Xining are mostly located outside the urban area, you can also choose the hotels near the scenic spot, providing convenience for your tour.

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What and Where to Shop in Xining

As the center of Qinghai's commerce and trade, Xining provides lost of local specialties for you. You can buy dried yak meat, precious herbs such as Cordyceps sinensis, Though musk, Snow Lotus and Rhodiola rosea,  and local handicrafts as gifts to your friends. 

Shopping in Xining is not a wise choice. Generally speaking, the goods here mostly serve as a supply on the Qinghai-Tibet line. Xining's most prosperous places are mainly in the areas of Ximenkou (西门口), Dashi (大什字) and Xinning Square (新宁广场). Among them, locals like to hang out in the area of Landmark Business Street (大力盟商业街).Zhanqian Street (站前街) has a variety of small commodity markets, including Dongguan Street (东关大街 ), Dashizi (大什字), etc. Dongguan Street is a Hui community in Xining City, with shops of various sizes. Nearby Muslim restaurants serve authentic Halal food. The Provincial Museum area is the bustling city center of Xining, with relatively prosperous commercial lanes and traffic lanes. There are many snacks in the nearby Koufu Street (口福街), with shops and restaurants offering a wide variety of goods and food.

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Xining Dining Tips

Aside from the wonderful, picturesque sceneries that you can see in Xining, the dining experience is another reason why you should visit China’s “summer resort.”  As an ancient city on the highland, Xining is a city with a mix of ethnic groups including Tibetan, Hui, and Salar. The food tends to be salty and food preparation is relatively simple compared with those of other cities.  The local flavors include fried flour slices (炒面片), hand-pulled noodles (手拉面), dry-stirred noodles (干拌面), roasted mutton (烤羊肉). In Xijing, you never need to worry about what you should eat since there is so much delicious food for you to choose. 

Must-eat Food in Xining

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Things to Do in Xining

There are many things for you to try for entertainment in Xining, such as visiting top Xining attractions, cycling around Qinghai Lake, try horse-riding or pay a family visit to Tibetan houses, ect.

Top Attractions in Xining

Though many travellers use Xining as a stopover to the Qinghai–Tibet Tours, it’s also a wonderful place to encounter the province’s varied cultures and impressive scenery. Traveling in Xining and around is all about experiencing Tibetan and Muslim culture and enjoy superb plateau landscape. The most famous and popular attractions inlcude Qinghai LakeTaer MonasteryDongguan Great Mosque, etc.

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Cycling around Qinghai Lake

Cycling around the Qinghai Lake is also a good way to enjoy the full around beautiful scenery of the lake. You can rent a bike and start your biking, it is better to join a group arranged by travel agency. If you want to tour around Qinghai Lake at ease and comfort, we have Qinghai Lake Horse Riding Tour recommended to you. There is also annually held event in Qinghai Lake: Qinghai Lake International Road Cycling Race . The event is held during the period from July to August every year since 2002. Co-organized by Qinghai Provincial Government, Union Cycliste Internationale, UCI Asia Tour and Chinese Cycling Association, it is the largest international road cycling race and top of its kind in Asia. The participants increase every year.

Try Horse Riding

Horse riding is a popular tourist activity in Qinghai Province, Xining is no different. You should try horse riding on the vast green grassland to have a new and special experience as well as enjoying the impressive grassland view. Every year, Horse Racing Festival is held in Xining, if you travel to Xining at the right time, you may have the chance to watch the grand competition.

Winter Festival and Hot Spring Spa

Winter in Xining is the second busiest with tourists for it is the best time for skiing and other activities at Ice and Snow Fetsival. It is usually held from late December to early Feb, lasting a month and half. Winter sports and entertainments are the highlights of the festival, such as skiing competition, ice sculpture and hot springs, etc. Holiday Inn Xining Hot-Spring is recommened to you.

Visit a Tibetan Family

Tibetans are one of the major ethnic groups in Xining. Visiting a local family is a good chance to learn about their lives. Arriving at the local house, you may find the yak dungs piled in the yard. They are stored for fuel. Entering into the house, and you will be warmly welcomed by the family in Tibetan way. You may find it enjoyable to chat with the hospitable Tibetan people. Butter tea and Zanba will be served. Don’t forget to have a taste, or you could consult the owner how to make them.

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Special Remarks for Xining Travel

  • 1. Although Xining is located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, it is located in the Huangshui Valley, with a relatively low altitude and generally, few people suffer plateau reaction . If you are weak in health, you can prepare some medicine.
  • 2. Xining has a large temperature difference between day and night. Qinghai Lake has a low temperature even in summer. When you travel to Xining, thick clothes are necessary.
  • 3. Cycling around the lake is the best way to enjoy the scenery of Qinghai Lake. You can stop at any time and ride to the lake to have close encounter with Qinghai Lake. However, the whole journey around Qinghai Lake is about 360km and takes about 4 days.
  • 4. Xining has a dry climate and strong sunshine. It is recommended to prepare sunscreen when going out.
  • 5. When entering the temple, one cannot touch Buddhist scriptures, Buddha statues, religious implements, etc. with one's hands.

Other Travel Information for Xining Tours

Banks in Xining

  • Bank of China (Qinghai Branch)
    Add: 218 Dongguan Jie, Chengdong District, Xining 
    Tel: 0971-8180186
  • Construction Bank of China  (Qinghai Branch)
    Add:  59 Xidajie, Xining
    Tel: 0971-8261181
  • Commercial Bank of China (Yinfeng Sub-branch)
    Add:   72 Wusi Dajie, Xining
    Tel: 0971-6117981
  • Agricultural Bank of China  (Qinghai Branch)
    Add: 96 Gonghe Lu, Xining
    Tel:  0971- 6113353
  • Industrial & Commercial Bank of China  (Qinghai Branch)
    Add:   2 Shengli Lu, Xining 
    Tel: 0971-6146734

Hospitals in Xining

  • Qinghai People's Hospital  (青海省人民医院)
    Add:2 Gonghe Rd, Chengdong, Xining 西宁市城东区共和路2号
  • Qinghai University Affiliated Hospital  (青大医学院附属医院)
    Add:No. 29, Tongren Road, Chengxi, Xining 西宁市城西区同仁路29号
  • Xining No.1 People's Hospital (西宁市第一人民医院)
    Add:No. 10, Xieshi Alley, Chengzhong, Xining 西宁市城中区斜石巷10号
  • Xining No.2 People's Hospital (西宁第二人民医院)
    Add:No. 892. Qilian Road, Xining 西宁市祁连路892号

Post Offices in Xining

  • East Market Post Office (东市场邮政所)
    Add: 196 Muxi West Road, Chengdong District, Xining (西宁市 城东区 互助西路196号)
    Tel: 0971-  8136272
  • Bayi Road Post Office (八一路邮政支局)
    Add: 59 Bayi West RoadChengdong District, Xining ( 西宁市 城东区 八一西路59号)
    Tel: 0971-8175404
  • South Street Post Office (南大街邮政所)
    Add: 102 South Street, Chengzhong District, Xining (西宁市 城中区 南大街102号)
    Tel:  0971-8247118
  • Dashizi Post Office (大什字邮政支局)
    Add: West Street 1, Chengzhong District, Xining (西宁市城中区西大街1号)
    Tel:  0971-8247809

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