Xi’an is a vital gateway city to western China, and is well-served by transport links. Xi’an Xianyang International Airport offers flights to most of China’s major cities and to destinations in Asia, Europe, Oceania and America. Xi’an Railway Station is a vital part of China’s rail network, as the city lies on the main east-west rail route that joins Shanghai in the east with the far western border of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Connections from Xi’an to all the major cities in China are possible. The flat terrain of this part of China, together with Xi’an’s importance as a transport hub means that road access to the city is excellent, and long-distance buses are a popular form of economical transport, serving over 300 cities and counties.
Xi’an’s in-city transportation, while comprehensive, is currently over-stretched, with crowded buses making taxis a better option for most round-town trips. A new subway system is under construction, the first line of which is due to enter service in 2011.
Xi’an Railway Station, (Xi’an Huo che Zhan)
Xi’an Railway Station is a vital part of the Chinese railway network, because it is a junction station between eastern and western China. Major destinations include Beijing – West Station (11.5 hrs), Shanghai (16 hrs), Guangzhou (22 hrs), Chengdu (13.5 hrs), Hefei, Qingdao and Urumqi.
The station has a number of services including a foreign friendly ticket office. Foreign travelers interested in using the office are required to bring their passport in order to purchase train tickets. It is recommended that travel tickets are purchased in advance, especially during peak season.
Metro Network in Xi’an
In order to alleviate the public transportation problem in Xi’an, the government proposed the construction of two metro lines: Line 1 will travel from east to west and Line 2 will travel from north to south.
The city’s bus system is considered one of the least adequate systems in Shaanxi Province. Most buses tend to be extremely crowded especially during rush hours and weekends. When traveling by bus, travelers are encouraged to carry small change or RMB 1 bills because buses usually do not operate with a conductor.Fares range from RMB 1 for non-a/c and RMB 2 for a/c (prefixed with the letter K). Travelers are encouraged to have exact change ready before boarding the bus because drivers tend to be a little impatient.
The city of Xi’an also has a number of mini-buses with conductors. Fares range from RMB 0.5 to RMB 3.