Lanzhou (兰州; Lánzhōu) is the capital of Gansu province



Lanzhou is an industrial city of about three million people. It is located on the shores of the Yellow River and was a major stop on the Silk Road, where it was known as the Golden City. From the 5th to the 11th century the city was a major seat of Buddhist learning, and it acquired its present name during the Qing Dynasty in 1656. Until the 19th century, Lanzhou was the primary point for crossing the Yellow River via a bridge made by chaining a flotilla of boats together with a road on top to cross on.

Lanzhou is one of the most polluted cities in China, and has had most if not all touristy areas knocked down and rebuilt.

Get in

By plane

Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport (IATA: LHW) is situated 75km from the city centre of Lanzhou. Daily flights to Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dunhuang, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Jiayuguan, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Ürümqi, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi'an and Zhengzhou.

A single line shuttle bus (30 CNY per person) makes the trip to city in a bit more than one hour, and finally stops at the crossroads of TianShui South Road / DongGan West Road (天水南路、东岗西路).

A dedicated commuter train line connects the Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport and the Lanzhou Railway Station, with an intermediate stop at Lanzhou West Station. (Some trains from the airport terminate at Lanzhou West). The travel time from the airport to Lanzhou Railway Station is 50-55 min; as of 2015, there is approximately one train per hour in each direction. (Current schedule, in Chinese).

By train

Lanzhou Railway Station (Lanzhou Huoche Zhan) - southern end of Pingliang Lu at Tianshui Lu, is the main station for " conventional" trains to everywhere in the country. It is also served by a few high-speed trains, and by the airport train.

Lanzhou West Railway Station (兰州西站, Lanzhou Xi Zhan) is the terminal for most high-speed trains that run from Lanzhou to Xining (1 h 15 min), Jiayuguan (4 h 30 min), and Urumqi (11 h 30 min).

By bus

East Long-Distance Bus Station

Location: Pingliang Lu

West Long-Distance Bus Station

Location: Xijin Xilu

Get around

The #1 Bus is really useful getting around Lanzhou. It travels from Lanzhou Station to the Lanzhou Hotel, Qingyang Lu, Xihu Gongyuian Park, Qiliheqiao and ending at Lanzhou West Station. It also connects the train station to the starting point of the shuttle bus to the airport, here.


The world-famous bronze Galloping Horse's Hoof Stepped on a Flying Swallow, also named as Galloping Horse, is a treasure of Gansu Provincial Museum. Excavated in 1969 in Wuwei County, Gansu Province, the piece depicts a vigorous horse with long tail waving and head perking. Its three hooves are in the air, galloping like lightning. What makes this sculpture amazing is the right back hoof of this galloping horse lands on the back of a small flying bird. The bird turns in surprise to look at the big creature on its back. At the same moment, the horse's head also turns slightly in attempt to know what has happened. The whole statue is honored as the mysterious and rare treasure in the history of Chinese ancient sculpture art. Free.




A market street in Lanzhou, around 1 km NE of the train station

Lanzhou is famous for its beef noodle soup (Lanzhou niurou lamian). The noodles are always hand made, and the broth served hot and spicy with as much beef as you care to pay for.

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Many of the cheap hotels on near the train station on Tianshui road (天水南路) do not accept foreigners, but some do, look around. Here's a couple to get you started.



Go next

Routes through Lanzhou

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