Layover in Xi'an Xianyang International Airport

Layover in Xi'an Xianyang International Airport

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (XIY) with three terminals operates around 75 air routes connecting 36 countries and 74 main hub and tourist cities. With three terminals – T1 for arrivals, T2 and T3 for domestic departures, and T3 for international departures, it is one of the busiest airports in north-west China. There are many facilities and services such as a variety of eateries, cafes, shops, currency exchange, and banking services. If you are transiting, we have some information to help with your layover.

1. Transit in Xi'an Xianyang International Airport

Domestic to Domestic

There are plenty of signs in English/Chinese in the terminal to guide you to the waiting hall, transfer counters, and information desk.

Passengers with boarding pass: refer to the Flight Information Systems or check with the staff at the inquiry desk, to help direct you to the correct terminal and your departure lounge.

Passengers without boarding pass: follow the signs to the transit counter on the second floor, where staff will assist you with all transit formalities.

Domestic to International Departure

After arrival, transferring passengers can refer to the signs inside the terminal to guide you to the baggage claim area, located on the ground floor. Once you have claimed your luggage, refer to the Flight Information System for the check-in counter of your flight.

Tips: To ensure a smooth transit experience, passengers are kindly recommended to book and pay for the connecting flight in advance, and allow at least 2-3 hours for transit formalities. Due to Covid-19 there are now extra formalities that need to be taken into consideration. Check-in service closes 50 minutes before departure. You would also need to go through the security check and immigration clearance.

2. Can I leave the airport during a layover at the airport?

Passengers cannot leave the airport if you do not have a valid visa or not eligible for the 144-hour transit visa exemption policy.

3. Apply for 144-Hour Transit Visa Exemption

Xi'an has introduced the 144-hour visa-free transit policy on December 1, 2019. Passengers can leave the airport and tour around Xi’an and Xianyang City.

53 countries qualify to enjoy the 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

24 Schengen Agreement Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

15 Other European Countries: Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, Monaco

6 American Countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile

6 Asian Countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar

2 Oceania Countries: Australia, New Zealand

International friends can apply for the 144-hour visa-free transit with valid international travel documents, who come from the listed 53 countries and hold a connecting ticket bound for a third country or region out of Mainland China (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).

When you land at the airport, inform the airline staff of your travel plan to apply for the 144-hour visa-free transit. Follow the signs to fill an Arrival/Departure Card, then claim your luggage and go through customs for clearance.

4. Luggage storage at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport

If you are wanting to take advantage of the 144 hours transit visa, or have a long layover, and don’t want to cart your luggage around, you can leave it at the Luggage Storage. Xi’an Xianyang International Airport provides luggage services at the Domestic Departure at Terminal 2, next to Check-in Counter 1, it is opened from 06:00 to 23:30 and International Departure of Terminal 3, next to the oversized baggage check-in. It is opened from 06:00 to 23:00

Price for Luggage Storage

Dimension (L*W*H) Fee For 24 hours (RMB)
≤20cm*30cm*40cm 10
20cm*30cm*40cm<20cm*30cm*60cm 15
20cm*30cm*60cm<20cm*30cm*100cm 20
≥20cm*30cm*100cm 30

Note: There are no hourly rates - Less than 24hrs, full fee rates apply.

Payment for bag storage is to be made upon collection. Cash, UnionPay, Alipay, WeChat Pay, and Apple Pay are accepted.

5. Xi'an International Airport WiFi

Free WiFi in the airport s is available for China’s mobile phone number, and international guests need to go to the inquiry center for help.

If you have a China mobile phone number, you can directly connect to the hotspot of “Xian Airport Free” via a message with a password sent to your mobile number.

6. Lounges and hotels in Xi'an Xianyang International Airport

If you are an economy class traveler, you can access the following airport lounges as long as you are willing to pay a day pass or annual membership. You can confirm the charge at the reception desk when you enter the lounges.

Lounge Name Location
China Southern Airlines Lounge Domestic Terminal 3, Airside.
First Class Lounge Domestic Terminal 2, Airside, opposite Gate 17
First-Class & VIP Lounges No.02 Domestic Terminal 2, Airside, opposite Gate 10.
Fortune Wings Lounge Terminal 1, Airside, Domestic Departures, 2nd Floor, opposite Gate 5
Golden Century Lounge Domestic Terminal 2, Landside, next to Security Checkpoint 209
HNA Club Terminal 2, Airside, Domestic Departures, 2nd Floor, opposite Gate 9
International First Class Lounge International Terminal 3, Airside

Note: all listed lounges do not have any sleeping facilities.

If you want to have a good sleep or spend a night in the airport, two hotels are located inside the airport which welcomes international visitors, including an hourly rate hotel, private micro-rooms, and a traditional hotel.


Provide a private place, a full-sized bed, power supply, Wifi, computer desk, wake up service, and a public bathroom. Hourly rate room charge is 115 RMB for 3 hours from 06:00 to 20:00.

Location: 20 rooms located in departure area on the second floor, Terminal 3, Xianyang International Airport

16 rooms located in the corridor connecting Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.

Price: about 200-300RMB/night

Regal Airport Hotel Xi'an

The sole hotel in Xi’an directly connected by a link bridge to the airport. You can enjoy well-equipped facilities, such as an indoor swimming pool, spa, fitness center, and restaurant. All rooms offer a quiet and relaxing environment. Hourly rate room charges 300 RMB for 3 hours from 09:00 to 18:00.

Address: opposite 322 departure hall, Terminal 3, Xianyang International Airport

Price: about 700-2500RMB/night

7. Money exchange

Currency Exchange Counters are located at the International Departures next to Customs at Terminal 2, another one next to Exit 325, Departures at Terminal 3. The operating times are 07:30 to 21:30. They accept and converts all major currencies, and charges 58 RMB processing fee per transaction.

8. What are the transportation options to and from XIY?

Xi'an Airport Shuttle Bus:

Airport buses operate from the airport to several destinations, such as downtown, Shaanxi History Museum, Bell Tower, Xian Railway Station, Xianyang Qindu Railway Station. Passengers can buy bus tickets at the airport bus ticket office on the 1st floor, Terminal 2, or the airport bus ticket office at the Ground Transportation Center (GTC) in Terminal 3.

Route Departure Interval Running Time Airport Departure Return Period Ticket Price (RMB)
To Downtown Xi'an About 20 mins About 60 mins 07:00-23:00 04:20-02:00(the next day) 25
To Xian High-speed Railway Station About 30 mins About 30 mins 07:00-22:00 07:50-23:00 25
To Xianyang Downtown About 30 mins About 60 mins 08:30-22:00 06:30-18:30 15
To Xianyang High-speed Railway Station About 40 mins About 40 mins 09:30-20:10 08:00-19:40 15
To Shaanxi Historical Museum About 40 mins About 120 mins 07:20-20:40 07:00-20:20 25
To Bell Tower About 20 mins About 80 mins 07: 00-23:00 07:00-00:00(the next day) 25


There are three Taxi Stands in the airport

  • Terminal 1: After leaving the baggage claim area, proceed to Exit Arrival and make your way across to the taxi station.
  • Terminal 2: After leaving the baggage claim area, proceed to Exit 211 and make your way across to the taxi station.
  • Terminal 3: After leaving the baggage claim area, proceed to Exit 314 and make your way to the Ground Transportation Center (GTC). Then cross the hall and leave the building through Exits G08 or G09 to arrive at the taxi stands.

The daytime base rate is 8.5 RMB, and the night rate from 23:00 to 06:00 is 9.5 RMB. The per/km charge is 2 RMB.

Passengers need to pay the road toll for a single ride on top of the price displayed in the taxi meter.


The Metro stops in Terminal 3. The metro line runs between Xi’an Xianyang Airport and North Railway Station via 10 stations. Transfer to Metro line 4 to get to the destination you want.

When you need to return to the airport by Metro, you must transfer to Metro line 4 then to get the Airport Intercity Railway.

Xi'an Line 14 Airport Intercity Railway is under construction, and it is expected to operate in June 2021.

9. Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Xi’an

How to travel from Xian airport to major attractions

How to travel from Xi'an airport to major attractions

Name of Tourist Attraction Distance(from airport) Recommended visiting time Why visit here? How to get here?
Xi'an Bell Tower 38km 1-2 hours Bell Tower is another famous landmark in Xi’an City. You will have a bird’s eye view when you climb the tower. It is illuminated at night offering you an impressive night view of the city. Take the airport shuttle bus that will take you directly to the Bell Tower.
Xi'an City Wall 39 km 1-3 hours Xi'an City Wall is a well-preserved city wall which has been rebuilt to its former glory. There is a wide path where you can walk around or ride a bicycle to enjoy stunning views across the city. Take Airport Intercity Railway to the terminal and transfer to Metro line 4. Get off at the Xingzheng Zhongxin stop, and take the Metro line 2 to the Yongning Gate Station.
Shaanxi Historical Museum 41km about 3-4 hours The museum displays the ancient Chinese of Tang Dynasty (618-907ACE) style exhibits ancient art and antique collections. Take the airport shuttle bus as it goes directly to the museum.
Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum 68km 3-4 hours The famous iconic archaeological discovery of the first Emperor Qin Shi Huang in Chinese history. Take the shuttle bus or metro from the airport to the terminal stop of Fangzhicheng. After getting off, you will see a bus stop on the opposite side. Take tourist bus 5 or bus 306, that will take you to the stop of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses.

10. What to do at Xi’an layover?

If you have 6 hours to layover

You can take your time to explore the airport facilities. There are foot spa centers, a hotel with a swimming pool, fitness center, cafes, and restaurants, where you can just relax. If you enjoy shopping, head to Terminal 3 where you can check out the clothes, jewelry, tea, ceramics, and local handicrafts, helping you to make that last-minute shopping spree before you head away.

If you have 9 hours

You can go visit the Shaanxi Historical Museum or Bell Tower. The airport shuttle bus can get you there directly. Enjoy a short tour of this historic city.

If you have 12 hours

The half-day tour of Terracotta Warriors is highly recommended.

Recommended Xi’an Xianyang International Airport layover tour packages

If you have 1 day

You can have a one-day city tour. Riding a bicycle along the top of the Ancient City Walls, visit the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, and taste local food.

If you have 1.5 to 2 days

Terracotta Warriors plus the highlight City tour is recommended. If you are interested in local food, we welcome you to join our Xi’an Food Adventure.

If you have 3 to 5 days

Please check out our Xi'an tours, that are affordable and can be customized to suit your interests.

11. How many hours before the flight should we get back to the airport?

It is suggested that you allow at least 3-4 hours before your departure flight. Due to Covid-19, new policies are in place.

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