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Travel from Italy to Tibet

  • by Eric
  • Last Updated: 2024-06-05

It is relatively easy to go to Tibet from Italy. Italian travelers first need to go to your nearby consultants of China(in Rome, Milan, Florence) to apply for a tourist visa to China ("L" tourist visa), then fly directly from Rome or Milan to Beijing or Shanghai or Chengdu, and then after you get your Tibet permit, you can take Tibet train or domestic flight to Lhasa.

Another option is to enter Tibet from Nepal due to its proximity. In this case, a Tibet Permit and a Group Tourist Visa are required.  Italians can choose the land route from Kathmandu to Lhasa, or choose a direct flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa. Currently, daily flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa have not yet fully resumed, with only three direct flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  For other days, you also need a China visa to fly to Lhasa from Kathmandu via Chengdu or other mainland cities.

Important notice: Vistors from Italy can enjoy 15-day China visa-free policy till 31 December 2025.

Italy to Tibet via Mainland China

The most recommended way to travel from Italy to Tibet is by plane via China. At present, both Rome and Milan have opened direct flights to China, and the arrival cities are Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. After arriving in any of these cities, Italian travelers can choose from a wide range of departures, whether by train or plane to Lhasa (the capital of Tibet). If you choose this route, you need to apply for a China visa first then ask your travel agency to help obtain your Tibet travel permit.

Italy to Tibet via mainland China
Italy to Tibet via Mainland China

1. Rome - Beijing - Lhasa

From Rome to Beijing, you can take a direct flight CA940, departing on even days. The flight lasts about 10 hours and costs about € 1030.

From Beijing to Lhasa, there is a direct flight every morning and afternoon. The flight lasts about 4 hours and the price is about € 380. In addition, there are several connecting flights from Beijing to Lhasa, at a much lower cost, varying from € 126 to € 252. >>See more about Beijing to Lhasa flight

Because Tibet is located on the Tibetan Plateau with an average altitude of more than 4,000 meters, many tourists from lower altitudes choose to travel to Lhasa by train to avoid altitude sickness. Trains have both hard sleeper and soft sleeper tickets. Travel agencies in Tibet can usually help you book either type of ticket with a service fee.

You can also take train Z21 from Beijing to Lhasa, which takes about 40 hours and departs daily at 19:55 from Beijing West Railway Station. The price of a soft sleeper ticket is about € 250 (including the service fee). >>See more about Beijing to Lhasa Train

2. Rome - Shanghai - Lhasa

From Rome to Shanghai, you can take direct flight MU788, departing on odd days, with a flight duration of 11 hours and 50 minutes, at a price of about € 980.

From Shanghai to Lhasa, there are two direct flights, MU2335 and TV9882, but with a stopover in Xián/Chengdu. The flight duration takes about 7-8 hours and the ticket price is about € 320. There are also many connecting flights from Shanghai to Lhasa, with airfares varying from € 130 to € 230. >> See more about Shanghai to Lhasa flights

You can also take train Z164 from Shanghai to Lhasa, which departs daily at 20:02 from Shanghai Station. The journey takes 46 hours and 44 minutes, and the price of a soft sleeper ticket is about € 260 (including the service fee). >>See more about Shanghai to Lhasa train

3. Rome - Chengdu - Lhasa

Chengdu is located in Sichuan Province in southwest China, next to the Tibet Autonomous Region. Traveling from Italy to Tibet, Chengdu is a good entry city, for its shorter mileage to Tibet. From Rome to Chengdu, you can take a direct flight 3U3896, departing on even days, with a 10-hour flight, which costs about € 760.

From Chengdu to Lhasa, there are more than 10 direct flights, and the price of a ticket is about € 150. >>See more about Chengdu to Lhasa flights

You can also take train Z322 from Chengdu to Lhasa, which departs every other day at 21:08. The journey takes 34 hours and 29 minutes, and the price of a soft sleeper ticket is about € 202 (including the service fee). >>See more about Chengdu to Lhasa train

4. Milan - Beijing - Lhasa

If you are in Milan, you can take a direct flight from Milan to Beijing on CA950, a daily flight with a ticket price of about € 1020.

5. Milan - Shanghai - Lhasa

There is also a daily direct flight from Milan to Shanghai: CA968,  with a flight duration of 11 hours and 20 minutes, at a ticket price of about € 980.

Italy to Tibet via Nepal

Flying from Rome/Milan to Kathmandu, Nepal, the flight costs about  € 600 / € 640 and takes about 13/14 hours. Traveling via Nepal to Tibet is also a popular option. There are currently no trains from Kathmandu to Lhasa. However, you can enter Tibet from Nepal by land through Gyriong Port, which is a good choice for Italian tourists by getting a China Group Visa in Kathmandu. Or you can fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa. In that case, you need to apply for a China Visa. No matter either way, you need to turn to a Tibet travel agency to help you handle your Tibet travel permit prior.

Italy to Tibet via Nepal
Italy to Tibet via Nepal

Flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa

The only international flight to Lhasa is from Kathmandu. The flight costs about € 274 US dollars, with a duration of an hour and a half for the 600km trip. Currently there are three flights on Mon/Wed/Fri per week, operated by Himalayan Airlines. For other days, Italians have to transit flights to Lhasa from Kathmandu via Chengdu. >> See more about Kathmandu to Lhasa flights

Road Trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa

Compared with flying, land travel from Kathmandu to Lhasa is more favored by many travelers. We will send you to Gyirong Port, which is now the border between China and Nepal. After you pass through the customs, our Tibetan tour guide will pick you up on the Tibetan side. Due to the increase in altitude, you will stay in Gyriong Town to adapt to the plateau environment, and gradually head east to visit Tingri, Everest Base Camp and Shigatse, and finally arrive in Lhasa. This classic travel itinerary is filled with breathtaking scenery, Himalayan peaks, magnificent Buddhist temples and sacred alpine lakes, as well as endless opportunities to meet local Tibetans and explore their exotic culture and customs.

√  Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Trip


In conclusion, traveling from Italy to Tibet offers multiple routes and methods to choose from. Whether you opt for the convenience of going via major Chinese cities by flight or by train, or the adventure of Himalayan vistas via Kathmandu by flight or by land, please ensure you secure all necessary permits and visas in advance and get engaged with a travel agency to enhance your experience in this extraordinary region.

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