Situated on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, this lively and hugely diverse provincial capital makes a good base from which to dive into the surrounding sights and on to the more remote regions of Qinghai and beyond. Though many travellers use Xining (西宁, Xīníng) as a jumping-off or landing point from the Qinghai–Tibet Railway, it’s also a wonderful place to encounter the province’s varied cultures – Muslim (Hui, Salar and Uyghur), Tibetan and Han Chinese – especially the rich culinary mix that these groups bring together. There's superb food and a scattering of tempting cafes as well as an outstanding museum of Tibetan culture, some beautiful temples and mosques, plus the remains of the old city wall, so try not to race through without putting aside some time to explore.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Xining.

Top experiences

Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Xining.