Tin dioxide nanotubes coated with ultrathin N-doped carbon film (N-doped SnO2/C NTs) are prepared through a sacrificial template method for the first time. It was employed as anodes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and delivered a high reversible capacity of 909.5 mAh g–1 at 0.5 A g–1 after 200 cycles, outstanding stability 551.7 mAh g–1 after 500 cycles at 1 A g–1, and excellent rate performance of 1069.2 mAh g–1 after 280 cycles. Such superior electrochemical performance is owning to the N-doped carbon coating which improved the conductivity of the NTs, which is essential for higher performance LIBs. The special designed whole nanotube structure provides extensive surface and pores to accommodate Li, meanwhile, prohibited the volume expansion during cycling test. The electrochemical performance of pouch-type cells further demonstrates the SnO2/C NTs as a promising candidate for LIBs anode. This study has shed a light on the LIB anode materials design and preparation and made such hollow nanostructured materials a potential candidate to replace commonly used graphite materials.