The Muslim Quarter (回民街) Xian, near the Drum Tower (鼓楼), is one of the must-visit places in Xian city for its old street of more than 1,000 years old. Being a symbolic site of Xian flavor, this street is well-known for its nearly 300 sorts of food selling here, which attracts a numerous number of foodies to please both their noses and taste buds. Also, the well-preserved folk life gives visitors a great chance to feel the real featured culture in Shaanxi province. Since Muslim Quarter is the gathering place of the Islamic Hui people and is also called Muslim Street and Huimin Street, visitors can appreciate the featured mosques with rich ancient Chinese flavor to feel the inclusive multi-culture of China.
According to the history, the Muslim Quarter was a prosperous business street with lots of renowned stores. And more than 2,000 years ago, some businessmen, envoys, students from the ancient Arab, Persia, etc. started their immigration to Chang’an (长安, ancient name of Xian) that was later the start of the Silk Road. Since then, they did their business, studied, worked as officials, etc. and lived here from one generation to another. And till now, there are more than 60 thousand Hui people (回族) living in the Muslim Quarter Xian.
The Muslim Quarter Xian has long been prosperous selling delicious food. Visitors can find countless stores selling the local Xian snacks and Islamic food. While walking in the big block from Dapiyuan (大皮院) to Qiaozikou (桥梓口), tourists can feel the most civilian and true life of Xian. Apart from those, the night scene of the Muslim Quarter is also very worth to experience. You can see this quarter filled with rich atmosphere of civil life with the bright lights and lamps ganging along, buyers bargaining for their desirable commodities, people enjoying food while hanging on the streets, etc. This real vigorous scene will make your Xian tour unforgettable.
To visit the Muslim Quarter, it is really regret not to pay a visit to the representative mosques and other beautiful buildings.
As one of the best-preserved and most typical Chinese Mosque, the Great Mosque (清真大寺) of more than 1,200 years old appears in abundant design of traditional Chinese culture in many aspects, which shows China is a great country combining multiple cultures together into a very harmonious one. The Great Mosque of Xian in Huajuexiang (化觉巷) is one of the “Top Four Mosque in China”. Besides the spectacular view of blue glazed tiles covering the roof, the delicate carvings on every wall and hundreds of excellent painting works of plants can be called the artistic feast for the eyes, which is also very rare and precious.
The An’ s Courtyard is located on No. 125 of Huajuexiang. This courtyard has a long history of more than 200 years. You can appreciate its black bricks and tiles, exquisite carvings as well as paintings on the beams and rafters. It is truly a great place to appreciate the featured quadrangle courtyard of antique beauty.
Since the Muslim Quarter is a very famous snack street in Xian, it is a treat to taste the various kinds of delicious Xian Food along the street. You can try the special local food cooked by the wise and hardworking Hui people, and feel the culture of food and their good heart.
The Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup, also called Yangrou Paomo (羊肉泡馍), is the “Best Food in Shaanxi”. This historic food has long been praised by many visitors worldwide. You can find any one restaurant in this quarter and order this dish. The tough and chewy bean vermicelli, fresh lamb and soft pita bread will make you get into its special flavor.
The Soup Dumplings (灌汤包子) are featured for its fresh soup within the dumplings, tender meat and very thin wrapper. This is not a new way of eating dumplings, but an innovation of its appearance. When you taste the fresh soup and bite the paper-thinned skin, you would know how excellent skill the cook masters. Among all the restaurants selling soup dumplings in Xian, Jiasan Soup Dumpling (贾三灌汤包子) is the most famous with the best taste.
Chinese Hamburger, or Chinese Sandwich, or Rou Jia Mo (肉夹馍) in Chinese pronunciation, is a characteristic food in Shaanxi. The hot crispy bun with the tender meat and vegetable fillings inside give you the very great tasting experience.
Besides the above recommended featured food, there are many tasteful snacks for you to have fun in the sea of delicacy, such as the persimmon doughnuts, liangpi noodles, hammered candy, jinxianyouta, jing cake, etc. which makes you feel time limited to taste them all.
Stroll along the Muslim Quarter to taste different delicious food and feel the local civil life of Xian. After that, you can go toward north to see the featured Great Mosque of rich Islamic architectural culture and to appreciate its antique quadrangle dwelling in the An ‘s Courtyard along the Huajuexiang. Then, you are recommended to go east to the Bell & Drum Tower Square to admire the grand historic towers and feel the ear-pleasing sounds. (For 2-3 hours)
Built in the 1990s, The Bell & Drum Square (钟鼓楼) welcomes a great quantity of tourists every year. Here stand the Bell Tower of over 600 years and the Drum tower which is the biggest one so far in China. Standing on the square, you can appreciate the grand appearances of the two towers, and hear the very euphonic chime and drumbeat, which is a great opportunity to feel the old life of ancient Chinese people who count the time by such sounds.
Since the Muslim Quarter Xian is situated at the central place of this city, it very convenient and time-saving to get there. You can choose a taxi, bus, subway and other vehicle to arrive easily.
Take the subway line 2 to get off at the Bell & Drum Tower Station, and walk for about 5 mins.
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Muslim Quarter with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
1. Almost all the snacks in Muslim Street are very enough in quantity, therefore it is suggested to choose the smaller one so that you can taste more kinds of food.
2. Since this street is the gathering place for Hui people, please respect the local Islamic customs, like do not bring a Rou Jia Mo with pork filling into a Islamic restaurant, and do not wear shorts or short skirts visiting a mosque, etc.
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