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Xiamen Travel Guide

Xiamen Travel Guide 2021

Xiamen, or many tourists may call it Amoy, is located on the southeast coast of China, under the jurisdiction of China’s Fujian Province. The city shares the characteristics of a metropolis as well as the quietness and ease of a romantic town. Such a unique contrast plus the year-around pleasant weather and climate make Xiamen a perfect place for holiday. In Xiamen, there are countless amazing tourist islands and beaches waiting for your steps, including the world-renowned Gulangyu Island - the sacred UNESCO World Heritage Site and "Garden on the Sea". The fresh and floral air energizes you. The warm and tranquil waters refresh you. The breathtaking natural costal beauty renews you. Every moment in Xiamen is just like a dream! So it comes no surprise there are so many tourists from all over the world gather in Xiamen every year.

In addition to being a hot tourist city itself, Xiamen is also a hot starting city for those visitors planning an in-depth Fujian tour. Many visitors extend their Xiamen tours to its nearby Fujian Tulou clusters, Xiapu Mudflat, Wuyi Mountain, etc.

Why Visit Xiamen, Fujian, China?

  • Gulangyu Island - Gulangyu Island enjoys the reputations of "Garden on the Sea", "World Architecture Expo" and "The Island of Music". From wonderful beaches, delicious snacks, and diverse colonial architectures and museums, Gulangyu Island gives a perfect example of what wonderland should be. In 2017, Gulangyu Island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is also great evidence of how wonderful this island is.
  • A Popular Gateway to Fujian Tulou Clusters - Fujian Tulou clusters are only 2.5~3.5 hours from Xiamen by driving. Tulou is a kind of unique dwelling of the Hakka and Hoklo people built with wood and fortified with mud walls. They are usually in an enclosed structure of circle or rectangular. And each of them can hold up to a hundred families. The shape of those earthen buildings is so unique and their size is so huge. In 1986, during the Cold War period, American officials once believed that these strange and huge houses are missile silos!
  • Stunning Coastal Scenery with Pleasant Weather All Year Around - Xiamen enjoys a pleasant weather all year around. It is neither too hot nor too cold there. Therefore, Xiamen always welcomes the global visitors with ever-blue sky, glittering beaches and abundant of outdoor activities like sunbathing, cycling, golf-playing, etc.
  • A Vital Witness and Story Teller of Modern Chinese History - Xiamen once played a vital role in the wars and history of modern China. Its abundant colonial buildings and war relics, like Hulishan Fortress, are the best story tellers to introduce the modern history of this country. Whether you are a history lover or not, you will sample some Chinese history while visiting Xiamen!
  • Seafood Paradise - Thanks to its unbeatable location of setting close to the sea, Xiamen is really a paradise for seafood. Here, you will find seafood snacks and dishes everywhere, including on the popular tourist streets on Gulangyu Island and also in some secret alleys. The smell of seafood will accompany you all the way. No specific plan is required to find something to eat in Xiamen, just make your stop at the restaurant or stall you are interested, and then you will be given yummy foods to satisfy your taste bud. Something you must-try includes Oyster Omelette, Rice Noodle Broth…

Top Xiamen Attractions (Things to Do in Xiamen)

Xiamen, this garden city offers many wonderful attractions, which will leave you a great memory, like romantic Gulangyu Island, unworldly South Putuo Temple, one of the most beautiful universities in China - Xiamen University, etc. For more information, please see Xiamen Attractions>>

Gulangyu Island
Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island (鼓浪屿) is a lovely island that within just a short ferry ride for about 7~20 minutes from the ports in Xiamen downtown. It is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site that is mainly famous for its coastal beauty, colonial style architectures and a myriad of interesting museums, like piano museum, organ museum, etc. Bright sunlight, pleasant beaches, interesting buildings and museums and exquisite gardens, Gulangyu Island can fulfill all your dreams for a vacation!

South Putuo Temple
South Putuo Temple

South Putuo Temple (南普陀寺), or called Nanputuo Temple, is adjacent to Xiamen University. It is located south of Mount Putuo in Zhejiang Province, hence the name. This temple is a sacred pilgrimage site for Fujian people and also dedicated Buddhist followers from Southeast Asia. It also has an amazing vegetarian restaurant, which allows you dinning with the monks. At the back of the temple lies Wulao Peak (Five-old Peak), where you can take a hike and have a broad panorama view of Xiamen.

Xiamen Botanical Garden
Xiamen Botanical Garden

Xiamen Botanical Garden (厦门园林植物园), also known as Wanshi Botanical Garden, is a big and beautiful garden that shares the border with Xiamen University. It is even the first Botanical Garden in the whole Fujian Province. At Xiamen Botanical Garden, you will find thousands kinds of lovely flowers, cactus and other plants, grotesque rocks, and also groups of locals coming for relax and picnic. It is a good place for leisure walking, especially for the visitors travelling with children.

Huandao Road
Huandao Road

Xiamen Huandao Road (环岛路) refers to the road sections that set along the coastal of Xiamen. This road measures about 43 kilometers in total, and its most popular part starts from Xiamen University to the Old Convention and Exhibition Center, which is called the "Golden Coastline". Huandao Road is the best place for cycling in Xiamen, and it shows the best sea view and some of the best beaches to the visitors. Hulishan Fortress, a historical landmark, is also there.

Nanjing Tulou
Nanjing Tulou

Fujian Tulou clusters are actually located in Zhangzhou City of Fujian Province instead of Xiamen. However, most of its tourists prefer to get there from Xiamen. Fujian has three main Tulou sites, while the hottest one is Nanjing Tulou (南靖土楼), which has the densest and the most unique Tulou buildings, including famous "Four Dishes and One Soup" (magical four circle-like Tulou surrounded a square Tulou), the "Tilting Tulou" with its wooden columns tilting in breathtaking degrees...

Yongding Tulou
Yongding Tulou

Yongding Tulou clusters (永定土楼) are only about 20 km and 40 minutes from Nanjing Tulou and 163km and 2.5~3 hours from Xiamen by car. Compared with Nanjing Tulou, the sightseeing areas of Yongding Tulou are more distributed. The most popular Tulou clusters there include its main tourist area with famous Zhencheng Building (the King of Fujian Tulou), Gaobei Tulou with Chengqi Building (another famous Tulou that once printed on stamps in China), Nanxi Tulou, Chuxi Tulou, etc.

Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street
Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street

Foodies and shopping lovers must like Xiamen Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street (中山路步行街) very much. This lively street offers almost everything you want, including a wide array of local snacks, souvenirs, clothes, jewels, etc. Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street is suitable to be visited during both day and night. Most of its shops won’t be closed until 10:00 pm. There are also shops and restaurants that offer service until 3:00am and even 4:00am.

Xiamen Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort
Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort

Xiamen Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort (厦门日月谷温泉度假村) is 1 hour or so from Xiamen downtown by car. This resort is a sanctuary with luxury hotels, hot springs, swimming pools, restaurants, etc. It offers about 40 kinds of hot springs for its visitors to relax themselves, including the ones flavored with herbs, fruits, flowers, etc. It is said the water of its hot springs is rich in a large number of microelements beneficial to blood circulation, disease prevention, tiredness killing...

Activities in Xiamen, Fujian

Catching a ferry to Gulangyu Island for a leisure tour is somewhat the must-do in Xiamen. In addition to Gulangyu Island visiting, there are still a lot of interesting activities you can experience in Xiamen, including hitting the temples, universities and gardens, cycling along Huandao Road, savoring delicious seafood, playing golf with friends, etc. Learn more about Top 8 Xiamen Activities >>

Gulangyu Island
Visit Gulangyu Island

A Xiamen tour without the visit to Gulangyu Island is far from enough. Only half day or so is enough to explore this small island. During the half day tour, you will not only be rewarded with somewhat the best coastal scenery in China and also get a glimpse of Chinese history over the past 100 years. Highlights of Gulangyu Island include Sunlight Rock, Shuzhuang Garden, Piano Museum, Organ Museum, Haoyue Garden, etc.

South Putuo Temple
Hit Xiamen Beaches

Bright sunlight and fascinating beach are the musts for a holiday to a tourist destination rich in islands. And in Xiamen, you will never miss these wonders. There are many beaches for you to choose, including Baicheng Beach, Huangcuo Beach, Huizhan Beach, etc. on the coastal of Xiamen Island, and Meihua Beach and Junru Beach, etc. on Gulangyu Island. All of them will meet your needs and dreams for a beach tour!

Xiamen Botanical Garden
Cycling along Huandao Road

Imagine cycling and laughing with your friends along the beautiful sea, with gentle breeze and warm sunshine kissing your face, isn’t it just a holiday should be? Xiamen Huandao Road, especially the southeastern part, is a wonderful place for such a happy cycling tour! Besides the great cycling experience, this road also gathers some historic relics in Xiamen, which will introduce you more history of this city!

Huandao Road
Savor Delicious Seafood

In such a coastal city like Xiamen, it is really much easier to get fresh sea products, like oyster, fish, shrimp and so on. Plus the superb cooking skill of the locals, visitors can have a taste of somewhat the most delicious snacks and dishes of seafood in Xiamen, including Oyster Omelette, Fish Ball Soup, Shrimp Noodles, Oyster Porridge… If you like, you can also follow the locals to visit The Eighth Seafood Market to know more secretes of Xiamen food.

Xiamen Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort
Play Golf with Friends

Xiamen is also a good place to have a golf holiday. This popular tourist city enjoys a pleasant weather all year around, which creates great weather conditions for golf games. Besides that, the contrast of beautiful natural costal beauty and modern city view of Xiamen also make it a unique experience to play golf there. Golf courses in Xiamen are a lot, and the most popular ones are Xiamen Orient Golf Country Club, KaiKou Golf Club, etc.

Nanjing Tulou
Take a Side Trip to Fujian Tulou Cluster

Tulou clusters, also known as Hakka Houses and Earthen Buildings, are the homes of the local Hakka people. These buildings feature unique round and square shape and huge size. They are the world's unique mythical mountain village residential architectures that everyone there should pay a close visit to. Most of the tourists prefer to visit Fujian Tulou from Xiamen, which only takes for about 2.5~3.5 hours from Xiamen by driving.

Yongding Tulou
Take a Side Trip to Xiapu Mudflat

Xiapu Mudflat ranks in the top 10 scenic spots for nature photography in China. Instead of always-the-same beauty, the scenery in Xiapu Mudflat is ever-changing with sun, tidal and also human activities. Tiger-striped beaches, rows of bamboo structures and poles, colorful water with lingering light of the setting sun… Everything is worthy to be kept by your camera! From Xiamen, you can get to Xiapu Mudflat in only 3 hours by bullet train.

Yongding Tulou
Take a Side Trip to Wuyishan

Wuyi Mountain is a sacred World Cultural and Natural Heritage that mainly famous for its beautiful Danxai Landform, precious cultural relics of over 2,000 years and black tea culture. In Wuyi Mountain, you can enjoy bamboo rafting, hiking, tea tasting, etc. Also, there is a large-scale live performance with the real Wuyishan scenery as backdrop. From Xiamen, you can get to this sacred site in about 4~4.5 hours by bullet train.

Xiamen Weather & Best Time to Visit Xiamen

Xiamen has a subtropical monsoon climate, mild temperature with lots of rain. Annual average temperature is around 21℃, no chilly winter nor hot summer. Annual average rainfall is around 1200mm, and May to August is the rainy season. Xiamen will be hit by typhoons 4 ~ 5 times a year, and most of the typhoons hit between July and September. With a lot of sunshine and mild temperature all year round, Xiamen has green trees and colorful flowers in the four seasons. Most flowers blossom in spring and autumn; summer is suitable to play on the beach, winter is quiet with rather warm temperature. However, it will be hit by typhoons around August, and the flight may be canceled and some attractions will be closed during the typhoon weather. So make sure you check the weather forecast before the trip.

Best Time to Visit Xiamen, Fujian, China

Xiamen is a pleasant holiday destination that suitable to be visited all year around. And if you are looking for the best time to visit it, spring, autumn and winter, especially March, April, May, September and October, may be right for you.

Learn more about Xiamen Weather >>

Xiamen Transportation: How to Get to/around Xiamen

How to Get to Xiamen

Xiamen has a very convenient transportation, and usually tourists can get there by flight and train. There are also coaches/long-distance buses to Xiamen. However, since the flight and train systems are already convenient enough, seldom tourist choose to go by bus.

Flight to Xiamen

Xiamen now has one airport in operation, which is named Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport. Travelers can find flights to/from the airport from more than 45 international cities and regions, like Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and more than 90 domestic cities , like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Kunming, Lijiang, etc.

There is also another airport in Xiamen under construction, and it is said the new airport will be opened in 2023.

Train to Xiamen

Xiamen is also connected with the rest of China by train. The city now has two main train stations, including Xiamen Railway Station and Xiamen North Railway Station. These two train stations both have high speed trains. You can catch high speed trains to/from Xiamen from Beijing (about 11~17.5 hrs), Shanghai (about 5.5~8.5 hrs), Xian (12 hrs), Chongqing (12.5~15 hrs), Fuzhou (1.5~4.5 hrs), Guangzhou (about 4.5~5 hrs), Huangshan (about 4.5~5 hrs), Hangzhou (5 hrs), etc. Xiamen High Speed Train >>

How to Travel around Xiamen

In Xiamen, visitors can travel around the city with the help of taxi, metro, BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) and public bus lines. And for the visitors heading to explore its islands like the famous Gulangyu Island, you are required to catch a ferry from the land area in Xiamen. There are many ferry lines for you to choose. And both day ferry and night ferry are available! By taking a ferry, you can travel from Xiamen to Gulangyu in about 7~20 minutes. How to Get to Xiamen Gulangyu Island >>

For more information, please see Xiamen Transportation>>

Xiamen Accommodation & Where to Stay in Xiamen

Being a popular tourist destination, Xiamen never let its visitors down on accommodation. From luxurious hotels, economic hotels to youth hostels and home inns, there are a lot of options for visitors to select. All of them are comfortable and will guarantee you a good night. If you are budget travelers, you can focus your eyes on those unique family inns, while hotels of 4-star or 5-star are more recommended for you if you prefer more luxury experiences.

Where to Stay in Xiamen

Normally, Siming District of Xiamen, the area with most of Xiamen’s attractions like Gulangyu Island, Nanputuo Temple and Xiamen University is the best place to stay. However, it is still a large area and there are a large group of hotels there. You are suggested to make your decision according to your trip plan. If you are looking for a hotel close to the port to catch ferry to Gulangyu, you are suggested to stay near Xiamen Lundu Port. And for those visitors prefer a close distance to the attractions, you can find a hotel near Xiamen University. The hotels near Zengcuoan and Huangdao Road are also good option.

For more information, please see Xiamen Hotels>> | Where to Stay in Xiamen >>

Useful Xiamen Maps

To help you to know more about Xiamen attractions, we have selected some useful Xiamen maps for you. Please feel free to use them. For more maps of Xiamen, please see 2021 Xiamen Maps>> | Xiamen Gulangyu Island Maps >> | Xiamen Metro Map >>

Xiamen Fujian Map

Xiamen Fujian Map

Xiamen Attraction Map

Xiamen Attraction Map

Xiamen City Map

Xiamen City Map

Other Destinations near Xiamen

Near Xiamen, there are many wonderful destinations which travelers can add into the Xiamen tour itinerary, like fascinating Fujian Tulou, scenic Guilin, international Hong Kong and stunning Huangshan.

Other Destinations in China

China is such a diverse country with countless of wonders to explore! Xiamen and its nearby region only will show you the beauty of the south of this country. However, in its north, there are still a lot to visit, including the world-famous Great Wall in Beijing, Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xian, pandas in Chengdu, and so on! Why not add more surprises into your China tour? Check all destinations in China.

Xiamen Travel Guide

Chinese Name: 厦门

Chinese Pinyin: Xià Mén

English IPA: ['ʃjɑ:'men]

Population: 3.81 million

Language: Mandarin & Southern Fujian Dialect

Tel Code: 0592

Zip Code: 361000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan Your Xiamen Tour

Visitors usually spend 2 days around in Xiamen. During their 2-day stay, they will visit Xiamen highlights in its city, like South Putuo Temple, Hulishan Fortress, Zhongshan Road, etc. Besides, they will take half day or so to explore beautiful Gulangyu Island.

In addition to the attractions in the City, Xiamen is also famous for its nearby Fujian Tulou clusters, the sacred earthen buildings which have been added into World Cultural Heritage Sites since 2008. About 1~2 days more are needed for a Tulou tour.

Wuyi Mountain, a World Cultural & Natural Heritage Site with profound Chinese culture and breathtaking natural beauty, is only about 3~4 hours away from Xiamen by high speed train. If you like, you can spend 2~3 days more to extend your tour to visit it.

For photography lovers, you are highly suggested to add a 2-day Xiapu Mudflat tour into your tour. Xiapu Mudflats are amazing masterpieces of both the nature and human beings. The ever-changing scenery and the traditional life style create a wonderland to create photos.

If you want to discover more culture and nature highlights to Fuzhou, Quanzhou, etc., plan 1-2 more days for each destination. Besides, beyond Fujian, China boasts a lot of wonderful nature, culture, history and city charm to discover, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guilin, Chengdu, Huangshan, Hangzhou, Yunnan, etc. You can contact us and extend your Fujian trip to more popular destinations to enrich your exploration of China in one go!

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