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Top 6 Pingyao Tourist Attractions to Visit in 2021/2022

Located in central Shanxi Province, Pingyao is a hot short trip destination between Beijing and Xian, which is most famous for the well-preserved Pingyao Ancient City. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage with nearby Shuanglin Temple and Zhenguo Temple, Pingyao Ancient City is one of the best examples of ancient urban settlement during Ming and Qing Dynasties. Except the ancient city, Pingyao has also conserved more splendid cultural attractions, including Shuanglin Temple, Zhenguo Temple with stunning painted sculptures, Wang’s and Qiao’s Family Compound with massive residences, etc. Below are the top 6 tourists attractions recommended visiting in and near Pingyao.

Attractions in and near Pingyao

Top 6 Places to Visit in & near Pingyao

Pingyao Ancient City

No.1: Pingyao Ancient City - Top Well-preserved Ancient City in China

With a long history of over 2,700 years, Pingyao Ancient City is an excellent well-preserved ancient city of Han Chinese in China. Within the imposing Ancient City Walls, massive interesting and featured buildings are unfolded along the streets and lanes, including over 400 old folk houses, ancient “Wall Street”, government office, armed escort agencies, shops, temples, etc. Here you can see many different buildings preserved in original structure and appearance, but also travel back to the flourishing trade and finance of Pingyao in Ming and Qing Dynasties and immerse in local life. It’s really a must see for history buffs.

2 Days Classic Pingyao Ancient City Tour

3 Days Ancient Pingyao Discovery Tour

6 Days Datong Pingyao Tour plus Wutaishan Visit

Type: UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, Cultural & Historical Site, Landmark

Location: Kangning Road, Pingyao County, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province

Ticket: CNY 125 per person for 22 scenic spots inside

Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00 (April - October); 08:00-17:30 (November – Next March)

Recommended Length of Visit: 0.5 day - 1 day

Shuanglin Temple

No.2: Shuanglin Temple - Oriental Art Gallery of Painted Sculptures

Shuanglin Temple, built in 1,400 years ago, is a huge art treasure house that keeps over 2,000 delicate Chinese painted clay sculptures. This temple complex is a serene shrine where you can seek inner peace, observe traditional architectures, and witness thousands of well-maintained statues of various Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, saints, ancient heroes. Sculptures of Wei Tuo in Hall of One-Thousand Buddhas and Thousand-hand Bodhisattva in Hall of Bodhisattvas are the top-rated highlights, showing the extraordinary traditional craftsmanship, aesthetic and worship of Buddhism.

2 Days Classic Pingyao Ancient City Tour

3 Days Ancient Pingyao Discovery Tour

Type: UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, Religious & Cultural Site

Location: Qiaotou Village, Zhongdu Township, Pingyao County, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province; 6 km from Pingyao Ancient City

Ticket: CNY 35

Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour ~ 3 hours

Wang' Family Compound

No.3: Wang' Family Compound - A Huge “Forbidden City in Folk”

Built by the very wealthy Wang Family (a local billionaire clan) for over 300 years, Wang’s Family Compound is a huge mansion reputed as the “Forbidden City in Folk”. As the largest of Shanxi courtyard houses, the compound covers an area of 250,000 square meters, consists of 54 courtyards and 1083 rooms which are living areas, kitchens, schools, prayer pavilions, etc. While visiting this ancient residential complex, you can see the distinctive architectural art and planning philosophy, from the eaves, brackets, screens, baldachine, windows and doors. Wooden, brick and stone carvings are perfectly integrated with paintings, decoration in the courtyards.

3 Days Ancient Pingyao Discovery Tour

4 Days Essence of Datong & Pingyao Tour

Type: Historical Buildings, Ancient Folk Residence

Location: Jing Sheng Sheng Town, Lingshi County, Jinzhong City, Shaanxi Province; about 60 km from Pingyao

Ticket: CNY 55

Opening Hours: 08:30-18:30 (April - October); 08:30-17:00 (November - Next March)

Recommended Length of Visit: Half a Day

Qiao's Family Compound

No.4: Qiao's Family Compound - A Pearl of Residential Architecture in Northern China

Located between Taiyuan and Pingyao, Qiao’s Family Compound is considered to one of best examples of well-preserved private residences in Northern China. Built in 1756 by Qiao Zhiyong, a famous Shanxi merchant, the estate has an interesting layout like the Chinese character "囍" which means ‘’double happiness’’. Within the 6 large courtyards, there are 313 houses scatted in 20 small courtyards, together with many gardens, over 5,000 pieces of precious cultural relics. Visitors are not only impressed by the huge size, but also for the exquisite folk art, such as carvings, paintings, designs, inscribed tablets. Stepping inside, you can easily image the life scenes of the former owners. This compound is also the location for Zhang Yimou’s famous movie, ‘’Raise the Red Lantern’’. Now, it is a national museum centers on the customs and traditions in Shanxi.

3 Days Taiyuan Pingyao Brief Tour with Qiao's Family Compound

11 Days Golden Triangle Tour with Shanxi Highlights

Type: Architectural & Historical Buildings

Location: Qiaojiabao Village, Dongguan Town, Qi County, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province; about 50 km from Pingyao Ancient City

Ticket: CNY 115

Opening Hours: 08:30-18:30 (April - October); 08:30-17:00 (November - Next March)

Recommended Length of Visit: Half a Day

Zhenguo Temple

No.5: Zhenguo Temple - A Wonder for Architect Geeks

Modest in size than Shuanglin Temple, Zhenguo Temple is a miraculous monastery survived over 1, 000 years from Fiver Dynasties. Less known to most tourists, it is a quiet gem hiding some of the oldest wooden structures in China, large number gorgeous murals, steles and old trees. Wanfo Hall is the core relic that presents the existing very precious and ingenious wooden buildings. Solid timber frame, sophisticated craftsmanship, colored painting and old age make it a rare artifact. A visit here will let you be awed by the untouched murals, sculptures and enriches your knowledge of Chinese ancient architectures.

Type: UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, Religious & Cultural Site

Location: Haodtong Village, Xiangyuan Township, Pingyao County, Jinzhon City, Shanxi Province; about 13 km from Pingyao Ancient City

Ticket: CNY 25

Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour ~ 2 hours

Zhangbi Ancient Castle

No.6: Zhangbi Ancient Castle - Ancient Fortress Above, Secret Tunnels Underground

Constructed as a fortress corresponding to the astrology, Zhangbi Ancient Castle is China’s only castle ruins dual-used for military and civilian purposes, as well as a rare tiny ancient fortress in existence with an estimated 1,600 years of history. On the ground, there are rammed earth walls, a large temple complex and well-proportioned ancient dwellings. Meanwhile, more than 3,000-meter long tunnels stretch criss-cross underneath, creating a three-storey maze-like military base. The underground tunnel network is truly an amazing feat of ancient architecture and engineering, providing a unique insight into ancient defenses. Delight your Pingyao side trip by visiting the original nice temples, well-marked tunnels with cave for weapons, water and food storage, batter command, living quarter, etc.

3 Days Pingyao Discovery Tour

4 Days Essence of Datong & Pingyao Tour

Type: Cultural & Historical Site

Location: Zhangbi Village, Longfeng Town, Jiexiu City, Jinzhong City, Shanxi Province; about 45 km from Pingyao Ancient City

Ticket: CNY 60 (April - October), CNY 50 (November – Next March)

Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00 (April - October); 08:00-17:00 (November – Next March)

Recommended Length of Visit: 3 hours

How to Plan a Pingyao Tour if you have 1 Day, 2 Days (Excluding the Arrival Day)

1 Day Pingyao Ancient City Discovery Tour: Pingyao Ancient City, Shuanglin Temple

If you only spare one day to visit Pingyao, then the Pingyao Ancient City is the top must-see. You can take 1 full day to leisurely visit major ancient sites in Pingyao Ancient City, get panoramic view from the imposing Ancient City Walls, learn bank history in Rishengchang Former Bank, sense local life in the old residences, watch performance in Ancient Government Office, taste local flavors in Ming and Qing Dynasties Street, even watch the Another Glance at Pingyao show at night and stay overnight to capture stunning night scenery. A quick ancient city trip with Shuanglin Temple nearby is also doable within 1 day. But please leave enough time to take your train for leaving.


2 Days Pingyao World Cultural Heritage Visits: Pingyao Ancient City, Shuanglin Temple, Wang’s Family Compound

The itinerary brings you to visit two World Cultural Heritage properties at a slower pace. On the first day, you will make an in-depth exploration in the Pingyao Ancient City. On the next morning, you will drive to visit Shuanglin Temple, take several hours to enjoy massive painted sculptures. Next, drive southward to Wang’s Family Compound to continue your cultural and historical journey of Shanxi.

>> 2 Days Classic Pingyao Ancient City Tour


2 Day Pingyao Diverse Cultural Exploration: Pingyao Ancient City, Shuanglin Temple, Zhangbi Ancient Castle, Wang’s Family Compound

To help you make full use of your time and know ancient Pingyao better, this itinerary takes you to visit most of the top landmarks in and near Pingyao. You will visit Pingyao Ancient City and Shuanglin Temple in half a day separately. On the second day, Zhangbi Ancient Castle will be toured on the driving route to Wang’s Family Compound.

>> 3 Days Pingyao Discovery Tour (First Day for Arrival)

>> 4 Days Essence of Datong & Pingyao Tour

>> 6 Days Datong Pingyao Tour plus Wutaishan Visit

6 Most Recommended Pingyao Tour Packages

  • Pingyao Tours

    2 Days Classic Pingyao Ancient City Tour

    This is the most classic itinerary to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pingyao Ancient City and its surrounding must-see sites – Wang Family Compound and Shuanglin Temple with a leisure pace.

  • Datong Pingyao Tour

    4 Days Essence of Datong & Pingyao Tour

    From Datong to Pingyao Ancient City, you will trace back to discover ancient architectural wonders and learn about the history, also admire the brilliant Buddhist culture and art in Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple.

  • Datong Pingyao Wutaishan Tour

    6 Days Datong Pingyao Tour plus Wutaishan Visit

    Explore the essence of Shanxi Province in one go! You will experience the ancient prosperity of Pingyao, awe the Buddhist Grottoes art and culture in Datong, enjoy peace of mind in Wutaishan.

  • Hukou Waterfall Tour

    3 Days Yellow River Hukou Waterfall Tour from Pingyao

    Ttake a side trip to Hukou Waterfall which is the largest yellow waterfall in the world as well as the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, the Mother River of China.

  • 4 Day Ancient Pingyao & Xian Tour

    This tour take you to experience the cultural and historical charms of Xian and Pingyao, two of the best preserved ancient cities in China. Get close to the heartbeat of Chinese ancient heart!

  • Beijing Pingyao Tour

    6 Days Beijing Pingyao Highlights Tour

    Discover the huge contrast of glorious imperial history of Beijing and authentic civilian prosperous ancient city Pingyao in Ming and Qing Dynasty, and covers both the highlights of in the two ancient cities.

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