Things to do in Taiyuan

From the classic must-see historical sites to local haunts, there are many things to do in Taiyuan.

How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite Taiyuan attractions and featured activities – temples, museums, parks, festivals, cuisines and more.

Besides, Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi, is the best gateway to the World Heritage Sites - Pingyao Ancient City and Mount Wutai. You could explore all the highlights of Shanxi from the Ancient Heart with a history of 2500 years! Go and discover now!

Taiyuan Shanxi Attractions Map

Jinci Temple'Park

No.1: Jinci Temple

Type: Historical Architectural Sites, Religious Site

Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours

Located 25 km away from Taiyuan city, Jinci Temple is the first must-see attraction in Taiyuan. The temple compound has ancient halls, pavilions and towers, all surrounded by the mountains and ancient trees.

You can discover a fascinating mixture of Daoist, Confucian and Buddhist influences in the ancient buildings; some are as old as 1500 years old. You’ll feel a charm of history by visiting the highlighted Saint Mother Hall that built in 984 AD, seeing the 3000-year-old cypress tree in front of the hall, and wandering around the peaceful park. The Cypress, the Longevity Spring and the painted clay figures of maids in the Saint Mother Hall are Jinci Temple’s “Three Wonders”.

Chongshan Temple

No.2: Chongshan Temple

Type: Religious Site

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Chongshan means “appreciating Kindness”. This temple was originally built in the Tang Dynasty, was known as the White Horse Temple. In 1381, Zhu Gang, the third son of First Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhuang, has rebuilt and renamed it Chongshan Temple to honor his mother.

It was a major Buddhist temple but burned to the ground in a fire, in 1864 of Qing Dynasty. The existing Dabei Palace maintains the essence of the temple and stores three precious treasures. The first one is the original edition of the sutras of the Song, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. The second is central stautue Kwan-yin with 1000 hands and eyes, stood 8.5 meters tall. The third treasure is three gilded mud statues of Bodhisattvas all about 8 meters high. All three statues still retain their bright color and smoothness. Moreover, there are large collections of holy books – all of them of cultural and historical value.

Twin Pagoda Temple (Shuangta Si)

No.3: Twin Pagoda Temple (Shuangta Si)

Type: Religious Site

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-1.5 hours

Twin Pagoda Temple, also known as Yongzuo Temple, is the symbol of Taiyuan.

The east pagoda was built in 1597 while the west structure was erected in 1612, during Ming Dynasty. Both of the pagodas stand straight like two pens, so it also gains the name of “Twin Pagoda of Pen”. And when you get atop, you could have a better view of the whole Taiyuan city. Another worthy site here to enjoy is the stele corridor. It houses a variety of stone sculptures of Ming and Qing Dynasty and it is an ideal place for appreciating Chinese calligraphy.

In April the peonies bloom, making it the best time to visit. Wandering in the garden, it just likes walk into a picture, making you ecstatic and relaxing.

Shanxi Museum

No.4: Shanxi Museum

Type: Museums

Recommended Length of Visit: 2-3 hours

The imposing Shanxi Museum proudly reinforces Shanxi province’s status as the cradle of Chinese civilization. Shanxi Museum has 200,000 pieces of Shanxi cultural relics with its theme of “Soul of Jin”. It has 7 historical subjects and 5 artistic subjects.

The museum has four levels and the exhibitions are very well organized and nicely presented. The exhibits focus on histories and carried artefacts relating to Shanxi province like “The Cradle of Civilization”, “The Trace of the Xia and Shang Dynasty”, “The Achievements of the Jin Kingdom”, “The Relics of Buddhism”, and “The Shanxi Merchants” etc. And the artistic subjects include “Jades”, “Ancient Chinese Porcelains”, “Ancient Architecture”, “Ancient Chinese Painting and Calligraphy” etc. After the visit, you could enjoy the Fen River scenery just by the stairs outside the museum and chill out for a little while.

The Coal Museum of China Xidi Ancient Village

No.5: The Coal Museum of China

Type: Museums

Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours

The Coal Museum of China is the ONLY national coal museum in the largest simulated undermine of Asia. It is a museum where you could acknowledge the production scene and development history and experience the producing process of the mine workers. Due to its unique coal culture, it ranks on the lists of the most favorable tourist attractions in Shanxi Province.

You should not miss the “A Tour to the Coal Sea” which is kind of science exhibition showing the development of coal exploring and technology. The simulated mine and 4D cinema are the highlights there. Visitors could learn how the coal resources are formed and even get the experience of digging coal. All in all, it’ll vividly show you the development of Chinese coal industry and culture.

Yingze Park

No.6: Yingze Park

Type: Parks

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-1.5 hours

Yingze Park, situated at the central part of Yingze Street, is the largest park in Taiyuan. It is a good place to take a walk where you see the real local city life of Taiyuan.

Near the east gate is the Jin Merchant Museum, in the style of ancient guild hall. In the center of the park features the old library which was built during the Ming Dynasty. In the north gate of the park features an ornate archway called “Beauty of Taiyuan” based on the style of the Yonghe Lama Temple in Beijing. Besides, you could also enjoy boating, arcade games, golf, skating and activities for children. It is ideal place of leisure, entertainment, cultural and sport activities for everyone.

Tianlongshan Grottoes

No.7: Tianlongshan Grottoes

Type: Ancient Ruins

Recommended Length of Visit: 2 hours

Tianlongshan Grottoes lie in the Tianlong Mountains, 40 km southwest of Taiyuan city. The Grottoes is a series of 24 caves scattered in the cliff halfway up the western and eastern peaks of the Tianlong Mountains. They were carved in Eastern Wei, Northern Qi, Sui and Tang Dynasties. Among all the caves, grottoes 2 and 3 are the oldest in the complex, with a history of nearly 1500 years; the largest and most impressive grotto is the ninth one, a multi-storied cave with several large Buddha statues and covered by an intricate three-story wooden pavilion – the Manshan Pavilion.

This area is surrounded by mountains and lush, dense trees where you could enjoy beautiful natural scenery. It is a great retreat from the busy city.

Chunyang Palace

No.8: Chunyang Palace

Type: Ancient Sites

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Chunyang Palace, built in Song Dynasty, was to sacrifice Taoist immortal Lu Dongbing. It is a unique Taoist architectural complex, made up of five courtyards with pavilions and towers from outside to inside. Luzu Temple is the main hall of Chunyang Palace, and it lies in the central of the courtyard. It is the most magnificent architecture in the palace. The style of the courtyard behind the hall is unique which was built according to the directions of the Eight Diagrams, having obvious Taoism architecture characteristics.

As an important part of Shanxi Art Museum, Chunyang Palace has more than 20 exhibition halls, which exhibit the essence of the cultural relics of Shanxi.

Recommended Taiyuan Tours

Top 3 Taiyuan tours chosen by most customers to explore Taiyuan in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

The Coal Museum of China
3 Days Cultural Exploration in Taiyuan

Taiyuan

Qiao's Family Compound
4 Days In-depth Pingyao & Taiyuan Tour

Taiyuan / Pingyao / Taiyuan

Yungang Grottoes - The treasure of traditional Chinese art
6 Day Datong Pingyao Tour Plus Wutaishan Visit

Datong / Wutaishan / Taiyuan / Pingyao

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