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Xiamen Attractions | 13 Things to Do in Xiamen 2020

Located on the east coast of China and southeast of Fujiang Province, Xiamen is a charming and graceful “Garden on the Sea”. With the all-year-round spring-like weather, it is one of the cities with the best environment in China, suitable to travel all year around. The UNESCO World Heritages - Spaceship-like Hakka Tulou Clusters and Gulangyu Island are two highlights you can’t miss during your Xiamen Tour. Moreover, Nanputuo Temple, Xiamen University, Huandao Road cycling and arcade buildings on Zhongshan Road, etc. would absolutely make your trip more colorful.

Now, Check the following Top 13 Things to do and attractions in & near Xiamen to make your fresh Xiamen trip complete, from islands, building groups, beaches, temples, gardens and world heritage sites.

No.1: Immersing Yourself in the “Gallery of Architecture” - Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Attractions

Panoramic View of Gulangyu from Sunlight Rock

Xiamen Attractions

Gulangyu Organ Museum (Eight Diagrams Building)

Type: Island

Recommended Length of Visit: at least half day

Address: Gulangyu Island, Siming District, Xiamen (厦门市思明区鼓浪屿)

After the Opium War, people from western countries continued to pour in Gulangyu Island. Churches, schools, mansions, businesses and consulates crowded on less than 2 square kilometers’ Gulangyu Island. Chinese and Western cultures struck a wonderful spark on this exquisite “Sea Garden”.

Gulangyu Island, a UNESCO world cultural heritage and national 5A tourist attraction, is renowned for its ancient relics, variable Chinese and Western buildings and delicate natural beauty. Tourists may explore the island on foot.

Tracing the hundred-year-old history by visiting the Shuzhuang Garden, Organ Museum, Hi! Heaven!, etc. Exploring buildings from all nations through wandering around Guxin Road, Quanzhou Road, Anhai Road, etc and encountering the Catholic Church, the Union Church and Sanyi Church on Gulangyu Island. After tracking all day, slow yourself down in the late afternoon. Climbing on the top of Sunlight Rock, besides overlooking and having a panoramic view of Gulangyu Island and roofs of different styles, you can also enjoy the sea wind blowing on the face in the splendid sunset. See all the attractions & highlights on Gulangyu Island >>

Popular Xiamen Gulangyu Tour: ✔ 2 Days Xiamen City Tour with Gulangyu Island

No.2: Visiting UNESCO World Heritages Hakka Earth Buildings - Fujian Tulou

Xiamen Attractions Nearby

"Four Dishes and One Soup" - Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster

Xiamen Attractions Nearby

Tulou Inside Structure

Type: Architectural Buildings, World Heritage Site

Sites: Nanjing County, Yongding County, Hua'an County

Fujian Tulou is a large residential buildings. Following the oriental philosophy of "Harmony of Nature and Humanity", earth buildings are built either leaning the mountains or along the rivers, which means visitors can not only enjoy the master buildings, but also immerse in the idyllic scenery (terraced fields or scenery of water village) around. The architectural style is primitive and boorish, but beautiful and peculiar in shapes. The function of Tulou is complete and practical. The structure of Fujian Tulou is high on the outside and low on the inside. There are buildings within the building and rings within the ring, with functions such as ventilation, daylighting, earthquake resistance, sound insulation, heat preservation and defense.

There are more than 30 kinds of earth buildings in Fujian, such as round buildings, octagonal buildings and gauze cap buildings, etc. On July 6, 2008, Tulou in Fujian province was officially inscribed on the World Heritage List. It consists of 6 tulou clusters and 4 independent earth buildings, with 46 in total in Yongding, Nanjing and Hua'an County. Top famous Tulou are including “Four Dishes and One Soup” Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, variable and stylized Hongkeng Tulou Cluster, “Tulou Great Wall” Nanxi Tulou Cluster and the largest and with most rings “Earth Building King” - Chengqi Tower, etc.

Popular Xiamen Tulou Tour: ✔ 5 Days Cultural Tour to Xiamen & Fujian Tulou

No.3: Making Wishes at Nanputuo Temple (South Putuo Temple)

Xiamen Attractions

South Putuo Temple

Xiamen Attractions

Tianwang Palace

Type: Religious Sites, Temples

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: No. 515, South Siming Road, Siming District (厦门市思明区思明南路515号)

Surrounded by a graceful sea and the Wulao Peaks, Nanputuo Temple is a national key Buddhist temples in Han areas and one of the eight scenic spots in Xiamen. South Putuo Temple is adjacent to Xiamen University. It is one of the most prosperous temples in Xiamen. With thousand-year-old, the temple was first built in the late Tang Dynasty and was called Sizhou Yard. During the Reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, Shi Lang recovered Taiwan and garrisoned in Xiamen. He built the Great Mercy Hall to worship Guanyin, and changed the name of the temple to Nanputuo, matches the Guanyin Dojo on Putuo Mountain in Zhejiang province.

After entering the mountain gate, the vast Lotus Pond and the Release Pond come into view, and many citizens have a rest here. Main buildings on the central axis, the Temple of Heaven, Daxiong Palace, the Hall of Great Mercy and the Depositary of Buddhist Texts, are lined up in a row and raised against the hill layer upon layer. The apricot glazed tiles on the double eaves flying ridges set off against the verdant ancient trees, which makes the scenery quite solemn and magnificent.

Every year on February 19, June 19 and September 19 on the lunar calender, grand Buddhist events are held in Nanputuo Temple. Many devout men and women would hold incenses in their hands and bow down to worship, praying for health and wealth in the following year. Visitors may also have a chance to taste the famous vegetarian dishes inside the temple.

Popular Xiamen Tour: ✔ 3 Days Classic Xiamen and Fujian Tulou Tour

No.4: Enjoying Food and Arcade Buildings at Zhongshan Road Walking Street

Xiamen Attractions

Arcade Buildings on Zhongshan Road

Xiamen Attractions

Delicious Herbal Jelly

Type: Pedestrian Street, Food, Shopping

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Address: No. 56, Zhongshan Road, Siming District (厦门市思明区中山路56号)

Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street is the oldest commercial street in Xiamen. Buildings here are arcades, with pink and milky white as the main colors, which are full of Nanyang style.The colorful and splendid night view, dazzling and various Fujian Taiwan snacks are also major features of the street. Bapopo Herbal Jelly and Huang Zehe Peanut Soup are famous snack bars worth trying. Moreover, it’s also a good place to buy souvenirs.

The Pizza Hut restaurant on the 24th floor of the Coast Mansion and the restaurant on the 6th floor of Lujiang Hotel are said to be the best place to appreciate the night view of Gulangyu Island.

Popular Xiamen Tour: ✔ 3 Days Joyous Xiamen & Tulou Tour with Huandao Road Cycling

No.5: Cycling along Huandao Road

Xiamen Attractions

Cycling along Huandao Road

Xiamen Attractions

Huangcuo Beach along Huandao Road

Type: Cycling, Road Trip

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: Huandao Road, Siming District (厦门市思明区环岛路)

Xiamen Huandao Road is built along the coast from Xiamen University to the Old Convention and Exhibition Center, which is called the "Golden Coastline". Huandao Road is also known as the Five-color Road: the blue sea, golden beach, green grass, red trail and gray highway. Along the road there are many scenic spots, such as Hulishan Fortress, Coconut Village, Zeng Cuo An, International Convention and Exhibition Center and Wuyuan Bay, etc. On the sea side of the road, there are sculptures of different styles, such as "Gulangyu Wave", "Meditation of Sea" and "Choice", which are of great ornamental value. Renting a bike and cycling along the road has special charms. The most beautiful part is from Coconut Village to the Convention and Exhibition Center, which takes about 40 minutes by bike.

Popular Xiamen Tour: ✔ 3 Days Joyous Xiamen & Tulou Tour with Huandao Road Cycling

No.6: Wandering around the Most Beautiful University in China - Xiamen University

Xiamen Attractions

Xiamen University

Xiamen Attractions

Lover Valley Reservoir in Xiamen University

Type: University

ORecommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: No. 422, South Siming Road, Siming District (厦门市思明区思明南路422号)

Backed by the Wulao Mountain and half surrounded by sea, Xiamen University is adjacent to the ancient South Putuo Temple and Baicheng Beach. The campus is well-known as "The most beautiful university in China" for its unique architecture and beautiful scenery. With the South Putuo Temple on one side, and Hulishan Fortress and bathing beaches on the other side, Xiamen University has scenic spots such as Yingrong Lake and Lover Valley Reservoir, etc. There is a saying that goes like “If you want to approach romantic relationships with people you love, Xiamen University is the perfect place”. Especially on the beach outside the school gate, new couples often take wedding photos there, which makes many visitors regret why they are not spending their college years at Xiamen University.

Popular Xiamen Tour: ✔ 2 Days Xiamen Essence Tour with Nanjing Tulou

No.7: Trekking the History of Hulishan Fortress (Huli Mountain Fort)

Xiamen Attractions

Hulishan Fortress

Xiamen Attractions

Hulishan Fortress

Type: Historic Sites

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: No. 2, Zeng Cuo An, Siming District (厦门市思明区曾厝垵2号)

Located on the southern coast of Xiamen Island, Hulishan Fortress guarded the Chinese shore for over a century now. It was recognized as an important historical site and preserved by the government. First built in 1894, during the Guangxu reign in the Qing Dynasty, it has always been an important landmark in the island’s history.

In Hulishan Fortress, you’ll have in-depth exploration of the granite castle, which occupies an area of 13.000 square meters, a commanding tower, an ammunition depot, a sentry platform and barracks. Hulishan Fortress has the largest and smallest forts in the world. There are two types of fort structure in Hulishan Fortress, the half bunker type and the half city wall type, and both with the European and Chinese architectural style of Ming and Qing Dynasties. “Wanggui Platform” and “Pangui Platform” are built at the front of the fort. Visitors can look through binoculars at Dadan and Erdan Islands, which are under the jurisdiction of Kinmen.

Popular Xiamen Tour: ✔ 2 Days Xiamen Essence Tour with Nanjing Tulou

No.8: Experiencing the Authentic Local Life at The Eighth Seafood Market

Xiamen Attractions

Fresh Seafood in the Morning

Xiamen Attractions

Fruits and Vegetables Selling in the Marekt

Type: Local Market

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Address: No. 6, Yingping Road, Kaihe Avenue, Siming District (厦门市思明区开禾路营平路6号)

The Eighth Market, as an old landmark, is the busiest, largest and most complete seafood market in Xiamen. It has been a seafood distribution center since the 1920s and 1930s. Visitors may experience the most authentic local life there. Situated close to No.1 Pier of Xiamen, various and complete seafood is the highlight of the Eighth Market. Price friendly shrimps and crabs, rare wild sharks and giant deep-sea fishes were already filling the stalls before 7 in the morning. In the evening, when the setting sun shines on the dappled arcade buildings, Xiamen people are used to coming to the Eighth Market to buy fresh vegetables, strolling in front of the fruit stands full of litchi, mangosteen and mango, or packing a few authentic snacks to satisfy their appetite, and bargaining in Hokkien for more discounts.

As an important site of Xiamen, it carries numerous "Old Memories of Xiamen". The Eighth Seafood Market is also one of the most popular markets for local people. There is not only seafood that can be found in the market place, but also fruits, vegetables, desserts, snack vendors. Visitors may indulge themselves in the search for the ancient Xiamen flavor that was hidden in the market. Read more details about Top 8 Xiamen Activities >>

No.9: Meeting Variable Plants at Xiamen Botanical Garden

Xiamen Attractions

Rain Forest World in Xiamen Botanical Garden

Xiamen Attractions

Xiamen Botanical Garden - Sand Plant Area

Type: Park, Botanical Garden

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: No. 25, Huyuan Road, Siming District (厦门市思明区虎园路25号)

Commonly known as "Wanshi Botanical Garden", Xiamen Botanical Garden is a botanical garden carefully designed around the Wanshiyan Reservoir. The park includes more than 20 specialized gardens and planting areas, such as coniferopsida garden, rose garden, palm garden, large cactus garden, flower hall and orchid parterre, etc., and has cultivated more than 6,000 kinds of tropical and subtropical plants. The Rain Forest World and the Sand Plant Area are especially worth visiting. The misty and foggy Rain Forest World looks like a fairyland with a beautiful tropical landscape. Besides plants, the park also gathers stone carvings, lakes, lawns, temples and other scenic spots. Visitors can overlook half of Xiamen Island from the highest point of the New Steles Forest.

No.10: Appreciating Typical School Buildings in Jimei School Village

Xiamen Attractions

Jimei School Village

Xiamen Attractions

Architecture of Jiageng Style

Type: Architecture, Park

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: No. 1, Jiageng Road, Jimei District (厦门市集美区嘉庚路1号)

Founded by the famous patriotic overseas Chinese leader Chen Jiageng, Jimei School Village is the general name of various schools and cultural institutions in Jimei District. Glazed tiles covering dragon ridges and phoenix eaves, red bricks and black stones built corridor arches, buildings in the district integrate Chinese and Western styles into one. Jimei Middle School, Qidao South Building and Nanxun Building in Jimei Overseas School are representatives of architecture of Jiageng Style with high ornamental value. The popular scenic spots in the School Village include Ao Garden, Dragon Boat Pond, Former Residence of Chen Jiageng, Jiageng Park, etc., which can be visited on foot.

No.11: Wandering around the Hot Innovative Cultural Village - Zeng Cuo An

Xiamen Attractions

Zeng Cuo An

Xiamen Attractions

Delicious Sea Food in Zeng Cuo An

Type: Pedestrian Street, Food, Shopping

Recommended Length of Visit: 1-2 hours

Address: Zeng Cuo An, Siming District (厦门市思明区曾厝垵)

Zeng Cuo An is known as "the most exquisite and artistic village in China". It used to be a pristine fishing village, and now has become a hot innovative cultural village. Modern and quaint blocks blend together, with so many unique shops gathered on the street, you can eat, shop, take pictures and wander around the street all day. Besides the artistry of the village, food is another thing that attracts countless visitors to come. 5 streets and 18 lanes in Zeng Cuo An are filled with a variety of snacks and dazzling fruits. Once. It is also the gathering place of featured guesthouses. There are traditional courtyards, baroque-style villas, quaint and unique folk fishing houses, and lively and personalized youth hostels. When night fell, folk songs and bars dominated the village. It’s a good place to experience the vibrant nightlife in Xiamen.

Popular Xiamen Tour: ✔ 3 Days Joyous Xiamen & Tulou Tour with Huandao Road Cycling

No.12: Relaxing Yourself at Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort

Xiamen Attractions

Riyuegu Hot Spring

Xiamen Attractions

Riyuegu Hot Spring

Type: Resort, Hot Spring

Recommended Length of Visit: at least half a day

Address: No. 1888, Fulian Road, Haicang District (厦门市海沧区孚莲路1888号)

Located in the Tangan of Dongfu Town, Haicang District, Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort is seated at the intersection of 324 National Road and Fulian Road. With convenient traffic and quiet environment, Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort enjoys a superior geographical environment. The overall area of this resort is about 260,000 square meters, including Riyuegu Hot Spring Theme Park, Riyuegu Hot Spring Hotel and Riyuegu Hot Spring Private Club. It is a comprehensive tourist resort integrating sightseeing, leisure and recuperation, business conference, sports and fitness, ecological teaching and publicity for environmental protection. There are more than 100 outdoor hot spring pools and 40 kinds of specialty hot springs in the Hot Spring Park. Besides, interesting activities like sand painting for children, painted fans, DIY, etc. are very suitable for children to try.

More detailed information about Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort, please feel free to contact us >>

Top 13: Strolling around the Starting Point of the Maritime Silk Road - Quanzhou

Xiamen Attractions

Ancient Quanzhou West Street

Xiamen Attractions Nearby

Kaiyuan Temple

Type: Ancient City, Architecture, Culture

Recommended Length of Visit: 0.5-1 day

Quanzhou Distance from Xiamen: about 85km, takes about 0.5-1 hour by high speed trains

The thousand-years history of Quzhou ancient city is hidden behind the walls and below the tiles. Since the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, Quanzhou West Street has always been a place crowded with merchants. Within a radius of two kilometers, religious and historical sites (Religious sites for Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, Islamic and even Hindu can all be found) of different dynasties are dotted here and there. Quanzhou is also often considered as the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road.

The history and culture of the city exist not only in objects, but also in ordinary life. Stepping on the uneven stone road in the old city, the Nanyin music which originates in the Tang Dynasty comes from the side of the Confucian Temple. The muppet appears with the clanging of gongs in the alley, and young people are making pour-over coffee in old-age houses. An international city with a compatible flavor of east and west is the unique heritage of Quanzhou.

Popular Xiamen Quanzhou Tour: ✔ 2 Days Quanzhou Marine Culture Tour from Xiamen

How to Plan Your Xiamen Tour

Most visitors prefer to spend 2-4 days covering the highlights of Xiamen City and surrounding. They usually spend one day visiting the best attractions in the city area including Gulangyu Island, South Putuo Temple, Hulishan Fortress, Zhongshan Road, etc. And enjoy 1-2 days to Fujian Tulou clusters in Nanjing and Yongding to see the famous earthen buildings listed as World Cultural Heritage. If you want to explore Xiamen deeply, plan 1 more day to discover Huandao Road, Jimei School Village, The Eighth Seafood Market, Wanshi Botanical Garden, etc. !

✔ 2 Days Xiamen City Tour with Gulangyu Island

Besides, you can also plan as many other visitors to spend 5-6 days visiting Wuyishan together with Xiamen and Fujian Tulou to appreciate more natural and cultural charm of Fujian Province.

✔ 5 Days Xiamen, Nanjing Tulou & Mount Wuyi Discovery Tour

If you are interested in photography, you can add 2-4 days to shoot Xiapu Mudflat in Ningde.

✔ 4 Days Fujian Xiapu Mudflat Photography Tour

If you want to discover more culture and nature highlights to Fuzhou, Quanzhou, etc., plan 1-2 more days for each destination.

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. Extend your Fujian trip to more popular destinations to enrich your exploration of China in one go!

Check more popular Xiamen Tour Packages

Gulangyu Island in Xiamen Gulangyu Island in Xiamen
Wuyi Mountain Wuyi Mountain

Travel Xiamen & Fujian with China Discovery

China Discovery is an experienced, professional and reliable travel companion devoted to offering high-quality and the best tour services for all travelers to China. In order to have a hassle-free travel and focus on the trip itself, it’s highly recommended travelling with China Discovery. So, you can enjoy convenient airport pick-up and drop-off service and transportation to all scenic spots in a safe, clean, comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking vehicle. Also, we will arrange knowledgeable local English-speaking tour guide, excellent accommodation and dining arrangements to ensure you rest well and get better understanding of highlights in Xiamen and Fujian. The tour can be tailor-made according to your interests, time, group size, budget and every special need. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us to customize your tour!

China Private Tour Our Customers Traveling in Fujian

Recommended Xiamen Tours

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

Mount Wuyi Joyous Jiuqu Stream Rafting
5 Days Xiamen, Fujian Tulou & Mount Wuyi Discovery Tour

Xiamen / Nanjing Tulou / Yongding Tulou / Xiamen / Wuyishan

Gulangyu Island
3 Days Classic Xiamen and Fujian Tulou Tour

Xiamen / Nanjing Tulou / Yongding Tulou / Xiamen

Zhenchenglou (Prince of Tulou)
5 Days Xiamen & Fujian Tulou Highlights Tour

Xiamen / Nanjing Tulou / Yongding Tulou / Xiamen

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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >