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Are 3 days long enough to visit Xi'an?

3 full days is the recommended trip length for most Xi'an tours. You can sweep all the best highlights in Xi'an city in a leisure way if you have 3 full days to spend in Xi'an. 3 days are also long enough to visit Xi'an with one place of the famous Mount Huashan, Hukou Waterfall or Luoyang, provided that you arrive at Xi'an in the morning.

Where to go if I have 3 days in Xi'an?

Xi'an is most well-known for the Terracotta Warriors, which is probably the first reason for most traveller appealed to Xi'an. Besides the Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an has loads of other places to go. Topping the list of all the places to visit in and around Xi'an are Mount Huashan, Ancient City Wall and Muslim Quarter. With a little more time, you can also find many other interesting places to go including ancient towers, pagodas, museums, food streets, etc. Below are the Best 7 Xi'an Attractions you can’t miss out:

3 Days in Xi'an
Xi'an Tourist Attractions Map

Top Xi'an Tourist Attractions

Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors famed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” is the best highlight in your Xi'an tour. This terracotta army was buried intending to protect the afterlife of China’s first feudal King - Qin Shi Huang. Emperor Qin commanded craftsmen to start building his mausoleum in 246 BC soon after he ascended the throne at age 13. And the Terracotta Warriors was a part of the mausoleums project. After being underground for over 2200 years, they have finally come to the public.

• Chinese:秦始皇兵马俑• Pinyin: qín shǐ huáng bīng mǎ yǒng
• Opening Hours: Mar 16th - Nov 15th: 8:30 - 18:00 / Nov 16th - Mar 15th: 8:30 - 17:30
• Ticket: CNY 120
• Address: Qinling North Road, Lintong District, Xi'an 西安市临潼区秦岭北路
• Recommended visit time: 2hrs

Top Xi'an Tourist Attractions

Mount Huashan

Though Mount Huashan is not exactly in Xi'an city, they are only 2 hours’ drive away and this mountain is totally worth the time. Mount Huashan is one of the famous “Five Mountains” in China and is regarded as the one with the most challenging hiking trail. Imagine yourself clinging to the cliff on a narrow trail while a bottomless abyss is only one step away without any guardrail. That is what you will experience in Huashan. What’s more, Huashan itself is of breathtaking scenery and is the holy land of Taoism.

• Chinese: 华山 • Pinyin: huà shān
• Opening Hours: 07:00-19:00
• Ticket: Mar - Nov: CNY 160; Dec - Feb: CNY 100
• Address: Huashan Town, Huayin City, Weinan City, Shaanxi Province 陕西省渭南市华阴市华山
• Recommended visit time: 1~2 days

Top Xi'an Tourist Attractions

Ancient City Wall

Xi'an Ancient City Wall is located in the central area of Xi'an city. It was built from A.D. 1370-1378 soon after Zhu Yuanzhang started to rule China. Among all the city walls built in the history of China, Xi'an Ancient City Wall is the most famous and best-preserved one with a length of 13.74km, an average height of 12m, and a width of 18m. You can have a panoramic view of Xi'an there and cycling on the city wall is one of the most popular activities in Xi'an.

• Chinese: 西安古城墙 • Pinyin: xī ān gǔ chéng qiáng
• Opening Hours: South Gate: 8:00 – 22:00; Hanguang Gate: 8:00 – 17:30; the other gates: Nov 1st – Apr 30th: 8:00 – 18:00 / May 1st – Oct 31st: 8:00 – 19:00
• Ticket: CNY 54
• Address: Zhongxin District, Xi'an, China 陕西省西安市中心区
• Recommended visit time: 1~1.5hrs

Top Xi'an Tourist Attractions

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

"You have not really visited Xi'an without a visit to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda". That's how a local saying goes. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is famous for the great traveler Xuanzang of Tang Dynasty (A.D 618 - 907) who traveled from China to India to learn the Buddhism and then got back to China with many precious Buddhist scriptures. This pagoda is where Xuanzang translated and taught Buddhism. By the north side of the pagoda, there is the largest music fountain in Asia for you to admire the fabulous lights and fountain show.

• Chinese: 大雁塔 • Pinyin: dà yàn tǎ
• Opening Hours: Mar - Oct: 8:00-18:30; Nov - Feb: 8:00-18:00
• Ticket: RMB 50/person for Da Ci’en Temple; RMB 30/person for the pagoda
• Address: Da Ci’en Temple, Yanta District, Xi’an 西安市雁塔区大慈恩寺内
• Recommended visit time: 1hr

Top Xi'an Tourist Attractions

Muslim Quarter

The Muslim Quarter featuring in rich Islamic culture has a large number of tasteful snacks along its several streets, such as Rou Jia Mo, Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup, and Soup Dumplings. Therefore, here you can both please your taste bud and experience the hospitality of local Islamic residents who are the descendants of people from the ancient Arab, Persia, etc. Diverse food, hospitable people, characteristic buildings in Ming and Qing dynasties, traditional mosques, make this block a must-go for tourists.

• Chinese: 回民街 • Pinyin: huí mín jiē
• Opening Hours: All day
• Ticket: Free
• Address: #125 Beiyuanmen, Lianhu District, Xi'an 西安市莲湖区北院门125号
• Recommended visit time: 1.5hrs

Top Xi'an Tourist Attractions

Bell Tower

"Great outside and interesting objects inside". That's the impression of the tourists who have visited Bell Tower. As the biggest and best-preserved bell tower, it is one of the symbols of Xi'an city. It was built for the purpose of alerting and time telling. A visit to the Bell Tower is strongly recommended to be taken at night, when you can have a florid view from outside. From inside of the Bell Tower, you can have a panoramic view of the whole Xi'an City. If you are lucky, you would come across an interesting show in the Bell Tower.

• Chinese: 钟楼• Pinyin: zhōng lóu
• Opening Hours: Apr 1st - Oct 25th: 08:00 ~ 22:00; Oct 26th - Mar 31st: 08:00 ~ 18:00
• Ticket: CNY 30 (CNY 50 with Drum Tower)
• Address: Zhonglou Shangquan, Beilin District, Xi'an 西安市碑林区钟楼商区
• Recommended visit time: 0.5hr

Top Xi'an Tourist Attractions

Shaanxi History Museum

With a total area of 65,000 square meters and 8,000 square meters of cultural relics’ zone, Shaanxi History Museum is the first large-scale modern national museum in China. People call Shaanxi History Museum “Bright Pearl in Ancient Capital and Precious Treasure of China” because it is an art palace that fully shows Shaanxi history, culture, and Chinese ancient civilization. The collections in Shaanxi History Museum range from the stone-made tools in ancient times to different implements produced before A.D. 1840 – covering a time span of over 1 million years.

• Chinese: 陕西历史博物馆 • Pinyin: shǎn xī lì shǐ bó wù guǎn
• Opening Hours: Closed on Monday / 9:00 - 17:30 (Nov. 15th to Mar. 15th) / 8:30 - 18:00 (Mar. 16th to Nov 14th.)
• Ticket: Free for Most Exhibition Halls
• Address: No.91 Xiaozhai East Road, Yanta District, Xi’an 西安市雁塔区小寨东路91号
• Recommended visit time: 2hrs

Plan A - 3 Days Classic Xi'an Tour (Start from train station/airport)

If you get to Xi'an in the afternoon or evening from Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hong Kong and want to discover the essence of Xi'an a an enjoyable pace, this 3 Days Classic Xi'an Tour is the best itinerary for you. All the highlighting attractions are included. At the same time, you don’t have to rush to catch your flight or train when you are leaving Xi'an because you have a flexible half day for departure.

D1: (train station, airport or hotel) - A (Your Hotel) / D2: A (Your Hotel) - B (Terracotta Warriors) - C (Ancient City Wall) - D (Muslim Quarter) - E (Bell & Drum Towers) / D3: G (Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) - H (Shaanxi History Museum)

Day 1 Xi'an Arrival

Arrive at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport or Xi'an North Railway Station. Currently you can take flights or high speed trains to Xi'an from most big cities in China. Our airport/train station pick up is recommended if you want to transfer to your hotel in an efficient and comfortable way.

Day 2 A (Your Hotel) - B (Terracotta Warriors) - C (Ancient City Wall) - D (Muslim Quarter) - E (Bell & Drum Towers)

Get up early and set out for sightseeing because morning time is relatively cool and not very crowded. You can visit the Terracotta Warriors first where you can sightsee around 2 hours, then go to have lunch. After lunch, take private car (or tourist bus) to Xi'an downtown to continue your sightseeing. Go to bike on the Ancient City Wall. You can finish the entire length of 14 kilometers or part of it. Next, go to the bustling and lively Muslim Quarter to try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture. If you are still energetic, go to take a leisure stroll at the Bell & Drum Tower Square.

What to do in the evening: enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3 G (Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) - H (Shaanxi History Museum)

Get up early to visit the famous Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi History Museum. They are not far from each other. You can easily get there by subway or taxi. About 1.5 hours are needed to visit the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, 2 hours to visit the History Museum. The rest of the day is free for you to catch the flight/train to leave Xi'an.

More details at【 3 Days Classic Xi'an Tour (Flight/Train Pickup) from $246

  • 3 Days in Xi'an Terracotta Warriors Pit 1
  • 3 Days in Xi'an Terracotta Warriors
  • 3 Days in Xi'an Shaanxi History Museum
  • 3 Days in Xi'an Exhibit in Shaanxi History Museum

Itinerary B: 3 Days Xi'an Mount Huashan Tour (Start from your hotel or if you arrive at Xi'an in the morning)

It is strongly recommended to spare out one day to take a side trip to Mount Huashan during your travelling in Xi'an. This China’s most precipitous mountain is only about 2hrs’driving (40min’s bullet train ride) from Xi'an. Walking on the breathtaking Plank Road in the Skye is one of the most exciting adventures in the world. You can do the hiking trip to Mount Huashan in a single day, but you have to depart from Xi'an very early, better before 8A.M., or get to the foot of the mountain one day in advance. Below is the suggested itinerary:

D 1: A (Your Hotel) - B (Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) - C (Shaanxi History Museum) - D (Muslim Quarter) E (Bell Tower) / D 2: F (Your Hotel) - G (Ancient City Wall) - H (Terracotta Warriors) - I (Huaqing Pool) / D3: I (Huaqing Pool) - J (Mount Huashan)

Day 1 Xi'an Arrival & A (Your Hotel) - B (Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) - C (Shaanxi History Museum) - D (Muslim Quarter) E (Bell Tower)

Today, you can spend all your time exploring the core area of Xi'an. If you can get up early, you are able to visit 4 attractions - Giant Wilde Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum, Muslim Quarter and Bell & Drum Tower. You are suggested to visit the Giant Wilde Goose Pagoda with Shaanxi History Museum in the morning, and visit Muslim Quarter and Bell & Drum Tower in the afternoon.

What to do in the evening: enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2 F (Your Hotel) - G (Ancient City Wall) - H (Terracotta Warriors) - I (Huaqing Pool)

Today you will go to visit the UNESCO site – Terracotta Warriors. Before heading to the Terracotta Warriors, you can go to enjoy a biking on the Ancient Wall when it is not hot and crowded in the morning. Then take our private car or tourist bus to the Terracotta Warriors where you can sightsee around 2 hours or more if you like.

This evening, if you like, you can go to enjoy a hot spring at Huaqing Pool where there is also a great romantic live show called Everlasting Song of Sorrow.

Day 3 I (Huaqing Pool) - J (Mount Huashan)

Today you will go to hike Mount Huashan, but you have to get up very early around 7AM because this mountain is about 120km away from Xi'an, approximately 2hrs’ driving or 40mins’ bullet train. Money-saving way is to take a subway to North Railway Station then change to bullet train. To complete the hike in a day, you have to use cable cars to save time. You can take a cable car up to the West Peak, then hike to North Peak via East Peak and South Peak, and descend from the North Peak by subway. The famous Plank Road in the Skye is located on South Peak. The whole hike plus cable car riding needs about 6~8 hours. After the hike, you can take high speed train from Huashan to next destination, or return back to Xi'an.

More details at【 Xi'an to Mount Huashan Tours

  • 3 Days in Xi'an Mount Hua in Misty Days
  • 3 Days in Xi'an Mount Huashan Sunset
  • 3 Days in Xi'an Plank Road in the Sky on Mount Hua
  • 3 Days in Xi'an West Peak Cableway on Mount Hua

Most Important Xi'an Travel Notes

1. Take advantage of Xi'an 72-Hour Transit Visa Free

Xi'an applies to the 72-Hour Transit Visa Exemption. Visitor from 53 foreign countries who hold valid travel document & connecting flights to a third country/region can enter Xi'an from Xi'an Xianyang Airport, and stay in Xi'an up to 72 hours without a Chinese Visa. If you have a short layover less than 24 hours, you also don’t have to apply for a visa to visit Xi'an.

2. Best Time to Visit Xi'an

Generally speaking, you can travel to Xi'an all year around as most of the attractions are located in and near downtown. But the best time to visit is in autumn (mid-September to early November) when it is neither too hot or too cold, and the number of tourists is relatively smaller than the summer time’s. If it is not possible to schedule your Xi'an tour in autumn, March, April and May are also a good choice, for the comfortable temperature.

What t wear in Summer? - light, quick-dry and easy to wear clothes, hat, sunscreen, rain jacket and comfortable shoes. What t wear in Winter? - double layer jacket, long underwear pants and tops, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, wool blend socks, boots, winter jacket, winter hat, winter gloves, winter scarf. What to wear in Spring? - long underwear, fleece outer layer, face mask, light hat, scarf, and gloves. What to wear in Autumn? - thermal warmer jacket, light hat, gloves, scarf, wool socks, fleece pants.

3. How to Get to Xi'an

Flight and high speed train are two major transportation to get to Xi'an. Currently you can take nonstop, stopover, or connecting flights to Xi'an from more than 50 countries and regions, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Sydney, Kuala, Bangkok, etc. Xi'an is also connected wide by domestic flights from majority of big cities in China, such as Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, etc. For train journeys less than 6 hours, you can take high speed trains from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Pingyao, etc.

4. Where to Stay in Xi'an

Bell & Drum Towers Area - strongly recommended for first-timers, easy access to Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter, Bell Tower, Drum Tower and popular restaurants. Hotel rates are higher than other areas, but you have a lot of choices of different standards. Xincheng District - not very far from the city center as well as Xi'an’s main attractions, recommended for families as there are shopping center and parks to enjoy a stroll. Yanta Distict – Yanta District is on the south of the city center, also near main attractions, including Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, History Museum, etc. It has many hotels of budget class.

5. A longer stay is recommended

The city area of Xi'an can be explored in brief two days, while the surrounding regions also have a lot of places to explore, such as Mount Hua, Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng. If time allows, you can extend your trip from Xi'an to above places. Each place only need about 1 day to visit.

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