Xi'an, where the ancient Silk Road starts, is one of the important birthplaces of Chinese civilization and 13 dynasties have built their capital here in history. There are many high-level and well-preserved cultural relics including over 700 historic buildings. So which ones should we visit? Here we have selected 6 must-see sights for travelers who come to Xian for the first time to make a worthwhile trip.
Top 6 Places to Visit in Xian (Click to Enlarge)
The Terracotta Warriors famed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” is the best highlight during your Xian tour. This terracotta army was intended 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.
Opening Hours: March 16th - November 15th: 8:30 - 18:00 / November 16th - March 15th: 8:30 - 17:30
Recommended Visiting Time: 3~5 hours
Address: Qinling North Road, Lintong District, Xi'an 710600, China
Xian Ancient City Wall is located in the central area of Xian 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, Xian 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. Cycling on the city wall is one of the most popular activities in Xian.
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
Recommended Visiting Time: 1~3 hours
Address: Zhongxin District, Xi'an 710001, China
"You have not really visited Xian without a visit to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda". That's how a local saying goes. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta in Chinese) 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.
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:30 (Mar. 1st - Oct. 31st), 8:00-18:00 (Nov. 1st - Feb. 28th)
Tickets: RMB 50/person for Da Ci’en Temple; RMB 30/person for the pagoda
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours
Address: Daci’en Temple, South Yanta Road, Xi’an, China
"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 Xian 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 Xian City.
Opening Hours: 08:00 ~ 22:00 (Apr 1st - Oct 25th) / 08:00 ~ 18:00 (Oct 26th - Mar 31st)
Tickets: ￥30 (￥50 with Drum Tower)
Recommended Visiting Time: 1 hour
Address: Zhonglou Shangquan, Beilin District, Xian, China
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.
Opening Hours: All day
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 - 3 hours
Address: #125 Beiyuanmen, Lianhu District, Xian, China
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.
Opening Hours: Closed on Monday / 9:00 - 17:30 (Nov. 15th to Mar. 15th) / 8:30 - 18:00 (Mar. 16th to Nov 14th.)
Tickets: Free for Most Exhibition Halls
Recommended Visiting Time: Half day
Address: No.91 Xiaozhai East Road, Yata District, Xi’an, China
How to Plan a Xian Tour if You Have 1 Day, 2 Days, or 3 Days (Excluding Arrival Day)
1 Day Xian Tour: Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter
Terracotta Warriors is a must-see even if you‘ve only got 1 day in Xian. Since it is a hot attraction and is about 40km from downtown, you need to start your trip early and you can get back after lunch. Then take a stroll or rent a bike on the Ancient City Wall. After that, it is about dinner time so you can try some local snacks at the lively Muslim Quarter.
2 Days Xian Tour: Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum
If you have 2 days, you can spend a day exploring the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda inside Da Cien Temple to feel the Buddhist culture, biking on the Ancient City Wall and food-hunting in Muslim Quarter. Then spend the other day in the Terracotta Warriors and Shaanxi History Museum to be fully immersed in the ancient charm of Xian.
Or you can cut off some attractions in Xian downtown and spare one day to challenge the exciting hiking on Mount Huashan.
3 Days Xian Tour: Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall, Muslim Quarter, Bell Tower, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum
3 days is sufficient to cover all the 6 sites mentioned above and allow you to travel Xian at an easy pace. You can enrich your tour to some other attractions in Xian such as Beilin, where you can appreciate the great art of Chinese calligraphy. You can also travel a little further to the famous Mount Huashan (famous for one of the world's most thrilling hiking trails) or the spectacular Hukou Waterfall (the largest yellowish waterfall in the world and the second largest waterfall in China) if you are interested.
6 Most Recommended Xian Tour Packages
No matter how many days you plan to stay in Xian, there is always a tour suitable for you. Following are some best Xian tour packages covering most highlights in Xian. If you still have no idea where to start, you can design a tailor-made Xian trip with us.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip
Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests
- Your Question:
- Your Name:
- Your Email: