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Xi'an Attractions - Things to Do

Brilliance of thousand years endows Xi'an with enchanting temperament. The continuous history of the ancient civilized capital has apparently resulted in its magnificent culture. Today's Xi'an is a world famous tourist city and an inexhaustible treasure house of cultural relics. Now heads of state from many countries and people from all walks of life come to the city to broaden their knowledge of Chinese civilization.

Top Attractions

 Terra Cotta Army - At the mention of the great number of the local attractions, terracotta soldiers always come as the first. The great archeological excavation of Qin (221BC-206BC) Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses unfolded a strong army of altogether 7,000 life-size pottery soldiers, horses, chariots and weapons arranged in battle formations symbolically, guarding the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The grand Mausoleum of the first emperor of Qin and the warriors and horses buried in loess for over 2,000 years amaze every visitor there. Now the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Park was just built on the entire tomb site to offer more spots to enrich your Xi'an vacation.

Terracotta Warriors
Terra Cotta Warriors
Xi'an City Wall Watchtower
Watchtower of City Wall

 City Wall - Adorned with a moat and the circular City Wall Park, the wall surrounds the square inner city. It is the most complete city wall to survive in the country, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world, built first in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and renovated in recent years.

 Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Located in the Qujiang Tourist Area to the southeast of the city center, this solemn ancient pagoda inside the Da Ci’en Temple was originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It holds the old Buddhist relics and classics taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang. The pagoda and its surrounding areas nowadays become a popular resort for both the locals and the tourists.

 See more about Top 10 Things to Do in Xi'an

Xi'an Bus Tour to Terracotta Amy Museum

More Things to Do within City Proper

Bell Tower
Bell Tower

The Bell Tower plays absolutely as the central landmark of the city, from which four most prosperous commercial streets stretch towards the east, west, south and north. As another must to every Ming city, the Drum Tower stands nearby in the west of the Bell Tower. Time has passed along with the bell at dawn and the Drum at dust sounding everyday. Now, they are outstanding examples of the ancient architecture. Entering the old gate of the Drum Tower, you are warmly welcomed by an old street with bluestone pavement and full of Muslim restaurants decorated in Ming and Qing dynasties' style, Beiyuanmen Muslim Market, which is the right place to taste local snacks. The Great Mosque here occupies a narrow lot which is only a block away from the Drum Tower, being the spiritual root of about sixty thousand Muslims, mainly Hui minority living and working here. To know city wall much earlier than Ming, Hanguang Gate Site Museum provides a prefect description of the ancient wall 1,400 year ago at the zenith of Xi'an history.

Shaanxi History Museum is one of the most distinguished history museum in China, located in a quiet corner but easy of access. Within few kilometers around it, there are Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the crucial Buddhist temple, Da Cien Temple, and  the biggest Tang culture theme park, Tang Paradise.

Attractions along East Route

Mt. Hua
Mt. Huashan

Driving eastward for Lintong or taking City Bus U5 (306) from the east square of the railway station, first comes the Banpo Museum which built on the ancient human village relics of Neolithic Yangshao culture. Terracotta Army is the most attractive along the east scenery line. A few minutes' drive away, there is the Huaqing Hot Springs at the north foot of Mount Li, which is favored for its scenic beauty and palace complex, becoming well-known as the spa place for Concubine Yang of Tang (618-907) Emperor Xuanzong. If leaving Lintong by train or bus, Mt. Huashan, one of the five sacred mountains in China famed for precipitous crags, narrow and steep paths, can be reached within three hours. Many visitors choose to climb the mountain at night and wait for the sun rise on the top, which extends your vacation in Xi'an to be a memorable experience.

Attractions along West Route

Exhibitions in Yangling Mausoleum
Yangling Mausoleum
Murals in Zhaoling
Murals of Zhaoling Mausoleum
Famen Temple
Famen Temple

About nineteen miles northwest of Xi'an, Xianyang is the first stop on the west route. It was best known as the capital of Qin Dynasty with its suburbs scattered widely with mausoleums of emperors and royal families of several dynasties: Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty (Hanyangling), the joint grave of Liu Qi, a notable emperor in Western Han (206 BC-220AD) and Empress Wang; Qianling Mausoleum, the joint tomb of Emperor Gaozong and his empress Wu Zetian, the only woman ruler in Chinese history; Zhaoling Mausoleum, the tomb of the second emperor of Tang and the first Tang imperial tomb built into the mountain. These are all grand burial complexes worth visiting. Further in Baoji, Famen Temple is a noted Buddhist shrine for its collection of Sakyamuni's relics. For picturesque mountainous scenery, Taibai Mountain is worthwhile going.

Attractions along South Route

Xingjiao Temple
Xingjiao Temple

Xingjiao Temple in Chang'an District is not well acquainted and it will be easily remembered if mentioned as the place where famous Chinese Buddhist Monk Xuanzang reposed after death. Xiangji (Heaped Fragrance) Temple is also an important Buddhist shrine. The famous Tang poetry, Wang Wei, wrote in his poem: Not knowing the way to the Temple of Xiangji, as bell come through woods without human track under miles of mountain-cloud. The words unfold a vivid picture around the temple.

Western Zhou (11th century BC-771 BC) Chariot Burial Pit is a right place to understand ancient Chinese burial system. Fenghe River area was the capital ruins of Western Zhou and the burial pits on the west bank in present Chang'an District provide fair evidences to study the burial custom at that time. 

Attractions along North Route

Exploring further to the northeast, a small historic cultural city Hancheng, known as the hometown of famous historian and litterateur of China, Sima Qian, is the home to Sima Qian Temple, Dang Village and the Confucius Temple. Moreover, a unique type of dwelling Farmers' Caves, exists mainly in northern part of Shaanxi Province, is also worth visiting while marching northward continuously. Yan'an has the most typical and distinctive cave residences.

 Recommended Tours with Low Price:
 Xi'an Day Tour: 1 day to Terracotta Army Museum, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, and City Wall.
 2-Day Xi'an Private Tour: 2 options to Terracotta Warriors, Shaanxi History Museum, Hanyangling Museum...
 6-Day Beijing & Xi'an Small Group: to Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army Museum...
More Xi'an Tours

- Last modified on Dec. 25, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Xi\an Attractions
Asked by Wahyu from INDONESIA | May. 09, 2018 21:18Reply
Bus from Xi'an Railway Station to Mt. Huashan
Hi! You mentioned that Tourism Bus Line 1 from the east square of Main Railway Station to Mt. Huashan is out of service at present.

Is there any alternatives that I can take if I still want to take the bus to go to Mt. Huashan? Or the high-speed train and metro+bus from Fangzhicheng are the only options?

Answers (1)
Answered by Waldron from MEXICO | May. 14, 2018 01:35

I found that Tourism Bus Line 1 is still in service. So if you cannot find the bus, you can take high speed train. Currently, forty-five pairs of high speed trains are available, which depart from about 6:30 to 20:00 and the duration is about thirty minutes to one hour. The ticket fare for second class seat is CNY54.5. After getting out of Huashan Station, you can take free green minibus Huayin Line 1 or 2 directly to the scenic area.
Asked by FS Fam from MALAYSIA | Mar. 07, 2018 02:33Reply
I will be in Xi'an on the 6th to 13th of April. I wish to visit xian and chengdu Luodai Ancient town.
Can any help me to plan my itinerary. TQ.
Answers (1)
Answered by Henry from USA | Mar. 08, 2018 01:25

Xi'an: Apr. 6 - 9. The must-sees include Terracotta Warriors, Huaqing Palace, City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Tang Paradise ……

Luoyang: Apr. 9 -11: Longmen Grottoes, Peony Park, Shaolin Temple, White Horse Temple……

Chengdu: rest days. Jinli Street, Wuhou Temple, Panda Base, Luodai Ancient City, which can be reached by direct bus and it can be taken at Xinnanmen Bus Station.
Asked by Tam from CANADA | Feb. 21, 2018 01:41Reply
is there a glass bridge in Xi'an?
We wanted to experience the glass bridge but we are worried that we do not have enough time to go to Zhangjiajie, Hunan province where the famous glass bridge is located so we are wondering if we can see a glass bridge in XA instead, pls help

our main destination is the Terracota warriors hence we concentrated in XA :)
Answers (6)
Answered by Morris from DENMARK | Feb. 21, 2018 20:15

I know two glass bridges near XA. One is Fenghe Transport Glass Bridge in XA-Xianyang New Energy Finance Center which is for free, and the other is at Jinsuoguan Stone Forest Scenic Area in Yijun. The latter is more grand and I would recommend that to you.
Answered by Tam from CANADA | Feb. 28, 2018 22:50

Hi Morris and thanks for your response, may I know if Jinsuoguan is near Huashan mountain? It seems I can't find any information about it online, would you be so kind to share a link regarding this stone forest location and information?
Answered by Morris | Feb. 28, 2018 23:56

Oh, it is a scenic area in Tongchuan and is different from the Jinsuoguan on Mt. Hushan. To get there, you can take a bus from XA North Bus Station to Tongchuan. Then hire a taxi to get to the scenic area to experience the glass bridge, and it costs CNY100 for a round trip.
Answered by Tam from CANADA | Mar. 01, 2018 00:51

Hello morris! Made further research regarding this area but i cant find it online,How can we ask the locals about this place since we also dont have any reference,would appreciate if you can share the local name :) thank you
Answered by Adele from CHINA | Mar. 01, 2018 02:22

He refers to 铜川金锁关石林景区.
Answered by Tam | Mar. 01, 2018 03:38

Thanks adele!
Asked by Bernard from MALAYSIA | Dec. 14, 2017 00:44Reply
Can I make a day trip from Xi'an to Shaolin temple and Longmen Grottoes in a day?
How is the weather there around Christmas time?
Answers (3)
Answered by Lexi from SINGAPORE | Dec. 14, 2017 02:15

Hey, one day is enough to cover both of them, but it can be tight to get back to XA. It will be cold and dry during the Christmas. You should wear down jacket, thermal long john and boots.
Answered by Bernard from MALAYSIA | Dec. 14, 2017 03:58

What bus shall I take from Luoyang longmen station to Shaolin Temple and onwards to Longmen Grottoes? What will it cost and how long is the journey?
Answered by Amy from SINGAPORE | Dec. 14, 2017 18:50

Well, you are suggested to Longmen Grottoes first. Take Bus 910 from Luoyang Longmen Station to Longmen Beiqiao Dong, and then walk southwest for 10 minutes to the grottoes. It takes about 30 minutes and CNY2.

Then, I was told there are regular buses from the parking lot of the grottoes to Shaolin Temple, which takes about 70 minutes and CNY110 (including the ticket fare).
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