Drum Tower, Xi'an

Xi'an Drum Tower
Drum Tower Pictures

The Drum Tower is located northwest of the Bell Tower of Xi'an, across the Bell and Drum Tower Square. Both of them are called the 'sister buildings' or 'morning bell and dark drum'. In ancient China, especially from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the drums were used to signal the running of time and on occasion were used as an alarm in emergency situations.

It was initially built in 1380 during the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and was renovated twice in 1699 and 1740 in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It is a two-storied post and panel structure, 34 meters (about 112 feet) high and 52.6 meters (about 172 feet) long from east to west as well as 38 meters (about 124 feet) wide from north to south. The architecture style of the Drum Tower is a combination of the styles of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Qing Dynasty. However, it also has some innovative features. For example, it should be mentioned that there is no iron nail used anywhere in the Tower.

Upon arrival you will see that there is an arched doorway in the centre of the south and north walls, doorway being 6 meters (about 20 feet) in both height and width. The north entrance leads to Beiyuan Men and south to the West Avenue. Visitors can go upstairs to the second floor, and enjoy the views around the Drum Tower. On the second floor, there is a drum culture exhibition which can help you know more about drums. Meanwhile, you will notice that there are twenty-four drums in its north and south sides. They stand for the Twenty-four Solar Terms which is a kind of weather calendar created by the Chinese ancients in order to guide the agricultural production.

In modern times, the Drum Tower is not used as a timer any more, but there are some new attractions for visitors to enjoy. In the year of 1996, a new drum, covered by a whole piece of cowhide was given a place on the Tower. It is the biggest drum in China at present. What is more, visitors will enjoy musical performances inside it. These performances will enlighten one on the power of ancient Chinese culture.

When you finish visiting the Drum Tower, you may round off your trip, by tasting a number of delicious snacks of Shaanxi in the Muslim Quarter adjacent to it.


How to Get to the Drum Tower:

 By Metro:
Take Metro Line 2 and get off at Zhonglou (Bell Tower) Station. Get out from Exit B. Walk towards west for around 6 minutes.
Or take metro line 6 to Guangjijie, walk eastward 200 meter to fing the tower.

 By Bus:
1. Take bus No. 15, 32, 43, 45, 201, 215, 218, 221, 222, 251, 252, 286, 300, 604, 611, 612, 618, 622 and get off at Zhonglou Xi (Bell Tower West) Station. Then you can see the Drum Tower.
2. Xi'an Sightseeing Bus
Drum Tower is the main stop of two city sightseeing lines. 
Xi'an Bus / Metro Search

Admission Fee Drum Tower only: CNY 30
Bell Tower only: CNY 30
Joint ticket of Bell and Drum Tower: CNY 50
Opening Hours Peak Season (usually March - November): 08:30-21:30 (Ticket selling stops at 21:00.)
Off Season (usually December - Feburary): 08:30-18:00 (Ticket selling stops at 17:30.)
Drum Musical Performance Timetable 09:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00
Recommended Time for a Visit One hour
Note: Children under 1.2 m (3.9 ft) or no more than 6 years old can enter for free when accompanied by an adult.

 Recommended Nearby Attractions:
1. Great Mosque
2. Bell Tower
3. City God Temple
4. Gao's Grand Courtyard

Top 10 Things to Do in Xi'an

- Last updated on Sep. 26, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on Drum Tower
Asked by ann from MALAYSIA | Apr. 03, 2018 08:48Reply
Wondering will we be able to buy embroidery pictures at the Xi'an muslim qurater market?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mike from SINGAPORE | Apr. 03, 2018 20:15

I remember there are some booths selling that stuff in a lane of the area. You may go there and have a check.
Asked by Nuria from SPAIN | Feb. 13, 2018 14:35Reply
What will be the schedule for the music performance on Drum Tower of Xi'an in april 2018?
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen from SWITZERLAND | Feb. 13, 2018 20:40

9:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 14:00, 14:45, 15:30 and 16:20.
Asked by Rhonda Mcgee from USA | Jul. 03, 2015 13:03Reply
What will be the schedule for the drum performances during Aug 25-27, 2015? Thank you so much.
Answers (1)
Answered by Grace from CANADA | Jul. 03, 2015 20:36

As I know, the schedules are 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 14:30, 16:30 and 17:30 in 2014. But you'd better confirm this upon arrival.
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