Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi History Museum

 Since Dec. 29, 2023, the new branch of Shaanxi History Museum in Qinhan New City will start its trial operation.
The Shaanxi History Museum in Xi'an, regarded as 'the pearl of ancient dynasties and house of Chinese treasures', gives a miniature overview of the thousands of years of Chinese history and the splendid ancient cultures of olden times.
Shaanxi History Musem
Stone Lion

Situated on Xiaozhai East Road on the northwest side of Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the Shaanxi History Museum is the first modern national museum. It was built in 1983 and opened to the public in 1991. Shaanxi History Museum covers 65,000 square meters (16 acres), of which 11,000 square meters (207 acres) belong to the exhibition halls and 8,000 square meters (about 2 acres) are used as warehouses for storing relics. Now 370,000 exhibits in the museum vividly show the history of over a million years from prehistoric times (1,150,000 years ago - 21st Century BC) to about 1840 AD.

The grand buildings of Shaanxi History Museum imitate the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) with a two-storied central hall and four worship halls around it. The predominant colors of the halls are black, white and grey, which give the halls an atmosphere of solemnity and rustic charm.
Bronze Mirror of Tang Dynasty
Bronze Mirror of Tang Dynasty

The exhibition halls of Shaanxi History Museum are generally divided into four main groups; the Preface Hall, the permanent exhibition halls, the temporary exhibition halls, and an exhibition hall for Tang Mural Paintings. Once you enter the central hall, you will be in the Preface Hall, where stands a replica of a stone lion from the Shunling Tomb of the Tang Dynasty and a huge picture of a loess plateau and the Yellow River. Behind the picture you will find the permanent exhibition halls.

Permanent Exhibition Halls in Shaanxi History Museum shows the Shaanxi's culture in the timeline in three exhibition halls separately. 
 It shows  the history of Prehistoric Times (1,150,000 years ago - 21st Century BC), Western Zhou (1046 - 771 BC) and Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC). Different original cultures are mainly shown in prehistoric times. In the Western Zhou and Qin Dynasty areas, the origin and arising of these two dynasties are covered. 
Golden Bowl with Lotus Patterns
Golden Bowl with Lotus Patterns
It shows the history from the Han Dynasty to the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-589). In the Han Dynasty, grand architecture and the cultural exchange with other countries are interesting. Everlasting wars and cultural integration are the main themes of the North and Southern Dynasties.
 It covers the history of the Tang Dynasty and later years. The Tang Dynasty was the heyday of China and Shaanxi Province; so many different kinds of relics covering almost all aspects are shown in this section. You can see splendid gold and silver articles, tri-color glazed pottery, and articles related to the Silk Road in this hall. After the Tang Dynasty, although Xi'an lost its position as the capital city of China, it was still an important place. There are many relics that show its continuing importance.
 These treasures, being shown in one of the temporary hall,  were unearthed from Hejia Village, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.  Besides, there is the other hall which is usually features a variety of theme exhibitions.
Mural of Tang Dynasty
Mural of Tang Dynasty
It is the most distinctive collection in the museum. The hall, lying on the first floor below ground, occupies 1,000 square meters and stores 600 mural paintings from more than 20 noble tombs of the Tang Dynasty. These painting describe different aspects of the noble classes in the Tang Dynasty, depicting how people lived during that time. Other related relics and painting in other dynasties are also shown as companions for the paintings so that visitors can understand the development of the murals. For additional information there is an inquiry system and electronic explanation system provided enabling you to not only enjoy the fantastic murals but also get some background knowledge. This hall is open to the public on an occasional basis per week.

Exhibition Hall of Tang Murals & Stone Coffins

Besides, another exhibition hall, focusing on 5 pieces of Tang Murals and stone coffins from Jingling Mausoleum, was open to the public in 2013 in Shaanxi History Museum. Jingling Mausoleum is the tomb of Zhenshun Empress of Emperor Xuanzong during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Lilongji. The coffin from her tomb, formed by 31 pieces of beautifully carved stones, weighs 27 tons and is about 2.5 meters long.  It looks like a small stone palace. It is currently the biggest and best preserved coffin among the more than 20 unearthed coffins from the Tang Dynasty.

How to get to Shaanxi History Museum

By Bus:
Take Bus No. 26, 271, 701, 5, 19, 24, 30, 34, 400, 401, 521, 527 and get off at Shaanxi History Museum.

By Metro
Take Metro Line 2 or  Line 3 to Xiaozhai Station, and exit from Exit D. Then, walk east along East Xiaozhai Road around 800 meters (0.5 miles) to get there.
Take Metro Line 3 to Dayanta Station. And then walk west along East Xiaozhai Road for about 800 meters to reach.
Xi'an Bus / Metro Search
Entrance Fee Free but reservation is needed. Visitors who make a reservation with passports need to go to the ticket office at the south gfate to get a paper ticket.
The museum issues over 1,600 tickets at 10:00, 11:00, 18:00, 19:00 respectively.
Opening Hours Tuesday-Sunday:
Mar.15 to Nov.14: 08:30 to 18:00 (entry before 16:30);
Nov.15 to Mar.14: 09:00 to 17:30 (entry before 16:00);
Closed on Mondays except public hoildays
Time for a Visit
2-3 hours
Tip: Tourists are suggested to avoid visiting the museum in July and August because of the crowdedness. Chinese summer vacation is from July to August so that many parents bring their children to travel during this period.
Audio Guide Device Deposit: CNY 100; Rental: CNY 30

The New Branch of Shaanxi History Museum

Located in Qinhan New City and close to the protected cultural relics Qin Xianyang City Site, the newly-built Qinhan Branch of Shaanxi History Museum is jointly built by Qinhan New City and Shaanxi History Museum. The new museum has a total land area of about 11.3 acres, over four times bigger than its mother museum. The interior is divided into five exhibition halls with an exhibition area of about 11,300 square meters (2.8 acres).

Shaped by seven main buildings which are arranged according to the Big Dipper stars and connected by glass corridors, it boasts with a cluster of Qin-style architecture. Both designed by the famous architect Zhang Jinqiu, the two museums’ styles and temperaments echo. 

 Opening time for trial operation: 10:00 – 16:30, closed on every Tuesdays except public holidays.
 Open Areas: Exhibition Hall of Qin & Han Culture
 Admission fee: free, enter without tickets during the trial operation
 Location: East Section of Lanchi 3rd Road, Qinhan New City of Xixian New Area, Shaanxi

How to Get to the New Branch of Shaanxi History Museum

Take metro line 14 to Qingong Station and then transfer to bus no. 840 to Yaodian Crossing, then walk eastward to the museum.

 Further Reading: Xi'an History

Recommended Nearby Attractions:
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda & Da Ci'en Temple
 Tang Paradise
Qujiang Ocean Park
Qujiang Pool Park
Cool Cave Heritage Park
Great Tang All Day Mall

Recommended Tour including the visit to Shaanxi History Museum:
Historical Xi'an Tour: 3 Days Luxury Visit of Xi'an   More Xi'an Tours

Top 10 Things to Do in Xi'an
Top 10 China Tourist Places for Culture Lovers

- Last updated on Nov. 23, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on Shaanxi History Museum
Asked by Chamaiporn from THAILAND | Feb. 27, 2024 01:11Reply
Ticket Reservation
How to reserve tickets for Shaanxi History Museum?
Answers (2)
Answered by James | Feb. 27, 2024 22:35

You have to make an appointment on its official website:, or WeChat official account "Shaanxi History Museum Ticketing System"
Answered by Chamaiporn | Feb. 29, 2024 18:21

Thank you!
Asked by Vyvy from USA | Nov. 22, 2023 08:39Reply
Ticket reservation
Is it correct that one can either get the ticket by WeChat/website or they can get in line at the museum on the day of the visit to hopefully get a ticket?
Answers (1)
Answered by Harry | Nov. 23, 2023 00:30

It seems they have cancelled the ticket at the spot and online reservation is the only way to get the ticket.
Asked by Ladymy from THAILAND | Nov. 03, 2023 21:02Reply
How​ get​ free​ tickets?
Can I​ walk in and get free tickets without making a reservation?
Answers (2)
Answered by George | Nov. 05, 2023 18:18

You need to make a reservation on line on its official website of WeChat account.
Answered by Ladymy | Nov. 06, 2023 22:14

Thank you. I haven't WeChat account .
Asked by Cathal | Jan. 19, 2023 08:02Reply
Is the museum closed for Chinese New Year
What days will the museum be closed during the Chinese New Year Holiday. Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Baron | Jan. 19, 2023 17:14

It will be closed on Chinese New Year's Eve on January 21, 2023. During the other days of Chinese New Year holiday from January 22 to 27, it will be open as usual.
Asked by VK from SINGAPORE | Jan. 04, 2020 02:20Reply
Do we need both free tickets & paid tickets of Shaanxi History Museum?
Hi there, from what I understand, the free ticket only covers Exhibition halls 01 to 03. So if we want to visit Treasures of Great Tang Dynasty or the Exhibition Hall for Mural Paintings of Tang Dynasty, we still need to pay. Does that mean I have to reserve both a free ticket and a paid ticket through the Shaanxi online ticketing system?
Answers (1)
Answered by Tracy from CANADA | Jan. 06, 2020 01:33

You can reserve both in advance or buy the ticket on the spot after you going into museum.
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