What to Do in Xi’an in Winter - 7 Best Destinations

Generally speaking, winter in Xi’an from December to February is cold and dry with an average temperature of 0°C (32°F). However, the coldness does not reduce people’s enthusiasm for touring in Xi’an. It’s still worth going and totally acceptable for most travelers. In addition, the less crowds and lower travel expense may make your tour more pleasant. What to do in Xi’an in winter? Actually, visiting some indoor attractions is a good idea, like going to the Terracotta Army and Shaanxi History Museum. Besides, skiing at the Cuihua Mountain Ski Resort or taking a hot spring bath at Tangyu are also excellent ways to relax. Here under is a list of 7 best destinations to go in Xi’an winter.


Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is one of the major reasons for most people to travel to Xi’an. You may have seen it from TV, books, and websites, why not go there in person for a close look? In winter, the slack travel season of Xi’an, you can expect less crowds in the Terracotta Army. Immediately after it was discovered by a local farmer in 1974, the Terracotta Army has shocked the world. You can see three pits there displaying the terracotta warriors, chariots and horses. They are life-size and exquisitely crafted in each detail. It’s said that even the soles of the warriors can be seen clearly up till now. A tour in this museum will arouse your interest in Chinese history, especially of the Qin Dynasty (221 – 207 BC) and ancient military formations. Well protected by roofs and walls, you can pay a visit in no worry of the winter wind and snow.

 Recommended Tour:  1 Day Xi'an Mini Group Tour to Terracotta Army from $59

 Book a Terracotta Army ticket

Huaqing Pool

Huaqing Pool
What to do in Xi’an in winter? Pay a visit to Huaqing Pool and you will never regret. Huaqing Pool in the eastern outskirt of Xi’an used to be a royal garden in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). You can enjoy splendid Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) architecture there and learn about the love story between Tang Emperor Xuanzong and his concubine Yang Yuhuan. It was in this garden that they performed the famous Rainbow Skirt and the Feathered Coat Dance. If it snows, the ancient architectures will be covered by a layer of holy whiteness, which will remind you of the ancient time. After the visit, you can take a hot spring bath at the spa resort in the scenic area to fully relax. In ancient times, only royal members were allowed to bath there. So you can have a feel what it is like being a royal member in ancient times.

 Book a ticket for Huaqing Pool
 Book a ticket for “The Song of Everlasting Sorrow”

Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi History Museum
The indoor Shaanxi History Museum with good heating system is definitely a good choice if you ask what to do in Xi’an in winter. Located near the Xiaozhai Station of Xi’an Metro Line 2 and Line 3, Shaanxi History Museum is readily accessible by public transportation means. There are three permanent exhibition halls showing the antiques from the prehistoric time to the modern time. Among them, the objects from Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), and Tang Dynasty are the most and best. The three halls are open for free but you need to collect a paper ticket at the entrance. If you are interested in history, you can pay to visit another two exhibition halls in the museum respectively showing Treasures of the Great Tang Dynasty unearthed from Hejia Village and Mural Paintings of Tang Dynasty.

 Recommended Tour:  One Day Xi’an City Tour with Shaanxi History Museum from $109

 Book a Shaanxi History Museum ticket

Cuihua Mountain Ski Resort

If you go to Xi’an in winter, skiing must be one of the best experiences. Situated inside the Cuihua Mountain Scenic Area, Cuihua Mountain Ski Resort is the only natural ski resort in Xi'an and merely 20 km (12 mi) from the downtown area. At an altitude of 1,400 meters (4,593 ft), the ski resort has a low temperature and receives abundant good snow each year. All the ski equipment is imported from Austria and has high qualify. You can have an exciting experience on the snowboards here. During the ski season which normally begins from around December 25 and ends at early March, there is a skiing stunt performance daily at noon in the resort. It will bring more fun to your skiing.

Tangyu Hot Springs

In winter, nothing is more comfortable than taking a hot spring bath. Tangyu Hot Springs located 40 km (25 mi) from downtown Xi’an will be a fabulous place for you to go. Covering an area of about 4 hectares (10 acres), it is the largest outdoor hot spring resort in the northwestern part of China. It is said that the Tangyu Hot Springs have an imperial hot spring resort since the Han Dynasty. The water quality is excellent, containing over 20 kinds of minerals which can benefit human body like skin caring and getting rid of diseases.

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Though the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is not as famous as the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, it is on many tourists’ list of “what to do in Xi’an”. In winter, there are less tourists, so that you can take a stroll around in a quiet atmosphere. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built during the period from 707 to 710 in the Tang Dynasty to store the Buddhist scriptures and paintings brought back from India by the Monk Yijing. Originally it had 15 storeys, but now you can only see 13 storeys because the pagoda was damaged in 1556 at an earthquake. In the pagoda, there is giant bell made in 1192 bearing about 1,000 characters. The Morning Bell Chime in the Small Wild Goose Pagoda was one of the eight best sceneries in Xi’an in the past. As it is located inside Xi’an Museum, you can also have a chance to appreciate various ancient calligraphy, paintings, jade wares, and seals.

Stele Forest – Beilin Museum

Stele Forest – Beilin Museum
Honestly speaking, the Stele Forest is a tourist attraction often underestimated by tourists in Xi’an. However, if you have enough time and interest in Chinese ancient calligraphy, do not miss this treasure of Chinese calligraphy and stone carving art. The collections in this museum are so rich, especially the steles, hence the name Stele Forest. At present, there are over 4,000 pieces of stone steles in the museum. You can learn the evolution history of Chinese characters through the stone steles and rubbings. Besides, four of the six horse sculptures in front of Zhaoling Mausoleum, the tomb of Emperor Li Shimin, have been moved here. If you don’t know much about Chinese calligraphy, you had better hire an interpreter for you to better understand the history and meaning of the stone tablets. 

 Book a Stele Forest Museum ticket

Further Reading:
7 Things to Do in Xi’an in Spring
8 Things to See in Xi’an in Summer
What to See in Xi’an in Autumn - 9 Best Destinations
10 Best Places to Visit in Xi’an
- Last updated on Apr. 04, 2023 by Catherine He -
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