Xuanhua Ancient City - A Military Defensive Unit along Great Wall of China

The old city of Xuanhua was one of the most important defensive towns along the Great Wall of China, founded during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) with a history of over 600 years. The city was original encircled by four stretches of wall of 3 kilometers (2 miles) for each, but now a small part of wall relics can be found near the Daxin Gate - the former western gate and the Gongji Tower. Located at the southern end of the central axis, Gongji Tower served as the major gate of the city in the old days, built on tall and firm walls with exquisite carvings above the gate. At the other end of the central axis seat the Zhenshuo and Qingyuan Towers, also known as the Drum Tower and Bell Tower, that were built for striking hours in the past.

How to Get to Xuanhua Ancient City

Both Beijing and Zhangjiakou have easy access to Xuanhuan Ancient City, including coach and train. We highly suggest you take a train to save both time and money.

From Beijing: Take metro line 2 to Beijing Railway Station at 06:30 or so to catch a train bound for Xuanhua, which departs at around 07:10. You will arrive in Xuanhua after 3 hours.

From Zhangjiakou: Take bus 11, 33, or 301 to Zhangjiakou Railway Station. There are frequent trains heading for Xuanhua and the train ride only takes less than 30 minutes.

Upon arrival, please go along the following hiking route to tour around the Xuanhua Ancient City.

Recommended Visit Route

 Gongji Tower - Nine-Dragon Screen - Xuanhua Museum - Zhenshuo Tower - Qingyuan Tower - Daxin Gate

Walk through the parking lot in front of Xuanhua Railway Station. Then head eastwards along Nanguan Ximadao Road and turn north at the first crossing; the Gongji Tower is 400 meters (440 yards) in front of you. Afterwards, please go down the prosperous pedestrian street behind the Gongji Tower to the end. The street is brimmed with stores, shopping malls, and restaurants and you may slow down your pace to do some shopping and taste local cuisines.

Turn west onto the Xuanfu Street at the northern end of the street. You will see the splendid Nine-Dragon Screen on the northern side after 3 minutes' walking. Then, continue head forward for a few yards and you will find a large old residence along the street, which was the former government offices and was later rebuilt as the Xuanhua Museum housing over 1,000 historical relics unearthed in Xuanhua. On the west of the museum is a catholic church where you can have a short rest and take pictures.

After that, walk backwards to the first crossing and go northwards to visit the Zhenshuo Tower and the Qingyuan Tower. Then, walk westwards for 300 meters (330 yards) from the Qingyuan Tower to take bus no. 10 at Gongdian Gongsi stop. Alight at Xichengyuan Gongyuan and then go along the nearby old city wall for around 15 minutes to the Daxin Gate.

This Xuanhua visit will come to an end at this point. Please take bus no. 103 to the east of the Daxin Gate to Xuanhua Railway Station for your return train to Beijing or Zhangjiakou.

Gongji Tower Free, but CNY 5 is needed for ascending each of them
Zhenshuo Tower
Qingyuan Tower
Xuanhua Museum Free
Beijing - Xuanhua train ticket CNY 28.5 for a hard seat
Zhangjiakou - Xuanhua train ticket CNY 9 for a hard seat 
- Last updated on Jun. 16, 2023 by Brenda Lian -
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