Xi'an is the first of China's Four Great Ancient Capitals and played a very important part in Chinese history. Xi'an is characterized by and proud of its ancient heritage, and rightly so.
The immaculately restored and mighty city wall still dominates the center of the city, with traffic navigating through underpasses in its girth. Many modern buildings are in keeping with ancient style, especially the roofs.
Xi’an has world class ancient, religious, cultural, and natural attractions, including: Terracotta Warriors and Horses, The Ancient City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Huaqing Hot Springs, Mount Hua, Banpo Museum, The Forest of Steles , The Great Mosque, and Qianling Mausoleum.
You can ride around the city leisurely to experience the local customs of the street markets, the historical relics, and the old city walls that witnessed historical events. See Xi'an biking guide.
"China" began in Xi'an, when Emperor Qin (from whom China gets its name) united the warring states in 221 BC and made his capital in Xi’an (or Shaan). The entombed Terracotta Army stands as a monument to the power of Emperor Qin.
Xi'an served as China’s capital for the most dynasties: ten dynasties spread intermittently over a 1,100 year period, most notably the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and the Tang Dynasty (618–907), golden ages in China's history. Tang opera is still popular in Xi'an night shows.
Shaanxi Province has an area of 205,800 square kilometers and a population of 37 million people.
Xi’an is situated in the center of the Weihe Plain, bounded by the Weihe River in the north and the Qin Mountain Range in the south.
Beishan (the Northern Mountains) and Qinling (the Qin Mountain Range) stand as two boundaries dividing the province into three natural areas: the Loess Plateau in Northern Shaanxi, the Guangzhong (Vast Central) Plain, and the Qinba Hills. The plateau and hills make up most of the province's area.
Shaanxi has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. The months from March to November are the tourist high season as they are warmer.
See Xi’an Facts for more background info.