How to Plan a Tour of Xi'an
This analogy describes the importance of Xi'an in Chinese history: Beijing is the top of the historical tree, but Xi'an is the root. The foundational parts of Chinese history are buried in Xi'an, with a collection of precious heritage sites, such as the world-famous Terracotta Army, Big Goose Pagoda, and the world's grandest ancient city wall. Take a history discovery trip to Xi'an.
Apart from the historic attractions there, the local culture — West China meets East China — is also intriguing. Try the characteristic local snacks.
Choose from Xi'an's Top 10 Attractions
|Attraction||Rank||Attraction type||Travel time from Xi'an city center||Average time for a visit||Time of day||Note|
|the Terracotta Army||1||Historic site||1 hour||3 hours||Daytime||A world's eightd wonder contender|
|the Ancient Wall||2||Historic site||10 minutes||2.5 hours||Daytime or evening||China's best-preserved ancient city wall|
|Shaanxi History Museum||3||Historic artifacts||0.5 hour||3 hours - half a day||Daytime||the treasure-house of China|
|Big Wild Goose Pagoda||4||Historic site||0.5 hour||2.5 hours||Daytime or evening||the symbolic architecture of ancient Xi'an|
|the Great Mosque||5||Historic site||10 minutes||1.5 hours||Daytime|
|Qianling Mausoleum||6||Historic site||1.5 hours||3 hours||Daytime|
|Mount Hua||6||Scenic area||2 hours||1 day - 2 days||Daytime||Famous for its ruggedness and beauty|
|Hukou Waterfall||7||Scenic area||5.5 hours||2 hours||Daytime||the Yellow River's most famous waterfall|
|Drum Tower||8||Historic site||10 minutes||1 hour||Daytime|
|Huaqing Hot Spring||9||Historic site||1 hour||2 hours||Daytime|
|Hanyang Mausoleum||10||Historic site||0.5 hour||3 hours||Daytime|
Anything Else? Other Activities Might Want to Add
- The Ancient Wall by bicycle: cycle in the morning or under the moonlight
- Tang Dynasty Banquet: appreciate Tang Dynasty music and dance while feasting on dumplings, etc.
- Muslim Street: enjoy local snacks and going shopping
- Tang King Market: watch Tang Dynasty performances and learn about making Chinese porcelain
- Gao's Grand Courtyard: watch a shadow puppet play
- Zhao's Martial Art School: learn Chinese kung fu
- Tea House: witness Shaanxi Opera
- Shuyuanmen Gate: discover and buy Chinese calligraphy and paintings
Best Time to Go?
Spring and autumn! The temperature is generally most comfortable for outdoor activities then. The prices for hotels and flight tickets are higher in the peak season from May to mid-October (and for Chinese New Year). Xi'an is generally dry, but there may be moderate downpours in summer. Summer is very hot and winter around freezing.
Note: China Highlights reminds you not to go out during dust and sand storms in the spring.
Enjoy the Local Snacks and Food
Food in Xi'an is unmissable. The famous "two banquets and two soups of Xi'an" are the Shaanxi snacks banquet and the dumpling banquet, and lamb soup with pita bread and pig colon soup with bread. You must have a try! Muslim Street is a great Muslim food hub, where you can find various kinds of Muslim food and souvenirs. It is one of the must-visit places in Xi'an, not only for food, but also for shopping and culture.
Beilin District (碑林区) in Xi'an is a food paradise, where the majority of local restaurants are located.
Where to Stay?
There are all levels of hotels in this large city to meet your different requirements. However, the standard and condition is generally significantly lower at local hotels outside the city, e.g. near Mount Hua. Some popular hotels in the urban area or near the attractions may need reservation during peak travel seasons (like China's National Day Holiday).
China Highlights has selected a collection of hotels in Xi'an with good service and convenient access. We can also help book hotels at a considerable discount.
Prepare Well for a Smooth Trip!
- A map of Xi'an's subway with English can help you get around.
- If you touring in Xi'an in winter bring thermals and thick winter clothes.
- Reservations for some popular attractions and activities are needed.
Choose from Tried and Tested Tour Options
China Highlights has premade some tours of Xi'an, and some popular tour packages including Xi'an, which have won positive feedback from our customers. Click below for more information.
|Tour||Duration||Cost||Attractions and Activities|
|Entombed Warriors Exposed Tour||2 days||$219||Shaanxi History Museum, Ancient City Wall, Xi'an Imperial Fine Arts Center, the Terracotta Army, and Big Wild Goose Pagoda|
|Xi'an Essence Tour||3 days||$279||the Terracotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an Imperial Fine Arts Center, Shaanxi History Museum, and Xi'an City Wall witd Bicycle|
|Essence of Xi'an Seat-in-Coach Tour||3 days||$249||the Terracotta Army, Banpo Site, Shaanxi History Museum, and Muslim Quarter of Xi'an|
|Essence of Xi'an including Round Way Flights from Hong Kong||3 days||$1,149||the Terracotta Arm, Great Mosque, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarters, Chongde Handmade Pottery Factory and Xi'an City Wall witd Bicycle|
|Xi'an Cuisine Tour||4 days||$359||the Terracotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarters of Xi'an, and the Tang Dynasty Performance|
|Xi'an Memories Tour||4 days||$449||the Terracotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an Imperial Fine Arts Center, Qianling Tomb, the Maoling Mausoleum, Famen Temple, Xi'an City Wall witd Bicycle, and Shaanxi History Museum|
|Xi'an witd Mt. Hua Experience||4 days||$469||the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an Imperial Fine Arts center, Mount Huashan, Shaanxi History Museum, and Xi'an City Wall witd Bicycle|
|Total Xi'an Experience Tour||7 days||$899||the Terracotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an Imperial Fine Arts Center, Shaanxi History Museum, Forest of Stele Museum, Xi'an Ancient Wall witd Bicycle, Muslim Quarters, Mount Huashan, Huangdi Mausoleum, Qianling Tomb, Famen Temple, and the Tomb of Yangguifei|
|Beijing and Xi'an Highlights Tour||5 days||$919||Beijing and Xi'an|
|Essence of China Tour||8 days||$1,499||Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai|
|China Relaxation Tour||11 days||$2,099||Beijing, Xi'an, Chongqing, Yangtze, Yichang and Shanghai|
|China Dream Tour||11 days||$2,299||Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Yangshuo and Shanghai|
Book with Us at Great Value for Money
Want a great value trip to Xi'an? Book with us now! China Highlights specializes in creating memorable China tours with well-trained guides, exquisite hotels, and delicious food. If one of the options above does not suit you, you can ask us to customize it, or use our tailor made form to design your own tour of Xi'an! We will continue to be at your service during your trip to China.
I updated this article on August 22, 2013
See all my travel articles
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