Home China Guide Xi'an How to Plan a Tour of Xi'an

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

The table below ranks the 10 most popular  Xi'an attractions, and gives times so you can see what you can fit into your itinerary. Choose what you like and we can tailor-make your itinerary for you.

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

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.

See Xi'an Weather all the year round>>

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 with Bicycle
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 with Bicycle
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 with Bicycle, and Shaanxi History Museum
Xi'an with 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 with Bicycle
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 for 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. 

See our Xi'an Tours and Xi'an Photos for inspiration.