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 Ancient Wall the Terracotta Army Big Wild Goose Pagoda

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.

AttractionRankAttraction typeTravel time from Xi'an city centerAverage time for a visitTime of dayNote
the Terracotta Army 1Historic site1 hour3 hoursDaytimeA world's eightd wonder contender
the Ancient Wall 2Historic site10 minutes2.5 hoursDaytime or eveningChina's best-preserved ancient city wall
Shaanxi History Museum 3Historic artifacts0.5 hour3 hours - half a dayDaytimethe treasure-house of China
Big Wild Goose Pagoda 4Historic site0.5 hour2.5 hoursDaytime or eveningthe symbolic architecture of ancient Xi'an
the Great Mosque 5Historic site10 minutes1.5 hoursDaytime
Qianling Mausoleum 6Historic site1.5 hours3 hoursDaytime
Mount Hua 6Scenic area2 hours1 day - 2 daysDaytimeFamous for its ruggedness and beauty
Hukou Waterfall 7Scenic area5.5 hours2 hoursDaytimethe Yellow River's most famous waterfall
Drum Tower 8Historic site10 minutes1 hourDaytime
Huaqing Hot Spring 9Historic site1 hour2 hoursDaytime
Hanyang Mausoleum 10Historic site0.5 hour3 hoursDaytime

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

lamb soup with pita bread dumplings roujiamo (Chinese hamburger)

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.

TourDurationCostAttractions and Activities
Entombed Warriors Exposed Tour 2 days$219Shaanxi 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$279the 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$249the 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$1,149the 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$359the Terracotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarters of Xi'an, and the Tang Dynasty Performance
Xi'an Memories Tour 4 days$449the 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$469the 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$899the 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$919Beijing and Xi'an
Essence of China Tour 8 days$1,499Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai
China Relaxation Tour 11 days$2,099Beijing, Xi'an, Chongqing, Yangtze, Yichang and Shanghai
China Dream Tour 11 days$2,299Beijing, 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.

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