Knowing where to stay in Xiamen, and picking a great hotel ahead of time that suits your needs and is close to your preferred location, is going to make your visit to Xiamen that much better.
Depending on what your reason for visiting Xiamen is, let us help you make some decisions on where to stay for your trip so that you can reduce the time you spend getting around Xiamen, and increase the time you spend enjoying yourself on your travels.
There are three main areas to choose from in Xiamen: the city center (Siming District), the island of Gulangyu, or a beachside spot like Pearl Bay. (When visiting the earthen buildings or the Wuyi Mountains we recommend an overnight stay there. See Further Reading.)
1. Siming District: Great for tourists of all ages including families with kids, or business travelers
For those looking to stay on Xiamen Island, with easy access to most of Xiamen's tourist attractions, Siming District in the center of Xiamen is a great shout, and where most people tend to stay. It thus makes sense that most of Xiamen's hotels are based here.
We've split options for Siming District into east and west, as there are a cluster of hotels on the west side right by many of the tourist destinations, but there are more better-priced international 5-star options on the east side of Xiamen island. You still have decent access to tourist attractions from the east side, but there are a few more international hotel chain options that are worth mentioning.
The international hotels are generally easier to stay at when traveling with children too, as they are used to catering to international families traveling to China with kids. These hotels are also the best option for a business traveler looking for easy access to Xiamen Island. Read on to find out more specifics.
Siming District (West)
Advantages: Staying on the west side of Siming District means that you will be close to basically everything you're in Xiamen to see. This includes the top Xiamen sights such as Gulangyu Island, Nanputuo Temple (also known as South Putuo Temple) and the Botanical Gardens right behind the temple, Zhongshan Lu as well as Hulishan Cannon Fort.
Siming District is also the closest you can get to Gulangyu Island without actually being on it, as you'll be just a few minutes removed from the ferry station by taxi.
Disadvantages: Prices on Siming's west side tend to be a little higher than if you were staying on the east side of Xiamen Island, and there are fewer mid-range options here too.
Price guide: Budget and guesthouses, 20-30 USD; 3- and 4-star hotels, 40-60 USD; 5-star rating hotels such as the Conrad Hotel, Swiss International Hotel Xiamen, USD 100-200. Prices will vary depending on timing and will be higher during public holidays.
Siming District (East)
Advantages: The east side of Siming District is where more of the international hotel chain options are located, which can be an easier choice if you are traveling with kids.
Disadvantages: Opting to stay on the east instead of the west side means you'll be slightly further removed from the tourist attractions than if you were staying on the east side (5-10 minutes by car further).
Price guide: budget and guesthouses, 20-30 USD; 3-4 star hotels, 40-60 USD; 5-star rating hotels such as Wyndham International Hotel, Intercontinental Xiamen, Shangri-la Hotel Xiamen, Langham Place Xiamen, Hyatt Regency Xiamen, The Westin Xiamen, Hilton Xiamen, USD 80-130. Prices will vary depending on timing and will be higher during public holidays.
2. Gulangyu Island: Good for those wanting to experience Gulangyu Island up close
If you're coming to Xiamen to see Gulangyu Island, there is no better way to experience it than to stay on the island itself in one of the many hotels.
Advantages: You don't have to go anywhere when you wake up: you're at one of Xiamen's number one tourist spots right away and get to enjoy all of the lush green surroundings. This is a great option for those looking to escape the busy city, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity too.
Disadvantages: You need to arrange your tickets to and from Gulangyu Island (China Highlights can do this for you if you travel with us) to ensure that you can get to and from your hotel, and tickets can be limited.
Hotels here are a little on the pricier side, and there are no international 5-star hotel chains.
Price guide: budget, 10-20 USD; 2-3 star 35-150 USD. Prices will vary depending on timing and will be higher during public holidays.
Read more about Gulangyu Island travel here.
3. Pearl Bay: For beach lovers
Looking for a stay near the beach? Xiamen caters to that too with its many great beaches! See The 5 Best Beaches in Xiamen.
While there are no beach-side resorts that you might be used to in other more tropical locations such as Thailand or Vietnam, there are hotels and guesthouses within walking distance from Pearl Bay that are great for those with a need to feel the sand between their toes.
Advantages: You're right near the Pearl Bay Beach when you wake up, one of Xiamen's top beaches. This is the perfect solution for beach lovers in summer, or those looking for an ocean breeze. And, you are still relatively close to the main tourist attractions, too as Pearl Beach is in Siming District too. Prices for 2-3 star hotels are a little lower than in other parts of Xiamen, too.
Disadvantages: There are fewer options very close to Pearl Bay, reducing your choice slightly. There are also very few international chain options to choose from.
Address: Pearl Bay Garden, Siming District (思明区珍珠湾花园)
Price guide: 2-3 star hotels, 20-60 USD, 4-star Joyze Hotel Xiamen, Curio Collection by Hilton, 100-150 USD. Prices will vary depending on timing and will be higher during public holidays.
When to Visit Xiamen
Xiamen is best to visit in Spring or Autumn when the weather in Xiamen is most moderate.
The city has a subtropical climate, with plenty of rain. There is no intense heat in summer and no extreme cold in winter in Xiamen. The city has an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm (47 inches), mainly during the months from May to August. Owing to the air currents resulting from the difference in temperature in the Pacific, Xiamen is hit by typhoon three or four times annually on average, which mainly occurs during the months from July to September.
Public holidays in Xiamen are busy as with most cities in China, as lots of domestic tourists as well as international tourists visit during these times. To find out when these dates are, check out our Chinese national holiday calendar which is updated on a yearly basis.
Visiting Xiamen with China Highlights
Let us take the hassle out of figuring out which area and hotel to stay in when you are in Xiamen.
We have many options for tours to visit Xiamen, whether you are looking for a one-day, three-day, five-day tour, or would prefer to incorporate Xiamen in a tour throughout China alongside other top spots such as Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong. Let us know what you are after, and we can come back with some suggestions.
We are also able to give numerous hotel options to suit your needs. If you would prefer us to tailor accommodation options to your preferences, get in touch here so we can keep your preferences in mind when planning your trip to Xiamen and your accommodation for the duration of your trip to Xiamen.
- Before figuring out how long to stay in Xiamen, read on to find out on 10 Top Things to Do in Xiamen.
- The Fujian Tulou (Hakka Earthen Buildings) are about 3 hours from Xiamen and so an overnight stay is recommended. See Which Fujian Tulou (Earthen Castles) to Visit.
- Looking for beaches in China? We've compiled a list of the 6 most beautiful beaches in China and a list of the 5 best beaches in Xiamen for your convenience.