Xi'an is an essential stop for first-time China travelers as it showcases China's history and civilization. But how long do you need for a trip to Xi'an? This article will provide you with some of the best itinerary ideas for planning your Xi'an trip.
How Long to Spend in Xi'an
In general, spending 3 to 4 days is ideal for a trip in Xi'an with a comfortable pace without missing all the highlights.
If you only have two days, you could focus on the main highlights — the Terracotta Warriors and some city sightseeing.
We do not recommend a one-day trip, as it gives only a hurried and cursory glance at scenic spots.
Jenny helped explain a lot of historical facts made us appreciate the Chinese civilisation a lot more. Want to know more after leaving.more
Nov 2023, 772lauw
Jenny is an excellent guide, so knowledgeable and easy to talk with. Her driver was also excellent. We spent 3 days together seeing the highlights of Xi'an and dining together. We hit a cold spell so she gave us two neck scarves, which was an unexpected treat. If you come to China, ask for Jenny. Highly recommended!more
Nov 2023, CNN N
Memorable Tour with Susan
Susan gave us a great tour of Xi’an. She has a genuine interest in Chinese culture and history and took us to sites and restaurants where locals go. She was flexible with plans and made some great recommendations and because of that, we did even more than we originally expected. Thank you to Susan for a wonderful experience. Xi’an was definitely one of the highlights of our tour and we will tell everyone about your beautiful and historically-rich city, Xi’an.more
Nov 2023, grei
Awesome Guide and Experience!
We have been travelling through China since the 10th of November. Prior to departing Shanghai, our guide in Xi’an made contact with me to let us know she would meet us at the arrival gate as we took the train from Shanghai, this made me feel super comfortable as we arrived into a completely new city. She let me know the instructions on where to meet her when we get off the train, when we arrived we were greeted by our guide Jenny at the gate.We were then taken to our car, met our driver for the duration of our stay Mr Chu!After arriving at our hotel Jenny helped us checkin and then we dropped our bags off to explore the main square of Xi’an and find some dinner as we arrived in the evening.The next day Jenny met us with our driver Mr. Chu at the hotel reception and took us to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses followed by Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the afternoon, Jenny’s knowledge and explanation of both these activities were amazing and we learned so much from her. Later that evening she recommended a traditional Chinese show and dumpling banquet which we thoroughly enjoyed.The second day Jenny took us to the Xi’an City Wall where we were able to ride a bike along the top, we then went to a local house and made dumplings for lunch before she accompanied us to the train station where we were sad to say our goodbyes but very thankful for our time with Jenny and Mr. Chu.We are coming to an end of trip, returning to home to New Zealand. If you need a guide who has a great command of the English language, friendly and knowledgeable then please request Jenny as your tour guide through China Highlights!more
Nov 2023, John M
Great Fun Tour with Mervyn!
Mervyn was a wonderful tour guide for our trip to Xi’an! She showed us the amazing food that the city offers and the important history this city contains. She helped make our trip enjoyable and simple! Thank you Mervyn :)more
Nov 2023, Angelica M
A Truly Amazing Experience
An amazing experience. Given China Highlights’ reputation, I had high hopes for the logistics of the tour. The reality, however, far exceeded my expectations. From arrival to departure, and all points in between, the tour was executed with precision. I stood in awe, gazing at the terracotta warriors; my wife and I strolled along the city wall. The warmth and friendliness of the locals were exceeded only by the knowledge, experience and genuine humanity of our guide, Jenny. China is amazing. While the historic sights are world attractions, I found its people to be the greatest treasure. Thank you China Highlights. Thank you Jenny.more
Nov 2023, Mark W
Wonderful time in Xi'an with a great guide
Visiting best museums, tourist attractions areas and historical sites with excellent guidance by Mervyn. She arranged everything in advance for our family so we spent very unforgettable time in Xi'an in three days.If you want to discover more about chinese history i would highly recommend Xi'an tour and my tour guide Mervyn to anyone visiting china.more
Nov 2023, burge c
Wow! Did not know China’s historical depth and culture.
Xi’an is an incredible historical city. Our guide Mervyn from China Highlights was extremely knowledgeable, informative and helpful. Very attentive to our needs and went above and beyond to take care of us. Exceptional service and care from the heart.more
Nov 2023, Tony S
1 day Xi'an tour
Despite my schedule only allowing for 1 day in Xi'an, Mervyn my guide was able to give me a fantastic experience in visiting both the Terracotta Warriors and making time for the old city too since she's hugely knowledgeable and great company. Great visit all round.more
Nov 2023, Voyager816706
Amazing experience in Xian
Xian was just amazing. We had a great tour guide, Jenny. Jenny spoke excellent English. Not only was she friendly, she was flexible too. She was able to reschedule our visit to the Terracotta warriors to the following day due to my hubby not feeling too well. She also helped get flu medicine for him. Very knowledgeable in Qin Dynasty history, she certainly made our trip very enjoyable.more
Nov 2023, Dell
Special thanks to Susan
This is my 2nd time in Xi An, My friend arranged a private tour through China highlight, it definitelymakes a huge difference with a tourguide! China highlight arranges all the tour guides and drivers for four cities for us, so convenient, saved us lot of time . Susan is our tour guide in Xi An, she is very responsible and took great care of us, she is knowledgeable about Xi An’s history, shared many fun stories, very impressive, obviously she loves n so good at what she does! We had great time in Xi An, the Xi A food is very delicious, Susan took us to the restaurant seems all were very popular among locals. Thank you so much, Susan, without you, our trip won’t be as funn efficient.more
Nov 2023, Venture216019
Ken was the best guide in Xi’an!
Ken in Xi’an was the best guide we had during our stay in China. He was super knowledgeable and curious, added a bunch of extra tips and information that really helped us understand what we were seeing and meant we made the most of our free time as well as the time with him. Not to mention his English is perfect! We had the most wonderful time thanks to him!!more
Oct 2023, Inspire03097093187
3 nights in Xi’an City
This museum was unbelievable. Everything I had known from a Western point of view was small in comparison to the vast amount of ceramic sculptures. My guide Susan informed me of the history of the making of the warriors and horses. Susan had a good way to explain the details about each warrior and their social status. She explained the kings desires and even about the farmer’s history that came after; that had an effect on the warriors preservation. I would suggest seeing the panorama short film about the history of the warrior for some more detail.more
Oct 2023, Blake Evans
Susan was our Xi-an English guide and she pick us up from the terminal and send us to the Hotel on the day of arrival. She is a very present, soft spoken, helpful during our stay in Xi-an. She brought us to the Ancient City Wall, Terracotta Warriors / Horses and we have lunch at one of the popular Local Restaurant. We also visited the Muslim Quarter, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi History Museum. Susan is very well verse in the history of Xi-an and explain to us about the history of Xi-an.more
Oct 2023, John W
An excellent tour around Xi'an with an exceptional tour guide and chauffeur
I was fortunate to travel to Xi'an and visit the historical sites, (terracotta warriors, the big wild goose pagoda a nd the ancient city wall), and places of interest, (the history museum and the muslim quarter). However, what made the two day tour so memorable was the tour guide, Jenny and chauffeur Zhu. Jenny was fantastic;her historical and local knowledge was excellent, her organisational skills were exceptional.We were able to discuss a wide range of subjects, from my point of view a thoroughly lovely person to be around.Everything ran like clockwork.more
Oct 2023, Richard M
Xian and Lhasa - a trip of a lifetime!
Our Xian tour guide, Sherry, took exceptional care of us, guiding us through a peak travel season and some rain with expertise and patience. We learned so much about China's Xian history through her. In Lhasa we were greeted with Sonam's passion for his Tibetan culture and never-ending smile. Our lifelong dream to visit Tibet was made so much better with his guidance and knowledge. Thank you China Highlights for taking such good care of us and for sharing your amazing country with us.more
Oct 2023, Sharon Townshend
Начало Великого Шелкового пути - древняя столица Чанъань
Это была моя вторая поездка в Сиань, который я полюбила еще в свой первый визит в Китай. И вторая встреча с прекрасной древней столицей Поднебесной сделала это чувство еще глубже и сильнее! Большое спасибо нашему замечательному гиду – Вале, консультанту Стелле и China Highlights! Терракотовая армия потрясает масштабностью и искусностью древних мастеров. Возможность соприкоснуться с частью истории великой империи!more
Sep 2023, Антонина К
Great way to see the city
Private tour with China highlights made seeing Xi'an super easy. We saved a lot of time with a private driver, and our guide Jenny took really good care of us, sending instructions for where to meet once getting off the train and made everything feel really safe and easy. She also accommodated a number of last minute changes to our itinerary without batting an eye. She was very patient, knowledgeable and friendly. It was great having a guide who grew up locally in the area to show us around (which is not always the case, from my previous experiences elsewhere). Would definitely recommend!more
Sep 2023, Stephanie N
Mervyn is what we call a perfect tour guide!
Mervyn is what we call a perfect tour guide! She is extremely informative all the way through. She knows hers stuff and she is also enthusiastic, knowledgeable, personable and very willing to help. The whole day was perfect. A great amount of walking and a lots of physical activity ( hiking) and she was all smiling, accommodating and keeping us informative. She was absolutely the best tour guide we've ever encountered in China. Her English is perfect! Everything was so well organized. Her knowledge of the local culture and history is impressive. Fantasticmore
Sep 2023, pdaroundthewrorld
Our tour guide was Mervyn, and she was amazing! She had great knowledge of Xi'an and the silk road, and we learned so many things we didn't know before. The Muslim quarter is a must-see, with so many streets of food. Terracotta warriors were breathtaking. We did a Hanfu experience and enjoyed walking the city at night in our tang Dynasty outfits. We wish we spent more than 2 days here as there's so much to do. Definitely recommend this tour and will be visiting again!more
Sep 2023, Laura A
Xi'an in 4 Days (Rich Experience)
If you want a full and rich experience in Xi'an, spending four days is recommended.
Without missing the highlights, you'll have the opportunity to have some special experiences like making your own terracotta warrior, trying on Chinese traditional costumes, and a food tour.
You could also visit Mount Hua, Taoism's sacred mountain, and admire its breathtaking peaks. If you're more adventurous, you can also challenge its famous trestles. Here is the itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrival and free exploration
- Day 2: One day trip to the Terracotta Warriors with a hands-on experience of making clay warriors
- Day 3: A full day in Mount Hua
- Day 4: City highlight touring (museums, pagodas, Ancient City Wall, and a food tour) and departure
All our tours can be adjusted based on your interests and needs. Our private trips are hassle-free and flexible.
Xi'an in 3 Days (Essence of Xi'an)
With three days in Xi'an, you could still enjoy a full and rich experience. The difference with the four-day itinerary is that you won't visit Mount Hua. Here is the itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrival + museum visiting
- Day 2: A trip to Terracotta Warriors with a food tour
- Day 3: City sightseeing (Ancient City Wall, museums, pagodas, etc) with a hanfu experience and departure
The Terracotta Warrior is a big attraction. It is the mausoleum and burial pits of the first emperor of China and the largest one in China.
In order to get a good understanding of the history and stories behind it, we will arrange a hands-on experience of making your own clay warrior.
Thus, you're going to spend most of your second day there. If you are particularly interested in this attraction, it is worth spending a day on it.
Our schedule is flexible. Just contact us if you want to make some adjustments or have any needs.
Xi'an in 2 Days (Focus on the Terracotta Warriors)
If you have two days, you could focus on the Terracotta Warriors with some city sightseeing. Here is the itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrival + city sightseeing (Ancient City Wall, museums, and pagodas)
- Day 2: Visit Terracotta Warriors + departure
Two days' visiting is a little tight. If you want to have a better experience when visiting the Terracotta Warriors, we suggest a full day's visiting and leave in the third day's morning.
Our private transfer and local guide's accompany will make the most of your time and maximize your travel experience.
Side Trip Itineraries from Xi'an
There are also some worthwhile destinations close to Xi'an that you might consider visiting:
1. Luoyang and Shaolin Temple
Luoyang, an ancient capital like Xi'an, and its nearby Shaolin Temple are the most popular choices, especially if you are interested in Chinese history and Chinese kung fu.
A trip to Luoyang and Shaolin Temple takes about one day. Luoyang is about a 1-hour bullet train travel from Xi'an.
In Luoyang, the main attraction is its spectacular Longmen Grottoes where you could marvel at the exquisite carvings and Buddha statues.
Then head to Shaolin Temple, which takes about 1½ hours by car. Walk around the temple and learn about Chinese Buddhism and martial arts. You could also enjoy a wonderful Kung Fu show. See One Day Longmen Grottoes and Shaolin Temple Tour.
2. Pingyao Ancient Town
In Pingyao, you could get a glimpse of the ordinary life of a merchant in ancient times. Pingyao is about a 3-hour journey from Xi'an by the bullet train. Spending about two days touring the highlights of Pingyao Ancient Town is recommended.
There you could explore the original site of the first draft bank in China, visit an interesting museum — Armed Escort Company Museum, watch the sunset from the city wall, and pay a visit to Wang's Family Compound (the Forbidden City in Folk). Check out the 2-Day Pingyao Highlights Tour.
If you have more time, you could explore further north to Datong, which is famous for its Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Temple. See the 4-Day Datong and Pingyao Tour.
Tour China with Us
All our tours can be adjusted as much as you like. We aim to create an ideal itinerary based on your interests, group size, travel length, and other requirements. Feel free to contact us.