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The Terracotta Army Museum is one of the must-visit attractions for all travelers to China. The attraction is located in Xi'an, in West China's Shaanxi Province.
The Terracotta Army is an indoor attraction, which is not likely to be affected by weather, so it can be visited all year round.
As the Terracotta Army Museum if one of the must-visit attractions in China, it is crowded most of the time. We advise our customers to avoid the following periods when the museum is particularly crowded:
It is recommended that you start your day early and try to arrive before large bus tour groups. Alternatively, if you do not mind having a late lunch, visit around noon when other visitors leave for lunch.
Weather in winter is dry, cold, and least comfortable, and it's also the worst season for air quality; but it’s also low season, when the crowds are fewest.
Learn more information about Xi'an Weather.
A private tour means a lot of flexibility, and you will be well taken care of by a private guide and driver. The museum is crowded most of the time, but our guides know how to escape the crowds, and help our customers to enjoy more in the museum. See our 2-Day Terracotta Warriors Private Tour.
Going with a group you won’t get lost, but it lacks flexibility and personal service.
Traveling on your own you may meet a lot of hassles, such as wasting time on finding a (non-con) taxi or public bus to the attraction, lining up for tickets, reading maps, making sense of Chinese signs, etc.
There is very little (good English) signage, so a guide is definitely needed to explain the exhibits, and help you get the most out of a visit.
Museum guides offer their services at the entrance. They will swarm around you while you are buying your ticket. Please be discerning if you use one, as some try to force tourists to buy something at souvenir shops. Some travelers have reported their disappointing experiences with hired guides on TripAdvisor.
There are audio guides for rent (40 yuan, deposit 200 yuan), but we don't recommend them as the English is difficult to understand.
The highlights of the museum are the three pits (Pit One, Pit Two, and Pit Three) where the warriors are on display, and the Exhibition of Bronze Chariots.
Pit One is the largest and most impressive, where about 2,000 terracotta warriors are displayed. Pit Two uncovers the mystery of the ancient army array. Pit Three represents the command post.
Vault one is usually crowded with tourists. According to our experienced guide, the best views are from the front of the vault around the corners. See map below.
The parking lot is about 1 km from the entrance. There are buses running from the parking lot to the entrance, but, as you need to queue for them (in the busy travel season from May to October), we recommend you walk the 15 minutes or so there if you are able. Our guide will accompany you on the walk if you don't want to line up for the bus
It is very convenient to travel to Xi'an from major cities in China by air and train. The Terracotta Army is about 1 hours' drive from the city.
The most convenient way is to take a private tour. Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to the Terracotta Army.
Your guide will help you buy tickets, saving you a lot of time and trouble lining up. With our guide you will have the flexibility to decide how much time you spend at each exhibit. See our 2-Day Terracotta Warriors Private Tour.
Taking a taxi is not recommended. Some taxi drivers may not take you to the Terracotta Army directly, stopping at tourist shops instead, or they may rip you off. The correct price is about 300–400 yuan (48–65 USD).
Some city taxi drivers may insist on taking you to the Terracotta Army, even if you've clearly said you want to go somewhere else! If you refuse, they may not take you where you want to go either.
Xi'an is about a 2-hour flight or an overnight train ride from Beijing. A day tour from Beijing to see the Terracotta Army is possible, but very rushed. It takes 2–3 hours for a round trip from Xi'an airport to the Terracotta Army.
With a Beijing return flight and airport transport, the total traveling time will be around 9 hours! Itinerary: early start, afternoon Terracotta Army Visit, late return to Beijing.
We suggest you to take a night train from Beijing to Xi'an and fly back. You will have a more relaxing day and plenty of time to see the Terracotta Army this way. Train Z19 arrives in Xi'an at 08:00, and four T-trains arrive between 06:32 and 08:34.
See details on our One-Day Beijing & Xian Highlights Tour
Or our travel advisors can help you arrange a Terracotta Army day tour from Beijing, and give you suggestions according your requirements. Contact us.
This is a mysterious organization which plays an important role in Shaanxi Province's and even in China's archeological research, training, and restoration of artifacts.
The organization's exhibits are not displayed for public viewing. Everyone who is interested in archaeology longs for a chance to see them. Travel with China Highlights and you will have a chance to have an exclusive look.
The organization has an exhibition hall, which is not so big, but the artifacts are quintessential state-level treasures. Your guide will introduce the organization and show you around at the exhibition hall.
There are four items from the Terracotta Warriors excavation. You can have a close look at them, rather than viewing at a distance with the tourist crowds at the museum/excavation site.
If you would like to take part in any of these exclusive experiences to China Highlights, please ask your travel advisor to add them to your itinerary. See more beyond ordinary activities in Xi'an.
Our Xi'an Tours Offer Many Terracotta Army Options