Would you like to stop in Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Army, for a few days of your international journey? Don't want the hassle and cost of a China visa?
You're in the right place. See how you can benefit from Xi'an's 144-hour (6-day) visa-free transit policy.
As of December 1, 2019, Xi'an has a 144-Hour Visa-Free Travel policy in effect, replacing the 72-hour policy. This means that international transit passengers using Xi'an Xianyang International Airport can enjoy a longer visa-free layover in Xi'an and adjacent Xianyang if they meet the requirements.
Here, we present useful information about the policy and how to take advantage of it for touring and visits.
Rules and Conditions
Visit Xi'an with your passport and air tickets, but NO visa!
The locality covered under the policy: only Xi'an and Xianyang municipal areas. You may not travel to e.g. nearby Huashan or any other destination outside these areas or else you will invalidate your visa-free stay.
Eligible port: Xianyang International Airport (XYI).
Eligible countries: In the Americas: the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile; in Oceania: Australia, New Zealand; in Europe: Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, Monaco; in Asia: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.
Necessary documents: passport (valid for at least 3 months); confirmed air ticket to a third country; a visa to the third country if required; a filled out arrival/departure card.
Eligible Transit Routes
This policy requires that passengers must be in transit to a third country or a Specially Administered Region of China. Making a round trip from/to the same country doesn't qualify.
Your itinerary should be departure country → Xi'an → a third country or region. For example, UK → Xi'an → Australia is an acceptable itinerary.
Hong Kong and Macau are considered to be regions separate from Mainland China for international transit purposes, and you won’t need a visa if you transit in either of these Special Administrative Regions (SARs). You can include them in your itinerary like this: USA → Xi'an → Hong Kong → USA.
How to Make a 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Xi'an
1) Inform your carrier of your intent to use the 144-hour TWOV (Transit Without a Visa).
2) Fill in arrival and departure cards (available on your flights).
3) Apply for the 144-hour visa-free stay at the dedicated counter on your arrival.
4) Claim your luggage, go through customs, and exit the airport.
5) Leave from the Xianyang airport within 144 hours from 00:00 on the day after arrival.
See more on China's 144-Hour Visa-Free Policies.
Essential Xianyang Airport Travel Info
- Chinese: 西安咸阳国际机场 Xī'ān Xiányáng Guójì Jīchǎng
- Airport code: XYI
Xi'an Xianyang International Airport is the second busiest international transport hub in northern China (45th in the world), so traveling to a third destination outside of Mainland China, you are likely to find suitable connecting flights in East Asia, though few direct flights to America/Europe/Oceania.
There are flights to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and some cities in southern and eastern Asia, Europe and North America.
The airport is convenient for city visits if you have a private driver. It is only half an hour away by vehicle. Our 1-Day Xi'an Private Highlights Tour will help you save time and give you a hassle-free tour with airport pickup and transport to your hotel if you require it.
4 Top Things to Do on a Xi'an Visa-Free Layover
1. Check In at Xi'an Old City: See the Wall and Its Museums, Famous Buildings, and Food and Shopping Streets
Central Beilin District is the ancient center of Xi'an with the best hotels for tourists next to the main Xi'an attractions. For first-time travelers, Beilin is the best place to stay. It is one of the busiest areas in Xi’an. There are many attractions such as the Bell Tower - the landmark of the city center, and the City Wall of Xi’an.
Convenient transportation is available in Beilin. Metro lines 1 and 2 intersect at the central hub station, so it is easy to reach other parts of the city from the city center. It will take about 50 minutes to get to the Terracotta Army and 50 minutes to get to the airport. See our One-Way Private Transfers between Xi'an Airport (Train Station) and Your Hotel.
Several shopping and pedestrian streets including Bell Tower Commercial Area and the Muslim Street are in Beilin District. You can enjoy street foods and fine dining while you shop.
Since it is a good location, there are multiple accommodation options, from luxury hotels to cheap hotels. See The Top 6 Areas to Stay in Xi'an.
2. See the Terracotta Army, the "World's Eighth Wonder"
The Terracotta Army Museum is China's top very ancient imperial museum and Xi'an's highlight that attracts about 1 million visitors a year.
We can pick you up at the airport and take you on a Daily VIP Xi'an Terracotta Warriors and City Discovery Tour to discover the amazing history and vivid stories behind the terracotta figures.
3. See Other Good Museums such as Shaanxi History Museum
Shaanxi History Museum is conveniently located near the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. It is one of the top museums in China where you can see a variety of precious articles from all over Shaanxi Province and learn about the history of China.
For more options, see the Top Museums in Xi'an - Many of the Best in China
4. Chow Down on Xi'an Food
Xi'an cold noodles are a traditional food that has a Korean favor. People call it a longevity noodle (meaning auspicious). Other local street snacks you could enjoy at roadside stands include yogurt, persimmon cakes, and shish kabobs.
Northern China cuisine is the traditional cuisine of Xi'an. We can help you find the best authentic local restaurants for your tastes and expectations on our private tours.
Get Expert Help for Your Ideal Visa-Free Xi'an Stopover Tour
To fully enjoy a stopover in Xi'an and save your time, let us help you to prepare your transport, accommodations and restaurant reservations. We can help you avoid all the problems of travel in Xi'an, from exposure to counterfeit money to getting lost, to cons by taxi drivers.
Here are some recommended Xi'an tour plans.
- Two-Day Xi'an Panoramic Tour: Have a "panoramic" view of the imperial city of Xi'an.
- Our 3-day Essence of Xi'an Tour takes you to major attractions around the city such as Shaanxi History Museum, the Terracotta Army, and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
- 4-Day Xi'an Ancient Relics Tour: Discover more about Xi'an - the capital of 13 ancient dynasties - to reveal more about China's ancient civilization.
Contact us to inquire about a unique and hassle-free Xi'an stopover tour, customized to your needs.