Xian Travel Guide

Last updated by peggie at 2014/5/26

Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army Museum, selected as one of Top 10 Things to Do in China, lie 1.5 km east to the Tomb of Qin First Emperor.

Huashan Mountain

Huashan Mountain

Mount. Hua is located some 240 kilometers away from Xi'an, approximately a two and half hours drive. It is one of the five sacred mountains in China. Mount. Hua is well-known for its sheer cliffs and plunging ravines. It is the most dangerous mountain in China for climbers.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Standing in the Da ci'en Temple of a southern suburb of Xi'an, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the most famous Chinese ancient structures and has been viewed as the landmark of Xi'an. 

Xian City Wall

Xian City Wall

The first landmark visitors will encounter in Xi'an is the ancient city wall, which stretches round the old city. The northern side runs parallel to the railway. Xi'an was originally a walled city, and even today the wall is considered a landmark dividing the city into the inner part and the outer part. The city wall is massive - tall, long and thick. The South Gate and North Gate are the two main entrances to the inner city. The city itself is neatly arranged along the city wall.

Xian Overview

Xi'an, anciently known as Chang'an (meaning "eternal peace"), is the capital of Shaanxi Province and the biggest city in the northwest of China. It boasts a mild climate, fertile soil, beautiful scenery, abundant products, and numerous historical relics and sites.

Your kids will love to see the Terracotta Army!

Extending 116 kilometers from north to south, and 204 kilometers from east to west, Xi'an covers an area of 9,983 square kilometers (including the urban area of 1066 square kilometers), with nine districts and four counties under its jurisdiction.  According to the 2003 census, it has a population of 7,160,000.

Xi'an has a long history. An old saying in China tells the unique position of this legendary city: "If you want to see China of 100 years ago, visit Shanghai; China of 500 years ago, Beijing; China of 2000 years ago, Xi'an."  During its 3,100 years of development, 12 dynasties, including the Western Zhou (1046 BC-771 BC), Qin (221 BC-206 BC), Western Han (206 BC-25 AD), and Tang (618-907), made their capitals here for over 1,100 years, leaving abundant legacies to the city. During the Western Han and Tang dynasties, Xi'an was China's political, economic, cultural, and foreign exchange center, where people from all over the world lived in harmony. It was also the first stop on the Silk Road, linking up the oriental and western civilizations. The saying "In the east, there is Rome, in the west, Chang'an," best described the position of Xi'an at that time. Nowadays, Xi'an enjoys an equal fame with Athens, Cairo, and Rome as "one of the four major capitals of ancient civilization".

 

Xi'an boasts more than 4,000 historical sites, with over 120,000 pieces of unearthed cultural relics. There are 314 historical sites under protection, 84 of which are under provincial-level and national-level protection. Famous places of historical figures and cultural heritage include the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, Banpo Village Remains, the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty, the Forest of Stone Steles Museum, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, Huaqing Pool, and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and Small Wild Goose Pagoda. The Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses is praised as "the eighth major miracle of the world". The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is the first Chinese historical site listed on the World Heritage List. The Neolithic Banpo Village Remains (approximately 7000 BC to 5000 BC) evidences early human activities in a matriarchal society. The Forest of Stone Steles Museum holds 3,000 stone steles of different periods, from the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

The natural landscape around Xi'an is also marvelous. Huashan Mountain, one of the five best-known mountains in China, is famous for its breath-taking cliffs and unique beauty.

Top Things to Do in Xian

See the full list of things to do in Xian.

Xian Travel Guide

How to Travel in Xian: Suggested Itineraries

  • Travel to Xian in 1 Day:
    Arrival - The Terracotta Warriors and Horses - City Wall - Departure
  • Travel to Xian in 2 Day:
    Day 1: Arrival - Muslim Quarter - City Wall 
    Day 2: Big Wild Pagoda - the Terracotta Warriors and Horse - Departure

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Recommended Tours:

 

Xian Facts

  • City Name: Xian (西安,xī ān)
  • Population: 8.5 million
  • Location: Northwest China
  • Features: Ancient Capital of China
  • Area Code: 029
  • Zip Code: 710000

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