Xi’an is a truly ancient city. It is more than 3,000 years old and, for more than 1,000 years of it’s history, it was the imperial capital of China. 13 different dynasties ruled from here, and in total 73 different emperors ruled from Xi’an. That means, you’re going to find a ton of history centered in and around Xi’an.
One of the biggest attractions is the Terracotta warriors and the surrounding necropolis complex of the first emperor to unify China: Emperor Qin Shi Huan.- This necropolis is not a UNESCO world heritage site for nothing. If you have the chance to travel here, take it.
But, in addition to being an imperial capital, Xi’an was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. Traders from the world over voyages through deserts, mountains, plains, and every other point along the Silk Road just to come here to trade. For centuries, an unbelievable amount of wealth transferred from end to end, East to West, along the Silk Road.
Modern day Xi’an is a huge, cosmopolitan city with more than 6.5 million people calling it home. It is well connected to the rest of China by bus, train, and plane, so you have a lot of ways you can travel to or from here. And, like most Chinese cities, it is generally quite safe, with the most likely annoyance you’ll face during your travels being pickpockets and crazy drivers.
What to See
Give yourself a fair chunk of time to explore Xi’an and its history. Xi’an is big, and there are so many ancient sites, pagodas, temples, markets, and museums in the city and it’s surround area. Make sure to take the time to visit the Terracotta Warriors and the emperor’s necropolis, as there are few things like it on earth. Additionally, the Qianling Mausoleum and the Maoling Mausoleum provide you looks back at some important relics of Imperial China.
Meanwhile, religious sites like the Eight Immortals Temple, the Great Mosque of Xi’an, and the Wolong Temple, show off the diverse mix of religions and cultures that came together in Xi’an.
If you’re feeling especially brave, and want to do one of the most dangerous hikes on earth (of course you do), take a trip about 120 km east of Xi’an to the famous Mt. Huashan.
Xi’an is a major transportation hub. You can connect to the next legs of your journey by plane, train, or bus. You should have no trouble getting around.
Next stop on your Silk Road Journey: the city of Lanzhou
|Xi'an International Airport|
Xi'an International Airport
You can find the airport homepage here: http://www.xxia.com/en/
Xi//'an Xianyang internasjonale lufthavn, Xianyang, Shaanxi, China
|Xi'an Railway Station|
Xi'an Railway Station
Xi'an Railway Station is one of the two main railway stations of Xi'an. It is located on the Longhai Railway line just north of Xi'an's historical walled city. The Xi'an Railway Station had long been the main train station of the Xi'an metropolitan area. But, with the opening of Xi'an North Railway Station on the northern outskirts of the city in 2011, most of the high-speed service, including the G- and D-series trains of the Zhengzhou–Xi'an High-Speed Railway, have been transferred to the new station.
Xi'an Railway Station remains the main station for all "conventional" rail service in the city, including the overnight Z-series expresses, T-series express trains, and all slower service.
|Xi'an North Railway Station|
Xi'an North Railway Station
Xi'an North Railway Station (Xi'an Bei Train Station) is only for high-speed trains. It is located on Shangxin Road, in the Weiyang District. The station has 18 platforms with 34 lines. You can reach the station from downtown Xi'an by Line 2 of Xi'an Metro.
Xi'an North Railway Station is served by High-Speed Railway lines providing service to Zhengzhou, Zhengzhou East, Beijing West, Wuhan, Changsha South, Guangzhou South, Shenzhen North, and Yan'an. It takes only 1.5 hours to get to Zhengzhou; Only 2 hours to get to Lanzhou, Taiyuan, and Chengdu; Only 4.5 hours to Shanghai; and only 5.5 hours to Beijing.
Xi////'an North Railway Station, Xi////'an, Shaanxi, China
| Shaanxi Province Long-distance Bus Station|
Shaanxi Province Long-distance Bus Station
Shaanxi Xian Long Distance Coach Station is across the street from the Xian Railway Station. The station is a National First Level Coach Station and one of the most importation transportation hubs in Shaanxi Province. There are 25 transportation companies located in the station operating over 150 coach lines.
Destinations include: Henan, Ningxia, Gansu, Shanxi, Qinghai, Hebei, Tibet, Yulin, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, Hunan, Hubei, Chongqing, Guangdong, Sichuan, Baoji, Lintong, Chang'an, Qishan, Yanan, Dali, Tongchuan, Zhouzhi, Lantian, Famensi, and Huxian
354 Jiefang Road, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|Xian Coach Station|
Xian Coach Station
The Xian Coach Station plays an important role in connecting the city with surrounding counties and towns, such as Huxian, Zhouzhi, Qinzhen and Fengyu. At the same time, it also operates some lines to its neighboring cites. Daily, there are about 600 scheduled bus departures.
13 Fengqing Road, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|East Xian Bus Station|
East Xian Bus Station
The East Xian Bus Station, also known as Chengdong Coach Station, is located at No.103, Middle Changle Road, near the east gate of the old town of Xian. The station is home to more than 100 different coach lines. The coach lines can get to many cities within Shaanxi Province such as Weinan, Dali, Hancheng, Yanan and Yulin, and many other provinces such as Shanxi, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangzhou.
103 Changle Middle Road, Xi////'an, Shaanxi, China
|West Xian Bus Station|
West Xian Bus Station
The West Xian Bus Station, also known as the Chengxi Coach Station, is a major bus transportation hub. The coaches provide service to many provinces in Northwestern and Southwestern China, such as Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan and Chongqing. Coaches departing from the station can also get to Xianyang, Baoji and Hanzhong within Shaanxi Province.
Other destinations include: Lanzhou, Pingliang, Yanchi, Jingyuan, Xining, Inner Mongolia, Longchang, Puyang, Shenzhen, Linquan, Yantai, Chongqing, Xianyang, Baoji, and Hanzhong.
|South Xian Bus Station|
South Xian Bus Station
The South Xian Bus Station, also known as Chengnan Coach Station, mainly handles the long-distance buses to cities and counties in the south of Shaanxi Province such as Hanzhong, Ankang and Luonan. There are also coaches to some counties around Xian such as Huxian, Tangyu, and Dayukou.
Other destinations include: Hanyin, Ningqiang, Chenggu, Hanzhong, Huxian, Tangyu, Dayukou, Ankang and Mianqian.
78 Zhuque Street South Section, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|North Xian Bus Station|
North Xian Bus Station
The North Xian bus station, also called the Chengbei Coach Station, mainly handles long-distance buses to the cities and counties in northern Shaanxi Province such as Yulin, Yanan and Tongchuan. There are also coaches to cities and counties near Xian, such as Yanliang, Weinan and Sanyuan.
Other destinations include: Fuping, Xuezhen, Caocun, Tongchuan, Yuhuangong, Yijun, Diantou, Wangqiao, Sanyuan, Shijianqu, Yanliang, Jiaxian, Jingbian, Qingjian, Mizhi, Dingbian, Fugu, Daliuta, Shenmu, and Yanchi.
|Shaanxi History Museum|
Shaanxi History Museum
Xi'an was the capital of many ancient Chinese dynasties, and, as such, is rich with cultural relics. The Shaanxi History Museum is filled with more than 370,000 items of cultural significance to Chinese history. The exhibition halls are huge and the entire building is constructed in the style of the Tang dynasty.
Some of the highlights include:
91 Xiaozhai East Road, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|Forest of Steles Museum|
Forest of Steles Museum
The Stele Forest, also known as the Xi'an Beilin Museum, is a museum for steles and stone sculptures. It was founded in 1944, and it was the principal museum for Shaanxi province on the site of what was formerly an 11th-century Confucian Temple. It was officially renamed as the Forest of Stone Steles in 1992. All together, there are 3,000 steles in the museum, which is divided into seven exhibitions halls, and additionally displays works of calligraphy, painting and historical records.
You can find more information on TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d325708-Reviews-Forest_of_Stone_Steles_Museum-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
Beilin, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
Wolong Temple is an ancient buddhist temple that was constructed more than 1,800 years ago during the Lingdi's reign (AD 168-189). It is a peaceful spot, and a great place to stop and relax and observe local life.
You can see some photos and reviews of Wolong temple on TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d1801446-Reviews-Wolong_Temple-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
|Giant Wild Goose Pagoda|
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a holy Buddhist pagoda that was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty. It originally had five stories, however the structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming Dynasty. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang. Xuanzang made seventeen overland trips between China and India, bringing back relics and other important pieces of Buddhist history.
You can find more information on TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d324509-Reviews-Big_Wild_Goose_Pagoda_Dayanta-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
Daci///'en Temple, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|Small Wild Goose Pagoda|
Small Wild Goose Pagoda
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is one of two significant pagodas in the city. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built between 707–709, during the Tang Dynasty under Emperor Zhongzong of Tang. The pagoda originally stood 45 m (147 ft) tall until the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake. The earthquake shook the pagoda and damaged it so that it now stands at a height of 43 m (141 ft) with fifteen levels of tiers. During the Tang Dynasty, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda stood across a street from its mother temple, the Dajianfu Temple. Pilgrims brought sacred Buddhist writings to the temple and pagoda from India, as the temple was one of the main centers in Chang'an (Xi'an) for translating Buddhist texts.
You can find pictures and more information on the Small Wild Goose pagoda here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d506717-Reviews-Xi_an_Museum_Small_Goose_Pagoda_Xiaoyanta-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
|Bell Tower of Xi'an|
Bell Tower of Xi'an
The Bell Tower of Xi'an was built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty and is a symbol of the city of Xi'an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty. The tower base is square and it covers an area of 1,377 square meters. The tower is a brick and timber structure and close to 40 meters high. The Bell Tower is an imposing and impressive sight, and very beautiful at night, when the entire structure is lit up.
You can find reviews and photos of the Bell Tower here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d1801562-Reviews-Xi_an_Bell_Tower-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
The Drum Tower of Xi'an is located in the heart of Xi'an and, along with the Bell Tower, is a symbol of the city. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty, it stands towering above the city center and offers incredible view of Xi'an.
The Drum Tower got its name from the huge drum located within the building. In contrast to the Bell Tower, where bell was stricken at dawn, drum was beat at sunset to indicate the end of the day.
On the Drum Tower's first floor, lies a hall which hangs many large drums. Each is decorated with beautiful Chinese writing. The impressive arrays of drums are only on show and visitors are not allowed to touch any of them. But there is an extra drum near the front entrance where visitors can pose for pictures for a small fee.
Inside the Drum Tower there is also a drum museum, where a variety of drums are on display, some of which can be dated back thousands of years. There is a drum show performed here every day. The top of the tower commands a panoramic view of the city.
鼓楼, Beiyuanmen, Xian, Shaanxi, China
|Grand Mosque of Xi'an|
Grand Mosque of Xi'an
The Great Mosque of Xi'an is located near the Drum Tower on 30 Huajue Lane. The mosque is a sprawling complex and covers 130,000 square meters. It is the oldest and one of the most renowned mosques in the country, having been founded in 742. The majority of the existing Xi’an Grrand Mosque was constructed during the Ming Dynasty and further expanded in the Qing Dynasty. Unlike many other mosques on earth, the Great Mosque of Xi'an is constructed entirely in the Chinese style, aside from some calligraphy and other minor Arabic decorations.
You can view photos and more information on the Mosque of Xi'an here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d1839869-Reviews-Xi_an_Mosque-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
大清真寺, Xian, Shaanxi, China
|Eight Immortals Temple|
Eight Immortals Temple
A Taoist temple dedicated to the honor of the Eight Immortals (famous warrior/saints in Chinese culture and mythology). It was constructed during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and is still used for worship to this day.
You can view more information on it at TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d459795-Reviews-Temple_of_the_Eight_Immortals_Ba_Xian_An-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
八仙庵, Beihuoxiang, Xian, Shaanxi, China
|Daming Palace & National Heritage Park|
Daming Palace & National Heritage Park
The Daming Palace (meaning "Palace of Great Brilliance") was the imperial palace complex of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), located in its capital Chang'an (now known as Xi'an). It served as the royal residence of the Tang emperors for more than 220 years. Today, it is designated as a national heritage site of China. It is surrounded by a very spacious park, and the entire palace complex and park area is a designated national heritage site.
You can find more information and photos of the Daming Palace area on TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d1839864-Reviews-Daming_Palace_Ruins_of_Tang_Dynasty-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
Daming Palace National Heritage Park, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|The Terracotta Army of Warriors and Horses|
The Terracotta Army of Warriors and Horses
Also known just as the "Terracotta Army", it is one of the most significant archaeological finds in the world. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits and they include officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers who were in the process of digging a well. The army is huge, impressive, and something that everyone should see, given the chance.
For more information, check them out on TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d321017-Reviews-The_Museum_of_Qin_Terra_cotta_Warriors_and_Horses-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
And, honestly, just go see them.
|Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor|
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor to unify all of China, and his tomb sat unknown for millenia outside of Xi'an until being discovered by mistake in 1974 by some farmers. The Mausoleum was completed in 208 BC, after more than three decades of construction. The tomb itself has not been excavated, due to lack of funds, and the entire necropolis complex is largely unexplored. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the top sights in Xi'an. I'd recommend checking it out before viewing the Terracotta Army exhibit, to gain an appreciation of where the Terracotta soldiers have come from.
You can find more info on the Mausoleum here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d324506-Reviews-Tomb_of_Emperor_Qin_Shi_Huang-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
The Huaqing Pool, also known as the Huaqing Hot Springs, has been the playground/resort of emperors and their consorts since the 11th century BC. It is said that King You built a palace here during the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-711 BC). Additions were subsequently made by the First Emperor Qing (259 BC-210BC) and Emperor Wu during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24). It is famous as the supposed scene of Xuanzong's romance with his consort Yang Guifei, which was immortalized in Bai Juyi's poem "Song of Everlasting Regret".
You can find pictures and more information on the Huaqing Pool at TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d324508-Reviews-Huaqing_Hot_Springs-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
|Banpo Village Ruins|
Banpo Village Ruins
The museum at the Banpo Village Ruins contains artifacts and reconstructions of the villages based at the Banpo site. The ruins date from 5600-6700 years ago. The artifacts and ruins and Banpo represent one of the most complete examples of neolithic settlements in the world. For anyone interested in history or archaeology, this is a site I'd recommend checking out.
For more information and photos, check out TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d325791-Reviews-Banpo_Neolithic_Village-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
Famen Temple is a nearly 2,000 year old Buddhist temple located about 120km west of Xi'an in Fufeng County. It was likely constructed in the days of Emperor Huan of the Han Dynasty. IT went through alternating periods of prosperity and decline, depending upon the fortune and favor of the ruling dynasties. It is the site of a number of Buddhist relics, including a finger bone supposedly belonging to the Buddha. If you visit, be aware there is a 'New temple', which has been somewhat commercialized, and an 'Old temple' which is where many of the relics are held.
You can find more information on Famen temple at TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1382925-d459893-Reviews-Famen_Temple_Famen_Si-Fufeng_County_Shaanxi.html
Chongzheng Rd, Fufeng, Baoji, Shaanxi, China
Maoling Mausoleum is the tomb of Emperor Wu of Han, and is located in Xingping, about 40 km west of Xi'an. The tomb is the largest of all tombs built during the Han Dynasty. It is basically a giant pyramid built from rammed/compacted earth. Construction of the tomb began in 139 BC, the second year in the reign of Emperor Wu and took 53 years to complete.. About one third of the court's annual revenue from taxes and tributes was used towards construction of the tomb. Maoling is the largest in a group of more than 20 tombs. The smaller tombs surrounding it belong to former members of Emperor Wu's court, such as Lady Li, the emperor's favorite concubine, and the military strategist Huo Qubing.
You can find the TripAdvisor page for the Maooling Mausoleum here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1152607-d1805584-Reviews-Maoling_Mausoleum-Xingping_Shaanxi.html
The Qianling Mausoleum is a Tang Dynasty (618–907) tomb site located in Qian County, about 85 km northwest of Xi'an. It was built in 684 (with additional construction until 706), and the tombs of the mausoleum complex house the remains of various members of the royal Li family. This includes Emperor Gaozong of Tang (reigning from 649–83), as well as his wife, the Zhou Dynasty usurper and China's only governing female emperor Wu Zetian (r. 690–705). The mausoleum is renowned for its many Tang Dynasty stone statues located above ground and the mural paintings adorning the subterranean walls of the tombs. Besides the main tumulus mound and underground tomb of Gaozong and Wu Zetian, there is a total of 17 smaller attendant tombs or peizang mu. Presently, only five of these attendant tombs have been excavated by archaeologists.
You can find photos and more information on the Qianlang Mausoleum here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d459897-Reviews-Tomb_of_Emperor_Tang_Gaozong_Qianling-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
|Xiangyu Forest Park|
Xiangyu Forest Park
About 30 km southwest of Xi'an lies Xiangyu Forest Park. It's a great spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of Xi'an and enjoy some natural surroundings, with hiking, the forest, and creeks.
Mount Huashan is about 120 km east of Xi'an and is one of China's five sacred mountains. IT has five separate peaks, each with varying degrees of difficulty in ascending. It is also known as one of the most insane hikes in the world. You know those crazy bolted-onto-the-mountain bridges you've probably seen in travel magazines? Yeah, those are here.
You can find more photos and information on Mount Huashan here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1152609-d324861-Reviews-Mount_Huashan-Huayin_Shaanxi.html
Huashan Mountain, Xinxiang, Henan, China
The Tang Paradise is a themed park in the southeast part of Xi'an, built to resemble ancient Chinese construction and architecture. It's built on the site of an earlier garden complex constructed during the Tang dynasty. At night, there is a Lake Show, featuring lasers, video projection onto water screens, fountains and other special effects.
You can find photos and reviews of the Tang Paradise on TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d595333-Reviews-Tang_Paradise-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
Tang Paradise, Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|Tomb of the Emperor Jingdi - Han yang ling Museum|
Tomb of the Emperor Jingdi - Han Yang Ling Museum
Located about 20km north of Xi'an, the Han Yang Ling Museum is a quieter museum (much less busy than the Terracotta warriors museum), and is centered around the mausoleum of the Emperor Jingdi, who was the fourth emperor of the Han dynasty. Also buried here is his royal consort, Empress Wang. There are numerous terracotta warriors, animals, and chariots here, most of them constructed in miniature. It really is an impressive and fascinating sight.
For more photos and information, check out TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298557-d506715-Reviews-Tomb_of_Emperor_Jingdi_Hanyangling-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html
|Xi'an Green Forest Hostel|
Xi'an Green Forest Hostel
Located at 4F, No.9 North Off Main Street, the Green Forest Hostel is only 80 meters away from the Anyuanmen subway station. Rates are about $6 for a mixed dorm room and about $21 for a deluxe private room.
You can book a room with them by clicking here.
Xi///'an, Shaanxi, China
|Han Tang Inn Hostel|
Han Tang Inn Hostel
Located at NO.7 Nan Chang Xiang, South of Xincheng Square, the Han Tang Inn Hostel is located within easy walking distance of the metro, the Muslim Quarter, Shaanxi History Museum and much more in central Xi'an. This clean and friendly hostel features hot showers and western toilets. Rates range from about $8.50 for a mixed dorm, to about $17.50 for a private room.
You can book with them by clicking here.
中国陕西省西安市新城区Han Tang Inn Hostel汉唐驿青年酒店
|Han Tang House|
Han Tang House
Han Tang House is set in a quiet street surrounded by restaurants and supermarkets and is within walking distance to many of the city's main sights. This hostel is often compared favourably to a hotel, particularly for their clean, ensuite rooms featuring comfortable beds. There are a number of free things to do around the hostel, including free Chinese lessons, free weekly dumpling parties and free use of their mahjong, chess sets and guitar. Rates tend to range from about $6 for a mixed dorm to about $17 for a private room.
You can book with them by clicking here.
32 Nan Chang Xiang, Xi//'an, Shaanxi, China
|Shuyuan International Party Hostel|
Shuyuan International Party Hostel
Located at No.2 Shunchengxixiang, Shuyuan International Party Hostel is located about five minutes' walk from the metro going to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Stele Forest Museum, and is also within walking distance of the Muslim Quarter and Shaanxi History Museum. This hostel features free weekly BBQs and dumpling parties as well as Western food in their bar and restaurant.
You can book with them by clicking here.
|Ancient City Youth Hostel|
Ancient City Youth Hostel
Xi’an Ancient City Youth Hostel is perfectly located at the center of city- Bei Da Street where the subway Line 1 and Line 2 join. The hostel is well and modern designed. There are different sizes of rooms, from 4-bed dorm to triple room to meet guests’ needs. The rooms are clean and comfortable, equipped with telephone, internet access, TV, air-conditioning and 24 hours hot water.
You can book with them by clicking here.
Ancient City International Youth Hostel, Lianhu Road, Xi//'an, Shaanxi, China