10 Places to visit in Xi An, China

Drum tower with decorated light in the evening.

I am bringing you to Xi An, Shaanxi this time!

To be honest, 7D 5N in Xi An is not enough. Maybe because we spent most of our time traveled out of Xi An. That's why we didn't have much time to discover Xi An itself. If we have one more day here, we would go to Deng Feng to visit Shaolin Temple. However, we never give up any opportunities and time we had in Xi An. So we explored Xi An when we came back early from other districts.

Here are my recommendations to the main attractions you will not want to miss out in Xi An!

(Ranking arranged based on my experience and liking)

1. Xi An City Wall 西安城牆

One of the most complete city walls that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.

Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆

The scenery outside of the city wall.

Guang Ren Temple was built in 1703.

Xi An City Wall 西安城牆

Bell tower from Ancient City Wall.

Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆

Xi An City Wall covers 13.74km in total length with 18 gates, encircling the rectangled city center of Xian.

To enter Xi An City Wall you must enter from the underground either from South Gate, Small South Gate, East Gate, West Gate, North Gate, Heping Gate, Wenchang Gate and Hanguang Gate.

To visit this almost 14km Ancient City wall of Xi An, I highly recommend you to rent a bicycle.

Xi An City Wall 西安城牆

The rental fee for single bicycle is RMB 45 for 2 hours, Tandem bicycle is RMB90 for 2 hours.

To be honest, 2 hours is a bit rush because you would want to stop by to take pictures and admire the sceneries. However, the charges for every extra 10 minutes is RMB 5 for a bicycle, RMB 10 for tandem bicycle. You can return the bicycle at every bicycle station. So we decided to return it on time even though we are only 5 minutes away from our starting point. We slowly walk to the souvenir store under the gloomy sky and drizzling rain and enjoyed the ancient Xi An at the same time.A

Xi An City Wall 西安城牆
Xi An City Wall 西安城牆

We got ourself a very cute and unique souvenir. A soldier of Xi An City Wall. We named it POK-KEK (Chicken in Hokkien) because of it's helmet looks like chicken crest. HAHA!

Admission Fee:

RMB 54 for adults. RMB 27 for children between 1.2 and 1.4 meters (3.9 - 4.6 feet)

free for children under 1.2 meters.

Opening Hours :

South Gate: 8:00 - 22:00 East/North/West Gate, Wenchang Gate, Heping Gate, Shangde Gate: Apr: 8:00 - 18:00; May to Oct: 8:00 - 19:00; Nov to next Mar: 8:00 - 18:00 Hanguang Gate: May to Oct: 8:00 - 19:00; Nov to next Apr: 8:00 - 18:00.

Free Performances at the South Gate:

Warrior Parade Performance (Barbican): 11:00, 14:00, 17:00.

Relieving Guard Ceremony: 10:00. 15:00.

Perfromance: Dream Back to Chang'an

Jul. - Oct.: 20:30-21:00 from Tuesday to Sunday Nov. – Jun.: 20:30-21:00 from Thursday to Sunday

Note: Two performances at 20:00 and 21:30 during May Day and National Day holidays.

CNY260, with the ticket of the city wall included; Free for children under 1.2 meters.

How to get there?

Metro : Metro Line 2, Yongning Men Station to go up to city wall from South Gate

Or get off at Anyuanmen Station to go up to city wall from North Gate.

Or buses. (Many buses operating to City Wall. Depending on which gate is nearer for you)

Recommended visiting time: 3.5 hours to cycle the city wall.

Information from https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shaanxi/xian/citywall.htm

2. Bell tower 鐘樓

Bell tower 鐘樓

The Bell Tower was built in the 17th year of Hongwu (1384 A.D) of Ming Dynasty. It gained its name for a huge bell hung in the tower to tell the time.

Bell tower 鐘樓
Bell tower 鐘樓

The busy city of Xi An from Bell tower overlooking Xi An City wall at the other end.

Bell tower 鐘樓
Bell tower 鐘樓
Bell tower 鐘樓
Bell tower 鐘樓
Bell tower 鐘樓
Bell tower 鐘樓
Bell tower 鐘樓

Bell Tower at night.

Admission Fee:

Bell Tower only: RMB 35

Drum Tower only: RMB 35

Joint ticket of Bell and Drum Tower: RMB 50

Note: Children under 1.4 m (4.6 ft) can enter for free when accompanied by an adult.​

Opening Hours:

March 26-October 25: 08:30-21:00 (Ticket selling stops at 20:30.)

October 26-next March 25: 08:30-18:00 (Ticket selling stops at 17:30.)

How to get there?

Metro, Line 2 to Zhong Lou, Bell Tower.

Recommended visiting time: 1 Hour

3. Drum Tower, 鼓樓

the sister building of Bell Tower 鼓樓

Drum Tower, 鼓樓
Drum Tower, 鼓樓

We didn't manage to visit drum tower on first neither the last day. Wish we could stay for another day to finish all the attractions in Xi An. But since they have the bundle deal with Bell tower, why not get the package right?

It is only walking distance from bell tower (6 minutes walk). There are shopping mall and also Muslim street right beside Drum tower!

Admission Fee:

Bell Tower only: RMB 35

Drum Tower only: RMB 35

Joint ticket of Bell and Drum Tower: RMB 50

Note: Children under 1.4 m (4.6 ft) can enter for free when accompanied by an adult.​

Opening Hours:

March 26-October 25: 08:30-21:00 (Ticket selling stops at 20:30.)

October 26-next March 25: 08:30-18:00 (Ticket selling stops at 17:30.)

Drum Musical Performance Timetable:

09:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 14:00, 14:45, 15:30, 16:20

How to get to Drum Tower?

Take Metro Line 2 and get off at Zhonglou (Bell Tower) Station. Get out from Exit B. Walk towards west for around 6 minutes.

Recommended Visiting Time: 1 Hour

4. Great Mosque,大清真寺

Photo from https://www.thousandwonders.net/Great+Mosque+of+Xi%27an

Great Mosque is another attraction we didn't get the time to visit.

It became one of the famous attraction because it was is one of the earliest Islamic mosques built in the world and marks the beginning of the spread of Islam in the Far East. It was also built entirely in the architectural in Chinese Style.

Information from https://www.thousandwonders.net/Great+Mosque+of+Xi%27an

Admission Fee :

March-November: RMB 25

December-next February: RMB 15