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.

The scenery outside of the city wall.

Guang Ren Temple was built in 1703.

Bell tower from Ancient City Wall.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

* Muslims are free to enter.

Opening Hours: 08:00-19:00

Recommended visiting time: 1-2 Hours

How to get there?

By Metro: Take Metro Line 2 and get off at Zhonglou (Bell Tower) Station. Get out from Exit B. Walk towards west for around 6 minutes and you can see the Drum Tower. Then follow the above route to get to the mosque.

By Bus: Take bus No. 7, 15, 32, 205, 215, 221, 222, 251, 252, 612, 618 or Tourist Line 8 (No. 610) and get off at Zhonglou Xi (Bell Tower West) Station. Walk north to the Drum Tower and then walk northwest along the Huajue Lane for around 5 minutes to reach the mosque.

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

5. Muslim Street 回民街


Great halal food. I heard it will be more crowded and happening during Ramadan period!

The goodies we got for our family and friends.

How to get there?

It is located right beside Drum Tower. On route to Great Mosque.

Shops and stalls opening time: 0800-2300

Free Admission

Recommended visiting time: 2 hours.

6. Da Ming Palace National Heritage Park, 大明宮遺址

Da Ming Palace was burned out in the flames of war at the end of the Tang Dynasty.

Admission Fee:

RMB 60 for cultural relics preservation and exhibition area including Danfeng Gate Heritage Museum, Daming Palace Heritage Museum, Archaeology Discovery Center and all individual palaces; the other two thirds area of the park is admitted for free. RMB 30 for the Legend of Daming Palace (a movie). RMB 95 for a combo ticket including cultural relics preservation area, movie ticket and battery cars.

Note: 1. Children under 1.2 m (3.9 ft) can enter for free. 2. Entrance ticket for children between 1.2-1.5 m (3.9-4.9 ft) is RMB 30 per person.

Opening Hours:

March to October: 08:30-18:00 November to next February: 09:00-18:00

How to get there?

By Bus: 1. Take bus No. 2, 262, 528, 708, 717 or 723 and get off at Danfengmen (Danfeng Gate) Station. 2. Take bus No. 2, 17, 22, 38, 104, 209, 263, 309, 409, 517, 703, 703 (branch) or 801 and get off at Hanyuandian (Hanyuan Palace) Station or Daminggong Guojia Yizhi Gongyuan (Daming Palace National Heritage Park) Station. By Metro: Take Metro Line 2 to Daminggong Xi (Daming Palace West) Station and get out from Exit D. Walk towards east for 2 km (1.2 mi) or take a taxi with the cost of around RMB 10 in 5 minutes to the palace.

Recommended visiting time: 3-4 hours (without buggy service)

TIPS: Da Ming Palace is really really big. If you have budget, you can get the package with RMB 60. But if you are not, you can get the RMB 90 combo ticket with the buggy service to bring you around. I really cannot imagine how people has to transmit an urgent message to the palace back in the old days. LOL.

7. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda,大雁塔

Admission Fee:

Da Ci'en Temple: RMB 50 Ascending the Pagoda: CNY 30 Note: Those who want to ascend the pagoda should buy the entrance ticket of Da Ci'en Temple as well.

Opening Hours:

8:00 - 17:00

Musical Fountain on the North Square:

Admission Fee: Free


Jun. 10 – Oct. 5 Mon., Wed. – Fri.: 12:00, 21:00. Tue.:21:00

Feb. – Jun. 9; Oct. 6 – Oct. 31Mon., Wed. – Fri.: 12:00, 20:30 Tue.:20:30

Note: 1. Extra performances in weekends and holidays are at 14:00, 16:00 and 18:00; 2. No show from Nov. to Jan., expect the Chinese New Year Holiday.

How to get there?

By Bus: Take bus 5, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 34, 41, 44, 224, 242, 271, 307, 400, 401, 408, 500, 521, 526, 527, 601, 606, 609, 701, Qujiang Tourist Bus, Huan Shan Tour Bus 1 & 2, Tourist Bus Line 6 & 8 & 9 and get off at Dayanta (Big Wild Goose Pagoda) Station. By Metro: Take Metro Line 3 to Dayanta Station directly. Take Metro Line 2 to Xiaozhai Station (Exit C) and walk eastward for 10 minutes.

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

8. Ancient culture street, 書院門

How to Get to Shuyuanmen:

1. Take Bus No. 6, 11, 12, 16, 23, 26, 29, 31, 35, 36, 40, 46, 203, 204, 208, 215, 215 (branch), 216, 221, 222, 239, 258, 311, 321, 323, 402, 405, 501, 502, 512, 600, 603, 605, 608, 608 (branch), 609, 616, 701, 704, 706, 707, 800, 910 or Tourist Bus No. 7 to Nanmen (South Gate) Stop. 2. Take Metro Line 2 to Yongningmen (Yongning Gate) Stop.

Opening Hours:

A whole day (stores in Shuyuanmen usually open from 9:00 to 22:00)

Recommended visiting time: 1 hour

9. Small Wild Goose Pagoda,小雁塔

Photo from https://www.topchinatravel.com/china-attractions/small-wild-goose-pagoda.htm

Admission Fee:

Entering Jianfu Temple: Free of charge on ordinary days;

RMB 20 to 25 during the temple fair from 1st to 15th of the first lunar month.

Ascending the Small Wild Goose Pagoda: RMB 30

Opening Hours:

March 15-October 31: 09:00-18:00 (Ticket selling stops at 17:00) November 1-March 14: 09:00-17:30 (Ticket selling stops at 16:30) Close: Every Tuesday (except for Chinese national holidays) * During the temple fair, the temple allows entry until 21:00 and is emptied at 22:00, while the Small Wild Goose Pagoda closes at 16:30 as usual.

How to Get There

By Bus: 1. Take bus No. 18, 21, 29, 32, 40, 46, 203, 204, 218, 224, 258, 407, 410, 508, 521, 618, 700, 707, 713, Tourist Line 7 or Tourist Line 8 (610), get off at Xiaoyanta (Small Wild Goose Pagoda) Station and get in through the North Gate. 2. Take bus No. 18, 203, 204, 218, 258, 407, 410, 713 or Tourist Line 7 and get off at the Xiajiazhuang Station. Walk north for around 4 minutes and get in through West Gate. By Metro: Take Metro Line 2, get off at Nanshaomen Station, and leave from Exit A1 or A2. Walk west about 6 minutes and get in through the North Gate.

information from https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shaanxi/xian/small_goose.htm

10. Xi An Forest of Stone Steles Musuem or Beilin Museum,西安碑林博物館

A themed museum focusing on displays of stone steles, epigraphs and stone sculptures from past dynasties.

Admission Fee:

Entrance Fee March to November: RMB 75

December to the next February: RMB 50

* Children between 1.2 - 1.4 meters (3.9 - 4.6 feet) enjoy half price tickets.

* Children under 1.2 meters are free of charge.

* A combo ticket for this museum and Xian City Wall costs RMB 100.

Opening Hours:

Mar. - Apr.: 08:00 - 18:15 May - Oct. 7: 08:00 - 18:45 Oct. 8 - Nov.: 08:00 - 18:15 Dec. - Feb.: 08:00 - 18:00 * Tickets selling stops 45 minutes earlier.

How to get there:

How to get to Forest of Stone Steles MuseumTake bus no.14, 23, 40, 208, 216, 221, 222, 258, 309, 402, 512, 800 or 910 and get off at Wen Chang Men (Wen Chang Gate) Station. Walk north for 5 minutes to the Forest of Stone Steles Museum.

Recommended visiting time: 3 Hours

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

Time passed very fast especially we truly enjoyed our days together in Xi An. I wish it never ends. But that is impossible.

However I am looking forward for more adventure trips with you, my best travel buddy.

Thank you for taking care of me all the time. Especially during the trip.

ILY. <3

That is the end of #杰羚在西安.

Click the link below to bring you to my itinerary in Xi An.

-5 Jun 2017-

ZhaShui, 柞水

ZhiShui Karst Cave, 榨水溶洞

*back to Xi An*

Shu Yuan Men, 書院門

Bell Tower, Drum Tower, 鐘樓,鼓樓

Muslim Street, 回民街


-6 Jun 2017-

Hua Shan, 華山

One of the world's most dangerous mountain.


-7 Jun 2017-

Luo Yang, 洛陽

LongMen Grottoes, 龍門石窟

Luoyang old street, 洛陽老街

Li Jing Men, 麗景門


-8 Jun 2017-

Lin Tong, 臨潼

Hua Qing Palace, Mount Li, 楊貴妃清華池, 驪山

Terracotta, 兵馬俑

*back to Xi An*

Big Goose Pagoda, 大雁塔


-9 Jun 2017-

Xi An, 西安

Xi An City Wall

Da Ming Palace National Heritage Park


Photos are taken by Panasonic GF9 & iPhone 7 Plus

Information are from https://www.travelchinaguide.com/

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Samantha Lau

Holding a Bachelor (HONS) in Dance, travelling around the world with my dancing feet.


Click on " About Me" to know more about me!


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