Top 10 Attractions in Xiamen, Top Things to Do in Xiamen

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Plan your Xiamen tour?  We have listed the top 10 attractions in Xiamen, which may assist you planning your short trip to Xiamen. Xiamen is a coastal city in Fujian Province of southeastern China.

Xiamen and the surrounding countryside are famous for being an ancestral home to overseas Chinese. It became one of China’s earliest Special Economic Zones in the 1980s. Xiamen was recently voted China’s cleanest city, and has many attractions for the tourist.

Xiamen and its surrounding countryside provides spectacular scenery and pleasant tree-lined beaches. The most attractive place should be the Gulangyu Island.

No. 01: Gulangyu Island
Gulangyu, or “Drum Wave Islet”, is a car free island off the coast of Xiamen City, which is quite small and is across from the ferry terminal on Xiamen Island near Xiamen University.

Gulangyu Island covers an area of 1.78 square kilometers and stands opposite to Xiamen City across the sea. It is home to about 20,000 people and is a very popular tourist destination. Among the many scenic spots on the island, the most attractive are Sunlight Rock and the Shuzhuang Garden.

Gulangyu Island is renowned for its beaches and winding lanes and its varied architecture. The island is on China’s list of National Scenic Spots and also ranks at the top of the list of the ten most-scenic areas in Fujian Province.

Entrance Fee: Free ( walking around the island )
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: Visitors can reach it by ferry from Xiamen Island in about 5 minutes.

Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island

No. 02: Oversea Chinese Museum
Located at the foot of Fengchao Hill, the 
Xiamen Overseas Chinese Museum is a comprehensive museum that highlights the history of overseas Chinese, and the only Chinese museum set up by overseas Chinese.

The Oversea Chinese Museum was founded by the Chinese philanthropist Chen Jiageng. It is a building with a building area of more than 3,000 square meters, displaying more than 7000 exhibits. Special exhibitions of the museum include Unearthed Mummies in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolian Folk Relics and Ancient Technological Achievements of Chinese Agriculture, etc.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: 9:30-16:30
How to get there: take Buses No. 1, 2, 15, 18, 21 or 45 to Bowuguan Station

No. 03: Nanputuo Temple
The Nanputuo Temple is located on the southeast of Xiamen Island. It is surrounded by the graceful sea and the Wulao Peaks behind the temple.Nanputuo literally means South Putuo.Putuo referring to the mountain in Zhejiang province.

The buildings include Devajara Hall (the Hall of Heavenly Kings), Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), Dabei Hall (the Hall of Great Compassion) and a Pavilion built in 1936.The monks of Nanputuo are often seen on the nearby busy downtown streets. The Nanputuo Temple is a very famous Buddhist temple founded in the Tang era.

Entrance Fee: CNY 3
Opening Hours: 08:00-20:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 45, 87, 17, 18, 29 or 47 from the downtown area to the Nanputuo Temple

Nanputuo Temple

Nanputuo Temple

No. 04: Hulishan Fortress
Hulishan Fortress, which is a spectacular site surrounded by walls made of granite and impressive gates, is located at the southern tip of 
Xiamen Island.Hulishan Fortress was built in 1891, occupying an area of 13,000 square meters.

Its buildings are distinctively preserved  to the military style of the Ming Dynasty and also that of the Qing Dynasty.The fortress is composed of the barracks, a secret tunnel, a tower, a sentry platform, the ammunition depot, the trench, and the castle.

The German-made Krupp Cannon is the largest existing coast cannon of its kind in the world.

Entrance Fee: CNY 25
Opening Hours: 7:30-18:00
How to get there: There are many buses can arrive the Hulishan Fortress, including Buses No. 35, 96, 812, 616, 618, 531, 503, 811, 809, 106, 87, 86, 82, 48, 47, 29, 22, etc.

Hulishan Fortress

Hulishan Fortress

No. 05: Jimei School Village
On the side of the bank facing north 
Xiamen Island, stands a small town, Jimei, a famous tourist resort, with beautiful scenery and rich cultural relics.

Jimei School Village was built in 1993 with funds provided by a famous philanthropist and educationalist who was a native of Xiamen named Mr. Tan Kah-kee.

Occupying an area of 100,000 sq meters, Jimei School Village has universities, colleges, secondary schools, primary schools and kindergartens with 10,000 students and teachers. Jimei School Village is well-known at home and abroad for its tradition of fine education, and for its excellent facilities.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: there are shuttle buses between Xiamen Train Station and Jimei School Village., including Buses No. 18, 50, 52, 54, 56, 66 and 67.

Jimei School Village

Jimei School Village

No. 06: Wanshi Botanical Garden
Wanshi Botanical Garden, also known as the 
Xiamen Botanical Garden, is a carefully designed botanical garden around Modanyan Reservoir on the northern slope of Shi Mountain in southeast urban area of Xiamen.

Modanyan reservoir was built in 1952 with extension of Wanshi Botanical Garden. It is divided into more than 20 botanical zones, cultivating grounds and display rooms for more than tens of thousands of cultivated tropical.

Wanshi Botanical Garden has scenic spots such as the Morning Bell of Heaven, the Reading and Music Playing Cave, the Cloud Locking Stones, the Jade Scepter Rock and the Peace Stone.

Entrance Fee: CNY 40
Opening Hours: 05:00-18:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 3, 18, 19, 21 or 809 and get off at Yizhong Station; or take Bus No. 87 and get off at Zhiwuyuan Station

Wanshi Botanical Garden

Wanshi Botanical Garden

No. 07: Zhongshan Road in Xiamen
Walking along Zhongshan Pedestrian Street(中山路步行街) in Xiamen is worth your valuable time for your short trip to Xiamen. Most visitors would come to Zhongshan Walking Street either before or after going to Gulangyu Island since the west starting point of Zhongshan Road is just across the ferry terminal.

Avoid going to the Zhongshan Walking Street on weekends or China holidays. Zhongshan Road is bright and alive at night with different colours. Zhongshan Road is teeming with shops and street vendors. Zhongshan Road is more than just a commercial street,  it is a leisure, entertainment and food center in Xiamen.

Over 200 shops lines up the street with clear chain store outlets and trinket shops. Most of the buildings along the Zhongshan Road are a combination of Victoria-era and Chinese traditional architectures, a kind of two-storey buildings known as “Qi Lou” (riding across buildings). Qi Lou is designed both for commerce and living.

Zhongshan Road in Xiamen

Zhongshan Road in Xiamen

No. 08 Sunlight Rock
Sunlight Rock is also known as Dragon Head Hill. As the highest point of Gulangyu Island, Sunlight Rock Scenic Area includes Sunlight Rock and Piano Garden.

There is a saying that if you haven’t ascended Sunlight Rock, you haven’t really been to Xiamen. Perched atop Sunlight Rock is a gigantic stone with a diameter of over 40 meters.

Sunlight Rock Temple is one of the four top Buddhist temples in Xiamen. The temple was first built in the Ming Dynasty and was famed far and wide, attracting accomplished monks throughout the dynasties.Connected to Sunlight Rock through the cable car, Piano Garden is another attraction for tourists.

There are Hero Boulder, the Aviary and a cinema in the garden.

Entrance Fee: CNY 86
Opening Hours: 07:00-20:45
How to get there: take a boat from Xianmen Port

Sunlight Rock

Sunlight Rock

No. 09: Xiamen University
Xiamen University, which is one of the comprehensive universities directly affiliated with the Education Ministry, is located in the city of Xiamen in Fujian Province.

Xiamen University was founded in 1921 by Tan Kah Kee, the well-known patriotic overseas Chinese leader.Xiamen University, a picturesque campus nestled between the sea and the “Five Old Men” mountains, is largely considered to be the most beautiful campus in China.

There are Luxun memorial Hall and Humanities Museum in Xiamen University.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
How to get there: You can go there by public bus 1, 15, 18, 20, 29, 45.

No. 10: Island Ring Road in Xiamen
Xiamen Island Ring Road is a 4-6 lane seaside road totally 43km in length, a green belt that offers tourists a perfect place to bike along beautiful seashores.

The best part of the island ring road starts from the Baicheng Beach from Xiamen University to the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center, a 10km ring road from south to the east.

You may rent a bike or tandem to cycle the 10km island ring for about 2 hours.You also can visit some interesting sights like Hulishan Fortress, parks along the ring road and walkway boards by the sea.

If you have strong legs, you can walk the 10km highlight of the island ring road, a paradise for leisure travelers enjoying the blue sky, beach and green belts along the seashores.

Most of the bike rental shops start from 08:00 am  and close at 9:00pm. A mountain bike costs about 10 to 15 yuan/hour with a deposit of RMB300. Tandem bicycles are charged at a higher rate.

Island Ring Road in Xiamen

Island Ring Road in Xiamen

06611Tip:Xiamen Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself Xiamen tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Xiamen:Xiamen Cruise Port Day Tour from USD from US$89

Xiamen Highlight Day Tour   from US$89 p/p

Xiamen One Day Side Trip to Yongding Hakka Tulou   from US$90 p/p

If you have any questions, just drop a line.

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26 Responses to “Top 10 Attractions in Xiamen, Top Things to Do in Xiamen”

  1. Quek Yi Than says:

    Dear sir ,

    Four of us Malaysian are traveling from Shenzhen to Xiamen by bullit train sometime on October 2014

    We need ONE day tour around Xiamen to visit most attraction places

    Pls advice how to go about it

    TQ

    Quek

  2. Daniel says:

    Hello Quek Yi Than,

    First take the ferry on a 10-minute ferry boat trip to Gulangyu Island. You will see many colonial buildings constructed after the Opium War, including the Britain, the America, France, German, Spain and the list is long for the attractions on the Island.

    Then continue to visit South Putuo Temple, the most famous Buddhist temple in town. Then head to Huliashan Fortress, which was built in 1891, the architecture mainly blending the style in Ming and Qing Dynasty and the style from Europe. The fortress houses the world’s biggest cannon for coastal defense.

    After visiting the ancient military facilities, weapons and barracks in the fortress, you may walk or have a scenic drive on the Island Ring Road along the East Coast of Xiamen.

    Finally back to the city center to stroll along Zhongshan Road for shopping. Have a good trip to Xiamen.

  3. May says:

    Hi, we are of 8 planning one day tour Tulau Hakka village.
    Please let us know the itinerary and the total fee for each person( including entrance fee), is it in a couch with tour guide, is it including lunch or exclude?
    Thank you.

  4. Daniel says:

    Hello May,

    Thanks for your enquiry! One of the staffers will contact you soon by today.

  5. Tan says:

    Plan to visit Fujian for 1 week in March or April next year. Which month is more suitable?
    First arrive Xiamen and visit Xizhou village. What is best way to get there from Xiamen and how long does it take? What are good attractions in Xizhou village?

    After that, we have maybe 3-4 days to travel around before returning to stay one night in Xiamen for next day’s departure.
    What would be suitable attractions to visit considering convenience of route travel.

    There are perhaps 15-16 persons in our group. Is there a minibus for hire to take us throughout the whole journey and what is the cost per day? Your suggestions would be highly appreciated for our further planning.

  6. Daniel says:

    Hello Tan,

    Well received your enquiry regarding your trip to Fujian. One of the staffers from Tour Beijing will contact you for the details.

  7. EC Gan says:

    We are going to our Fujian home village for two day and arrival in Xiamen from Kuala Lumpur on around October 15th to October 23rd . We consist of 9 of us . How to plan trips for 6 days around Xiamen and fujian or around the areas .

  8. Daniel says:

    Hello EC Gan,

    1. 2-3 day in Xiamen

    2. 2-3 day in Yongding Tulou and back to Xiamen/

    3. 2-3 day in Fuzhou ( bullet train from Xiamen to Fuzhou
    Alternatively, you may go to Wuyishan from Xiamen by air.

    —————————————

    1. Wuyishan
    Top 10 attractions in Wuyishan, check out the link below:
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/china-travel/china-top-10/top-10-wuyishan-attractions-top-10-things-to-do-in-wuyi-mountain/

    2. Tulou ( Hakka Earth Houses)

    http://www.tour-beijing.com/fujian_tulou_tour

    You’d better off arranging a vehicle for your travel party of 9. Taking a publicc bus can be very daunting.

  9. Matthew Cole says:

    Traveling with one 11year old to Xiamen in November, any tips on fun activities? Also how far to the
    Great Wall? Thanks Matt.

  10. Daniel says:

    Hello Matthew Cole,

    You bring your kid to the sand beaches along Island Ring Road in Xiamen.

    But the Great Wall is far far away from Xiamen. To visit the Great Wall, you have to visit Beijing or other cities in the Northern China.

  11. Madeleine says:

    Hi, we are 5 adults and 5 kids planning one day tour In Xiamen.
    May I know the itinerary and the total cost for each person(including entrance fee)
    Thank you.

  12. Daniel says:

    Hi Madeleine,

    Thanks for your enquiry! One of our staff members will contact you on Monday. Have a good weekend!

  13. Reyn says:

    Sir, may I ask what is the nearest tourist attraction near Xiamen port?

  14. Daniel says:

    Hi Reyn,

    Actually, Xiamen is a nice and walkable city. The major attractions aren all not far from the port. You may go to Gulangyu Island.

    See the link below:
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/fujian-travel/how-to-visit-gulangyu-island

  15. Reyn says:

    Sir, one last thing is there a night attraction near the Xiamen port? Thank you!

  16. Daniel says:

    Hi Reyn,

    You may have a walk along Zhongshan Road in the evening. Zhongshan Road is bright and alive at night with different colours. Zhongshan Road is teeming with shops and street vendors. Zhongshan Road is more than just a commercial street, it is a leisure, entertainment and food center in Xiamen.

    See the link below:

    http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/fujian-travel/how-to-visit-zhongshan-road-in-xiamen

  17. Steven says:

    Hello, I’m planning to visit Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Putian with my family next week, do you have any recommendation of tourist attraction there?

  18. Daniel says:

    Hi Steven,

    Please check out the links below for more travel information:

    1) Fujian Tour
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/fujian_tour/

    2) Fujian Tulou Tour
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/fujian_tulou_tour/

    Happy New Year!

  19. will says:

    Hi,

    Am interested in travelling to xiamen for a few days during Chinese New Year. I may be interested in a 1 day tour. But I am worried about the supposed 5 day visa they can issue at the airport? Is this legitimate? I used one of these 5 day SEZ visas to 深圳 back in early October, will this be an issue?

    I am a Canadian passport holder

  20. Daniel says:

    Hi Will,

    You have 5 day SEZ visas to 深圳 back in early October? What’s this?

    Basically, as far as I know, you need a Chinese visa to enter Xiamen.

    There is a free-visa policy at Xiamen Airport. If you fly from Hong Kong ( or any country ) to Xiamen, then continue to fly out of Xiamen to a third country ( not back to Hong Kong or your departure country), you are eligible for visa-free transit stay for up to 72 hours in Xiamen.

  21. Tor says:

    Hi,
    I am interested in tea places in Fujian and will go to Xiamen in May. A trip to AnXi is also in the plans, to see the tea market. Is it possible to visit tea plantations and villages from AnXi or its it better to do that from Xiamen? How do I arrange a trip from AnXi to the countryside? I am not chinese speaking.

  22. Beijing Tour says:

    Hi Tor,

    You may take the long-distance bus from Xiamen or Quanzhou to Anxi. As for how to get to the tea plantations from Anxi, it is a bit tricky. It is better you book a local tea plantation tour either starting from Xiamen or Quanzhou.

  23. Tor says:

    Hi,
    Can you give me more details on such a tour starting in Xiamen. Is it for one day or longer? Are there “ready made” tours? How far do we have to go from Xiamen to get to tea growing area? Where do I go to get help when in Xiamen?
    We have our tickets now. We will be in Xiamen April 29 until May 11.

  24. Beijing Tour says:

    Hi Tor,

    Your hotel in Xiamen may have a tourist desk where the staff member will assist you arranging your travel around Xiamen including a side trip to the tea area.

    Have a good time in Xiamen!

  25. Joan Mastrangeli says:

    We arrive on June 19th and are interested in the cost of a private guide for the day to meet us at the port and accompany us to Gulangyu Island and any other sites for the full day. We will be in port on the ovation of the seas. There are only two of us. thank you.

  26. Beijing Tour says:

    Hi Joan Mastrangeli,

    Thanks for your inquiry! Your request has been sent to our service center. One of our staff members will contact you soon for the details. Much appreciated for your patience!

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