Plan your Xi’an tour? If you plan a two-full day tour of Xi’an, definitely you will visit the awesome Terracotta Warriors, the beautiful Big Goose Pagoda, the massive Xian City Wall, the terrific Muslim Quarter and then don’t miss Shaanxi History Museum!
A 2-3 hour visit to Shaanxi Provincial History Museum is a good starter for your eye-popping glimpse of the Terracotta Army. A free entry ticket allows you to visit the three permanent exhibition halls (No.01 – No.03 ), which display the artifacts unearthed in Shaanxi Province.
Xian was the ancient capitals for 13 dynasties in Chinese history. Of the 13 dynasties, Tang Dynasty was the Golden Age of China, when Europe was in its Dark Ages after the fall of Rome.
Among amazing collection of Chinese artifacts, there are several well-preserved terracotta warriors and horses and as well as many other exhibits like bronzes, ceramics, construction materials through the successive dynasties, Han and Tang bronze mirrors, and coins and currency, calligraphy, rubbings, scrolls and so on.
No matter you are a history buff or not, it is worth a visit on your trip to Xian, a cursory walk through should do the trick . If you’re a museum person, then you can spend half or whole day in the museum.
Opening Hours and Address
Summer (March 16 – November 14): 08:30~18:00 ( ticket delivered till 16:30）
Winter (November 15 – March 15): 09:00~17:30 (ticket delivered till 16:00 )
Closed on Monday (still open on national holidays)
Address: 91 East Xiaozhai, Yanta District, Xian 雁塔区小寨东路91号
Official Web: www.sxhm.com
How to get there
The museum is located about 6 km south of Bell Tower in the heart of Xian City. Take Tourism Bus No. 08 from West Bell Tower and get off at the 11th stop of Cuihua Road and walk to the museum ( 90m) or take a taxi going there ( about 15 yuan ).
Free entry tickets ( Window No.01 and 02)
Basically you can line up and get a free ticket by showing your passport. The queue may be long especially on weekends. Daily free tickets limited to 2500 ( delivered from 9:00am to 2:00pm) and 1500 delivered after 2:00pm, totally 4000 free tickets per day.
A free ticket allows you to visit the three permanent exhibition halls (No.01 – No.03) in the museum. Get there early or try to avoid weekends to beat the crowds. Two Ticket Delivery Windows ( No.01 and 02 on the left side; No.03 on the right side is for pay entry tickets).
Pay your entry fee (Window No.03 on the right side)
If you feel the queue is too long and you are short for time, you may choose to pay RMB 20 to get the entry ticket which also allows you to enter the museum with the extra access to the 4th hall to visit Treasures of Great Tang Dynasty (to the west side underground).
Alternatively you may choose to pay 300 yuan to enter the museum with the extra access to Exhibition Hall for Mural Paintings of Tang Dynasty (on the east side underground). The 100 frescos from the Tang period: dancers with orchestra, Hunting scenes, parades, polo games, town gate, reception of foreign diplomats, tamed leopards and falcons, maidens, servants, guards, officials and more.
So If you forget your passport, you can still buy an entry ticket.
A museum guide or an audio guide
You may choose to hire a museum guide or an audio guide. The exhibits are very rich and it is advisable to get a guide but guides are in high demand and so better to get early to secure a guide first. The bonus is that the volunteers in the museum are also very helpful and resourceful.
English-speaking museum guide: 150 yuan for three exhibition halls ( free tickets )
English-speaking museum guide: 100 yuan for the underground exhibitions – Treasures of Great Tang Dynasty and Exhibition Hall for Mural Paintings of Tang Dynasty ( pay tickets ).
Audio guides: 30 yuan ( 200 yuan deposit ). Please note that you need to input the number of the exhibition piece you want to listen to and the staff are friendly.
The museum has the English descriptions for most of the displays and artifacts. So you can still enjoy the museum somehow without a museum guide or an audio guide.
Shaanxi History Museum VS Terracotta Museum
If you don’t have enough time to visit Terracotta Army, you may visit Shaanxi History Museum instead. The collection of terracotta warriors is even more impressive than the those in the Terracotta Warriors Museum by the quality of the selected ones on show.
Store some baggage
You need to store your bag or backpack at the free locker counter, But they don’t take laptops.
Just make sure to leave your selfie stick at the free deposit counter as it is not permitted to be used inside the museum.
Cameras and phones
Cameras and phones are allowed inside the museum, but you don’t use flash.
Drinks and snacks
If you are a history lover, you can easily spend the day in this museum. Don’t worry about the food and you can buy drinks and snacks
Small shops for souvenirs
There are small stalls to sell souvenirs of replicated exhibits, including the teapot, terracotta Warriors, books and so on.
The washrooms are clean, convenient.
Not kids friendly. No interactive activities for kids. The exhibits are mostly bronze and pottery pieces behind glass, boring for kids.
A combo tour of Big Goose Pagoda
After your visit to the museum and you still have the time and energy, you can walk to the nearby Great Wild Goose Pagoda, about 15 minutes away. You can cover both of these attractions together in a half day.
Tip: Hassle-free Xian Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Xian guided tours:
Beijing Xi’an High Speed Train Experience
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Any questions, just drop a line.