Tips for visiting Xian

Xian or Xi’an is the second important tourism city after Beijing if you have city tours in China. “Xi’an” literally means “peace in the west”. It was once home to the capitals of several dynasties over 1000 years.

A few years ago I took an America tourist group of over 70 doctors to Xian after finishing their visit in Beijing. They said to me that Xian was more Chinese than Beijing. They liked Xian very much.

The life pace in Xian is slow. The people are simple and warm. Many of the buildings are kept in the typical Chinese style – Tang Dynasty style ( 618 – 907 ).

The city of Xian is well structured and divided by the four main avenues – East, West, North and South with the Bell Tower in the center. The four avenues lead to the four former main gates of the famous Xian City Wall with a perimeter of approx 14 km.

The attractions within the wall are walkable, like Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Great Mosque, Forest of Stele Museum and Xian City Wall itself.

Xian City Wall
Xian City Wall

The other not miss attractions like Shaanxi Museum, Big Goose Pagoda are in the south of Xian city wall. It takes a few minutes’ ride by taxi. If you have strong legs,  walking is highly recommended to visit the attractions in the south of Xian.

Big Goose Pagoda
Big Goose Pagoda

Some 30km east of Xian city center lies the highlight in Xian: the Terra-Cotta Army with over 2000 years built during the first dynasty in China – Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 BC). On the right square in Xian Train Station, there are shuttle buses running between the station and Terra-cotta Army Musuem, which only costs you about 3 USD.

Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army

You may take flight or overnight trains to Xian from Beijing, Shanghai, or other cities in China. Xian Train Station is outside the north-east corner of Xian City Wall. In the south of Xian Train Station inside the city wall, you find some double-decker buses running to the downtown area like Bell Tower and so on.

Or you may take the 6-hour high speed trains from Beijing West Railway Station to Xian North Railway Station. If you arrive at Xian North Railway Station, you may also take the free pass for the shuttle bus from Xian North Railway Station to the Terracotta Army site provided that you have an arrival high speed train ticket on the same day and you have bought the ticket for the Terra-cotta Army in the ticketing office in Xian Railway Station.

So you can use your train ticket and the admission ticket for Terracotta Amy in exchange for the free shuttle bus going to Terracotta Army. The free shuttle pass is valid for three days.

Xian Xianyang International Airport is about 45km west of Xian. Taking the official airport shuttle is highly advised. Be mindful of the black taxis in the parking lot in front of the airport.

If you want to use a local travel agency to assist you having hassle free tour in Xian, please visit Xian Tour for more information.

Add on

How to visit Terracotta Army in Xian
Beijing to Xian by High Speed Train

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