Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall

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Xian is home to the most complete and well-preserved ancient city wall in China and one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world as well.

Xian City Wall was initially built in Tang Dynasty (618 -907), based on which, the existing wall was rebuilt in Ming Dynasty during the period between 1374 and 1378. Now the remaining Xian City Wall is 12 meters tall, 18 meters wide at the base, 12-14 meters wide on the top with a perimeter of 13.74 km in length and a deep moat surrounding it.

You can stroll, even cycle or take a buggy around the Wall. Plan your Xian tour? Xian City Wall, not to be missed! The city wall itself is very impressive and ascending the wall allows you to  look out on the new city from an ancient structure, avoiding the crowds and traffic with a better feel of the historical changes in the ancient capital of Xi’an with the fast development in the modern times.

Tips
tips-11. How to get there
Though there are totally 18 gates to the present city wall of Xian, only the four major gates are open to the public, namely South Gate, West Gate, North Gate and East Gate. You may choose any of the four gates to ascend the wall.

Just find out which gate is closer to your hotel and start up your trip to the wall. Many people would like to choose the South Gate, the largest gates of the four. It’s a 10-minute walk down south along the South Avenue from the Bell Tower to the South Gate.

The South Gate

The South Gate to Xian City Wall

Alternatively you can take subway line 2 from Bell Tower in the south direction and get off at the next station of Yongning Gate and exit either from Exit A1 or D1.

2. Entry Fees and Opening Hours
Entrance fee: 40 RMB
Ticketing Offices: at any of the four gates to the Wall
Opening Hour: 08:00 – 20:00
Suggested Travel Time: 1-3 Hours
Tel: 029-87283602, 87286373

Ascending Xian City Wall

Ascending Xian City Wall

3. Best time to visit Xian City Wall
1) Best Months to Visit: March – June, and September – November.  If you visit in July and August, the hottest months in Xian, you’d better choose to visit Wall either in the morning or after sunset to avoid the scorching sun.

2) Best Time in a Day to Ascend the Wall: Morning or later afternoon.  There are parks at the base, below the wall and you can see people doing morning exercise or dancing in the evening. Ascending the Wall in the early morning to control the crowd or come to the Wall late in the evening so that you can see the wall to be lit up or enjoy the sunset over the Wall.

4. Strolling on Xian City Wall
The top surface of the wall is a wonderful promenade. Walking all the way around the wall takes about 2 – 3 hours, depending on how fast you are. Don’t forget bring your hate, bottled water, sunglasses and have sunblock for the stroll.

If you have no time to walk all the wall or you have no fancy for the long walk, you can choose to have a shorter stroll starting from, let’s say the South Gate  and get off from the West or East Gates.

5. Riding Xian City Wall
Renting a bike or return your bike at any of the four gates. Basically you are required to return your bike at 6:00pm. If your riding has surpassed the designated 6:00pm, you can return your bike at 8:00pm at the South Gate.

There are plenty of bikes, single and tandem, that can save a lot of time from your walk. You can rent a single bike at 45 RMB or a tandem  at 90 RMB for 2 hours. The hire stations are located at the access points of the four gates. the bike ride takes about 1 hour.

Biking on Xian City Wall

Biking on Xian City Wall

The bike ride is a little uncomfortable with the surface a bit bumpy due to the cobble stone paved surface, hurting your hands, wrists or buttocks a bit.

6. Taking a buggy around Xian City Wall
As a third choice to go around the wall surface, you can take a battery buggy driven around the entire perimeter. For an ordinary buggy for one circle,  you need to pay RMB 80 or 120 for a luxury buggy.

Taking a buggy around Xian City Wall

Taking a buggy around Xian City Wall

You also can take the buggy section by section, which costs you 20 RMB for an ordinary buggy and RMB 30 for a luxury buggy between two stops.

7. English Signage
There are English signs pointing to the directions and many signs also give you the history of the wall.

8. Toilet
Use the toilets at the entrance, and there are no restrooms once you get onto the surface.

9. Little shops on the Wall
There are small shops on the surface of the wall for drinks, some refreshments or small souvenirs.

10. Vendors below the Wall
There some souvenirs stalls from vendors near the gates.

11. Local Activities below the Wall
Take your camera or iPhone to have some interesting candid photos of the local activities near the gates – dancing, singing, playing chess, etc.

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:

Xian City Day Tour from US$69
Xian Terracotta Warriors Day Tour A from US$85
Terracotta Army and Song of Everlasting Performance from US$135

Xian 2 Day Tour Package from US$170 p/p
Xian 3 Day Tour Package from US$235 p/p

Further Readings


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Any questions, just drop a line.

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