Xian City Layout (Tips, Photos & Map)

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Plan your independent Xian Tour? Knowing some basic knowledge about the city layout of Xian is very useful preparing for your own self-guide trip to Xian. Hope this quick guide can assist you to facilitate dreamy Xian tour.

The Layout of Xian City

The outline of Xian city center is based on a grid pattern centrally denoted by the imposing Bell Tower (钟楼), which stretches out four main streets in the downtown of Xian listed below:

Nan Dajie (South Street – 南大街);
Bei Dajie (North Street – 北大街);
Dong Dajie (East Street – 东大街);
Xi Dajie (West Street – 西大街).

Xian City Layout Map

Xian Railway Station is located outside the northeast corner of Xian city wall. Xian North Railway Station is 12km north of Bell Tower; Xian Airport is located 40km northwest of Xian city center. Terracotta Warriors Museum is located 30km to the east of Xian city center.

Bell Tower ( the Heart of Xian)

In Ming Dynasty (1368 – 16440), each city had a bell tower and drum tower. Xian was no exception. This 36-meter high Bell Tower in Xian is the largest and best preserved in China.

Xian Bell Tower stands in the center of Xian city proper from which, four main avenues are laid out – East, West, South and North. The four main avenues meets four main gates of Xian’s Ming City Wall accordingly.

The Bell Tower is located in the center of Xian linked to four main avenues.

The Bell Tower is located in the center of Xian linked to four main avenues.

Ascending the Bell Tower

Ascending the bell tower

The Big Bell

The Big Bell

The tower has three layers of eaves but only two stories. In the hall of the second floor, a Ming music performance is held at a fixed hour everyday.

South Avenue ( South Street)

Standing on the second floor of Xian Bell Tower, I’m looking at the South Avenue to the south of the Bell Tower.

The South Avenue is the shortest avenues of the four with its southern tip meets the South Gate of Xian City Wall. The South Avenue is lined with high end and upstart shopping malls.

The South Gate of Xian City Wall (the southern tip of Xian South Avenue)

The South Avenue, the shortest avenues of the four

The South Avenue, the shortest avenues of the four

The trendy South Avenue

The trendy South Avenue

The South Avenue

The South Avenue

West Avenue (West Street)

The West Avenue is a renovated Tang Dynasty style street. The West Avenue is brightly luminated after dark with stunning views. To the north of the West Avenue is located Drum Tower in Xian. To the north of the drum tower is Xian Muslim Quarters and the Great Mosque.

To the west of the Bell Tower and north of the West Avenue is a city center park.

North of the park is located some time-honored restaurants such as De Fa Zhang famous for Jiaozi. To the west of the park and the Bell Tower is the Drum Tower in Xian.

North of the Drum Tower is the Muslim Quarters and the Great Mosque.

North of the Drum Tower is the Muslim Quarters and the Great Mosque.

The West Street in a Tang Dynasty architecture style.

The West Street in a Tang Dynasty architecture style.

The West Avenue

The West Avenue 西大街

The West Avenue 1

The West Avenue 1

East Avenue (East Street)

The East Avenue is a faded commercial street which once used to the most visited shopping street in Xian. Now its position has been taken place by the South Avenue and West Avenue. The outed East Avenue The East Avenue with a bit shabby and run-down

he East Avenue with a bit shabby

North Avenue (North Street)

The North Avenue is the least commercial street of the four streets.

The North Avenue is the least commercial street of the four streets

To the northwest of the Bell Tower, there is Starbucks Coffee

To the northwest of the Bell Tower, there is Starbucks Coffee

Most of the attractions can be found close to the Bell Tower like Drum Tower, Great Mosque.

However, some of the city sights, such as the Army of Terracotta Warriors, Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, and Big Goose Pagoda are located south of the city wall. The Terracotta Warriors is located about 30km east of Xian downtown.

Xian Drum Tower
In the hall of the second floor, a Ming music performance is held at a fixed time everyday

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 Tour
Xian Day Tour
Xian Tour Packages
Beijing Xian Tour

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Best Time to Visit Xian
How to Visit Xian in Two Days?
Xian Airport Transportation
Xian Railway Station Transportation
Xian Taxi: Xian Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Xian City Layout
Xian’s Top 7 Iconic Landmarks
Where to Stay in Xian
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Top Things to Do for Kids in Xian
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Xian on a Budget
The Starbucks in Xian
Top Markets in Xian
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Xian
Top 10 Best Restaurants in Xian
Top 10 Souvenirs in Xian
Xian Tourist Traps, Xian Tourist Scams

Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
The Ramparts of Quebec City and Xian City
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Yaodong Cave Dwellings in Xian
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Mt.Huashan Snow Scenes Photos
How to visit Xiyue Temple
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Top 10 Xian Luxury & Boutique Hotels
Xi’an: An Exotic City with an Undeniable Historical Depth

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves around Xian
Muslim Streets in Muslim Quarter in Xian
Hua Jue Xiang, Huajue Lane at Xian Muslim Quarter
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Xian City Wall Night View
What to do in Xian after dark
Xian’s Best Street Food
Xian Muslim Quarter Exotic Food
Xian Bar Street
Spring Festival Lantern Exhibit in Xian
Xian Terracotta Army Pictures

How to Visit Maijishan Grottoes from Xian by Train
How to Visit Hukou Waterfall
How to Visit Huangdi Mausoleum
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience (Tips, Photos & Map)
Beijing Xian Flight Experience
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Reviews on Beijing Xian Luoyang Tour

Visit Xian in January (Weather, Wear, & Tips)
Visit Xian in February
How to Visit Xian in March
Visit Xian in October
How to Visit Xian in November
Visit Xian in December

Any questions, just drop a line.

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