Xian City Layout

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Plan your independent Xian Tour? My post today is helpful in planning your self Xian tour by offering you some insight into the city layout of Xian.

The outline of Xian city is based on a grid pattern centrally denoted by the grandoure Bell Tower (钟楼), which stretches out four main streets: Nan Dajie (South Avenue – 南大街), Bei Dajie (North Aevenue – 北大街), Dong Dajie (East avenue – 东大街) and Xi Dajie (West Avenue – 西大街). Xian Railway Station is located outside the northeast corner of Xian city wall while Xian Airport is located 40km northwest of Xian.

Bell Tower


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 can be easily reached. You can take double-deck bus No. 603 from Xian Railway Station and get off at Xian Bell Tower; you take Xian airport shuttle bus from Xian Airport to Melody Hotel – the last stop of Xian Airport Shuttle Bus. The Bell Tower is just next to Melody Hotel.

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

Standing on the second floor of Xian Bell Tower, I’am 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 Avenue is lined with high end and upstart shopping malls.

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

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

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

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 Terra-Cotta WarriorsShaanxi Provincial History Musuem, and Big Goose Pagoda are located south of the city wall. The Terra-cotta 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
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
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
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.

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