Collected by Karen Gardiner , AFAR Local Expert
Huajue Alley, Bei Yuan Men Xiao Chi Yi Tiao Jie, Lianhu Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
Located in the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, China is the Great Mosque, the country’s oldest and most renowned mosque. The mosque dates back to 742 AD. From all outward appearances, it looks like a Chinese temple and not a mosque; pagodas have replaced...
91 Xiaozhai E Rd, QuJiang ShangQuan, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710061
Built in the grand architectural style of the Tang Dynasty, the huge Shaanxi History Museum offers a comprehensive overview of the history of the ancient capital. The museum houses over 370,000 precious relics unearthed in Shaanxi Province....
17 Cuihua Rd, QuJiang ShangQuan, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
Covering almost 50 acres, the Shaanxi Xi'an Botanical Garden is a scenic spot for an afternoon stroll; popular with locals and wedding parties, and usually very few tourists. The garden is split into several sections and is home to over 3,400...
Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, 710061
Going to watch a landscape opera in Xi'an feels like the Chinese version of going to Shakespeare in the Park (minus the dialogue) in New York. The performance is set amidst the ruins of Hua Qing Palace. I went to see The Song of Unending Sorrow,...
Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Lianhu, Xi'an, China, 710061
You can't visit Xi'an without having a dumpling feast. Defachang is considered one of the best dumpling houses in the region. Call ahead to request the 18-course dumpling banquet so you can sample the many varieties. One of my favorites is this...
Hongying Rd, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
An interestingly curated museum, the Forest of Stone Steles Museum (also called the Steles Forest or Beilin Museum) focuses on displays of steles (commemorative slabs), epigraphs, and stone sculptures from throughout history. The museum's...
155 Banpo Rd, Baqiao Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710038
The Xi'an Banpo Museum preserves artifacts excavated from the neolithic site of Banpo, settled 5,600 to 6,700 years ago. The museum provides access to the excavated buildings and has several houses reconstructed in the style of the prehistoric...
585 Ziqiang E Rd, Xincheng Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
The main royal residence for emperors during the Tang Dynasty (from the 600s to the 900s), Daming Palace was discovered in 1957. After excavations and restoration work, the palace, also known as the Palace of Great Brilliance, opened to the...
Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Visiting the famous Terracotta Army was on my bucket list, and I was lucky enough to see it recently. As I entered the first pit, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Right in front of me was the section holding the life-size terracotta warriors all...
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