What to Do in Xi'an
Collected by Emily Chu, AFAR Local Expert
Xi An Zhong Lou, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
The Bell Tower of Xi'an is one of the city's most famous attractions. Cities of Ancient China each had their own bell tower and drum tower, which were used to tell time. Bells were rung at dawn, while the sound of drums signaled dusk's arrival....
Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Want to know more about Taoism? About 70km west of Xi'an, in Tayu Village, is the Louguantai Temple, where it's said that Lao Tze, the founder of Taoism, wrote the Tao Te Ching and set the fundamentals for the religion. Built over two thousand...
38 Huaqing Rd, Lintong Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
About 45 minutes outside Xi'an, at the foot of Mount Lishan, is the Huaqing Hotspring (or Huaqing Chi). These grounds were the setting to the love story between Emperor Xuangzong and his concubine Yang Guifei, one of the four beauties of ancient...
17 Cuihua Rd, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, 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...
Zhangjiabao Shangquan, Weiyang, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Mt. Huashan is an hour and a half out of Xi'an. It is a stunning holy mountain, and an escape from China's big cities. Most of the tourists there are Chinese; we saw few foreigners and we sure stood out as white females. We took the cable car up...
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...
Lianhu, Xi'an, China, 710014
Xi'an's old city wall stretches about 14 kilometers around the city and has been carefully restored. Built to help defend the city, and wide enough to allow four carriages to travel along it side by side, it's been kept pretty much empty except...
Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Lianhu, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 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...
In Xi'an we not only ate dumplings (jiaozi), we learned how to make them. Chef Jin makes about 3,500 dumplings a night, which explains why her super power is to make dumplings lightening fast. Seriously, if you blink you’ll miss it and you all of...
Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
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,...
172 Lianhu Rd, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Lianhu Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710002
A little Vegas in China. The hotel has this amazing dumpling banquet and Tang Dynasty Show several times a week. The food was amazing. All of the dumplings were shaped to look like what they were filled with—little ducks for the ones filled with...
Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
The story of the Emperor Qin reads something like Game of Thrones, with hostages, feuding brothers, wars, and the ultimate unification and creation of what we know as China today. Wanting to protect himself in the afterlife, Emperor Qin created an...
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...
Yanta W Rd, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710007
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a very cool historical site to visit in Xi'an. It was built in the seventh century to house Buddhist scriptures, statues, and other relics that were brought back to China by the Buddhist scholar and traveler Xuanzang....
91 Xiaozhai E Rd, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, 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....
China, Xian Shi, Yanta Qu, DaTang TongYiFang, 西安大雁塔南广场西侧 邮政编码: 710061
The Underground Palace is one of the strangest places I have ever visited. We stumbled upon it by chance while wandering along the west side of the wall around the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Despite not knowing what it was, we bought tickets and...
Chang'an, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
In a courtyard of the Guanzhong Folk Art Museum, three men saw away on fiddles, another rocks out on a banjo-like instrument called a sanxian. Turns out lao giang, the folk music of China’s Shaanxi Province, sounds like a riff on American...
Furong S Rd, QuJiang ShangQuan, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
Tang Paradise is a modern reconstruction of various ancient sites in Shaanxi province. There are a lot of beautiful buildings constructed in the style used during the Tang Dynasty. The park itself is 165 acres, with a lake in the center surrounded...
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...
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