How to Best Experience Xian

Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi Province and often referred to as the birthplace of Chinese civilization. The city was the capital for 13 imperial dynasties and has become a popular with locals and tourists over the last few years. Those visiting the city will find that there are a number of museums, cultural structures and ancient ruins to visit.

1. Ancient attractions
The ancient preserved structures in Xi’an are some of the most breathtaking attractions in the city. The Terracotta Army is one of the most significant archaeological attractions in the world, comprising of an arm of over a thousand life-sized stone structures guarding China’s Qin Shi Huang. Another popular attraction is the Han Jing Mausoleum, which marks the burial place of Jingdi; the emperor of the Han Dynasty. The Fǎmén Temple was built during the 2nd century AD to house a finger bone of the Buddha that was presented by King Asoka of India to China. There are also a number of relics that could be found at the temple from gold and silver relics, ceramics and silks and others. Another must visit in Xi’an is the Spirit Way; a long paved path lined with giant statues of animals, officers of the imperial guard and those leaders who attended the funeral of the emperor.

2. Travel
Finding the most convenient and easiest route to travel between various attractions and your hotel is crucial. The metro lines runs from the north to the south of the city are one of the options to take in to consideration when looking for transport options. Xi’an has 6 train stations which provide easy access to reaching a number of places around the city. You can even hop on a public bus to visit some of the local attractions in the city. A popular route is #610 which will take you through the Shaanxi Historic Museum, the Big Goose Pagoda, the Bell Tower and the railway station while Bus 306 takes you to the Terracotta War Army Museum, the hot springs and the Huaging Palace.

3. Accommodation
Planning and sorting your accommodation is most crucial in order to ensure you get the best experience of Xi’an. As there are many hotels in Xian to choose from, most of which are fairly new and located within city limits such as Citadines Gaoxin Xian. Most hotels offer their guests with transfers and easy access to many of the city’s popular tourist attractions.

4. Xi’an Cuisine
As Xi’an is a city in the centre of China, the cuisines offered here is an eclectic mix of traditional Chinese cuisines. Food lovers will find variations and an abundant supply of dumplings, lamb and kabobs and noodles combined to give you some of the best dishes in Xi’an. Some of the most traditional dishes to try while in the city are Hot and sour dumpling soup (suantang shuijiao), Cold noodles (liangpi), beef roujiamo (steamed sandwiches) to name a few.

5. Biking adventure
Ride your bike along the historic, cobbled pathways of the city wall that was initially built to protect the city. Built in the 14th century under the reign of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang of the Ming Dynasty, the wall stands to a height of 12 meters and spans a width of 12–14 metres at the top and is about 13.7 kms in length. There are 98 flanking towers located on the wall, each located 120 meters apart. This distance was within the range of arrows when fired from either side, and was planned so that the soldiers could protect the wall from every angle without endangering themselves. Cycling along the walls offers great views of the city and you can rent them for around 40 yuan for 1 and a half hours.