The city of Xi’an was one big surprise for us. We were expecting a classic Chinese city, but it offered us much more. Xi’an is considered the cradle of Chinese civilization. It was the starting point of the Silk Road, which used to be a huge marketplace, and therefore there still exists Muslim quarter. In this article we will give you recommendations for places and spots that you must not miss there!
1. Xi’an City Walls
Opening hours: 8 am – 8:30 pm in high season, in low season until 7 pm
Admission: 54 yuan
Xi´an is one of the few Chinese cities where the city walls have been preserved. They are 14 km long and 15 meters high. The walls can be walked on foot or by bike. Renting a bicycle / twin bike costs 40/80 yuan for 3 hours. We walked the walls on foot, which lasted a long time, but thanks to that we stayed on them until the evening so we could enjoy their evening atmosphere full of lanterns. It was a pity that visibility during the day was spoiled by urban smog.
2. Muslim quarter and Great Mosque
Mosque opening hours: 8 am – 7:30 pm in high season, in low season until 5:30 pm
Admission: 25 yuan
In the Muslim Quarter you will find mainly a lot of souvenir shops and street food with Chinese and Arabic cuisine. We recommend its visit especially during the evening, as all streets come to life and lights switch on. In the Muslim quarter there is also the Great Mosque, which is a mixture of Arab and Chinese architecture and is also the oldest mosque in inner China.
3. Big Goose Pagoda
Admission: 40 yuan
Pagoda and its surroundings surprised us the most, especially during the evening! Be sure not to miss the evening fountain at 8 pm but then head across to Yanta Street. It is beautifully light up, during our visit there were several concerts, allegorical cars, interactive games and lots of options for street food.
4. Bell Tower and Drum Tower
The Bell Tower is the main symbol and geographical center of the city. It is one of the largest of its kind in China and has several bronze bells. Drum Tower is another city symbol, located in the city center and overlooking the city. We did not visit it because we enjoyed enough views from the City Wall.
5. Guangren Temple
Opening hours: 8 am – 5:30 pm
Admnission: 20 yuan
The only Tibetan Buddhist temple in the whole Shaanxi province. We only looked at it from the Top of the Wall, because after visiting Beijing we have feeling that we saw enough temples.
6. Terracotta army
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm in high season, in low season until 5 pm
Admission: 120 yuan
The most famous archaeological site in the world and the mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. There are more than 8,000 statues of warriors made of clay. The unique thing about them is that each statue is different.
How to get from Xi’an to Terracotta army by bus:
From Xi’an you can get there by bus number 914 or 915. The bus leaves the train station every 4 minutes from 06:00 to 19:00.
Where to find the best food in Xi’an
BiangBiang noodles – best noodles in Xi’an
Address: E Mutoushi (about 3 building on the right from Qinyu Chinese hamburger) – more photo
If you wish to taste the best and typical noodles for Xi’an, you should not miss this place! We were personally there 4 times :D. Moreover, they are very cheap (about 15 yuan per serving = 2 EUR) and the restaurant has a very pleasant environment and friendly staff.
Chinese hamburger Roujiamo (Qinyu Chinese hamburger)
Address: 19 E Mutoushi, Zhong Lou Shang Quan, Beilin, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
This spot is located close to restaurant. It was awarded as a restaurant with the best Chinese burgers in town. Attention! If you arrive after 1 pm, it is very likely that the burgers will be sold out. Also, be ready that you will have to wait for a while in the queue. And if it’s worth it? It is definitely worth a try, but we are not fat meat fans, so we had a little trouble with it: D
Street food and shopping zone
Address: Luomashi pedestrian street
You will find there amazing and cheap street food with variety of dishes. There is located also the tastiest and cheapest bubble tea in town that you can recognize according to snowman in his symbol. You can buy there also clothes, handbags or shoes. PS: the evening atmosphere is the best. You will also find the tastiest and cheapest bubble tea in town.
Tasty and cheap breakfast in Xi’an
Address: Nanliu Alley
China has taught us one thing, it is cheaper to go out to eat than to buy food in the supermarket and cook. Therefore, if you are looking for a good place to have breakfast, we recommend a local specialty: dumplings and porridge, which is quite tasteless but everybody in China eat it. Cheap and good spot for breakfast is located at the beginning of Nanliu Alley and is open from 6 am to 9 am.
Getting around Xi’an city
You can travel around Xi’an by subway which is very modern and easy to understand. Next option are public buses. We always find the best way with Baidu maps.