Home to the miraculously preserved Terracotta Warriors
Xian, the eastern starting point of the Silk Road, capital of Shaanxi province and one of China’s ancient Capital Cities for several dynasties. It is famed for of the 20th century’s most important discoveries – The Terracotta Warriors for part of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin, guarding his journey into the afterlife. This incredible sight was discovered by local farmers drilling a water well to the east of Mount Lishan, close to Xian. The Ancient City Wall in Xian can be explored by foot or the very popular and fun choice; on a bicycle. The Shaanxi Museum is probably China’s finest collection of over 400,000 artefacts spanning several dynasties. Other places that you will get to experience and enjoy include the historical site of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda.It was built in 707 A.D. Food served in Xian has a strong flavour of Northwest China. Traditional dishes and snacks include “Gourd Chicken – boil, steam, finally fry)”, “Pig Leg Joint”, “Mutton Soup with pancake pieces”, ” Pancake Sandwiched with Stewed Meat”. You can also enjoy the newly developed “Dumpling Banquet”. Xian is a must visit on your tour to China.
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Xian.
The Terracotta Warriors, a stunning collection of 10,000 life-size statues of the Chinese army, dating back to 221 B.C. Marvel at the individual facial expressions and admire the work that went into creating them. Why not visit one of the workshops for a close look at how the warriors were made. You could even have a go at making one for yourself.
Tang Dynasty Show
Spend a wonderful evening being entertained by the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance, accompanied by a delicious dumpling dinner.
Xian City Walls
Xian is one of the few cities in China where the old city walls still stand. Built in 1370 during the Ming dynasty, the walls form a rectangle with a perimeter of 14km. Most sections have been restored or rebuilt, and it is possible to walk and/or cycle the entire way round.
The Great Mosque
Bigger than many temples in China, the Great Mosque is a wonderful blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture and one of the most fascinating sacred sites in the country. Although the mosque was founded in the 8th century, most of the current buildings are from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Arab influences extend from the central minaret, to the vast Prayer Hall at the back of the complex (sadly, not open to visitors), which dates back to the Ming dynasty.
Huimin Muslim Quarter
The physical start of the Silk Road, discover the Arabic influence and mix of cultures, especially in the architecture and food. Traditional Chinese dishes combine with nuts and flavours from the Middle East to for a delicious foodie experience.
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
A seven-storey pagoda situated within the old Tang dynasty city walls dominates the surrounding buildings. One of China’s best examples of a Tang-style pagoda, it was completed in AD 652 to house Buddhist sutras brought back from India by the monk Xuan Zang.
Tangbo Art Museum
Dedicated to the art of calligraphy, here you can discover the history and techniques before maybe, taking the chance to give it a try for yourself at their hands-on workshop.
Travel back in time to the Tang dynasty, discovering tiny houses, cobbled streets and alleys, and the aromas of food cooked over a wood fire. Yuanjia Village was built to keep ancient traditions alive and showcase the crafts and foods that have died out in modern China.
Visit a Night Market
Soak in the vibrant colours, tempting aromas and heady atmosphere at a night market. One of the best is in the ancient city by the Old Drum and Bell Towers.
Taiping National Forest Park
Built by a Sui Dynasty emperor the park served as an imperial summer resort during the Tang Dynasty. Spread over 500 acres, it is filled with ponds, waterfalls, and wildlife. You may ride the cable-car over the area for a birds-eye view of the verdant landscape.
A selection of our tours to Xian
China Group Tour Nature
Essential Plus Panda
12 day tour from £2,448
This Essential Plus Panda tour visits the Giant Pandas in their natural habitat, Zhujiajiao and the must-see cities of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai.
China Group Tour Rail
Private: China Rail Discovery
15 day tour from £2,947
There are now many bullet trains in operation in China, which provide an interesting way to see more of the countryside and scenery away from the big cities.
China Tailor Made Family
China Family Tour
12 day tour from £3,990
Explore classic china with family-friendly hotels and activities including Shanghai Disneyland!
China Group Tour Nature
Beauty of China
20 day tour from £3,698
Explore lesser known Yunnan, enjoy pandas in Chengdu, and the must-see sights in Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, and a Yangtze cruise