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Xian Travel Guide


Xian is a museum city dotted with the historic relics of past dynasties, from the restored Ancient City Wall to the majesty of the Terracotta Warriors. Xian will delight travellers today, as it did centuries ago as the starting point of the famed Silk Road.

Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province, has over 3,000 years of recorded history, with human habitation present here as early as the Neolithic times, as discovered at the Banpo Village. Xian has been the capital of 12 dynasties, though it has been known under various names, most notably as Changan. It was also the starting point of the Silk Road, where camels were loaded for a long and perilous journey to Central Asia. Xian's links to Central Asia stretch beyond trade as Islam continues to have an influence on the local flavour through the Muslim Hui minority.

As dynasty after dynasty added their own mark to Xian, the relics of old palaces, temples and tombs abound throughout the city and surrounding countryside. The tyrannical emperor Qin Shihuang, with his capital at Xianyang, close to present day Xian, left his indelible mark through the famed Terracotta Warriors.

The Tang dynasty is considered one of China's golden ages for its unmatched cultural achievements. Trade reached Central Asia and Europe, thousands of students from Japan and Korea arrived in Xian to study in acknowledgement of Tang cultural preeminence and Chinese monks travelled to India to copy Buddhist sutras. At its zenith during the Tang dynasty, Xian was the world's largest and most cosmopolitan city, measuring 84.1 square kilometres with over one million residents.

Though Xian was large, it was not affected by the incomprehensible twisting and turning lanes of similar cities of the era. As the first planned city in China, it was organised into a neat grid layout, highly symbolic in geomancy. Xian’s city layout would influence other cities such as Beijing and Kyoto.

With an influx of foreign traders and students, and the self-confidence of the powerful and cosmopolitan Tang dynasty, Xian became more than a trading centre, but also a nexus of cultures, religions, artistic endeavour and learning. Today the city’s charm lies in its historic atmosphere. There's a palpable sense of past glories and vestiges of its history are ever present. One can easily imagine the sights and sounds of Xian at the height of its glory when wandering along the city walls or strolling through the old Muslim quarter. Xian has recently become an important centre for the central governments drive to develop western China. As an economic centre for the region, Xian is in a natural position for further development with aviation already an important industry for the city.

Xian Memorable Experiences

Wandering through the Muslim quarter and experiencing the sights and sounds of Xi'an's Hui minority.

Biking atop the old city wall and enjoying a great view of the city.

Eating the various local specialities at the food market.

Top Xian Tours

7 Days Ancient Cities Tour

  • Tour Code: XA-0108
  • Days: 7
  • Destination: Shanghai-Xian-Luoyang-Zhengzhou-Yuntaishan

From USD

Summary: Ancient cities tour will offer you a chance to experience the various aspects of the traditional China..

Beijing Weekend Trip to Xian

  • Tour Code: BJ203
  • Days: 3
  • Destination: Beijing-Xian-Beijing

From USD

Summary: Take a Xian weekend trip by train from Beijing. Departing Beijing on Friday evening and back on Monday morning..

3 Days Cultural Xian Package Tour

  • Tour Code: XI08
  • Days: 3
  • Destination: Xian

From USD

Summary: Enjoy a good trip to Xi'an!.

Splendid China Tour

  • Tour Code: SC01
  • Days: 10
  • Destination: Beijing-Xian-Guilin-Shanghai

From USD

Summary: Experience the natural wonders and culture of China by taking this China Impression Tours. You will enjoy everything from the magnificent imperial complex in Beijing to the spectacular sights including the Terracotta Warriors..

10 Days Ancient Cities Tour

  • Tour Code: BJ-0210
  • Days: 10
  • Destination: Beijing-Datong-Pingyao-Xian

From USD

Summary: Breathtaking historic relics, haunting history and warm friendly people..