Top Places to Visit in Xian – China

Xi’an is second only to Beijing in terms of tourism, attracting millions of visitors every year, and it’s no wonder, given what there is to see. Xi’an or ‘Chang An” as it is sometimes known literally translates to “Perpetual Peace”. It is one of the most historical cities in China, a former ancient capital city, home to some of the most important of the dynasties that litter Chinese history, like the Tang, Qin, Sui, Han, and Zhou dynasties. According to many of the tourists that visit, Xi’an feels and looks far more Chinese than any of the cities you would expect, like Shanghai and Beijing, and it is the top spot for tourists who want to experience the culture and the people of China. If you’ve been to Xi’an before, then you know exactly where to go, but if this is your first time or you are considering visiting, then there are a few must-visit places, especially if you are only there for a few days.

  1. The Terracotta Warriors



Nobody should visit Xi’an without making time to see the Terracotta Warriors or, as you often hear them termed, the Terracotta Army. These were originally discovered in 1974, purely by accident, by a farmer who was digging a well. Now, they have been moved to the Terracotta Warriors and Horse Museum, around 30km east of the city. There, you will see more than 7000 soldiers, chariots, and horses, all arranged in full battle formation as they guard Emperor Qin’s tomb.

xian terracotta

The museum includes 3 pits with the first being the largest, alongside an exhibition hall where you will find the horses and the chariots. It is open every day, and your admission also allows you into the Qin Shihuang’ Mausoleum.

  1. The Big Goose Pagoda

wild goose pagoda

The Big Goose Pagoda is found inside the Daci’en Temple, one of the holiest places in the center of Xi’an. It is a Buddhist temple, still active, and you will hear and see the monks going about their daily lives, working, and chanting. Both the temple and the pagoda were built during the Tang dynasty between 618 and 907, with the temple being built first. The locals go there to burn scented joss sticks and to worship, and tourists can pay to enter the temple, and then if they wish, pay a further small fee to go up the Big Goose Pagoda. It is open every day throughout the year.

  1. Huaqing Hot Springs

Huaqing palace Xian

The Huaqing Hot Springs is on the way to the Terracotta Warrior Museum. The springs are found just 8 km from the museum, at the foot of the Lishan Mountain. The scenery in the springtime is spectacular, and this reason alone draws the visitors, but others come to learn about the Tang Dynasty, experience Chinese gardening, and hear the love story of Emperor Xuanzong and Yang Guifei, his concubine. If history is what you want, this is the place to visit. It is open all year round, every day, but spring is the time to come if you want the scenery.

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