Bell and Drum Tower Square is located in the heart of Xian, right at the intersection of the four main roads running from north to south and east to west across the city. Linked by an underground passage, the square’s Bell Tower and Drum Tower are its main attractions, standing as ancient symbols of the Old City. Built in the Ming Dynasty, the towers were once used to keep time, and today they attract tourists and locals who gather in the square to marvel at their architecture.
As well as these impressive towers, there are a choice of places to eat, shop, and enjoy some people watching and live music in the square. It’s the perfect place to learn about the history of Xian and take some impressive photos. If arriving at the square in the early morning, you’ll find a gathering of locals, mostly elders, going about their morning exercises. Visit at night, and you’ll find more of a younger crowd taking an evening stroll or simply enjoying the atmosphere.
Bell and Drum Tower Square is a highlight on various full-day tours of Xian and is usually combined with other top attractions in the city, such as the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and Muslim Market.
If not arriving as part of an organized tour with transport included, you can reach Bell and Drum Tower Square by taking Line 2 of the subway to Bell Tower Station and heading west from exit B. Local buses also serve the area.
Did You Know? The Drum Tower has been renovated several times and a huge drum measuring 1.8 meters tall with a surface diameter of almost three meters was added to the tower in 1996. The new drum is decorated with 1,996 studs to represent the year it was made.