Meet your personal guide and separate driver at your downtown Xian hotel and journey by private, air-conditioned vehicle to the UNESCO-listed Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, located on the city’s outskirts.
On route, listen to tales of this sculpted army, discovered accidentally in 1974, and considered one of the world’s greatest-ever archaeological finds.
The collection of over 7,000 clay statues of soldiers, horses, and chariots was created in the 3rd century BC to accompany China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, into the afterlife. The army was buried alongside him and features individually carved figurines, each with unique facial features, heights, and postures. Marvel at the soldiers and other artifacts, and enjoy the opportunity to fashion your own miniature warrior from clay.
Afterward, savor a Qin-dynasty-style lunch at the Da Qin Xiao Yan restaurant, whose chefs create dishes inspired by Qin culture. Then, continue to the TangBo Art Museum, a showcase of art mostly from China’s Tang dynasty, dating from between the 7th and 10th centuries.
View the must-sees here, including an exhibition on the history of Chinese painting, and take a fascinating lesson in Chinese calligraphy, learning the secrets of this ancient, delicate art form.
Next, return to Xian and visit its City Walls, built over 600 years ago during the Ming dynasty. Standing 39 feet (12 meters) high and running 8.5 miles (14 kilometers) around old Xian, these imperious fortifications are the best-preserved in China, and feature wide ramparts, watchtowers, corner towers, gate towers, and parapets. The ramparts reach 46 feet (14 meters) wide in places.
Take a stroll on the walkway, admiring the panoramas over old and modern Xian, and then conclude your tour with a hotel drop-off.