Topping the list of sights in and around Xian are the Terracotta Warriors, the Muslim Quarter and the City Walls. With a little more time, you can discover countless other sights including pagodas, mosques, markets, and museums. Read on for tips on how to get the most out of three days in Xian.
Day 1: Ancient Xian
Start your time in Xian with an exploration of the city’s historical wonders. Begin with a morning trip to the star attraction, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Choose between the value of a small-group tour and the flexibility of a private tour. To make the most of your day, consider combining a morning at the Terracotta Warriors with an afternoon tour of Xian’s other historical highlights. Cycle around the ancient city walls (among the best preserved in the world) or learn more about the history of the city and province at the excellent Shaanxi History Museum. After all that sightseeing, it’s time to sit back and relax during a Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, where you’ll be treated to a dumpling feast and colorful song-and-dance gala.
Day 2: Modern City
You’ve taken a deep dive into Xian’s history, now it’s time to appreciate the modern city and all its multicultural appeal. Start with a visit to one of Xian’s newest attractions, the Xian Museum, then climb to the top of the neighboring Little Wild Goose Pagoda for panoramic views over the surrounding area. In the afternoon, consider learning more about modern Xian culture by taking a calligraphy class, kung fu workshop, or Chinese painting lesson at a local art museum. In the evening, head out on a food tour to experience the fusion of Muslim and Chinese flavors in modern Xian’s cuisine, a city highlight. Tour on foot or by tuk-tuk through the old city or the bustling Muslim Quarter.
Day 3: Outdoor Adventure
Now that you’ve seen the city, spend your last day taking in the surrounding countryside. Get an early start toward Mount Huashan, known for its steep and narrow paths and high mountain peaks. To make the most of your time, take a cable car to the summit, then explore the hiking trails, passing Buddhist and Taoist temples and numerous scenic viewpoints along the way. After a long day on the mountain, head back to Xian for your final night on the town. Enjoy the city’s nightlife on a bar-hopping tour of Xian, or for something a bit more low key, visit a local craft brewery for a refreshing pint and a toast to safe travels.