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Top Activities in Xi'an

See all 874 things to do in Xi'an


Xi'an Attractions

When you're in one of the oldest great cities in one of the world's oldest civilizations, there's plenty to see and do. Along with Stone Age villages to terracotta soldiers, terrace farms and towering brick pagodas, you're surrounded by great food, arts, and traditions that reflect a few thousand years' worth of heritage. Get to know the styles and colors of the Tang Dynasty court, the incredible view from one of China's sacred mountains, and a terrific selection of things to do in Xi'an and among the towering stone hills of the countryside.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Xi'an

Old City

Surrounded by some of the best-preserved ancient city walls in China, Xi'an's historic center features 14 th -century landmarks and modern shopping malls laid out around the old street grid. Hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks share the area with parkland, towers, and places of worship that have been part of the cityscape since the Middle Ages.


A cluster of newer developments built away from the walls and outside Xi'an's second ring road, Yanta takes advantage of the extra space. Eighth-century pagodas and royal retreats rest alongside suburban neighborhoods, which lead to commercial districts of office towers, performance halls, and museums.


Set in a triangle in northern Xi'an between the second ring road and the banks of the Weihe and Bahe rivers, modern Weiyang is known for its corporate headquarters and science and technology parks. Along with the dumpling shops filled with Chinese professionals, though, the area hosts some of the city's oldest relics, with fortifications and palace ruins that date back to the Han Dynasty 1,000 years ago.

What to See in Xi'an

The army of terracotta figures crafted back in the second century BC is easily Xi'an's most famous attraction, but they aren't the oldest or biggest draw in town. You can check out the immense city walls that have kept the same iconic design since the 1300s, or visit the Banpo archaeological site to see one of the earliest settlements found in the country. You can admire the 1,400-year-old elegance of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or the rebuilt gates of Daming Palace, home of the Tang Dynasty's emperors for more than 200 years. The Great Mosque of Xi'an is a showcase of uniquely Chinese design, and a former Confucian temple holds a trove of stonework and calligraphy in the Stele Forest.

Sightseeing in Xi'an

If you're having trouble deciding which of Xi'an's grand historic sites to visit first, there are plenty of guides you can turn to for advice. There's a private tour that shows off the vast range of architecture the city has collected over the years, another that features a 2,000-year-old tomb and even older Stone Age relics, and a trip to explore the origins of Taoism at Chongyang Palace.

For a look back at the city's heyday as the center of Chinese life, you can spend an evening at a theme park that recreates the brilliance of the Tang Dynasty or treat yourself to a dumpling banquet with live entertainment that could have come straight from the imperial court. And if you're more in the mood for Xi'an's modern nightlife, a guide can take you on a walking tour to some of the best dishes in town.

To get some time in the countryside, take a day trip to admire the views from the peak of Mount Hua or take a ride across Pingyao County to visit an ancient city where it almost seems like the Ming Dynasty never ended. If you have the time to spare, a high-speed train can carry you to Luoyang for a tour through another of China's great ancient capitals.

Free Things to Do in Xi'an

Taking a break in Xi'an on a budget? The following can be seen for nada.

Forest of Stelae Museum - Round up the entire family and set off on a journey of discovery through history together.

Zhangxueliang Residence - If you'd love to explore the region's history through its landmarks, add this one to your must-see list.

Xi'an Qujiang International Convention Center - Look up your guidebook and find out why this place deserves a spot on your to-do list.

Xi'an Town's God Temple - Inject a bit of spirituality into your vacation by dropping by this sacred site.

Qujiangchi site Park - Cultivate your green thumb and admire the glorious plants on show.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Xi'an

Xi’an City Center

Noted for its historic sites and gardens, there's plenty to explore in Xi’an City Center. Top attractions like Xi'an Bell Tower and Xi'an City Walls are major draws, and you can hop on the metro at Yongningmen Station or Zhonglou Station to see more of the city.

Historical BuildingsTemplesBiking

Yanta Qu

You might enjoy the historic sites while in Yanta Qu. Shaanxi History Museum is a notable sight, and you can get around town at Wei 1-jie Station or Xiaozhai Station to see more of the city.

TemplesWildlifeHistorical Buildings


Appreciated for its restaurants and museums, you might consider exploring Weiyang. Check out the variety of things to see and do like Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor, and jump on the metro at Shi Tushuguan Station or Fengcheng 5-lu Station to get around the city.

MuseumsRiversHistorical Buildings


Travelers enjoy Gaoxin for its restaurants and museums. Consider checking out Golden Eagle while you're in the area.

SpasNatural ParksMuseums


Lianhu is a destination travelers like for its historic sites, and you might hop aboard the metro at Zhonglou Station or Beidajie Station to explore sights like Great Mosque of Xi'an.

Historical BuildingsTemplesBiking


Beilin is a destination travelers like for its historic sites, and you might hop aboard the metro at Yongningmen Station or Nanshaomen Station to explore sights like Drum Tower.

TemplesHistorical BuildingsBiking

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Xi'an famous for?

Terracotta Army lives up to its reputation as an iconic attraction that you shouldn't miss.

What should I not miss in Xi'an?

Bring your appetite for adventure and check off these leading attractions:

  • Xi'an Bell Tower
  • Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Drum Tower

What can you do in Xi'an for free?

Your escape to Xi'an won't cost a fortune with free attractions like these to explore:

  • Xi'an Shiyou University
  • Shaanxi Xi'an Yajian International Golf Club
  • Tang City Wall Ruins Park
  • Qujiangchi site Park