The Sites of Xian - after you've seen the Terracotta Warriors!

Xi'an ancient city wall

Most visitors arrive in Xian for one purpose and that is to see the famous terracotta Warriors. The 3rd century BC terracotta Army is a UNESCO site and a once-in-a-lifetime experience; but the city of Xian has a lot more to offer than just this one site. Here are the top attractions of Xian – after you've seen the Terracotta Army!

Bell Tower
In Xian's city center you can see the Bell Tower which was constructed in 1384 during the Ming Dynasty, it is the largest Bell Tower in China and one of the finest examples of Bell Tower architecture. The tower is 35.5 meters long and 36 meters tall with three layers of eaves and 6 meter tall arches on each side of the tower to allow traffic to pass through. Visitors can climb the staircase within the tower to the top for great views of the city. The tower is beautifully decorated with glazed tiles, bass-relief work and painted rafters.  Inside the tower are ancient bronze bells which are played daily.

Shaanxi History Museum
Learn all about Shaanxi's imperialist past in a building that was designed to look like it was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). For 1,100 years (221BC-904AD) Xian was the capital of China and many relics and artifacts from that period are on display in this museum. The museum holds 37,000 artifacts which were uncovered in Shaanxi Province excavations. Among the treasures are bronze, gold and silver ware, frescoes from the Tang Tombs, Terracotta figures, porcelain from the famous Yaozhou Kiln, religious artifacts and ancient chimes among other things. 

Xian Ancient City Wall
This is China's best preserved ancient city wall; they protected the city through the course of 13 Chinese dynasties and encircle the old part of Xian. The wall is 13,912 meters in circumference, 12 meters high and the foundations are 18 meters wide while the top of the wall is 12 meters wide. There is a gate facing each point of the compass and watch towers, turrets and gate towers. The wall was surrounded by a moat. The wall were restored in 1983 and there is a pleasant park area around the base of the wall. Visitors can wander along the top of the wall and see the ancient defense systems like the historic cannons.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda
This beautiful pagoda is within the Da Ci'En Temple complex; it was originally constructed during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and completed in 652AD. The pagoda was originally 5 stories it was later reconstructed and the structure we see today was built during the Ming Dynasty, is 7 stories high and reaches 64 meters from the ground. Traditional Chinese bracket construction was used whereby the pagoda was built with bricks but with no cement. Visitors to the pagoda can also see the largest musical fountain in Asia which covers approximately 110,000m² and performs every two hours from 12 noon until 8pm.

Huaqing Hot Spring
For 3,000 years people have been enjoying the rejuvenating powers of these natural hot springs. The springs are at the foot of Li Mountain within the Li Palace complex. The palace was built so that Emperor Xuanzong could enjoy the hot springs during his relaxing winter retreat.  Here you can see the Nine Dragon Pool, Lotus Flower Pool and the Frost Drifting Hall which were all built in the Tang Dynasty style.

For visiting Xian in a short time, this tour is definitely worth to take: