Xi’an : Discover the historic city of China

Starting point of the Silk Road, Xi’an has always had in its DNA a rather exceptional multicultural aspect in China. Some even claim that the city is five thousand years old! We invite you to discover Xi’an, a historic city in China not to be missed.

Discover Xi’an, the history

The eastern end of the Silk Road , home to one of the most important archaeological finds in the world and the cradle of Chinese civilization: Xi’an is a must-see in the Asian giant. Although cities like Beijing and Shanghai may be a little more famous in the West, Xi’an is a pearl of the Far East, a must-see for lovers of archeology and history.

Its Terracotta Warriors are undoubtedly the biggest attraction in the city. The enormous army of more than eight thousand figures of warriors that accompany Qin Shi Huang, makes those who visit the mausoleum of the first Chinese emperor turn pale . The place has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco and is one of the most significant archaeological finds in history.

But Xi’an has much more to offer its visitors. Its magnificent walls , in an incredible state of preservation, make up one of the oldest defensive systems in the world . In addition, in Xi’an you can visit one of the largest museums in China and famous natural enclaves of incomparable beauty.

Lastly, Xi’an cuisine will take you on a walk through the flavors of all of China . With its dumplings, cold noodles and soups, it will offer you a delicious and complete overview of the country’s gastronomy.

Do not miss a visit to this ancient city, where history will meet you at every step. Enjoy Xi’an and discover the spirit of ancient China !

What to do in Xi’an: The Xi’an Mausoleum and its Terracotta Army

With a population of over 8 million, Xi’an is not just an ultramodern Chinese metropolis. It is also and above all one of the most visited cities in China because of the presence of the Terracotta Army, one of the most beautiful Chinese historical sites which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. it is even the most visited monument in China after the Great Wall! If the perforator of those who designed it is quite different; it is nonetheless impressive. The Xi’an Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 by a peasant working in the fields. Five years later some eight thousand statues were visible to the public. Erected in honor of Emperor Qin, this army has the specificity of only counting representatives with a unique sculpted face. Each of them are unique. During the visit you will be able to see excavations and see one of these painted warriors. The paint resists the atmosphere only three days after coming out of the ground. If you want your souvenir statue of the site, wait until you come back to the city of Xi’an, much cheaper than at the souvenir shop! As for the visit, the guide will take you to pit no. 1, which has the largest number of soldiers (about six thousand soldiers). In pit no. 3, which only has about sixty warriors, you can see a tank, it’s quite impressive! Finish with a short tour of the estate, you still have to discover the old town.

Discover Xi’an: How to get there?

From the city of Xi’an you can access it by choosing the bus and visits with your respective hotels. It is best to get there by taxi, ten euros each way, or by bus lines. Choose a local guide for the visit, many of them speak French.

The Muslim Quarter of Xi’an

Arrive through the bell and drum towers. Imposing, surrounded by road, they conceal an undeniable cultural aspect where the history of the region and its emperors are counted. Then head to the Hui district, the Muslim district which opens its doors to you. Stroll through the small streets with atypical shops, especially spices. Then you have to discover the mosque of the city. With its quintessentially Chinese architecture, the mosque is puzzling yet confusing. Built in 1392, it is one of the oldest mosques in the country. Walking in the gardens is a real pleasure. Discover with new eyes this monument listed as a UNESCO heritage site, contemplate the Islamic art that sublimates this fantastic mosque.

Discover Xi’an: When to go?

When to go to Xi’an? The seasons of mainland China are very similar to those present in France. While traveling to Xi’an from November to March is not recommended, the weather becomes much more pleasant at the dawn of summer during the months of May and June. During the summer the high heat can destabilize more than one but is all the same acceptable.

Discover Xi’an: Where to eat in the historic city?

In the Hui district, take a table in the small alleys. Fresh pasta is a real treat. If you want a piece of meat, the chicken and the letons are in the spotlight. The Muslim quarter gives pride of place to oriental cuisine by adding a local aspect.

The essentials to discover Xi’an

  • Visit the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum . There you will see the Terracotta Warriors and you will be surprised by the incredible level of detail of the figures. A large-scale craft work that has rarely been seen in the history of mankind. On the walk you will discover why they were buried next to the emperor and the importance of the find for archaeology.
  • Tour the city wall . The Xi’an wall is the best preserved in all of China . The incredible 12 meter high wall forms a rectangle around the city that stretches for 14 kilometres. It can be covered in its entirety. You can do it on foot, by bicycle or even, in some sectors, by golf cart. The views from the heights will allow you to appreciate the contrasts between the old and modern buildings in the city.
  • Visit the Shaanxi History Museum . One of the largest museums in China will offer you an excellent overview of the history of the country and the region . You will have the chance to see some Terracotta Warriors and incredible murals and copper work. The building is as impressive as its collections: a huge colossus of more than 5,000 square meters designed during the Tang dynasty.
  • Delight yourself with the Great Wild Goose Pagoda. With its particular architectural style, this pagoda is  a rare and exquisite jewel. It is one of the few examples of a Tang-style pagoda in the country. In addition to knowing the imposing construction, you will like to know the splendid gardens in its surroundings. It is located in an area of ​​shops, restaurants and galleries where you can walk for a while.
  • Take a walk through the Muslim Quarter. The Muslim community has its place in Xi’an, and the area stands out not only for its more than 10 mosques, but also for its incredible bazaar . The narrow alleys are full of shops with typical foods. A good place to spend an entertaining moment and try flavors of Islamic cuisine.

Near cities

Being in China you cannot miss its other big cities :

  • Peking . An exciting city with important treasures to discover: the Forbidden City , the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace are just some of them. In addition, very close to Beijing are the most visited sections of the Great Wall of China : Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Jingshanling.
  • Shanghai . The best place to get to know the modern face of China . In Shanghai you will delight in the soaring skyscrapers and their brilliant night illumination. You will get to know the fast pace of life in one of the most important economic poles in China and you will be able to appreciate the incredible contrasts that mark it on fire. In its customs and buildings, East and West, past and future, tradition and modernity coexist.

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