Xian, is located in central-northwest China. Called Chang'an (meaning the eternal city) in ancient times, it is one of the birthplaces of the ancient Chinese civilisation. As the eastern terminal of the Silk Road and the archaeological discovery site of the famous Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, the city has won a reputation world over.


How to get to Xi'an

The best way to get to Xi’an from either Beijing or Shanghai is via train.

You have 2 options

  • Bullet train - Which takes around 4.5 – 6 hours depending on what train you take. You can see tickets and fares and also book via Ctrip 

  • Overnight sleeper train. This can take between 12-17hours. The tickets are prices depending on type of seat you choose, hard seat, deluxe sleeper, hard sleeper, soft sleeper. Book via Ctrip 

You have to keep in mind that the trains in China arrive and depart at exactly the time stated on the tickets so don’t be late!!.

We took the high speed bullet train from Beijing West to Xian (approximately 5.5 hours). Tickets cost – 515 Yuan per person each way. We arrived at Xianbei North Station.

Getting from Xianbei North to the city:

  • Bus – You can get a bus from the south square

  • Subway – Subway line to takes you to the city centre,

  • Taxi – Follow signs to the south square, there will be a line for the official taxi stand.


Where to stay in Xi’an

  • Xi’an Centre – Full off tourist attractions, such as the Bell Tower and City Wall. Huge choice of hotels.

  • Yanya District – Location south of Xian city, its home to the Wild Goose Pagoda and Great Mosque of Xi’an.

  • Lintong District – About an hour from Xian city, it’s the location for the Terracotta Warriors excavation site and the Mausoleum of Emperor Qui Shi Huang

  • NB: Xian is far less expensive then Beijing and Shanghai. We were able to stay at the super luxurious Sofitel Remnin Square.


Things to do in Xi’an with children

  • Terracotta Warriors ­– A collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies the first Emperor of China. Said to protect the emperor in the afterlife.

    • We negotiated a private taxi for 450 Yuan for the day to visit the Terracotta Warriors and Palace Mausoleum.

    • Plenty of tour guides are on hand and will offer their services at competitive rates.  Alternatively you can purchase an audio guide for 40 Yuan per person.

  • Giant Wild Goose Pagoda - A Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi'an

  • Bell Tower – A building that marks the centre of the ancient capital. Houses one of the most persevered bronze cast bells in China. From this building, streets go to each gate of the city wall, north, south, east and west.

  • Drum Tower – In the ancient times the drums were used to signal to the city of a warning of an emergency situation.

  • City Wall – A glimpse of the ancient world with gates on each side of the wall. Walk around or through the wall in to the ancient city.

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