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Xian Ancient City Wall - Best Preserved City Wall in China

Ancient city wall which surrounds the old city in a large square area. The northern side runs parallel to the railway. Xi'an was originally a walled city, and even today the wall is considered a landmark dividing the city into the inner part and the outer part. The city wall is massive — tall, long, and thick. The South Gate and North Gate are the two main entrances to the inner city. The city itself is neatly arranged along the city wall.

Ancient City Wall Facts

Xi'an Ancient City Wall

This extremely well-preserved city wall is a wonderful testimony to the engineering and construction skills of the ancient Chinese people. Walking or biking around the wall is awe-inspiring with interesting and different views of the old and new parts of Xian.

Type: Ancient Ruins, Sights & Landmarks

Best Seasons: Mar – Jun / Sep – Nov

Recommended Visiting Time: 1~3 hours

Opening Hours:for South Gate: 8:00 – 22:00; for Hanguang Gate: 8:00 – 17:30; for other gates: Apr 1st – Apr 30th: 8:00 – 18:00 / May 1st – Oct 31st: 8:00 – 19:00 / Nov 1st – Mar 31st: 8:00 – 18:00

Tickets: ¥54

Address: Zhongxin District, Xi'an 710001, China

Xi'an Ancient City Wall is the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. The wall was erected in the 14th century Ming Dynasty, under the regime of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. It witnessed the historical vicissitudes of Xi'an and is considered a landmark dividing the city into the inner part and the outer part.

Riding a bike or taking a stroll along the city wall is a good way to explore the history behind it. You'll be surprised to find that the base of the wall was made of earth, quick lime, and glutinous rice extract, tamped together. It made the wall extremely strong and firm. Later, the wall was totally enclosed with bricks.

From the top, you can enjoy views of the different areas of the city, including areas with time-honored brand-name shops to busy bar streets.

Things to Do on Xi'an City Wall

Xian Ancient City Wall

Walking on the City Wall

As you leisurely stroll on some of the ancient city walls, you can best enjoy its inner and outer walls, watchtowers, moat, and landscaped environs, as well as slightly elevated views of the city. Having an expert guide will help you appreciate the city wall's history.

It is recommended that you visit in the late afternoon for the best combination of temperature and light for photography. It is also wonderful to stay till evening and enjoy the colorfully-lit wall and Xi'an night views.

Cycling on the City Wall

Cycling on the wall makes for a great way to get some terrific views of the city and a great way to get some exercise (after all that eating at the food street). As the wall is 13+ km (8+ miles) long, cycling is a good way to see more (or all) of it.

Cycling on the City Wall

The rental fee for a normal bike (not a tandem) is 40 yuan per bicycle for 1½ hours. We recommend that you rent a bicycle at the foot of the wall for a better price.

Xian Ancient City Wall Nearby Places to Go

In the area enclosed by the Ancient City Wall, there are several attractions that are very close to the wall. Since they are all in the city center, it will only cost you several minutes to get these attractions from the city wall.

Bell Tower and Drum Tower

All built-in Ming Dynasty, the Bell Tower, and Drum Tower are the landmark of Xian City. The two towers are only several minutes walk from each other, and they are located on the two sides of the Bell & Drum Tower Square. Xian Bell Tower and Drum Tower are the largest and best-preserved bell tower and drum tower in China. To ascend the tower, you need to pay 35 yuan for each tower, while the combination ticket only costs you 50 yuan.

Muslim Quarter

Next to the Bell Tower is the Muslim Quarter, which concentrates the essence of Xian food and snacks. Muslim style architectures stand amidst the thousand-year-old Muslim Quarter. Popular not only for tourists but also for the local people, Muslim Quarter is the best place to taste Shaanxi flavor.

Great Mosque

Very close to the Muslim Quarter and Drum Tower, the Great Mosque is a perfect combination of Chinese classic architecture and Muslim architecture. Built-in the late fourteenth century, the mosque had been marked with the traditional architecture style of the Ming Dynasty. Except for the gorgeous buildings, the colored painting decoration in the mosque will also bring a visual feast for your eyes.

Useful Xian Ancient City WallTips

Map of Xian Ancient City Wall

1. Tourist Facility

Tourist Center is at the South Gate, which provides services like storage, resting area, consultant, clinic, and others. Besides, there are 12 public toilets on the wall, and ask the staff for locations if you need.

2. How to Get to the Ancient City Wall

There are 8 different gates at Xian Ancient City Wall, namely the East Gate (Changle Gate, 长乐门), the South Gate (Yongning Gate, 永宁门), the West Gate (Anding Gate, 安定门), the North Gate (Anyuan Gate, 安远门), Heping Gate (和平门), Wenchang Gate (文昌门), Hanguang Gate (含光门), and Shangde Gate (尚德门). You can arrive at the City Wall based on your closest distance. Among all 8 gates, South Gate (Yongning Gate, 永宁门) is the most popular gate to get up to the Ancient City Wall.

A: Xian Railway Station is located very close to the wall, and you can ascend to the wall through Shangde Gate from Xian Railway Station.

B: In the city center, you can take bus 321, 323, 402, 405, K600, etc. and get off at Nanmen Stop (南门站: South Gate Stop), and ascend to the all through the South Gate.

C: Metro line 2 has connected the Ancient City Wall with other places in Xian, and you can take this subway to get off at South Gate (Yongning Gate, 永宁门) or Anyuanmen Stop (安远门) to get to the wall.

3. Weather Notice

The weather in Xian is rather dry compared to the southern cities in China, so it’s better to drink more water and use some moisturizers. Strong UV is also a problem in summer, thus, use sun block, hat and sun glasses to protect your skin from the sun burns.

4. Best Visit Time

Mar – Jun / Sep – Nov are the best visiting time. Not too cold or too hot in spring and autumn, thus the two seasons are the best travel time. If you visit in summer, it’s advised to visit in the morning or the late afternoon.

How to Plan a Xi'an Tour

Xian has a lot of places to visit. Terracotta Warriors and Horses buried for more than 2000 years is definitely a must-see. After that, take a stroll or rent a bike on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China, to enjoy panoramic views of modern Xi’an. Then try some local snacks at the bustling and lively Muslim Quarter. On the next day, you can go to visit Da Cien Temple and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda to feel the Buddhist culture, then get a deeper understanding of the past of this city in Shaanxi History Museum. If you are interested in mountain climbing, don’t miss the challenging Mount Huashan which is famous for lofty peaks and steep paths. If you have other ideas or questions about a Xian tour, please feel free to contact us. We are also specialized in customized tours according to your own requirements, interests, travelling budgets, etc.

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