Exploring Xi’an: 8 Short Trip Ideas

The best way to explore Xi’an: take your time 

As one of the most ancient and cultural cities in China, there is a lot to explore in Xi’an.  Xi’an is an amazing destination that you will find welcoming from the very moment that you arrive.  

While you may be ready to dive in and see as much as you can – maybe you’ve planned out lots of activities in a short amount of time, we recommend that you slow down, take your time, and really absorb the intricacies of the sights you’ll be seeing.  

They all come from the very depth of history, with many stories to tell. 

Here are 8 short trip ideas when you are visiting Xi’an:

Explore the Beauty of Mount Huashan

The top one to do for Xi’an travelers. 

This mountain emanates beauty from every inch, which is why it should be near the top of your list of things to do while visiting Xi’an.

While you can spend just a couple hours here, we guarantee that you will end up staying for the entire day. It is a difficult hike to the top of this spectacular mountain, but you can choose to purchase a ticket to ride the cable car to the top and walk to the peak from there instead. 

Mount Huashan in Xi'an

Visit the Shaanxi History Museum

This massive museum will take an entire day to completely wander through, especially if you take your time and focus on all the items that are on display.  

Imagine seeing murals from different emperors’ tombs before stumbling upon different artifacts that share the history of the Silk Road. Mixed into it all are paintings from famous artists.  

Shaanxi History Museum
Image Credit: chinadiscovery

Visit Yuanjia Village

While you can see some history from the Tang Dynasty in Xi’an, one of the best places to experience it completely is the Yuanjia Village.  

The cobbled streets are lined with tiny houses and the alleys leading to little nooks that are full of stories from another time. 

The locals cook their food over a wood fire and all the ancient traditions can be experienced there. A scene you probably never seen before.  

Yuanjia Village in Xi'an
Image Credit:

Experience the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show at Night

The most prosperous time in China was during the Tang Dynasty. 

You can learn more about those times when you watch a performance of the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show.  

As you sit in the audience, you will feel like you are being transported back in time, as you experience the life of the court.  

The two best places to see this show are the Shaanxi Grand Opera House and the Tang Dynasty Palace.  

 Shaanxi Grand Opera House
Shaanxi Grand Opera House (Credit: China Dragon Tours)

Visit the Qianling Mausoleum

You will find yourself intrigued as you learn the history of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty and his wife, Wu Zetian, when you visit the Qianling Mausoleum.  

Wu Zetian was the first and only woman emperor in the history of China and she is buried here along with her husband.  

During your visit, you will also see the tombs of the other princes and princesses from the Tang Dynasty that are buried here, as well as colorful murals, sculptures, and pottery figurines that have been discovered within the tombs.  

qianling mausoleum in Xi'an

Visit the Huiminjie Muslim Market

This market is full of stalls that offer delicious cuisine, snacks, drinks, spices, and much more.  

Literally, all the souvenirs that you could ever want, which means you can do some shopping and send some gifts back home.  

While you can visit this market at any time, many people prefer to go at night, when it is lit up with blue lights that sparkle as the sun is setting in the background.  

Moselem Street in Xi'an
Image Credit: Easy Tour China

Visit the Great Mosque

The Great Mosque can be found right inside the Huiminjie Muslim Market, so you can have a two-for-one attraction special when you visit.  

Most people visit the mosque before they begin to stroll through the market looking for their evening meal.  

This mosque has approximately twelve thousand meters to explore, so you might be there a while as you wander through the wonderful courtyards and pavilions. 

Great Mosque in Xian
Image Credit: The Islamic Monthly

Visit the Wild Goose Pagoda

Surprisingly, the Wild Goose Pagoda can be found near the history museum. 

It is the perfect spot to visit to do some people watching while relaxing.  

This plaza was constructed during the Tang Dynasty and there are Buddhist materials there that were taken from India by Xuanzang.  

The best of Xi’an can be seen from the top of the pagoda. So make sure that you go inside, and take the time to make the climb.  

Wild Goose Pagoda Xi'an
Image Credit: Advantour

Enjoy your time in Xi’an 

There are many more to explore in Xi’an, both as a cultural city, as well as a modern city (such as shopping malls, gardens in the city, city life, gyms and entertainment activities). 

Some of these attractions are closer than others, and a few will take longer than others to complete see. Therefore, we recommend that you choose your visits carefully, so you do not miss out on any of the beauty that this city offers. Many of these places even worth multiple visits.

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