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Xi'an

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TRAVEL GUIDE – XI’AN

Xi’an (English pronunciation: /ˈʃiˈɑn/) has a very long history. If genuine Chinese culture, surroundings and architecture is your thing, a visit to the city and the surroundings, including the famous terracotta army, is a must. Xi’an is one of China’s four most important cities in terms of cultural history. A long time ago, this was an important stop on the famous Silk Road, and there has been plenty of space for trade and commerce ever since. These days, the majority of the trade concerns software and electronic goods, but tourists can also enjoy plenty of other kinds of shopping – regardless of whether you are looking for traditional handicrafts or fashion.

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda – one of the oldest buildings in China, and one of the most famous landmarks in the city. It is located just 2km south of Xi’an.

More Chinese history is revealed at Shaanxi History Museum – one of the four largest museums in China.

The Bell Tower and the Drum Tower – two famous historic buildings in central Xi’an where you get great views of the city.

Hire a bicycle and take a tour around the Xi’an City Wall, a beautifully preserved wall from the Ming Dynasty that runs around the entire city.

The Muslim Quarter – contains the oldest mosque in China, the Great Mosque of Xi’an, which lies alongside a bazaar with food stalls, souvenirs, clothes and local handicrafts.

Terracotta Army – a must-see you simply can´t miss. More than 8,000 warriors, older than 2200 years old and made from terracotta are buried in the ground about 30km east of Xi’an. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Takes around 60 minutes from Xi’an North Railway station.

Hanyang Tomb Museum – the emperor’s burial site lies a few kilometres from the Terracotta Army.

Huáqīng chí – these hot springs with their beautiful surroundings, architecture and imperial history are also just a few kilometres from the Terracotta Army.

Xi’an has everything from small and quaint street stalls to huge malls and shopping centres filled with designer clothes. Popular souvenirs are items such as beautiful paper cuttings, ceramics with three-colour glaze and miniature terracotta warriors. Bear in mind, however, that a lot of the goods sold on the streets are not genuine. Do not be afraid to bargain.

Bell & Drum Tower Commercial Center – the most popular area for shopping centred around four main shopping streets.

Xiaozhai – another trendy shopping district with many large malls.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda – surrounded by a large commercial area where you can shop for everything from traditional handicrafts to electronic goods.

Xi’an antiques market – the city’s largest antiques market situated close to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. For more antiques shopping visit Ba Xian Gong market.

Xi’an is in the Shaanxi province and is famous for its sour soups, aromatic spices and fantastic noodles. Food is inexpensive and tasty, and street stalls can be found all over the city, while the centre also has top restaurants. Beiyuanmen Street is a very long street packed with food stalls and restaurants. The Muslim Quarter also offers many fantastic culinary delights.

Yang Rou Pao Mo – small pieces of unleavened flatbread (such as pita bread) placed inside a lamb stew.

Fen Tang Yang Xie – a soup of vermicelli (noodles), sheep’s blood and small pieces of unleavened flatbread.

Guan Tang Bao – steamed buns (a type of dumpling) flavored with gravy.

Liang Pi – cold noodles flavored with chili oil, vinegar and sesame paste.

Rou Jia Mo – finely chopped pork or beef stewed in sauces and spices and placed inside a flatbread.

Huang Gui Shi Zi Bing – a sweet cake of flour and persimmon with a sweet bean paste or rose sauce added.

Niu Rou Bing – a fried pancake filled with beef and chives.

Tea – mostly green which is also used in tea ceremonies.

Sweet thick rice wine – also known as yellow cassia wine.

Pomegranate juice – freshly pressed. Easy to find on the streets.

Taxi – the easiest option for tourists. Metred taxis are used within the city, but prices should be negotiated beforehand for longer distances.

Subway – there are two operational subway lines in Xi’an, with two more under construction.

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Xièxiè

Currency in China – Yuan (¥)

Electricity in China – 220 volts, 50Hz

Bring cash – not all ATMs accept foreign cards in Xi’an. You can exchange money at major hotels.

Tips – officially tipping is not required in China, but it is becoming more and more common.

Time zone – Xi’an (China) UTC/GMT + 8 hours (-1 hour during summer time in countries that use summer time/winter time).

Water – it’s recommended to drink bottled water in China.

Bargaining – it is fine to bargain at market stalls but not in shopping centers.

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (XIY)

The airport is located 47 km northwest of the Xi’an city centre.

  • Finnair flights: terminal T2
  • Check-in opens 2 hours before departure
  • Check-in closes 1 hour before departure


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