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One Day Tour in Xian: Xian City Wall & Shannxi History Museum

Today, I recommend you  Xi’an Day Tour, and you will visit three Xi'an attractions, including Xi’an City Wall, Shannxi History Museum and Big Wild Goose Pagoda. At first, you have a 2 hours tour in the city wall and see the whole city from the city wall. Then go to Shannxi History Museum and see historical and valuable items. In the end, you have a short tour to Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

Reading Guideline:

Xi'an City Wall (08:00-10:00)

► Xi'an City Wall Facts

xian city wall

Xi’an City Wall, is built at the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD-1644 AD), and it is the best preserved and largest ancient city wall existing in China. Xi’an City Wall is located in the downtown of Xi’an, and is enclosed in four sides, which forms a rectangle, with a circumference of 13.74 kilometers. It has a height of 12 meters, and a width of 15-18 meters in the bottom and a width of 12-14 meters at the top.

Xi' an City Wall Gates

Xi’an City Wall is first built with four gates in four sides, and in the early 20th century, many gates are made, thus it now has 18 gates. The four gates are Changle Gate(East Gate), Yongning Gate (South Gate), Anding Gate(West Gate), Anyuan Gate(North Gate). As a military defensive project, first it is encircled by river, second, the four gates have three protective layers, and third, on the city wall, it has military constructions like arrow tower sand watch towers. For more information, please visit Xi'an City Wall.


Xi'an City Wall Entrances: East Gate, West Gate, South Gate, North Gate, Heping Gate, Wenchang Gate, Hanguang Gate and Shangde Gate.

Xi'an City Wall Performance: the performance at Diaoqiao square, South Gate at 09:30 is to imitate the ancient ritual of opening a gate. At 10:30 and 16:30, there is a martial performance at Wengcheng, South Gate.


Xi'an City Wall Opening Hours

  • South Gate: 08:00-22:00(all year round)
  • Hanguang Gate: 08:00-17:30(all year round)
  • Other Gates: 08:00-18:00(1st November-30th April) 08:00-19:00(1st May-31th October)

Xi'an City Wall Entrance Fee : 54 yuan per person

Sightseeing Ways

  • Xian City Wall bike ride : rent a bicycle on the city wall, 45 yuan for a bicycle, 90 yuan for a tandem bicycle, with a deposit of 200 yuan.
  • Eletromobile: 120 yuan for one people, and the whole journey takes about 1 hour, and you have 15 minutes to have fun in every four gates.
  • Walking: you could enjoy the scenery slowly, but it may take much time.

►How to get to Xi'an City Wall

To west gate: take a public bus, like No.4, No.7, No.10, No.15, No.21, No.23, No.31.

To north gate: take subway line 2, or take a public bus, like No.6, No.9, No.26, No.28, No.33, No.36.

To south gate: take subway line 2, or take a public bus, like No.11, No.12, No.26, No.23, No.31.

To east gate: take a public bus, like No.8, No.22, No.10, No.27, No.21, No.29, No.33.

►How to go sightseeing

First, go to Xi’an City Wall at the early morning before 08:00, and a morning tour is refreshing, and you can have a clear view of this city. I recommend you go in from north gate, buy a ticket, and rent a bicycle on the city wall. The whole bicycle tour takes about 2 hours, and you first ride a bike from south gate, to west gate, north gate, then to east gate and back to south gate, where you return the bike and get back your deposit.

Second, there are some activities for you, and you may have a martial practice, or play Taiji on the city wall, still you could have a singing performance. If you want to watch a performance, please go to Diaoqiao square, South Gate at 09:30. Inside the city wall, there are some attractions, like Drum Tower, Bell Tower, Great Mosque, and some temples, but they need extra tickets. Moreover, you may visit Xi’an Stele Forest Museum, close to the north gate.

xian city wall

After a tour in the city wall, you take subway line 2 at Yongdingmen(south gate) subway station and get off at  Xiaozhai station, and go out from Exit D, then you walk along Xiaozhai east road at most 10 minutes to Shannxi History Museum. If you are a bit worried about getting lost, you may use Google map or Baidu map to help you, or you could ask people about the direction.

Shannxi History Museum(10:30-14:00)

► Shannxi History Museum Facts

shannxi history museum

Shannxi History Museum is first founded in 1944, covers an area of 65,000 square meters and has 7 galleries, and Gallery of Wall Painting Treasures of the Tang Dynasty. No.1 Gallery has three exhibition units, and the first unit exhibits items related with prehistoric society, and prehistoric people in Shannxi. The second unit displays historical items related with the Zhou Dynasty ( 1046 BC-256 BC). The third unit displays historical relics in the Qin Dynasty, like terracotta soldiers. No. 2 Gallery  includes two exhibition units. The first displays historical and cultural items in the Han Dynasty and the second has cultural items related with nationality union. No.3 Gallery includes two exhibition units. The first displays historical and cultural items in the Sui and Tang dynasties, and the second exhibits items after the Tang Dynasty. No.4 Gallery is the Gallery of Tang Relic Treasure which exhibits Tang treasures unearthed from Hejia village.

Except the above, it has some exhibitions about different themes from time to time in No. 5 Gallery, No. 6 Gallery and No. 7 Gallery. In the Gallery of Wall Painting Treasures of the Tang Dynasty, you can see about 600 wall paintings unearthed from over 20 tombs of the Tang Dynasty. In the museum, you could have a historical and cultural tour of China all the way from prehistoric society to the Qing Dynasty. For more information, please visit Shannxi History Museum


Shannxi History Museum entrance fee: buy yourself a free ticket by identification card or passport, and each person shall only buy one ticket and can’t buy tickets for others. Every day, Shannxi History Museum sells only 6000 tickets, 3000 in the morning, and 3000 in the afternoon. 

  Ticket/yuan English tour guide fare/yuan
Permanent exhibition   0 150
Gallery of Wall Painting Treasures of the Tang Dynasty 300 100
Gallery of Tang Relic Treasure 30 100

Shannxi History Museum opening hours: it opens from Tuesday to Sunday, and closes at Monday

  15th November-14th March 15th March-14th November
Opening hours 09:00-17:30 08:30-18:00
Ticket time 09:00-12:00 12:30-16:00 08:00-12:00 12:30-16:30

Tour guide: you may rent an audio guide, which costs 30 yuan with a deposit of 100 yuan. It has 5 languages for your choice, Chinese, English, French, Japanese and Korean. Or you may pay for an English tour guide(person) which costs 150 in permanent exhibition. Still, the museum has volunteers who work as tour guides, which is free.

Shannxi History Museum exhibition items: every exhibition item has a name card with a short introduction in Chinese and English.

What to see in Shannxi History Museum: the Museum exhibits enormous historical and cultural items unearthed from daily use items like various containers, and production tools, and artistic works, which tell the long history of China, social conditions and the living conditions of people at different periods.

After a tour in Shannxi History Museum, you walk about 80 meters and take a public bus at Cuihua road bus station, like No.30, No.19, No.5, No. 401,etc., then get off at Dayanta south square station, and walk about 500 meters.

Daci'en Temple or Big Wild Goose Pagoda (14:30-16:30)

►Big Wild Goose Pagoda Facts

big wild goose pagoda

Daci'en Temple is a Buddhism temple, first built in 652 of Tang Dynasty for the sake of Buddhist scriptures brought back by Xuan Zang from India, who went to India through the Silk Road. In the temple, a pagoda is built for the storage of those scriptures, which is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the main building, also known as Daci’en pagoda, and in the square stands a statue of Xuan Zang.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda construction. The pagoda is first built with 5 floors, and rebuilt later for four times, so far it has 7 floors with a height of 64.5 meters. It consists of three parts, the base, body and the top. The base has a height of  4.2 meters, a length of 45.7 meters, and a width of 48.7 meters, and the body has 7 floors.

This tourist site has two squares, north square and south square. The north square has music fountain, and music fountain performance, and the south square has Daci’en Temple and many other entertainment facilities, like theaters, art gallery, statues and restaurants. For more information, please visit Big Wild Goose Pagoda.



Big Wild Goose Pagoda ticket : a ticket of 50 yuan for the temple, a ticket of 30 yuan for the pagoda. If you want to see the pagoda, you need to buy this two tickets.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda opening hours: 08:00-17:30 (16th March-14th  November), 08:00-17:00(15th November-15th March).

Best time toBig Wild Goose Pagoda  : March-May; September-October.

How to get to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda: take a public bus like No.5, No.19, No.21, No.22, No.27, No.41,etc., and get off at the Dayanta bus stop.

Tour guide: it takes 60 yuan to pay a tour guide(person) for a group of less than 10 persons. If you don’t want to pay for a tour guide, you may use a smartphone to scan the QR code and get the audio guide.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda  fountain show: every performance lasts for 20 minutes. During the time period of 10th June-5th October, it starts at 12:00 and 21:00 from Monday to Friday, and it starts at 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 and 21:00, on Saturday and Sunday. During the time period of 6th October -9th June, it starts at 12:00 and 20:30 from Monday to Friday, and it starts at 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 and 20:30, on Saturday and Sunday. If you like, you may go back to the music fountain at about 20:30 to see the performance, cause it is gorgeous in night.

After a day tour to Xi'an, you could enjoy Xi'an food. Xi'an famous food are Xi'an noodles, Mutton Paobo, Rou Jia Mo, Hu Lu Chicken, and Guo Kui.


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