Xian Travel Guide

Why? Modern Xi'an is a rather grubby industrial city, but the hordes of tourists who flock to holiday in Xi'an come to be awed by its ancient glory at the site of the vaults on the outskirts of the city housing an army of terracotta warriors, one of the greatest archaeological treasures in the world. The city has plenty of other fascinating historical relics too, a legacy of its 3,000 year history.

When? The best time to travel to Xi'an is during spring or autumn, when the weather is relatively dry and pleasant. The city has a very wet monsoon season between July and September, and winters are very cold.

Who for? Anyone taking a package tour to China will no doubt find a Xi'an holiday is on the itinerary. Those who are intent on seeing the great sights of the world should be sure to put a vacation in Xi'an on their list.

More info: For full details of the wonders to be seen on a holiday in Xi'an, consult our Xi'an travel guide, which also includes a basics section with all the information required to plan a trip to China. The guide is kept updated and can be printed out to take with you when you travel to Xi'an.

Terracotta Army ©

Xi'an, in ancient times known as Chang'an, is situated in central China in the southern part of Guan Zhong Plain in Shaanxi province, with the Qinling Mountains to the north and the Weihe River to the south. In ancient times the city of Xi'an was a major crossroads on the trading routes from eastern China to central Asia, and the beginning point of the famed Silk Road; in recent years this 3,100 year old city, that was once seen as comparable with Rome and Constantinople, has come back into its own as one of China's major tourist attractions.

In 1974, on the city's eastern outskirts, archaeologists stumbled across a treasure trove: an army of terracotta warrior figurines in battle formation standing in underground vaults. Hailed as the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century, the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an have brought visitors from around the world flocking to the city to soak up its historical and cultural heritage, and perhaps embark on an adventure tour along the ancient silk caravan route.

Besides the terracotta warriors, the city has a great many historical relics of interest, including museums and temples, which is unsurprising considering that Xi'an was the capital city of China through 12 dynasties during its thousands of years of development. The city wall is the largest in the world, and the Forest of Steles, with its collection of more than 3,000 ancient stone tablets, is both the largest and oldest in China.

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