I was recently down in Xi'an for a week and had a great time.
Xi'an is ok and has great Chinese ambiance within the city walls, but I would not stay here more than two or three days. If you don't care about seeing the Terracotta Army and the Great Mosque, then don't bother to come here. The air quality is very bad here and there's not much to do here other than those two things.
Despite some negative comments given, Xi'an is a "real" Chinese city. The tourist sights are well known but it's a great city to get out and explore. Especially if you like inexpensive street food.
The Terracotta Army and the walled city are fantastic, inside the walls are old markets which are fun, but two days max is enough for Xi'an. Outside the walls are dreary houses and factories. Other downers are the taxi drivers who refuse to use meters, just get out of the cab, the beggars which to a Westerner are very aggressive, and the pollution is horrific, took two weeks to clear!! And the use of lights after dark on vehicles/cycles is a rarity so beware when walking, but otherwise it's very safe.
The terracotta army is magnificent! Altough the city itself is a real dissapointment. Pollution and garbage are what you can expect to meet on the streets. If you decide to go here, then - whatever you do - DO NOT stay at the Shang De Hotel wich is located near the train station! It's a sh*tty place with only one shower in the entire hotel.
An ancient city worth seeing! The lifelike terra-cotta soldier from the Qin dynasty is amazing. However, air quality in this city is terrible.
XiAn is a beautiful city in China, the capital of the province of Shaanxi. Xian is one of the four more ancient capitals in China and has a lot to offer, so it's worth a visit. This city is famous for the Terracotta Army Warriors (a subterranean life size warriors and horses, organized in battle formation). You can visit this amazing landmark by joining a tour or going on your own -- there are plenty of buses leaving from the city center (this is definitely the cheapest option).
XiAn is easily reachable by plane, train, or bus with connections to the main cities (most XiAn hostels offer free pickup from the airport or main stations). In the high season, book your tickets in advance, as it can become really crowded -– almost every hostel in China has a travel agency, so they will help you to buy tickets.
During your stay in XiAn, you cannot miss its main attraction –- The Terracotta Army (one hour distance from the city center) -- and the other landmarks in the city center (located inside the ancient city walls). Inside the city walls, you cannot miss the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Muslim Quarter, and the Great Mosque. In the city center you will find a good variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops to relax.
There are a lot of hostels in XiAn if you are on a budget, offering average facilities. In high season or during holidays or events, try to book your hostel in XiAn in advance to have better rates and assure vacancies.
Hi, I'm Grace,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Xi'an hostels. Welcome.