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As a great ancient city with more than 3,000 years of history, Xian was once the capital city of 13 dynasties, and is thus a principle root of Chinese civilization. With its impressive history, Xian houses numerous historical ruins, relics, and museums visitors can take advantage of on their trip to China.
Besides some famous attractions like the Terracotta Army which can charge a high admission fee, some free attractions can not only save your RMBs, but also reward you with unique historical and cultural traveling experience.
1. Shaanxi Historical Museum
The Shaanxi Historical Museum (陕西历史博物馆) is located northwest of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and about a 10-minute walk to the Pagoda. The museum houses more than 300,000 ancient articles including gold and silver objects, murals, paintings, coins, pottery, etc in 16 acres. inside are relics dating back to prehistoric times, all the way to the more recent Qing dynasty. The museum was built in the style of the Tang Dynasty, complete with a central palace hall with four worship houses around it emphasizing order and harmony.
Shaangxi Historical Museum is free of charge. But visitors have to take their valid ID card or passport to get a ticket at the ticket booth in front of the museum. There are always two long lines on weekends, so you should avoid weekend and national holidays and visit museum on weekday instead or on a weekend with bad weather.
The museum is closed on Mondays.
Open Hours: winter: 9:00-17:30 (at 16:00 tickets are no longer sold) summer: 8:30 – 18:00 (at 16:30 tickets are no longer sold)
Address: 91 Xiaozhai E Rd, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710061 (西安小寨东路91号)
How to get there: Take either Bus number 5, 19, 24, 26, 27, 30, 34, 400, 401, 521, 527, 701, 710, 721, or 722, Tourist Bus You 6, or Bus 8 (610). Then get off at the Cuihua Lu (Cuihua Road) bus stop.
2. Exterior of Big Wild Goose Pagoda
The view of Big Wild Goose Pagoda is very beautiful. The North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda has a large musical fountain, the largest musical fountain in Asia. The music fountain show usually opens at 12:00 and 18:00 (in winter) or 20:00 (in summer). It has about 22 different styles with different shapes like lotus flowers and clouds.
In the east of Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a traditional Chinese-styled gardens with small pools, stone arch bridge, little paths and many flowers and trees. This gardens is also free of charge. In the South Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda stands a large statue of Jianzhen, a Chinese monk who helped to spread Buddhism in Japan.
The buildings around the Big Wild Goose Pagoda are very quaint, constructed with distinct Tang Dynasty elements.
3. Daxiangshan Temple
Daxingshan Temple was once the grandest Buddhist establishment during the Sui and Tang Dynasties, and can be dated back to the third century. The original buildings of the temple were destroyed between 841 to 845. The present temple was rebuilt in 1955 and 1983.
It is now free for tourists to visit. There are many halls in the temple where different Buddhists are enshrined.
NB: Since this temple is not frequented as much by tourists, if you are not a Buddhist worshiper, don’t buy incense here. There are some soothsayers in the who may try to stop you and tell you something about your future.
Address: 55 Xingshansi W St, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710065
How to get there: the temple can be easily found as it lies in the center of Xian, near the main bus and train stations. Take the number 323, 701, or 716 bus to the Da Xing Shan Si station. The 5, 12, 14, 19, 24, 26, 30, 34, 36, 215 and 400 buses stop at nearby Xiaozhai.
4. Xian Lianhu Park (莲湖公园)
This former royal garden is almost 45 acres of beautiful lotus flowers, which are quite a sight in the summer when they come into full bloom. The park dates from the time of the first Ming Emperor and is the largest park in Xian.
A water amusement park is just to the west of North Lake with water-slides and boats.
Location: 18 Lianhu park Road, Xian
5. Former Residence of Gen. Zhang Xueliang (张学良公馆)
General Zhang Xueliang (or Chang Hsueh-liang, 1901-2001) is remembered as a hero of China based on his desire to unite the Chinese Communist and Kuomintang (KMT) against the invading Japanese. He was instrumental in the 1936 Xian incident which forced the leader of the nationalist KMT, Chiang Kai-shek, to sign a truce with the COmmunist Party in order to unite the Chinese against Japan.
The Xian Incident is mentioned on the front gate of Gen. Xueliang’s residence which preserves the way it looked when he lived there before his forced exile to the island of Taiwan.
Several statues of figures closely tied to Zhang Xueliang’s life in politics can be found on the second floor of the western building including Zhou Enlai, Yang Hucheng, Song Ziwen, and Song Meiling.
Address: 9 Jianguo Road, Xi’an
How to get there: Take Bus 504, get off at the Jianguo Road Station
Book Your Trip to China with China Tour
Xian has a lot of incredible things to see and do, and China Tour has affordable guided tour packages that explore this great city in depth. Take a look at some of our most popular tours of Xian and give us a call for more information–(888) 878-1777!