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The best attractions & experiences in Xian

When it comes to Xian, the attraction on the tip of any travel guide’s tongue is of course the great Terracotta Army. Providing one of the most exceptional insights into ancient China to date and only discovered in 1974, this UNESCO World Heritage Site certainly knows how to wow. For those of you oblivious to this eighth wonder of the world, thousands upon thousands of life-size terracotta figures have both secretly and silently stood watch over the late Emperor Qin Shi Huang for the past 2000 years in what is probably one of earth’s most intriguing mausoleums – hello, bucket-list sights. 

And from one standout landmark to another, the – how should we put it – uniquely named Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, that lies in one of the city’s southern suburbs, is somewhat of an icon. Originally built in the year 652 during the reign of the Tang Dynasty, again, Xian is throwing it right back as far as the sights are concerned. A picture with this significant Buddhist building is a must.

When it comes to Silk Road history, boy does Xian have a story to tell – and luckily for us, most of it can be read through its architecture. Head to the Great Mosque to uncover some of the city’s most fascinating Arab influences that you’ll find in the whole of China in one of the largest sacred sites in the land. But, for some living and breathing melting pot culture today, it doesn’t get better than Xian’s Muslim Quarter. Paved with blue and grey flagstones and shaded by leafy trees, these streets still have as much of a buzz about them now as they did in the height of the Silk Road enterprise.

Opt to add the ‘Cultural’ experience pack onto your trip and you’ll get tickets to a Tang Dynasty show, giving you a further insight into the glory of Xian’s capital city days. Take a look at our itinerary builder now to see what other experiences you can add to your trip.

Experiences and attractions in Xian

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

One of the most influential Buddhist sites in Xian and an icon of this ancient city, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a must-see sight. Originally built in the year 652 in order to study Buddhist scriptures, the pagoda now stands at 64.5 meters tall and is a total of seven storeys high, housing beautiful stone detail and cultural relics from its base right through to its body.

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Terracotta Army

Often thought to be mere fiction, the Terracotta Army may not be as fantastically formidable as they’re portrayed in The Mummy, but they’re certainly a frozen force to be reckoned with. Dubbed the best archaeological find of the 20th century, the thousands of figures that make up this 2,200 year old clay army now provides one of our greatest insights into ancient china.

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