Xi'an is more multicultural than many cities in China and the people here are used to dealing with tourists. This small city is very easy to get around, especially as the numerous buses stop at all the major attractions and there are plenty of maps available to help visitors find their way.
While the people of Xi'an are generally very tolerant toward foreign visitors, it is worth noting that this is a very conservative society and visitors should take care while in public. Showing public affection is frowned upon here, as is wearing revealing clothing, especially when visiting temples and other sacred sights.
As with the rest of China, tipping is not common practice in Xi'an and most top-end hotels and restaurants include a service charge in their prices.
The base unit of currency in Xi'an, as in most of the People's Republic of China, is the yuan (CNY), which is often written as ¥. There are plenty of places in Xi'an where visitors can change currency, draw money from ATMs and use credit cards to pay for goods and services. Generally, cash is the best method of payment for items.
Xi'an is located in a warm temperate zone and has a continental monsoon climate with four distinct seasons. The city tends to be hot and wet in the summer, cold with frequent snowfall in the winter, while it often rains in spring and fall.
Many visitors find Xi'an uncomfortably hot in the summer and freezing during the wintertime. This means that the best months for travel are during the spring, which takes place from March to May, and again in the fall, from September to November.
Xi'an is blessed with an excellent public transport system and those who know where they are going will find a large number of buses available to take them all over the city. The main bus station is located opposite the train station, just outside the city walls, and tourists will find line 610 the most convenient as it passes by a large number of tourist attractions such as the Bell Tower.
The North/South train line was completed just a couple of years ago and transports people across the city, while the East/West line is due to be finished soon. There are also plenty of taxis available and the fares are low compared to those in Western countries.
Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (XIY) is located 50km northwest of the city center. From the airport it is possible to take a taxi straight to the city center. Visitors can also choose to save money by taking the regular shuttle bus. Tickets are sold at a counter just inside the Arrivals hall and buses can be found parked just outside.
Spoken languages: Mandarin, English, Shaanxi Hua
Electrical: 220 Volts, 50 Hertz
Phone/calling code: +86 29
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