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Xi'an Sightseeing Guide - Visit notable attractions and landmarks

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Bursting with ancient temples, museums and monuments, Xi'an is a fascinating place to explore for those with an interest in history and culture. Many of the attractions here are world famous and visitors can spend several days temple-hopping.

Xi'an is a great place for sightseeing as most of the attractions located within the city walls are within easy walking distance of each other, allowing visitors easy access. There are also plenty of buses that run around major routes in the city and stop outside most major attractions.

Many of the temples and mausoleums in the city feature tranquil gardens, which are ideal places to escape the frantic pace of the city. There are also modern attractions to be found such as art galleries, amusement parks and theaters.

Terracotta Warriors

One of China's most famous and impressive attractions, the Terracotta Warriors is located a short bus ride from Xi'an city center. Featuring a collection of 8,000 life-like terracotta warriors with around 100 chariots, and a total of 30,000 weapons, this site is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World and was declared a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.

Shaanxi Provincial Museum

Located on Yan Ta Road, the recently built Shaanxi Provincial Museum offers visitors a recreation of Tang Dynasty architecture and successfully symbolizes the great extent of Shaanxi history and its remarkable culture. Entry is free and visitors can get here by taking bus number 5, 24, 27 or 610.

Xian City Wall

Surrounding the central part of the city, this wall was built in the Ming Dynasty and is still as strong as it was when it was first built. Boasting gates, moats, a drawbridge, main towers and watchtowers, the Xian City Wall plays a significant role in demonstrating ancient defense mechanisms. Visitors can take a walking tour of the city walls.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

One of China's most famous pagodas, Big Wild Goose Pagoda was built to consecrate the Sankrit Classics, Buddhist statues and relics brought from India by an eminent monk called Xuan Zang. Visitors who walk around the temple will discover a large collection of bronze statues depicting traditional Chinese arts. Visitors can get here by taking bus number 19, 21, 22, 23, 27, 30, 34, 224, 400, 408, 609 or 61.

Eight Immortals Temple

This active Daoist temple was built for the famous Eight Immortals. This is an excellent place to visit to get an idea of Daoist temple architecture and the site includes the Eight Immortals Bridge, religious reliefs in the walls with text and illustrations, and multiple worship halls. Buses 102, 43, 27 or 203 will take visitors here. 

Bell Tower and Drum Tower

Located in the city center, these two monuments are excellent examples of the ancient architecture of Xi'an. Visitors can climb the Bell Tower for panoramic views, while the Drum Tower houses a large drum formerly used to mark the time. Visitors can get here simply on foot or by taking bus 4, 6, 7, 8, 15, 32, 43, 45, 205, 206, 215, 218, 251, 300, 604 or 611. 

Grand Mosque

This is China's oldest and most magnificent mosque, with seating for 1,000 worshippers. Although only Muslims are allowed into the Grand Mosque itself, visitors can explore the surrounding courtyards. Located behind the Bell Tower, the mosque is reached by taking a bus and following the intricate maze of alleyways. 

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