Known as Chang’an for much of its history, Xi’an is a city located in China’s Shaanxi Province. As the capital of various Chinese dynasties, Xi’an has many architectural structures and historic remains scattered throughout the city, which are open for the public to see. The most notable is the Terracotta Army, which you may have heard of before. If you want to see the famous Terracotta Army, enjoy eating noodles, or simply want to explore, then Xi’an is the place for you!

To start off with planning a trip to Xi’an, you first need to consider how to get there and where you will stay. The train ride from Shanghai to Xi’an is around 7 hours, while the flight is around 2.5 hours. The prices may vary depending on when you decide to go and/or when you buy the tickets. I went during the Chinese National Holiday (which may be a busier time, meaning the costs could be higher than normal), the price of the one-way train ticket was around 681 RMB and the price of a one-way plane ticket was 1810 RMB. For the hotel, I would recommend one in a more central area, as Xi’an’s destinations are spread apart. The hotel that I stayed in was considered a higher quality hotel, priced at 2961 RMB per room (6 nights, 2 people per room). There are various platforms you can use to book these, but the platforms I used were 12306 (train tickets), Meituan (hotel), and WeChat (plane tickets).

Since my party decided to take the train to Xi’an, we spent the first day mainly on the train. If you decide to take this route, you may want to bring some ramen (hot water is available) or other food to eat on the train. The train also sells food, but it may be a bit more expensive.

The planned trip overall is for 6 nights and 5 days, with a cost of less than 6000 RMB. The prices for the tickets that I will mention mostly include the student discount, which you can get using your student ID booklet. If you do not have a student ID booklet, you can try using the NYU ID. Some of the tickets to the attractions may require you to buy beforehand so they do not run out of spots. The tickets that I bought beforehand were for the Drum and Bell Towers, Xi’an City Wall, and Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum.

On the first day, we went to the Qianling Mausoleum (Qianling 乾陵), which is technically located in Xianyang, not in Xi’an, so it was a bit of a drive by car. The mausoleum contains the tombs of Tang dynasty Emperor Gaozong, Empress Wu Zetian, Crown Prince Zhanghuai, Crown Prince Yide, and Princess Yongtai. The tickets for entry and the bus to go to the different tombs cost a total of 82 RMB per person.

On the second day, we went to the Gao Family Compound (Gaojia dayuan 高家大院), which is located in the Xi’an Muslim Quarter. Here, you can watch the shadow puppet play. In total, the tickets cost 22.50 RMB per person. Then, we went to Guangren Temple (Guangren si 广仁寺), which is known as the only Tibetan Buddhist temple in the province. At night, we went to the Great Tang All Day Mall (Da Tang buyecheng 大唐不夜城), an area with many shops and restaurants.

On the third day, we went to the Xi’an City Wall (Xian chengqiang 西安城墙), a rectangular wall in the center of Xi’an. The cost is 27 RMB per person. You can either walk on the wall or rent a bicycle. Next, we went to the Da Ci’en Temple (Dacien si 大慈恩寺), which contains the famous Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan ta 大雁塔). The Pagoda was built to preserve Buddhist sutras brought back by master Xuanzang. The cost to enter the temple was 20 RMB per person, which does not include the price to get inside the pagoda. Lastly, we went to visit the Drum and Bell Towers (Zhonggulou 钟鼓楼). The Bell Tower is located in the center of a roundabout, so you have to enter through an underground tunnel. The Drum Tower is a separate tower but very close to the Bell Tower. The combined ticket for the two costs 30 RMB per person.

On the fourth day, we went to Huaqing Palace (Huaqing gong 华清宫), which has hot springs and nice views, which cost 120 RMB per person. Then, we went to Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum (Qinshihuang bowuyuan 秦始皇帝博物院), which contains the Terracotta Army. The Terracotta Army is thought to have been built to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife and comprises around 7000 warriors with real weapons as well as horses and carriages. The entrance fee was 60 RMB per person.

On the last day, we went to the Qinglong Temple Ruins Museum (Qinglong si yizhi bowuguan 青龙寺遗址博物馆), which had free admission. Secondly, we visited the Xi’an Stele Forest Museum (Xian beilin bowuguan 西安碑林博物馆), which cost 32 RMB. Lastly, we went to The Longest Day in Chang’an (Changan shiershichen 长安十二时辰), which was an indoor attraction with performances that you can watch. The tickets cost 68 RMB per person.

The next day, we took a flight back to Shanghai.