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Cultural Tour of Xian (Self Guided), Xian

In ancient times, Xian was a center of art and culture. It played an important role in improving trade between east and west, due to the fact that it was the terminus of the Silk Road. Nowadays, Xian is filled with museums, galleries, opera houses, etc. Check out the most popular cultural spots in Xian on this self-guided tour.
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Cultural Tour of Xian Map

Guide Name: Cultural Tour of Xian
Guide Location: China » Xian (See other walking tours in Xian)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.5 Km or 4.7 Miles
Author: helenp
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Shaanxi Library
  • Tang Dynasty Palace (Tangyue Gong)
  • Xian Museum
  • Sunshine Beauty Grand Theater
  • Forest of Stone Steles Museum
  • Xincheng Opera House
Shaanxi Library

1) Shaanxi Library

Shaanxi Library is situated in the Beilin district, at a distance of 6 km from the city center. The building has a contemporary exterior design with a grandiose semi-circular entrance. Locals, especially students, are constant visitors of this facility, because it is one of the largest libraries in Xian. In 2009, the Shaanxi Provincial Library implemented an innovative technology to ensure easy access to their large collection of books.
Tang Dynasty Palace (Tangyue Gong)

2) Tang Dynasty Palace (Tangyue Gong) (must see)

The Tang Dynasty Palace is the venue of a well known song and dance show in Xian. The show seeks to recreate the arts culture and cuisine that flourished in the city during the reign of the Tang Dynasty that is regarded as the Golden Age of Xian.

The Tang Dynasty Palace located near the city center of Xian is the best known cultural entertainment theatre restaurants in China. It was established in 1988 and the show is conducted by the Shaanxi Provincial Song and Dance Troupe. They were inspired by the thriving tourist industry of the city to display the performing arts heritage of the region by a series of performances. Their efforts bore fruit and the show is very popular among foreign visitors today.

The Tang Dynasty Palace not only hosts a show but a banquet serving traditional Canton cuisine. The large banquet hall can serve over 600 diners at any given time and covers an area of 2000 square meters. The banquet serves an array of traditional Chinese steamed or fried dumplings called Jiaozi consisting of ground meat or vegetables wrapped in thin dough and fried or steamed. After 8.30 pm, the restaurant serves Midnight Tea a delicious beverage and specialty of Canton cuisine.
Xian Museum

3) Xian Museum (must see)

The large Municipal Xian Museum was opened to the public on World Museum Day, the 18th of May 2007. It is a repository of objects relating to the 13 dynasties that called Xian their capital.

The Xian Museum is designed based on the Chinese concept of the Universe with a round heaven and a square earth. It was designed by Ms. Zhang Jinqiu. It covers an area of 70,000 square meters. The exhibition halls cover an extent of 11,000 square meters. It has three floors including an underground floor. Permanent exhibitions, special exhibitions and temporary exhibitions are hosted by the museum.

The Museum displays over 130,000 exhibits from different dynasties that ruled Xian. There are objects from the Zhou Dynasty, the Han Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty, the Qin Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty among others. The first floor has Buddhist stone statues and gilded figures made of bronze. There is also a theater showing the history of the Wild Goose Pagoda here. The second floor has jade objects, seals and screens with calligraphy on display. A collection of paintings by Zheng Banquiao a well known Qing Dynasty painter is displayed here. The underground floor has exhibits unearthed from different parts of the city. Temporary exhibitions displaying objects from districts and locations around are held periodically by the Xian Museum.

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 09:00am-5:30pm; Closed on Monday
Sunshine Beauty Grand Theater

4) Sunshine Beauty Grand Theater

Xian has many theaters that showcase the culture of the Tang Dynasty. The Sunshine Beauty Grand Theater is the most modern among them. It has become the most famous venue of performing arts in Western China.

The Sunshine Beauty Grand Theater is located outside the Wenchang Gate in Xian. It was inaugurated in 2005. It has all modern facilities and is fitted with state of the art audio visual equipment. It can seat an audience of about 1000 people. It has all the features of the other theaters with Tang Dynasty shows including a banquet. The architecture of the building combines traditional Chinese and European baroque styles.

Unlike the other Tang Dynasty song and dance shows, the show at the Sunshine Beauty Grand Theater has many western dance and acrobatic performances. The theater has fourteen plush VIP rooms and a stage that can hold a hundred performers. It has over 1800 employees. The show lasts for about 80 minutes with three chapters telling the story of Xian during the Tang Dynasty. The show ends with a song called the Thousand Year Wish. The lyrics of the song express the hope that China will one day be the mightiest nation on earth. A dumpling dinner banquet is served between 6.00 pm and 10.00 pm at the theater.
Forest of Stone Steles Museum

5) Forest of Stone Steles Museum (must see)

The Forest of Stone Steles Museum has the largest collection of stone steles from the many dynasties that ruled Xian. It is an interesting stop in the city for handwriting enthusiasts and those who are interested in Chinese culture and history.

The Forest of Stone Steles Museum is housed in a tranquil 11th century Confucian temple. The first collections of steles placed here were the Kaicheng Shi Jing series and the Shitai Xiao Jing steles. Both were carved during the reign of the Tang Dynasty. During the reign of the Song Dynasty, the stele collections were placed in a specially built hall. The well known Chinese calligrapher, Yu Youren donated a large collection of over 300 stele rubbings to the museum in 1936.

Today, the Forest of Stone Steles Museum has over 3000 stone steles. It is the largest collection in China. The museum has seven exhibition halls displaying calligraphy, paintings and historical objects in addition to the stone steles. It also houses the stone sculpture gallery built in 1963. It consists of tomb and religious stone sculpture from the reign of the Tang Dynasty. Two well known exhibits are the Nestorian Stele and an 18th century stele describing a Yangtze River Flood Control Project.

Hours: daily 08:00 to 18:45
Xincheng Opera House

6) Xincheng Opera House (must see)

Xincheng Opera House is situated in Xian's downtown, near the Parliament House. This kind of opera is very popular in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, because it originated from the folk songs of this region. Only, in Shaanxi province, there are more than nine types of opera. Of course, the most popular among them is Qinqiang opera. A typical Qinqiang performance is characterized by loud music, with accompanying instruments such as erxian, gong, drums and clapper.

Walking Tours in Xian, China

Create Your Own Walk in Xian

Create Your Own Walk in Xian

Creating your own self-guided walk in Xian is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Xian Suburbs Historical Tour

Xian Suburbs Historical Tour

While the city of Xian is famous for its pagodas, a tremendous city wall and gorgeous temples, several "treasures" are hidden on the outskirts of the city. Actually, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, located in the eastern suburb, is a historical must-see. Also, you will be impressed by the Lishan mountain's incredible beauty, admired many centuries ago by Chinese emperors. We...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 10.3 Km or 6.4 Miles
Places of Worship in Xian Tour

Places of Worship in Xian Tour

Xian looks like a melting pot of different cultures and religions in Asia. If you visit the places of worship in this city you will realize this. Here you can admire pagodas, temples (holy places for Buddhists) and mosques (place of worship for the followers of Islam). If you like exploring other religions you will enjoy taking this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.5 Km or 4.7 Miles
Xian Introduction Walk

Xian Introduction Walk

Xian is situated in the central-northwest part of China. It is one of the most ancient cities in the country and famous for being home to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Terracotta Army. Xian is 3100 years old and has a rich history, being the terminus of the Silk Road. Do not hesitate to take a walking tour and see the world-famous attractions of Xian.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.8 Km or 4.8 Miles
Shopping Streets of Xian Walking Tour

Shopping Streets of Xian Walking Tour

Xian is an amazing city where you can do some quality shopping, especially if you crave for some authentic Chinese souvenirs. The ideal choice for you is to explore the streets of Xian, because that's where the souvenirs are cheaper. We invite you to take this walking tour and go for a stroll along the shopping areas of Xian.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Parks and Squares Walk in Xian

Parks and Squares Walk in Xian

Xian is a historical city or as locals say a city of the past. Though it is considered to be rather small, it is perfectly formed. All the main sights are located in the center, surrounded by a circle of small squares with landmarks and beautiful lakes. Though they do not represent must-see spots, we think you will enjoy this walking tour through Xian's amazing gardens.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.5 Km or 5.9 Miles
Tang Dynasty Tour in Xian

Tang Dynasty Tour in Xian

In Chinese history, the Tang Dynasty is a synonym for prosperity and progress. During a period of almost 300 years, great reforms were implemented and stability was achieved. Also, the Tang emperors chose Xian as their capital city, due to its large population, and developed it throughout their rule. It is highly recommended that you take this tour and visit the places that brought glory to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 10.2 Km or 6.3 Miles