Thankfully, modern day Xi’an still retains many legacies of its rich and colourful past, from the energetic pulse of the bustling Muslim Quarter with the imposing Great Mosque at its heart, to the intricate, colourful carvings that adorn the Drum and Bell Towers, two iconic cultural relics at the centre of Xi’an.
Xi'an holiday highlights
• Without doubt, Xi’an’s great appeal stems predominantly from its proximity to the breathtaking Terracotta Warriors. Xi’an itself is a living museum, home to innumerable sights and attractions that plot the history of this ancient city.
• Xi’an would not be the city it is today without the long-standing influence of its Muslim Quarter. We recommend that any trip to the city includes a visit to this bustling area, home for many centuries to the Islamic Hui community. The magnificent Great Mosque is its focal point, from which expand hectic markets and narrow lanes and alleyways, populated by ancient homes, traditional shops and tiny workplaces.
• Xi’an is a great city to shop for cultural items, particularly Chinese calligraphy rubbings, replica Terracotta Warriors, traditional Shaanxi paper cuttings and silk clothing. The real joy is to be found in the Muslim Quarter, home to a large number of outdoor markets, antique and curio shops. Be prepared to haggle!
• There is no one dish or taste that describes cuisine in Xi’an. Specialities range from simple dumplings to spicy Sichuan menus and elaborate Tang banquets.