Home to the majestic Terracotta Warriors, start of the Silk Road and capital of 13 ancient dynasties, the city of Xi’an wows with its depth of history. Make the most of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed marvel of a city with our dedicated 24-hour guide to Xian created in collaboration with W Hotels:
Street snacks and cycling
Xi’an’s City Wall may not be the greatest, but it is remarkably intact and a handy way to get a handle on the old town. Start at the South Gate, where you can grab some street snacks for breakfast, then rent a bike and cycle around the wall’s rampart.
Tackle the wide, flat and easy 14km circuit clockwise, whizzing past Xi’an old and new, with loads of signs illustrating stories from the city’s past. Finish back at the South Gate, then check out the calligraphers and their wares and snap up a few souvenirs at the nearby Shuyuanmen Market / Shuyuanmen.
Try some Shaanxi cuisine
You’re conveniently placed for lunch at Zui Chang’an hidden just behind the market. Bag an alfresco seat in the front courtyard and order up a storm – the rustic Shaanxi cuisine is all good.
An army of treasures
Waddle out and get cultural at the Shaanxi History Museum with its treasure trove of Chinese antiquities, in particular the Tang Dynasty murals wing.
The Muslim Quarter
As dusk sets in, the Muslim Quarter (Huimin Jie) comes to life. Pay an early evening visit to the serene Great Mosque before it closes, then get set for more delicious local food, with this quarter containing some of the city’s tastiest eats.
For local Muslim snacks follow the crowd to the packed street-side eateries in Sajinqiao area, or sample yum roujiamo (think Chinese burger) at Fan Ji near the Bell Tower. Beer lovers can stroll to Wuben Taproom for refreshing ales, while cocktail fans can cab it to speakeasy-style The Cirque.
For a local experience, Chinese bathhouses like Real Love are open 24 hours, and this is the place to revive yourself with a soak and vigorous body scrub after a day hitting the streets of Xi’an.
See the full 24-hour itinerary on W Hotels!
This article features the W Xian and is part of the ‘W Hotels Unleash Your Curiosity campaign in partnership with LUXE.’ Head to W Hotels for more of our 24 hour itineraries featuring the hottest hangouts, best eats and greatest to-do lists across Asia Pacific.