The Silk Road

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Silk Road - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Forest of Stone Steles Museum


    Head here for a glimpse into what the ancient Chinese deemed important enough to set in stone. As the name suggests, there is no shortage of...Read More

  • 2. Huashan


    A few hours east of Xi'an lies one of China's five sacred mountains, a traditional watercolor come to life. The 7,218-foot mountain has stunning...Read More

  • 3. Shaanxi History Museum


    Although museums in China are often underwhelming, this is a notable exception. The works in this imposing two-story structure, built in 1991...Read More

  • 4. Small Goose Pagoda

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Once part of the 7th-century Jianfu Temple, this 13-tier pagoda was built by Empress Wu Zetian in 707 to honor her predecessor, Emperor Gao...Read More

  • 5. Terracotta Warriors Museum


    Discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well, this UNESCO World Heritage site includes more than 7,000 terra-cotta soldiers standing guard over...Read More

  • 6. Banpo Matriarchal Clan Village

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    About 5 km (3 miles) east of the city are the remains of a 6,000-year-old Yangshao village, including living quarters, a pottery-making center...Read More

  • 7. Bell Tower

    Building/Architectural Site

    Xi'an's most recognizable structure, the Bell Tower was built in the late 14th century in what was then the center of the city. It's still good...Read More

  • 8. Big Wild Goose Pagoda

    Building/Architectural Site

    This impressively tall pagoda lies 4 km (2½ miles) southeast of South Gate, on the grounds of the still-active Temple of Thanksgiving (Da Ci...Read More

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  • 9. Culture Street (Shuyuanmen)


    Take a stroll along this leafy boulevard lined with galleries, shops, and a few cafés. Mostly clear of the city's traffic save for a handful...Read More

  • 10. Drum Tower

    Building/Architectural Site

    Originally built in 1384, this 111-foot-high Ming Dynasty building—which used to hold the alarm drums for the imperial city—marks the southern...Read More

  • 11. Famen Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Originally built in the 3rd century AD, the temple was the site of an amazing find during renovations in 1981. A sacred crypt housing four of...Read More

  • 12. Great Mosque

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This lushly landscaped mosque with four graceful courtyards may have been established as early as AD 742, during the Tang Dynasty, but the remaining...Read More

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  • 13. Huaqing Hot Springs

    Bath/Hot Spring

    A pleasure palace during the Tang Dynasty and later the living quarters of General Chiang Kai-shek during the Chinese Civil War, this destination...Read More

  • 14. South Gate and City Walls

    Building/Architectural Site

    Also known as Yongning Gate, this is the most impressive of the 13 gates leading through Xi'an's 39-foot-high city walls. This was the original...Read More

  • 15. Tomb of the First Qin Emperor


    The tomb—consisting mainly of a large burial mound—may pale in comparison to the Terracotta Warriors Museum, but history buffs will enjoy it...Read More

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