Built to protect the city, the historical Ancient City Wall in Xian remains standing to this day and is amongst the best attractions in China to explore; here’s more on this amazing site.
Planning a Visit
Easy to reach from city centre hotels in Xi An, the Ancient City Wall has eight different gates it can be accessed from. Of these, the most popular is the South Gate which is a five-minute walk from Grand Park Xian; this gate can also be reached via the South Gate Subway Station or by bus including #321, 402 and K600.
The wall dates to 1370 and was constructed under the Ming Dynasty’s first ruler, the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. Built as an imposing military defence system, this structure is one of China’s best-preserved ancient city walls and is part of the “City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties”, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Exploring the Wall
Amongst the best things to do in Xian is to cycle on this wall which spans around 14 km; it will take approximately two hours and bicycles can be rented at the main gates. Alternatively, you can make your way by foot (about four hours in total) or on a buggy. Whichever option you choose, expect unforgettable city views!
As you traverse the 12-metre high Ancient City Wall, there will be some notable features to observe; these include nearly 100 ramparts that extend from the structure and parapets in the interior side that protected soldiers from falling off. To complete your experience, also catch the Changing of the Guards Ceremony at the South Gate.