Xian is an ancient city with more than 3,000 years of history in China. The city was once the capital for 13 dynasties, and a total of 73 emperors ruled here. Xian is the undisputed root of Chinese civilization having served as the capital city for the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties. With splendid history within the ground the city lies upon, it is no wonder that there are so many historical ruins, museums and cultural relics to be found here. It was already influencing the world outside of the Great Wall of China as the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. Today the city has become pleasantly cosmopolitan and is worth visiting by tourists all around the world. It has often been said that, "if you have not been to Xi'an, you have not been to China!"
Xian is located in the heartland of China, it usually takes no more than 2 hours to fly to most major Chinese cities. The Xian Xianyang International Airport is located 40 km northwest of the city centre in Xianyang. Flights are available to Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dunhuang, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Harbin, Hangzhou, Hohhot, Kunming, Lhasa, Lanzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Urumqi, Wuhan and Xining within China, International flights are available to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul as well as Nagoya, Fukuoka, Niigata, Tokyo and Hiroshima in Japan, and Singapore via Kunming.
There are plenty of trains transporting passengers to and from most of the major cities inside China. Trains in Xian run to several domestic cities including: Beijing (11-13 hours), Chengdu (13-18 hours), Chongqing (14 hours), Guangzhou (24 hours), Kunming (36-53 hours), Lanzhou (8-10 hours), Lhasa (36 hours), Shanghai (16-20 hours), Urumqi (31-56 hours), Wuhan (14-18 hours), and Zhengzhou (2 hours). Xian Station is at the north end of Jiefang Road, just outside the northeast city wall. In X'an, it is very easy to get to the railway station by city bus from anywhere in the city. There are several stops within 200 m of the station (look for train station East or North on a bus route. Many hotels also offer free pick-up if you arrive between 6 and 9 AM.
The main long-distance bus station is located across from main railway station.Bus service is available to: Huashan (2-3 hours), Lanzhou (8-10 hours), Luoyang (5-7 hours), Taiyuan (12 hours), and Zhengzhou (9-12 hours).
Trips within the city walls are generally around ¥10, longer trips to the attractions south of the city are ¥12-20. Especially when you take a longer ride, like to or from the airport, it is always good advice to insist on using the taxi meter.
Xian's main sites (with the notable exception of the Terracotta Warriors) are bunched fairly close together, so renting a bike is a good option. Be wary of the narrow streets and cars that squeeze you out of the way. Bike lanes are available, making it somewhat safer than driving in the direct lane of traffic.
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