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One day or two days in Xi'an?

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White Plains, NY
Level Contributor
13 posts
8 reviews
One day or two days in Xi'an?

An option our family is considering is the overnight train from Beijing, followed by a full day in Xi'an, followed by the overnight train to Shanghai. We'll be in Xi'an during Christmas week this winter. I'd appreciate some thoughts and recommendations from experienced travelers to this area as to whether this gives us enough time (note Winter time of year) or whether we should instead opt to either stays a night in a hotel, or take the bullet train from Beijing during the day and make it a day-and-a-half trip?

Appreciate some thoughtful advice.

Magog, Canada
Level Contributor
31,799 posts
675 reviews
1. Re: One day or two days in Xi'an?

One day is doable but I would not recommend it. For one thing, it is slower in winter as you need to go inside somewhere regularly to warm up. There is enough to keep you busy for 2 days or 1.5 days. Also between two overnight trains, taking a shower and sleeping in a normal bed is not a bad idea.

Xi'an, China
Level Contributor
968 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: One day or two days in Xi'an?


Since the time you travel in my city at the winter time which is coldest moment of the year( last year -10 degree), so that some outdoor activities you may not enjoy like biking on the city wall of xian. I suggest you to stay overnight in xian, then you will have enough time to do the terr-cotta warriors museum, the big wild goose pagoda, the little wild good pagoda, city wall, the local Muslim quarter and great mosque without hurry.

Hope this can help


Xi'an, China
Level Contributor
138 posts
9 reviews
3. Re: One day or two days in Xi'an?


Staying there in Xian for touring just in one day might be a little rush, and it is right that you can not take shower at all in two nights. Dcember is cold, especially late this month. Train usually arrives in the morning from Beijing. And please think about the time that you need to get back to the train station before the train departure. Suggesting you to stay here for o vernight.

Apart from TCW, you may visit the City Wall in Xian, Muslim Street, Great Mosque, ShaanXi History Museum is nice to learn a lot about the culture and history of China by seeing those historical artifacts.

Hope this might be helpful in your trip planning.

Level Contributor
5,472 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: One day or two days in Xi'an?

Two days. Xi'an deserves this in any season, but it is true that in winter with shorter daylights and colder weather, you will not have the daily sightseeing coverage that you would in warmer weather.

As a second choice, take the earliest morning bullet train from Beijing and get 1.5 days in. What's best might depend on what you have allotted for the rest of your itinerary.

On a more general note, never never schedule two overnight train trips on consecutive days. For one thing, you won't necessarily sleep well (or at all) in a train berth. For another, you need to have somewhere to properly unpack and shower at least once in 36-48 hours. A hale and hearty adult alone might try it under extreme circumstances, but with a family in tow? Forget it unless you want a family mutiny on your hands.

5. Re: One day or two days in Xi'an?

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