|Most popular in||September||High demand for flights, 4% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||August||Best time to find cheap flights, 3% potential price drop|
|Average price||R12 838||Price for this month|
It is advisable to avoid visiting Xi An during the Chinese national holidays, which fall from October 1st – 7th each year, as well as during the long holiday based around Chinese New Year, which varies annually. Xi An is a popular destination for Chinese tourists, so if you do travel during these times you can expect to pay a premium and have to fight your way through crowds on their way to see the city’s landmarks. November and December are part of the off season for travellers, so you’ll be able to get by cheaper – but be prepared for the temperatures which average around 0 degrees Celsius. Anyone adverse to the heat should avoid the city during June, July and August, when the city is hot and humid and frequently visited by rainstorms.
Xi An has a worldwide reputation for being home to over 3,000 years of history. Its incredible heritage is reflected throughout this northwestern Chinese city that was once China’s capital throughout the reign of hundreds of years of dynasties. One of the primary reasons tourists flock to the city is to witness the incredible Terracotta army, unearthed in 1974 and containing 2,000 miniatures of warriors on display – though there are estimated to be around 8,000 in total. Another prime attraction is the City Wall of Xi An – the world’s largest city wall, built during the Ming dynasty who ruled China until 1644. Visitors can rent a bike to cycle the stretch of the wall and admire the city sights from above. Xi An is also home to some excellent local delicacies that you should sample, such as Shi Zi Bing – buns made from persimmons and stuffed with a sweet filling.
The city is in the process of developing a metro network, but as of yet there is just one line that runs north to south, which is not fully completed and as such its use is limited. However, there is a developed network of buses. One of the routes is a tourist route that ferries passengers from the railway station to the main points of interest, such as the Bell Tower, the Xi An Museum and the Shaanxi Historic Museum, and the two main pagodas – Small Goose Pagoda and Big Goose Pagoda. Taxis are widely available, but you run the risk of being taken ‘for a ride’ and a journey that should only be a couple of miles might take you much longer than necessary, so be wary.
Xi An Xianyang International Airport (XIY) is found 25 miles (40 km) from the city centre, and you can take a taxi or bus. Taxis will be quite pricey to reach the city. Buses are a cheaper option departing every 30 minutes from early morning till the evening.