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About Xi'an

The birth place for thousands of ancient warriors, Xi’an is a large city in China. Xi’an is known as “the eternal city” and was once the capital of the ancient Chinese dynasties. This city of 8.6 million residents has a history that spans 3000 years. Attractions include the Terracotta Army museum, Xi’an City Walls and the Great Mosque.

Prepare for a trip to a historical China, because cheap flights to Xi’an are now available for a limited period of time! Xi’an is home to Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (XIY), located just 29 minutes from the city centre. Xi’an Xianyang International Airport serves a multitude of airlines – including Air China, Dragonair, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines. Popular connecting flights depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town, and the flight duration is approximately 18 hours and 45 minutes.

Why visit Xi'an

xian-terracotta-army

Terracotta Museum

These 8000 ancient warriors were buried for more than 2000 years – but never forgotten. As the 8th World Wonder, no trip to Xian is complete without visiting the Terracotta Museum.

xian-street-food-china

Street Markets

One of the most well-known street markets in all of China – Muslim Street fills not only your senses, but your belly too! Try some local favourites like chuan’r (meat kebabs).

xian-city-wall

Xi’an City Wall

Built to protect the city in ancient China, the wall is 14km long and truly magnificent. Visit at night for breath-taking views of the city.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country China
Currency Chinese Yuan / Renminbi (CNY)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.51 CNY
Language Chinese Mandarin
Hub Airport Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (XIY)
Airline Air Changan /China Eastern Airlines / Joy Air
Time Zone GMT+ 8
Travel Adaptor Type A /C /I

Best time to visit Xi'an

Xi’an experiences four distinct seasons, so it is easy for you to decide when to visit, depending on what you plan to do on your trip. Summer is peak tourist season (June to August), but during this time it gets uncomfortably hot (up to 31 degrees Celsius) and there are long queues to famous attractions such as the Terracotta Army museum and Grand Mosque. During winter it also gets crowded as the Chinese New Year (February) brings in lots of tourists to the city. It tends to get foggy and the air is dry. The best time to visit would be over spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). There are beautiful cherry blossoms to see over the spring period, and the weather is very pleasant in both seasons.

Weather & Climate in Xi'an

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall levels (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C -4°C -2°C 3°C 9°C 14°C 19°C 21°C 20°C 16°C 10°C 3°C -3°C
High °C 5°C 8°C 13°C 21°C 26°C 30°C 31°C 30°C 25°C 20°C 12°C 6°C
Rainfall (mm) 10 10 40 40 70 60 100 70 110 60 20 10

Overview

The “eternal city” of China, Xi’an holds the stories of a past never forgotten. This city was home to royalty, aristocrats and some of the bravest warriors in all of Asia. Now a big tourist attraction, you will easily find yourself drawn to visiting Xi’an.

Just outside the city is where you will find the Terracotta Army museum. Here you will find life-size salutations to the warriors that bravely gave their lives for their emperors. Along with the ceramic warriors you will also find replicas of animals, carriages and weapons.

The great City Wall is certainly an attraction at which to marvel. At the time of its completion, it was the most advanced wall the world had seen, and is now still the most complete ancient wall that has stood the test of time. And of course, no city is complete without a taste of adventure. The locals of Xi’an call themselves culinary experts for a reason, and with the flavours and delicious bites that can be found in Muslim Street, you will soon think the same.

Visa & Customs

Xi’an is a safe city with many beautiful attractions to visit. As with most big cities though, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and not walk around with all of your expensive possessions on display. As for travelling around the city by taxi, it is best to decide on a price ahead of time, as there have been reports of taxi drivers trying to make extra money off tourists.

It is recommended to get your routine vaccinations before your trip to China. There are no health travel requirements to enter the country, but is a good idea to get a shot for hepatitis A and typhoid. Please consult with your doctor about this before your trip.

Health & Safety

South Africans who wish to visit Xi’an in China will need a visa to do so. To complete your application you will need to submit two passport photos, a copy of your ID, proof of accommodation for your stay in Xi’an, and various other documents. You will also need to ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your departure.

For more information, please contact the Embassy of China:

972 Pretorius St, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083 Tel: 012 431 6500

Cost of Living

ITEM JOHANNESBURG CAPE TOWN XI'AN
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 90.00 R 100.00 R 29.50
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R 22.00 R 20.00 R 6.00
Cappuccino (Regular) R 19.00 R 20.00 R 19.50
Taxi 1km (Normal tariff) R 10.00 R 12.00 R 19.50
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35.00 R 35.00 R 31.00
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