Xi’an is best known for the Terracotta Warriors about 20 kilometers away, and it’s also an extremely common third city included on China package tours of Beijing and Shanghai. But there is quite a bit more to see, and the atmosphere is quite different from the two huge cities that dominate China tourism. But don’t expect a “tourist town” because Xi’an has about 9 million people in the city limits.
Among the nicer things about a visit to Xi’an is that prices are generally lower here than in Beijing or Shanghai. Quality chain hotels are available at shockingly low prices, so those package deals aren’t quite as amazing as they seem.
With a large tourism scene, there are plenty of restaurants with English-language menus around town, but of course visitors will tend to get better value at places without them. Drinks here are cheap as well, so this is a good stop for those who like to have a cocktail or three at night. There is a strip of English-friendly bars near the Drum Tower, but drinks are very expensive.