The city is surrounded by a city wall, in its middle the Bell Tower (钟楼 Zhōnglóu). From this one, the four main streets descend into the four points of the compass.
- North-Street (北大街 Běidàjiē)
- East-Street (东大街 Dōngdàjiē)
- South-Street (南大街 Nándàjiē)
- West-Street (西大街 Xīdàjiē)
Don't get confused by different names in tourist guides, addresses and bus stops: Nandajie; Nanda-Street, South-Street; South-Avenue... are all the same.
Locals often speak about Within city walls and Outside city walls when talking about locations. Outside the walls, the southern part is the most interesting: it offers shopping streets, bars and some nightlife.
Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA: XIY) is located 40 km northwest of the city centre. Flights are available to Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dunhuang, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Harbin, Hohhot, Kunming, Lhasa, Lanzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, 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.
Most people use taxicabs or the airport bus to reach town from the airport. Be careful though, one of the airport buses (from the airport to the Drum Tower) will try their absolute best to sell you expensive plane tickets and then upon getting off the bus you'll be hounded by a few dozen more touts and a large concentration people begging for money that were all seemingly waiting for you to get off that bus. It's probably best to avoid this route and take the bus to the train station instead.
There are plenty of trains transporting passengers to and from most of the major cities inside China. Located at the center of China, it often takes one day to travel from Xian to other cities by train.
Xian Station - located at the north end of Jiefang Lu (解放路）
Approximate journey times to other major cities:
Beijing 14-18 hours, Chengdu 16-27 hours, Chongqing 14 hours, Guangzhou 24 hours, Kunming 36-53 hours, Lanzhou 10-13 hours, Lhasa 36 hours, Shanghai 18-24 hours, Urumqi 31-56 hours, Wuhan 14-18 hours and Zhengzhou 7 hours.
In Xian, it is very convenient for you to get to the railway station by city bus wherever you are. But please pay attention that there are several stops around the station. Fortunately, all of them are no more than 200 meters from the station.
The main long-distance bus station is located across from main railway station
Approximate journey times to major local cities:
Huashan 2-3 hours, Lanzhou 8-10 hours, Luoyang 7-10 hours, Taiyuan 12 hours and Zhengzhou about 9-12 hours.
Traffic is heavy, right of way is unheard of, the rule of thumb is keep going no matter what (although drivers do note red lights).