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Home Terracotta Army How to Visit Terracotta Warriors | Plan Visit to Terracotta Warriors

How to Visit Terracotta Warriors | Plan Visit to Terracotta Warriors

Written by Senior Expert Catherine|Updated: 2023-11-17

Few sights on Earth can rival the grandeur and historical significance of China's Terracotta Warriors. Discovered by chance in 1974, this remarkable army of life-sized clay soldiers has become a symbol of China's rich cultural heritage and the centerpiece of one of its most famous archaeological sites.

If you're planning to visit the Terracotta Warriors, Our Visitor’s Useful Guide is designed to provide you with comprehensive and valuable insights and practical tips. Whether it's choosing the best time to visit, how to get from Xian, and how to visit the various pits and exhibits, we've got you covered.

Together, we'll delve into the heart of ancient China and unearth the secrets of the Terracotta Warriors. Let's get started!

Terracotta Warriors Brief Facts

Chinese Name: 兵马俑 (Bīng Mǎ Yǒng)

English Translation: Terracotta Army, Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Features: Thousands of life-size terracotta soldiers, horses, and chariots in battle array

Type: World Heritage Site, Historical Site, Museum, Cultural Landmark

History: Constructed in 246–206 BC, discovered in 1974

Construction Purpose: To accompany and protect the first emperor of China - Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife

Opening hours:  Peak Season (March 16 to November 15): 08:30-17:00\ Low Season (November 16 to March 5): 08:30-16:30

Location: Emperor Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army Museum, 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Xian

Time needed: Half Day

Suited to: History and Chinese culture enthusiasts

Physical requirements: Indoor sightseeing, moderate walking, wheelchair accessibility available.

Content Preview

  • triangleBest Time to Visit Terracotta Warriors & How to Avoid Crowds
  • triangleHow to Get to Terracotta Warriors
  • triangleHow to Book Terracotta Warriors Tickets
  • triangleHow to Visit Terracotta Warriors
  • triangleTravel Tips for Visiting Terracotta Warriors
  • triangleNearby Attractions Around Terracotta Warriors
  • triangleExplore Terracotta Warriors with Asia Odyssey Travel

Best Time to Visit Terracotta Warriors & How to Avoid Crowds

The Terracotta Warriors is an indoor attraction, making it accessible year-round without being affected by weather conditions. However, the Terracotta Warriors Museum is one of the must-see attractions in China, and its popularity among tourists can lead to crowding, especially during peak travel seasons.

Choosing Right Season for Your Visit

Peak tourist season in Xian typically falls during the national holidays, namely the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), which usually occurs in late January or early February, Labor Day Holiday from May 1st to 3rd, and the National Day holiday in the first week of October. The summer vacation, from June to August, is another peak period.

The best time to visit the Terracotta Warriors tends to be during the shoulder seasons, which fall from March to May and from September to early November. During these periods, the weather in Xian is comfortably mild, and the site is less crowded than in peak season. Visiting during the off-peak winter season can also be an excellent time for those who prefer a quieter experience.

Choosing Right Timing for Your Visit

The Terracotta Warriors site generally opens at 8:30 AM and closes at 5:00 PM. As most tour groups tend to arrive mid-morning, planning your visit for right when the site opens can help you beat the crowds. If you're not an early bird, another option is to visit around noon, when most tour groups left for a lunch break. Regardless of when you decide to visit, keep in mind, you'll need to manage your time well to ensure you can fully explore the site before closing time.

Xian Terracotta Army
Terracotta Warriors
Xian City Wall
Terracotta Warriors

How to Get to Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors is situated in the Lintong District of Xian City, Shaanxi Province.

By Public Transport - The Most Economical Way but May Be Crowded

One of the most economical ways to reach the Terracotta Warriors Museum is by taking the public bus from Xian. It's worth noting that these buses can be quite crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.

From Public Transport Estimated Time
Xian Railway Station Tourist Bus Line 5 (306) 1 hour
Xian North Railway Station Bus 266 + Tourist Bus Line 5 (306) 2 hours
Xianyang International Airport Shuttle bus to Xian Railway Station + Tourist Bus Line 5 (306) 2 hours

By Organized Tour - The Most Convenient Option

Taking an organized tour is the most convenient option. A guide and driver will pick you up directly from your hotel or train station, or airport and escort you to the Terracotta Warriors. Wit our private tour, you'll enjoy personalized service, the comfort of private transportation, and the advantage of a knowledgeable guide who can offer valuable insights about the site.

From Distance Driving Time
Xian North Railway Station 50KM 1 hour
Xian Station 40KM 1 hour
Xianyang International Airport 66KM 1 hour
Xian Downtown 45KM 1 hour

How to Book Terracotta Warriors Tickets

To visit the Terracotta Warriors, it's essential to book your tickets in advance due to the museum's maximum daily capacity of 65,000 people. Once this limit is reached, ticket sales will be stopped for the day.

The Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum (秦始皇帝陵博物院) has implemented a real-name reservation system. This means that all visitors (including those who are entitled to policy-free tickets and visitors from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and foreign countries) must book their tickets under their real names. Booking can be done through the official website or the WeChat public account of the museum.

It's recommended to book your tickets well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure you won't miss this incredible historical site. Alternatively, you might consider attending a guided tour for a more enriching and hassle-free experience. Tours typically include the reservation process in their service, allowing you to focus on the incredible history and legacy of the Terracotta Warriors.

Xian Terracotta Army
Our guests visit the Terracotta Warriors
Xian Terracotta Army
Our guests visit the Terracotta Warriors

How to Visit Terracotta Warriors

Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum Layout

The Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum is composed of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum and the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Archaeological Park (Lishan Garden).

Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum Layout
Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum Layout
Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Archaeological Park Layout
Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Archaeological Park Layout

Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum Layout

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, which houses the main pits containing the warriors, is divided into three sections: Pit 1, Pit 2, and Pit 3.

Pit 1: The largest and most impressive of the three pits, Pit 1, houses the main army formation, with over 6,000 figures (2,000 are currently on display). The pit covers an area of approximately 14,260 square meters, equivalent to the size of an airplane hangar.

Pit 2: This pit is notable for its complex layout and variety of military figures, including standing and kneeling archers, cavalry, charioteers, and infantry. Despite being smaller than Pit 1, Pit 2 offers a richer diversity of the army, providing further insights into ancient military strategy and the mysteries of the army array.

Pit 3: Known as the command center, Pit 3 is the smallest but considered the most important pit due to its perceived role as the army's "headquarters."

Our Recommended Visiting Route: Pit 1 – Pit 3 – Pit 2 - Exhibition Hall

Begin with Pit 1 as it's the largest and most stunning, offering a grand first impression. Spend ample time here observing the soldiers' intricate details and formations. Next, move on to Pit 3, where you will see the army's "headquarters." Then, proceed to Pit 2, where you will encounter a more diverse array of military figures. Finally, conclude your visit at the Exhibition Hall, where you can marvel at the history of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses.

Suggested Visiting Time: 2-3 hours

Terracotta Army Pit 1
View of Pit 1
Terracotta Army Pit 3
View of Pit 3

Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Archaeological Park Layout

The Mausoleum Site Park of the First Qin Emperor, also known as Lishan Garden, is an archaeological park situated on the core area of the First Qin Emperor's mausoleum.

Visiting the Lishan Garden primarily involves seeing the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the relics in the burial pit site 9901 (the Hundred Plays figurines pit), the burial pit site 0006 (the Civil Official figurines pit), and the Bronze Chariots Museum.

Suggested Visiting Time: 1-1.5 hours

For history buffs, exploring both the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum and Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Archaeological Park provides a comprehensive understanding of Emperor Qinshihuang's historical significance and the scale of his burial complex. If you have sufficient time and interest, you can visit both sites. These two locations are approximately 2200 meters apart, and free shuttle buses are available for convenient transportation between the two sites.

Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
Bronze Chariots Museum
Bronze Chariots Museum.

Travel Tips for Visiting Terracotta Warriors

1. Book the Entrance Ticket In Advance:

Given the daily limit of 65,000 entrance tickets, it's essential to secure your entrance ticket in advance to ensure your visit to this world-renowned site.

2. Plan Your Visit:

A typical visit to the Terracotta Warriors can take 2-3 hours. Spend time researching and planning in advance to make sure you get to see all the aspects of the site that interest you.

3. Consider Hiring a Guide:

Hiring a guide can significantly enhance your visit. Guides can offer valuable insights into the history and significance of the site and answer any questions you may have.

4. Arrive Early or Late:

The Terracotta Warriors site can get quite crowded, especially during peak tourist season. To avoid large crowds, consider arriving as soon as the museum opens or in the late afternoon when most tour groups have left.

5. Beware of Scams:

Upon your arrival at the parking lot outside the Terracotta Warriors, you may be approached by local villagers claiming to sell souvenirs or offering to guide you to the "real" Terracotta Army. It is recommended to ignore these offers as the items sold are often fake and overpriced.

6. Wear Comfortable Shoes:

As the site is expansive, expect a considerable amount of walking. Wearing comfortable shoes will help you explore the site with ease.

Xian Terracotta Army
View of Pit 2
Xian Terracotta Army
Xian Terracotta Army

Nearby Attractions Around Terracotta Warriors

Aside from the Terracotta Warriors, there are several other nearby attractions that you could consider including in your itinerary.

Huaqing Pool and Lishan:

Huaqing Pool, also known as Huaqing Hot Springs, is just 10 kilometers east of the Terracotta Warriors. This historic site was a popular royal retreat for Chinese emperors throughout history, famous for its natural hot springs. The site is particularly known for the romantic legend of Emperor Xuanzong and his concubine, Yang Guifei. Dating back to the Tang Dynasty, the Huaqing Pool offers a serene environment adorned with traditional pavilions, corridors, and towers, set against the beautiful backdrop of Lishan Mountain. Lishan Mountain offers a relatively easy climb. From its summit, you'll be able to look over the structures below, providing a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow:

"The Song of Everlasting Sorrow" is a grand outdoor performance held at the base of Lishan Mountain, near Huaqing Pool. This spectacle of lights, music, and dance tells the heartbreaking love story of Emperor Xuanzong and his concubine Yang Guifei, which has been passed down in Chinese literature and folklore. The show uses the natural landscape and modern technology to create an unforgettable spectacle. The stage settings include a real water stage, a dry stage, and a sky stage, making the performance a magnificent and immersive experience. The stunning visuals, coupled with the poignant tale, make this show a highly recommended cultural experience.

In-depth History And Culture Exploration Route:

This route is perfect for history buffs, culture seekers, and explorers who desire to delve deep into the stories and traditions that have shaped China over thousands of years.

In the morning, depart from the city center and head to Lintong to visit the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum and Lishan Garden. Experience the artistic allure of the Terracotta Warriors, where each figure has a unique face. In the afternoon, you can visit Huaqing Palace to see the Begonia Soup Pool where Yang Guifei once bathed, and then ascend Lishan Mountain to take in the view of Lintong. If your time allows, watching the live performance of "The Song of Everlasting Sorrow" at Huaqing Pool in the evening is also a wonderful experience.

Huaqing Pool
Huaqing Pool
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

Explore Terracotta Warriors with Asia Odyssey Travel

For a complete, immersive experience of the Terracotta Warriors, touring with a reputable travel agency like Asia Odyssey Travel can be an excellent choice. Asia Odyssey Travel offers guided tours that not only take care of the reservation process but also provide you with knowledgeable guides to enlighten you about the historical and cultural significance of this unique archaeological site.

We offer a variety of carefully designed Xian tours, including Classic Xian Tours, Terracotta Warriors Tours, Day Tours, and Mount Huashan Tours, tailored to meet your needs and desires. Whether you prefer a private tour with a flexible itinerary or a small group tour without compromising on quality, Asia Odyssey Travel has the perfect tour for you, ensuring that your journey to Xian is a worry-free vacation.


If you're looking to extend your stay in Xian into a longer vacation, Asia Odyssey Travel also offers a range of inspiring ideas through our China tours from Xian. Our professional travel consultants are ready to assist you in customizing a tailor-made Xian Tour at the best local price.

Book your tour today and prepare to be awed by the grandeur and splendor of the Terracotta Warriors.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact us by submitting the following form and we'll immediately get back to you.

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