If you can cope with the congested roads, bikes are a good alternative to taxis and can be hired at the youth hostels.


If you’re itching to try out the public buses, they go to all the major sights in and around the city. Bus 610 is a useful one: it passes the train station, then onto the Bell Tower, Little Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum and Big Goose Pagoda. Remember that packed buses are a pickpocket’s paradise, so watch your wallet.


The Xī’ān metro system (西安地铁, Xī’ān dìtiě) started in 2011 with Line 2, followed by Line 1 in 2013 – Line 3 was due to open in 2016, with more lines under construction or in the planning stages. Rides cost ¥2 to ¥5 depending on distance. Useful stations on Line 2 include Běihuǒchē Zhàn (north train station) and Xiǎozhaì (near the Shaanxi History Museum). Line 1 has a stop at the Bànpō Neolithic Village. Trains run between around 6.10am and 11.15pm.


Taxi flagfall is ¥9. It can be very difficult to get a taxi in the late afternoon, when the drivers change shifts. Bicycles are a good alternative.