144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Xi’an 2024: Guides & Travel Tips

Since December 1st, 2019, Xi’an has adopted a 144-hour visa-free transit policy, which means foreigners from 54 countries can have a 6-day layover in Xi’an and the neighboring Xianyang without holding a China visa.

Generally, 6 days is enough to cover essential attractions in Xi’an. In this article, we will offer you useful tips to help you understand the transit policy and make the most of the time to have a memorable China Xian tour.


Basic Facts

Entry/Exit Port: Xi’an Xianyang International Airport

Areas Permitted to Stay: Xi’an & Xianyang

Stay Period: Visa-free stay counts from 00:00 the next day after entry to 24:00 on the 6th day

Transit Route:

Visitors must transit to a 3rd country or a 3rd region (Hong Kong or Macau) within 144 hours. A round-trip journey is not permitted. For example, you can adopt routes such as US → Xi’an → Australia or UK → Xi’an → Hong Kong → Malaysia, but transit routes like US → Xi’an → US will be rejected.

Xian Xianyang International Airport
Xian Xianyang International Airport

What Are the Requirements of 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Xian?

  1. Citizens of the following 54 countries are eligible to enjoy the visa-free entry to Xi’an:
25 Schengen Agreement Countries Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Estonia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia
15 Other European Countries Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ukraine, Belarus, Monaco, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania
6 American Countries the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina
6 Asian Countries Japan, Korea, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar
2 Oceania Countries Australia, New Zealand
  1. Transits must hold a passport or other international travel documents that are valid for at least 3 months;
  2. Transits must hold connecting tickets with fixed departure date and seat to a 3rd country or region within the 144-hour visa-free stay in Xi’an.


How to Apply for A 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Xian?

  1. When boarding, inform the carrier that you intend to apply for a 144-hour visa-free transit in Xi’an;
  2. Upon arrival, go to the dedicated counter to fill in an Arrival Card. Show your passport and arrival Card, as well as your visa and connecting flight ticket to a 3rdcountry or region to apply for the 144h visa-free transit;
  3. Claim the luggage and go through customs inspections;
  4. Leave the airport for downtown Xi’an.


How Can I Get to the City Center from Xian International Airport?

Xi’an Xianyang International Airport is located 25 kilometers away from downtown Xi’an. Airport buses, metro lines, and taxis are available at the airport to transfer visitors to the city center.

There are frequent airport buses shuttling from the airport to railway stations and major attractions in downtown Xi’an, such as the Bell Tower, Shaanxi History Museum, and Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Board the bus at 1F of the T2 terminal or Ground Traffic Center (GTC) Hall of the T3 terminal and you will reach the city center in around 1.5 hours.

You can ride metro line 14 at the airport and transfer to line 2 at Xi’an Bei after 9 stops. Metro Line 2 stops at North Street and Bell Tower in the heart area, both of which are good destinations for accommodation in Xi’an.

  • By Taxi:

You can find taxi stands at 1F of the T2 terminal and GTC Hall of the T3 terminal. A one-way taxi ride to the city center takes around 1 hour and costs CNY 100 or so.


Top Things to Do During the 144 Hours Layover in Xian

1. Admire Grand Troops at the Terracotta Army Museum

As the “World’s Eighth Wonder”, Terracotta Warriors and Horses is not only the symbol of Xi’an City, but also one of the peak representatives of Chinese ancient civilization. The Terracotta Army is said to have been constructed to accompany Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259-210BC), the first emperor in China’s history, in his afterlife.

Here, you will witness more than 8,000 pottery soldiers and horses, as well as bronze chariots orderly arranged in the 3 pits. They are lined up in battle formation to display the great momentum of the powerful troops of the Qin Dynasty (221-207BC).

Terracotta Army in Xian
Terracotta Army

2. Trace the Past of Xian by Visiting Historical Landmarks

As the capital city of 13 dynasties, Xi’an has witnessed the changes of history and houses a variety of historical landmarks around the downtown area. Paying a visit to these sites will unveil the splendid past of Xi’an and take you immerse in the city’s rich historical ambience.

Located in the central region of Xi’an, the City Wall was constructed in the early Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) to surround the ancient capital city. It is, by far, the largest and best-preserved city wall throughout the whole country. Taking a walk or a cycling tour on the top of the wall will offer you a panoramic view of the city.

The tower is an iconic sight of Xi’an, standing in Da Ci’en Temple since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is now surrounded by quaint blocks, including the bustling Grand Tang All-Day Mall, reproducing the prosperity of Xi’an during the glory days of Tang Dynasty.

Standing in the very heart of Xi’an City and embraced by stylish shopping malls, the Bell and Drum Towers provide a harmonious fusion of the past and modern prosperity. You should never miss the night scene when the towers are lightened up, offering a stronger color contrast.

Praised as the “treasure trove of Chinese civilization”, the museum displays more than 370,000 precious artifacts from the prehistoric times to 1840, including bronze ware, pottery figures, and murals in Tang tombs, which enable tourists to gain greater insight into the history and culture of Xi’an and even Shaanxi Province.

3. Savor Xian Cuisines at Muslim Quarter & Yongxing Fang

To most tourists, a travel to Xian is never complete without a culinary exploration of the Muslim Quarter or Yongxing Fang. Both food streets are crowded with foodies from home and abroad, and no one can leave the two places with an empty stomach. The wide variety of local snacks and dishes, like Liangpi, Roujiamo, Biangbiang Noodles, Zeng Gao, and Yangrou Paomo, will definitely make you feel dazzled.

At Yongxing Fang, you can even enjoy wonderful folk art performances included in the intangible cultural heritage list, such as shadow play and Qinqiang Opera.

Xian Food Liangpi
Xian Food Liangpi

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