Tourist Attractions along Silk Road

China Silk Road is the most important section of Silk Road.  Not only is it historically significant, but it’s been a rite of passage for adventurous travelers for decades. The road is lined with stunning natural attractions and cultural hot spots, making it one of the top places to visit in China and beyond. Check the following attractions long the Silk Road for your China Silk Road adventure tours.

Major Destinations & Attractions Along China Silk Road

Silk Road covers vast regions of northwestern China, including Henan, Ningxia, Shanxi, Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang.  Major cities along the Silk Road such as XianLanzhouDunhuang,Turpan,Urumqi and Kashgar are the mostly visited ones. Each city will tell you different stories and legends which may happen on the Silk Road at that time. Here below are major cities and attractions along the Silk Route.


As the Starting point of the China Silk Road, Xian is located in Shaanxi province – one of the birthplaces of the Chinese nation and is also a gathering place of cultural relics. You can visit Terracotta Warriors, Xian City Wall, and the Shaanxi History Museum to know the first chapter of the Silk Road. 

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While the cultural significance of Xi’an will stand out to many international travellers because of the Terracotta Warriors, the historical significance of Luoyang – 200 miles east in the Henan Province – cannot be underestimated either. It is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, and is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. During East Han Dynasty, Luoyang was the starting hub of Silk Road in China. Highlights in this city include the White Horse Temple and the Gunalin Temple, you also shouldn’t miss visiting Longmen Grottoes, The Museum of the Imperial Carriages of the Emperor of the Zhou Dynasty. 

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Lanzhou, also known as Lan-chou or Lanchow, the capital of Gansu province, is a major transportation and industrial center and was an important stop on the Silk Road Lanzhou is in the shape of a narrow & long valley circled by hills and the Yellow River.  It is a hub for tourists to get to the Hexi Corridor (golden section of the Silk Road). Now it is still a key stretch of the Silk Road. The highlights are Bingling Thousand Buddha Grottoes and Gansu Provincial Museum.

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The Hexi Corridor

The Hexi Corridor is an important historical route in Gansu province of China. As part of the Northern Silk Road running northwest from the bank of the Yellow River, it was the most important route from North China to the Tarim Basin and Central Asia for traders and the military. Highlights there include Wuwei City, Confucius Temple, Zhangye Danxia Landform, Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple, Jiayuguan. 


Dunhuang is a famous silk route city, connecting central & eastern area of China with Western Region. The ancient grottoes, exquisite mural paintings and statues of Buddha make Dunhuang the Oriental Buddha Park. Many historical sites survive from the days of thousands years, such as Mogao Grottoes, Yumenguan Pass, Yangguan Pass, Ruin of Great Wall, etc.  If you have visited the Mogao Grottoes, you may know the profound Buddhism art in the ancient time. 

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Turpan is located in the Turpan Basin at the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains. Called Gaochang in ancient times, it was a major stop on the northern route of the Old Silk Road and is the hottest, lowest and driest place in China. The history and culture of its former residents can still be found in the numerous 2000-year-old sites – notably the ruined ancient cities of Gaochang and Jiaohe – and the local produce. Both northern and middle Silk Road routes pass Turpan. This city has abundant travel resources of both nature and culture, such as Grape Valley, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Karez, Jiaohe City Ruins, etc.

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Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China’s north-west, also boasts natural beauty that can be enjoyed along the Silk Road. Urumqi means “A beautiful Pasture land ” in ancient Mongolian. Besides the natural scenery, local livestock, such as horses, sheep and even yak, also make the most of the area by grazing in the wild flower covered fields. 

Turpan Urumqi Attractions


The last stop on this list of Silk Road destinations is a remote border city which lies on the Chinese boarder near Pakistan, Kashmir and Kyrgyzstan. It may be remote but it is worth the trip for the natural beauty and the unique experience of the Sunday Bazzar. There is also a Kashgar Silk Road Museum waiting for you to explore more about the silk road.

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Top 10 Attractions on China Silk Road

Further Reading