Xian Entertainment and Nightlife

Xi’an entertainment and nightlife offer enjoyable experience, and the city is even more attractive under night covering. Tourists usually watch the music and light fountain at the North Square of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, enjoy local food in Yongxingfang or Muslim Quarter, and night visit to Xi’an Ancient Wall, etc. The tea houses and bars are also good choices for having a rest. Some headed to the theaters for famous shows such as Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show. The following is a guide for Xi’an night excurtion.

Highlights of Xi’an Nightlife

Night Excurtion on Xian Ancient City Wall

The night scene of the Ancient City Wall is more attractive with lights and lanterns shaping the wall. With less visitors, you can better experience another charm of the city wall at night. If you come to Xi’an during the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival held on the wall in the evening can’t be missed.

Night Visit to Tang Paradise (大唐芙蓉园)

Tang Paradise is the first large-scale theme park in China in the style of Tang Dynasty royal garden. It is located in Qujiang New District of Xian City, with Big Wild Goose Pagoda at west. Night time is best for visiting Tang Paradise, when the palace and buildings are splendid under the illuminations. It has 13 cultural areas for tourists to explore the Han culture. “Dream Back to the Tang Dynasty” show is your best choice.

Datang Everbright City (大唐不夜城)

The Datang Everbright City is a arising complex full of Tang element and the modern reproduction of the Tang Dynasty culture, offering three-dimensional representations of the Tang Dynasty’s supremacy in the fields of religion, art, science and technology and to highlight the great country. Tourists can enjoy the food, appreciate the intangible cultures, and experience the exciting activities and buy souvenirs. 

Shows and Performances in Xi’an

Music and Light Fountain Show at the North Square of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

As the famous landmark in Xi ‘an, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda welcomes thousands of tourists each day. After visiting the sites in the day time, you are highly recommended not to miss the fountain performance in the evening, which contributes to the glamorous night scene. The fountain performance begins at 20:30 and additional schedule at 18:00 on weekends. The tower is even more beautiful against the fountain performance. 

Shadow Play 皮影戏

Shadow play is an ancient and peculiar Chinese folk opera art, belonging to Shaanxi intangible heritage. You can enjoy a simple version shadow play and feel the distinctive Shaanxi dialect in the Muslim QuarterGao’s Grand Courtyard, Yanyuan Shadow Play (雁园皮影戏) of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and Hao Yun Lai Shadow Play (好运来皮影戏).

Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show 大唐歌舞秀

The Tang Dynasty Show, also known as “Music & Dance Dinner Show in Xian” is the pride of the city. Boosted by Xi’an Tourism Board and daily operated in major theatres, it combines two parts: the fabulous music and dance performance and Chinese dumpling banquet, both indulging your eyes and tongue! The show includes an entertaining combination of live music, dance and poetry performed by talented dancers and singers outfitted in gorgeous costumes that help bring the history of ancient China to life. Xi’an was the capital of the Tang Dynasty, making this show the perfect thing to do while visiting the city. “Dream Back to the Tang Dynasty” show is also one of its kind, tourists can watch the show in the Tang Paradise.

Places to Enjoy the Shows:

Everlasting Sorrow Performance 长恨歌

The Everlasting Sorrow Performance is presented on the real-scene in Huaqing Hot Spring with the backdrop of Lishan Mountain and the ponds, pavilions, corridors and palaces in the background. The performance is a real-scene singing and dancing historical drama with dazzling lights, beautiful music and songs, lavish costumes and the grand stage which is partially submerged in the water. The poem-turned drama is presented in four parts with a preclude and 10 scenes. The four parts include “Fall in Love”, “A Sweet Couple”, “Goodbye to Love” and “Meet again on Fairyland”. Tourist can watch the show after enjoy the hot spring.

Recommended route: 1 Day Xian Terra-cotta and Everlasting Sorrow Performance Tour

Qinqiang Opera 秦腔

Qinqiang is the representative folk opera of Shaanxi Province. Its melodies were originated from the rural areas surrounding Xi’an. Qinqiang performances are characterized by a simple, bold, exquisite and penetrating, yet exaggerated style. Qinqiang Opera songs are sonorous, bold, and touching; its music is colorful and elegant; and its performances on the whole are plain, exquisite, and lively. It is necessary to listen to Qinqiang opera if you want to explore more about Shaanxi culture. Experience the charm of the Qinqiang opera in the following recommended sites:

  • Xi’an Yisushe 西安易俗社
    Address:  No. 282 W 1st Rd, Bell Tower Commercial Center, Xincheng District (新城区西一路282号)
    Tel: 029-83155640;029-87255749
    Open time: 10:00-19:30
  • Shangyou Qinqiang Opera Tea House 尚友秦腔茶楼
    Address:  No. 28 Dongmutou Market, Beilin District (碑林区东木头市28号)
    Tel: 029-87289058

Shaanxi Stlyle Cross Talk 陕派相声

When you travel in Xi ‘an, if you only define Xi ‘an’s nightlife as seeing a performance of “Everlasting Sorrow”, perhaps you don’t have a deeper understanding of the city. Find a time to sit in the crosstalk garden and listen to the people who grew up there telling you what’s Xi ‘an like in their eyes in the way of cross-talking, which may give you a deeper memory of your trip to Xi ‘an. The following places are recommended to listen to the Shaanxi style cross talk:

  • Qingqushe Tea House (Bolinshu Branch) 青曲社(柏树林店)
    Address:  No. 10, Bolinshu, Beilin District (碑林区柏树林10号)
    Tel: 029-88696179
  • Qingqushe Tea House (Shangqin Road Branch) 青曲社茶楼(尚勤路店)
    Address: Northeast Corner of the Intersection of Shangqin Road and Dongqi Road, Xicheng District (新城区尚勤路与东七路十字东北角)
    Tel: 029-87362688

Night Markets in Xi’an

Night markets and streets play an indispensable role in Xi’an night life, most of them offer snacks, souvenirs, and are often crowded with people. Some places are even more crowded than the daytime although it is not defined as night market, such as the Muslim Quarter and Yongxingfang.

  • Sajinqiao Night Market 洒金桥夜市
    Address: South of the intersection of Lianhu Road and Northwest 3nd Road, Lianhu District (莲湖区美食莲湖路与西北三路十字路口向南)
    Recommended dishes: It is an old alleydotted with time-honored brand on both sides, you can enjoy the most authentic Shaanxi flavours such as Ma’er Li Spicy Soup and Rou Jia Mo (马尔里胡辣汤肉夹馍), “Secret Recipe Roast Fish” in Qing Zhen Yu Fang  (清真渔坊秘制烤鱼).
  • Daxue Nanlu Night Market 大学南路夜市
    Address: South of the Northwest University, Lianhu District (碑林区处西北大学以南)
    Recommended dishes: Jiu Xi Lobster (九喜龙虾), Roast Meat on Skewers (小竹签烤肉)
  • Dongxin Street Night Market 东新街夜市
    Address: Dongxin Street, Xincheng District (新城区东新街)
    Recommended dishes: Wang Jia Spring Chicken in Salt (王家桶子鸡), Lao Chen Jia  Stewed Food(老陈家烩菜)
  • Tu Men Night Market 土门夜市 
    Address: Tumen Gate (土门)
    Recommended dishes: Chang Jie Instant-boiled Beef Tripe (常姐涮牛肚)
  • Ganjiazhai Night Market  甘家寨夜市
    Address: Keji 4th Road, Bowen Road, Yanta District (雁塔区博文路科技四路)
    Recommended dishes: Bu Er Lobster (不二龙虾), A Xia River Snails Rice Noodle (阿霞螺蛳粉)
  • Xiaonanmen Night Market  小南门夜市
    Address: Keji 4th Road, Bowen Road, Yanta District (雁塔区博文路科技四路)
    Recommended dishes: Spiced Chicken with Chili Sauce (西域椒麻鸡), Xihang Roast Meat on Sticks (西航串串)

Besides the above ones, the Muslim Quarter and Yongxingfang are also good choices for food excurtion in Xi’an at night.

Bar Streets and Nightclubs in Xi’an

The night life of Xi ‘an, an ancient city, may not be as crowded as that of Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha, but it is not quiet either. There are also several featured bar streets and night clubs in Xi’an to explore the beauty of the night.

Bar Streets in Xi’an to Relax

  • Defu Lane (Defu Bar Street)  德福巷
    Address:  Beilin District (碑林区)
    Transportation: take No. 184, 193 buses and get off at Fen Xiang stop.
  • Shuncheng Alley 顺城巷
    Address:  Shuncheng Alley, Beilin District (South Gate of Beilin District) 碑林区顺城巷(碑林区南门)
    Transportation: take No. 12, 26, 603 and 322 buses and get off at Nan Men (South Gate) stop.
  • Datang Yitong Lane 大唐通易坊
    Address:  Intersection of Yanta West Road and Cuihua Road, Yanta District 雁塔区雁塔西路与翠华路交汇处
    Transportation: there are many buses reaching there such as No. 5, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 34 and No. 41 buses and get off at Yanta West Road stop.
  • Bar Street along the Back Gate of Foreign School 外院后门酒吧街
    Address:  No. 437, Chang’an South Road, Yanta District 雁塔区长安南路437号

Tips: the overall consumption level in the Defu Lane is high, pay attention to the marked price. 

Recommended Clubs in Xi’an to Have Fun

  • Salsa Club (莎莎俱乐部)
    Address: No. 6, West Street, Lianhu District
    Open Hours: 20:00 – midnight
  • Diwang Club (帝王俱乐部)
    Address: No. 231, East Street, Beilin District
    Open Hours: 20:00 – midnight
  • Papaya Club (Papaya 俱乐部)
    Address: Near Bell Tower
    Open Hours: 20:00 – midnight
  • Vice Versa (Vice Versa反之亦然酒吧)
    Address: No. 9 Xianningxue Lane, near Stone Steles Forest Museum
    Open Hours: 12:00 – 05:00