Muslim Quarter, Xi’an – Tickets, Highligts, Opening Hours, and Tips

Muslim Quarter in Xi'an

Xi’an Muslim Quarter, also known as Huimin Jie or Muslim Street, is a vibrant and bustling area located in the heart of Xi’an, China. It is a predominantly Muslim neighborhood that has been in existence for over 1,300 years and is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in China.

The quarter is known for its unique blend of Chinese and Islamic cultures, which is reflected in its food, architecture, and daily life. The main attraction of the quarter is the street market, which is lined with stalls selling a wide variety of street food, souvenirs, and traditional clothing. Visitors can enjoy local delicacies such as Rou Jia Mo (Chinese Hamburger), Yangrou Paomo (Crumbled Flatbread in Lamb Soup), and various types of skewers.

In addition to its vibrant street market, the quarter is also home to several historic mosques, including the Great Mosque of Xi’an, which was built in the 8th century and is one of the oldest and best-preserved mosques in China.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1-3 hours
Ticket PriceFree
Opening HoursAll day. But most shops open at 8 a.m. and close at about 10 p.m.

Top Activities in Xi’an

Location and Transportation

The Muslim Quarter is in the city center and is situated to the north of the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower. The main entrance to the quarter is through the archway known as the “Muslim Quarter Arch” or “Huimin Gate” (回民门). The specific address is 5, Beiyuanmen, Lianhu District, Xi’an, Shanxi.

Take bus No. 15, 32, 43, 45, 201, 215, 218, 221, 222, 251, 252, 286, 300, 604, 611, 612, 618, or 622, get off at Zhonglouxi Stop (West to the Bell Tower Stop), and walk about 200 meters to the north to reach the quarter.

Take subway line 6, get off at Guangjijie Station (Guangjie Street Station), and walk about 400 meters to the northeast to reach the quarter.
Take subway line 2, get off at Zhonglou Station (Bell Tower Station), and walk about 300 meters to the east to reach the quarter.

History of the Quarter

The Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, China, has a rich history that dates back over a thousand years. The area is home to the city’s Muslim community, which began to settle in Xi’an during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). During this time, the Silk Road trade route brought merchants from Central Asia and the Middle East to the city, many of whom were Muslim.

Over time, the Muslim community in Xi’an grew and developed its own unique culture and traditions, which can be seen in the food, architecture, and religious practices of the Muslim Quarter. The area is home to the Great Mosque of Xi’an, one of the most important Islamic sites in China, which was first built in the 8th century and has since been expanded and renovated.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE), the Muslim Quarter became an important center for trade and commerce, with merchants selling a variety of goods, including silk, tea, and spices. The area also became known for its food, with a wide range of halal dishes that continue to be popular today.

In recent years, the Muslim Quarter has become a popular tourist destination, with visitors from around the world coming to explore its rich history and sample its delicious food. Despite its popularity, the area has remained a vibrant and important part of Xi’an’s cultural heritage, reflecting the city’s long history of diversity and cultural exchange.

Hilights of Muslim Quarter

Declicious Food

Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter is a food lover’s paradise, with many delicious snacks to try. Here are some popular snacks you can find in the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an:

  1. Roujiamo (肉夹馍): Also known as Chinese hamburgers, roujiamo is a type of sandwich made with a meat filling, typically pork or beef, inside a crispy, baked bread. In the Muslim Quarter, you can find roujiamo filled with lamb, beef, or chicken.
  2. Yangrou paomo (羊肉泡馍): This is a popular local dish made with mutton and unleavened bread. The bread is first torn into small pieces and then soaked in a lamb broth before being served with sliced lamb, vegetables, and chili oil.
  3. Liangpi (凉皮): Liangpi is a cold noodle dish made with mung bean starch. It’s often served with a spicy sauce, sesame paste, and a variety of toppings, such as sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, and chili oil.
  4. Gourd Chicken (葫芦鸡): This dish is made with chicken and winter melon, which is cut into the shape of a gourd. The chicken is cooked with various herbs and spices, giving it a fragrant aroma.
  5. Qishan noodles (岐山臊子面): Qishan noodles are a type of noodle that originated in Shaanxi Province. They are thin, chewy noodles served with a meat and vegetable sauce.
  6. Osmanthus Cake (桂花糕): Osmanthus cake is a sweet, steamed cake made with rice flour and sugar. It’s flavored with osmanthus, a type of flower that is popular in Chinese desserts.

Unique Building Style

The building styles in the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an are a unique blend of Chinese and Islamic architectural elements. The traditional Chinese-style buildings feature glazed tile roofs, ornate wooden carvings, and intricate brickwork, while the Islamic-style buildings are characterized by their green-tiled domes, minarets, and calligraphy. The Great Mosque, for example, showcases a blend of Chinese courtyard architecture and Islamic architectural elements, such as horseshoe arches and dome-shaped roofs. The traditional Islamic-style buildings also incorporate Chinese elements, such as the use of local materials and traditional Chinese joinery techniques. The resulting fusion of these styles creates a visually stunning and culturally significant architecture that showcases the area’s long history of cultural exchange and diversity.

Famous Restaurants

The Muslim Quarter in Xi’an is known for its vibrant street food scene and traditional Muslim cuisine. Here are a few famous restaurants you can try in the area:

  1. Tian Xiang Yuan: This is one of the most popular restaurants in the Muslim Quarter, and it’s known for its delicious beef and mutton dishes. The restaurant is often crowded, but the food is worth the wait.
  2. Lao Sun Jia: Lao Sun Jia is a well-known restaurant that specializes in hand-pulled noodles and dumplings. The restaurant has been in business for over 100 years and is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
  3. Qian Xiang Yi: Qian Xiang Yi is famous for its roujiamo, a type of Chinese sandwich made with meat and bread. The restaurant also serves other traditional Muslim dishes like beef and lamb skewers.
  4. Jia San Soup Dumplings: This restaurant is known for its soup dumplings, which are filled with a variety of meats and vegetables. The dumplings are steamed to perfection and are a must-try when visiting the Muslim Quarter.
  5. Yang Ji Mutton Soup: Yang Ji Mutton Soup is a popular spot for mutton soup, which is a traditional Muslim dish in Xi’an. The soup is hearty and flavorful, and is often served with bread or noodles.

These are just a few of the many famous restaurants in the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an. There are plenty of other options to explore and try out as well!

Vlog about Muslim Quarter

Find the Best Hotel in Xi’an

Useful Tips Summarzied from Reviews

1. Everyday life of residents. The Muslim quarter is not only a tourist attraction, but also a residential area. If you are curious about what real life is like in Xi’an, go to the back streets, and you can see how locals eat and shop and what is popular among them.

2. Drum Tower and Muslim Quarter. The Muslim quarter is located behind the Drum Tower, right to its north. So, you had better put them together when you plan your trip.

3. Crowd. The Muslim quarter can become exceptionally crowded at night. If you do not like the lively atmosphere, you can try to pay a visit during the day.

Attractions near Muslim Quarter

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