Shuyuanmen Street, Xi’an – Ticket, Opening Hours, HIghlights, and Tips

shuyuanmen street

Shuyuanmen Street (书院门文化街) is a famous cultural and historical street located in the heart of the Xi’an’s cultural district is known for its traditional architecture and numerous shops selling calligraphy, paintings, antiques, and other cultural souvenirs.

The street was originally built in the Tang Dynasty and flourished during the Ming Dynasty (1692), when Wu Congwu, a high-ranking official, who retired to Xi’an after encountering a defeat in the conflicts with eunuchs. Back then, it was a hub for scholars and intellectuals who came to study at the nearby Guanzhong Academy. Today, the street still retains much of its ancient charm and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Visitors to Shuyuanmen Street can explore the many shops and galleries that line the street, and can also visit nearby cultural attractions such as the Shaanxi History Museum and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The street is also home to several traditional teahouses and restaurants where visitors can sample local delicacies.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourAbout 1 hour
Opening HoursThe street is accessible 24 hours a day, but most venders and shops open from 9.00 – 19.00
Ticket PriceFree

Location and Transportation

Shuyuanmen street is situated in the southern part of the city, adjacent to the Xi’an city wall and not far from the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. The area is easily accessible by public transportation, including bus and subway, and is just a short distance from the Xi’an Railway Station and Xi’an Xianyang International Airport.

Bus: Take bus 12, 184, 193, 208, 221, 600, or 603, get off at Nanmen Li Stop (南门里), and Shuyuanmen Street will to to your east.

Subway: Take subway line 2, get off at Yongningmen Station (永宁门), walk about 300 meters to the north to reach the street.

History of the Street

Shuyuanmen Street has a long history, dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) when it was known as “Jixian Street” and was a bustling commercial center.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Shuyuanmen Street became a center of education, with many academies and schools established in the area. The most famous of these was the Guanzhong Academy, which was founded in 141 AD and became a renowned center of learning, attracting students and scholars from all over China.

In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Shuyuanmen Street continued to flourish as a cultural center, with the establishment of many bookstores, calligraphy shops, and art galleries. It also became a popular destination for tourists and travelers, who came to enjoy the street’s rich cultural heritage.

Today, Shuyuanmen Street remains one of Xi’an’s most popular cultural destinations and is home to many cultural events, including book fairs, art exhibitions, and calligraphy competitions, which help to preserve and promote Xi’an’s rich cultural heritage.

Highlights of Shuyuanmen Street

Traditional Architecture

traditional architecture in shuyuanmen street

The buildings in Shuyuanmen street feature sloping roofs, red lanterns, and intricately carved wooden facades, which are characteristic of traditional Chinese architecture. The use of bricks and stones, combined with ornamental details, creates a unique aesthetic that transports visitors back in time. The architecture also incorporates elements from other cultures, such as Islamic and Central Asian influences, which reflect the city’s history as an important cultural and trading center.

Cultural Souvenirs

cultural souvenirs in shuyuanmen street

Shuyuanmen Street in Xi’an is known for its wide variety of cultural souvenirs that make for great keepsakes or gifts for loved ones. Visitors can find calligraphy and paintings, including reproductions of famous works from the Tang dynasty, as well as unique antiques and handicrafts. One of the most popular items is the seal, a Chinese stamp used for calligraphy and art that can be customized with your name or a special message. Shuyuanmen Street also has a selection of tea and teaware, including the famous Xi’an terracotta tea set. These cultural souvenirs are not only beautiful and meaningful but also allow visitors to take a piece of Chinese culture and history home with them.

Shaanxi History Museum

shaanxi history museum

Located near the street, the Shaanxi History Museum is a world-class museum that houses a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits from the Shaanxi province‘s rich history. Its collection includes over 370,000 cultural relics, such as pottery, bronze ware, jade, calligraphy, and ancient weapons, spanning from prehistoric times to the Qing dynasty. The museum’s architecture is also impressive, with a combination of traditional Chinese design and modern technology. Visitors can explore the museum’s seven main exhibition halls and learn about the history and culture of Shaanxi province, making it an essential destination for anyone interested in Chinese history and culture.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

giant wild goose pagoda

Also located near the street, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a famous Buddhist pagoda, which was built during the Tang dynasty and stands at a height of 64 meters. The pagoda has seven floors, each with a different architectural style and design, and visitors can climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The pagoda also has a rich history, as it was built to house Buddhist sutras brought from India by the famous monk Xuanzang.

Vlog about Shuyuanmen Street

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Free Admission: Shuyuanmen Street itself is free to explore. However, if you wish to enter the Guanzhong Academy, you’ll need to obtain a ticket on-site, which is also free. Tickets are distributed around 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, limited to approximately 200 people each time. Be mindful that classes may be in session inside the academy, so try to maintain a quiet demeanor while exploring.

Shopping for Cultural Items: Shuyuanmen Street is renowned for its selection of cultural items such as calligraphy and painting supplies, fans, seals, and bookmarks. Prices for these items vary, with fans typically ranging from 20 to 45 yuan, seals from 40 to 80 yuan, and bookmarks from 5 to 10 yuan. You can even try your hand at calligraphy on-site. Take your time to browse multiple stores and compare prices and quality before making a purchase. Don’t hesitate to negotiate, as bargaining is common.

Photography Opportunities: The surroundings of Shuyuanmen Street, including the ancient walls and city fortifications, provide excellent photo opportunities. Capture the play of light and shadow on the leaves, the timeless beauty of the architecture, and the bustling activity of passersby. Don’t miss the chance to take memorable snapshots that capture the essence of this historic area.

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