Terracotta Warriors – Tickets, Opening hours, Highlights, and Tips

terracotta warriors

The Terracotta Army, also known as the Terracotta Warriors, is a collection of thousands of life-size ceramic statues representing soldiers, horses, chariots, and other military figures that were buried with the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in 210-209 BCE. They were discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers who were digging a well in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China.

The army of terracotta warriors is considered one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of the 20th century and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. The warriors were created to accompany Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife, and their production involved a massive workforce of artisans and laborers. Each figure is unique, with different facial expressions, hairstyles, and clothing, reflecting the diversity of the ancient Chinese army.

The terracotta warriors are organized in battle formations, and their impressive size, attention to detail, and historical significance make them a popular tourist attraction in China. They provide valuable insights into ancient Chinese military tactics, weapons, and culture and have also been used to study the evolution of ceramic technology in ancient China.

Today, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum in Xi’an displays the largest group of the terracotta army, with over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, and 670 horses, and it continues to attract millions of visitors every year.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated length of tour2 -3 hours
Ticket PriceAdults: 120 RMB
(1 adult can bring 3 children under 16 years old for free)
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.00 (March 16th – November 15th)
8.30 – 16.30 (November 16th – March 15th the next year)
Telephone Number0086-029-813912829

Top Activities in Xi’an

    Location and Transportation

    The museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses is located in the suburb of Xi’an. The specific address is Qinling North Road, Lintong District, Xi’an. It was built near the site of the original discovery to protect and preserve the delicate terracotta sculptures. Because of its relatively remote location, you can only get there by bus.

    There are three express buses to the museum. They set off every half an hour from Qinfeng Station (秦风发车场), Great Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta 大雁塔), and Drum Tower (Gulou 鼓楼). The one-way ticket costs 30 RMB and the return ticket costs 60 RMB without a discount. The operating time is from 8.00 to 13.00, and the last return from the tourist spot is at 16.00.

    Or you can take bus 305 or tourist line 5 on the opposite side of the train station. It leaves every 10 minutes and costs 8 yuan to and 10 yuan back. However, it does take longer than the express buses.

    Highlights of the Tour

    Pit 1

    the first pit in the museum of terracotta warriors and horses

    Pit 1 is the largest and most impressive of the three excavation pits at the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses. The warriors in Pit 1 are positioned in rows and columns, with infantry at the front and rear, and chariots and cavalry positioned on the flanks. Each figure is unique, with different facial features, hairstyles, and armor styles, suggesting that they were modeled after real soldiers from the Qin dynasty (221-206 BCE).

    The level of detail and craftsmanship in the figures is impressive, with intricate engravings on the armor and clothing, and individually sculpted hands and feet. The figures were originally painted in bright colors, but the pigments have mostly faded over time.

    Pit 2

    the second pit in the museum of terracotta warriors and horses

    Pit 2 is known for its unique layout and impressive array of figures. It was discovered in 1976, two years after the discovery of Pit 1, and covers an area of 6,000 square meters.

    Unlike Pit 1, Pit 2 is divided into several chambers, each containing different types of figures, including generals, chariots, and infantry. The figures in Pit 2 are smaller in size than those in Pit 1, with the tallest being just over 1.8 meters, and are believed to represent a later period in the Qin dynasty.

    The excavation of Pit 2 has also revealed a wealth of artifacts, including bronze weapons, pottery figurines, and jade ornaments, providing insight into the artistic and technological achievements of ancient China.

    Pit 3

    the third pit in the museum of terracotta warriors and horses

    Pit 3 is the smallest and most recently excavated of the three pits at the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses. It was discovered in 1976, the same year as Pit 2, but was not fully excavated until 1989.

    It is believed to have served as the command center for the army, with the figures representing high-ranking officers and their attendants. The figures in Pit 3 are more detailed and finely crafted than those in Pits 1 and 2, with intricate facial expressions, clothing, and hairstyles.

    In addition to the terracotta figures, Pit 3 also contains a number of artifacts, including bronze weapons, chariot parts, and pottery vessels.

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    Tour Tips

    1. Bus. Bus No. 306 or Tourist Line 5 at Xi’an Train Station leads to the museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses. But there are fake buses even in the station. You should pay attention to the clothes of the workers. The real workers wear blue uniforms and will not greet you with enthusiasm because of the heavy workload.

    2. Tourist guide. Many tourist guides are peddling at the gate of the museum. Most of them have certifications and are professional. If you want a detailed introduction and better learn about the terracotta army, you may hire one there (cost about 120 RMB).

    3. Stay away during holidays. As one of the most famous tourist attractions in China, the Musem of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses is swamped by visitors during public holidays. You can barely see anything but heads and shoulders.

    4. Souvenirs. The souvenirs sold in the museum are generally overpriced. You can find better and cheaper ones in the city.

    Interesting Facts

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