Located near Xi’an City Wall, Xi’an Bell Tower, and Xi’an Drum Tower, the Muslim Quarter has a different flavor to the rest of the city with a local cultural and ethnic atmosphere. Since the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD), when the Silk Road began to be formed, many Arab traders migrated to Xi’an (the capital of China at that time) to do business. Today 20,000 Muslims still live there and are loyal to their beliefs.
Features of the Muslim Quarter
- A hub of the Muslim community. Over 20,000 Muslims live there.
- An interesting bazaar. There are lots of small shops and street stalls, including daily supplies, clothes, ornaments, handicrafts, and local objects.
- Selling various local snacks. For visitors, it’s a must-visit place where you can eat all the representative snacks.
Experience the Muslim Culture and Lifestyle
A harmonious picture is seen in the Muslim Quarter, which has a perfect fusion between Chinese and Muslim cultures. Here are some of the best examples:
- Full halal atmosphere: With bluestone paving and lush trees, the restaurants, shops, and objects in this area are all owned by Muslims.
- 10 mosques from different ages and in different styles: the most well-known mosque is in Huajue Lane.
- You can see many buildings that fuse together traditional Chinese architecture with the Muslim architectural style.
Buy Souvenirs in the Muslim Quarter
The Muslim Quarter is also a tourist scenic spot, which is popular with visitors. There are various souvenirs sold there, which are cheaper to buy than the price of some attractions. However, it’s also possible to be taken in by a tourist trap. Be aware of your surroundings and bargain with the sellers so you can take home a wonderful souvenir from the Muslim Quarter.
Here are some representative local objects you might like to buy:
- A model of the Terracotta Army: This is the most representative souvenir of Xi’an, even of China. Buying one of these delicate models is a good idea.
- Chinese painting and calligraphy: These items are usually cheap in the Muslim Quarter as you can’t buy famous and expensive artworks from street markets.
- Papercutting: A famous and typical Chinese folk art, it’s a cheap souvenir but is interesting and beautiful.
- A shadow puppet: A funny folk art in China, you might be able to learn how to use one. It’s a unique souvenir that is rare to see in other cities in China.
Taste the Famous Local Snacks in the Muslim Quarter
Xi’an is a famous food paradise, especially for food made with flour. You will be astonished by the various ways noodles are made. When eating in Xi’an, the Muslim Quarter is a must-visit place because it’s located in the city center and is the place to find various typical local snacks. Here are some suggestions for you to try:
- Roujiamo: It’s one of the most famous foods in Xi’an. Local people love it and some of the shops have been selling roujiamo for hundreds of years, such as Laotongguan Roujiamo, Zhangji Roujiamo, and Fanji Roujiamo.
- Yangrou paomo: This dish comprises bread soaked in lamb soup. It’s a very popular breakfast for local people.
- Cold rice noodles: In summer, cold rice noodles are very popular in Xi’an and you can see people selling this dish everywhere. Mixed with vinegar, capsicum, and garlic juice, the rice noodles taste fresh and delicious.
- Other popular snacks: lotus cakes, crispy pancakes, minced beef noodles, biangbiang noodles, and eight delicacies rice.
Useful Travel Tips for the Muslim Quarter
- Location:West of Zhonggulou Square, Beilin District
- Opening hours:all day
- Admission price: free
- Visiting duration: about 1 hour
- Transportation to the Muslim Quarter:
- Take bus 7, 15, 32, 205, 221, 251, 252, 612, or 618. Get off at Zhonglou West Station.
- Take Tourist Line 8 and get off at Zhonglou West Station.
- Take Subway Line 2 and get off at Zhonglou Station.
Important note: Respect the local customs — don’t eat pork or hold a pork roujiamo in the Muslim Quarter. Don’t wear a short skirt or revealing clothes when you visit the mosques.
Follow Trippest to Discover More about the Muslim Quarter
Our local knowledgeable guide who speaks fluent English will help you discover the highlights in Xi’an. Join our 2-day Xi’an mini tour and don’t worry about getting caught in any tourist traps.