Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses

Terracotta Warriors, Army or Soldiers

Grace Wang
1660 Words/7 Minutes, By Grace Wang, Updated February 20, 2023
  • English: Terracotta Warriors / Terracotta Army
  • Chinese: 兵马俑/bīng mǎ yǒng
  • Pronunciation: Bing Ma Yoong
  • Open hours: 08:30-17:00
  • Entrance fee: RMB120
  • Tour time: 3 Hours
  • Where: Lintong District; 40 km from the Bell Tower, about 50 minutes drive.
  • What to see: Terracotta Warriors and Bronze Chariot Horses
  • Features: over 7,000 life-size pottery soldiers from 1.8 to 2m in height, horses like real horses, chariots, and even weapons in battle array
  • Related activity: Clay terra cotta warrior making Xi'an
  • Attractions nearby: Huaqing Hot Springs

What to see at the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum

Customize a Xi'an Tour

Pit 1: Bronze Chariot and Horses, two large painted bronze vehicles were found 20 metres west of the tomb of the First Emperor of Qin, the first of which is more playfully preserved, the second was later restored, both reflecting the cultural characteristics of the Qin dynasty period, and the culture of driving, getting on and off from the back of the vehicle.Both carriages are adorned with a large number of gold and silver ornaments, over 1,720 in total, weighing around 7 kilograms, and all made with superb craftsmanship, the best of the time.

Pit 2: The main thing to see is the military prestige of the Qin army and the Qin military system. The most well-known is the General figurine, which is particularly rare in the entire Terracotta Army, with less than 10 found in total. There are also bow and crossbow maids with kneeling and standing terracotta figures, the point of interest being the soles of their shoes, where you can see the stitches of the shoes they wore, which, although they were warriors, reflect a strong sense of life.

There are terracotta figures of military officials, cavalrymen, imperial warriors, warriors and charioteers that should be seen, they are all dressed and groomed in different ways, when you visit can you tell what rank of soldier these terracotta figures are?

If you are an artist, or an observant traveller, what did you learn after your visit to the Terracotta Army?

Introduction of the Museum

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is still ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum in Lintong County, Shaanxi Province. It is a sight not to be missed by visitors to China.

Terra Cotta Warriors

Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had work done on his mausoleum. It took 40 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects accompanied the emperor in his afterlife. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xi'an in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond a reasonable doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC).

The State Council authorized the building of a museum on this site in 1975. When completed, people from far and wide came to visit Xian and the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors Horses, which have become landmarks on all travelers' itineraries.

Bronze Chariots and Horses

Life-size terracotta figures of warriors and horses are arranged in battle formations as star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard looked like in that time.

The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit, respectively. They were tagged in order of their discoveries.

No. 1 Pit is the largest and first opened to the public on China's National Day in 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back.

Terra Cotta Warriors

No. 2 Pit was founded in 1976 and is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994.

Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, and it was 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.

In total over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former glory.

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are a sensational archeological find. It has put Xian on the map for tourists. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world's cultural heritage.

How to get there

1. Xian Xianyang Airport - Lintong Bus Station/临潼汽车站 - the Site/兵马俑 (67km, about 2 hours by bus, CNY34)

Bua y bus ticket(the last departure at 11:30) to Lintong at the First Floor of GTC in Terminal 3,  take bus No. 1 or 602 to the site when arrive Lintong Bus Station.) 

Xian Xianyang Airport - Xian Railway Station(the best lines, Subway Line 14 - Line 2 - Bus No. 528, 100minutes, 42km, CNY8)

STEP 1: Get on Subway Line 14 at Terminal 1, 2, 3 to Heshao direction/ 贺韶方向 and get off at the North Railway Station/北客站 (North Square), about 9 stations, station transfer by walking 650m;

STEP 2: And get on the Subway Line 2 at North Railway Station/北客站 ( to the south of Weiqu/韦曲南方向), about 8 stations, get off at An Yuan Men Station/ 安远门站 (Exit B), walk 260 meters along Beiguan main Street/北关正街, cross the sidewalk, go to the diagonal opposite of the intersection, turn left rearward into Zigang East Road/自强东路 and walk 140m along to the Beiguan Station;

STEP 3: Get on the Bus No. 528 and after 2 stops, get off at the Station North (East Transit) stop/火车站北, walk 190m to the Xian Railway Station.

  • Tips: if you are planning to go to the Bell Tower area, get on the Subway Line 2 and get off at Zhonglou/Bell Tower Station (Exit C South), walk about 480m to the Bell Tower.
  • Xian Xianyang Airport to North Railway Station: find Airport West (T1, T2, T3) station, get on subway line 14 (He Shao direction/贺韶方向), go through 9 stations and get off at North Railway Station/北广场站 (North Square) station (Exit B).  

2. Xian Bell Tower - Terra Cotta Warrior and Soldiers

Taxi: 41km, less than 1 hour, about CNY120

Best Option: Bus No. 4 → Terracotta Warriors and Horses Scenic Spot Direct Bus(about 90 minutes, CNY32)

Walk 120m north to Zhonglou/ Bell Tower North Station(钟楼北站) and take bus No. (4路车), get off at the East 2nd Road Changle Station(东二环长乐路口站下车), go east 400 meters, get on the direct bus at the Qinfengfache bus station(秦风发车场站) and get off at the Terra-cotta Warrior and Horses Station, go south 150 meters to the site.

Tips: Terracotta Warriors and Horses Scenic Spot Direct Bus starts at 07:50, 08:50, 09:50, 10:50, 11:50, 12:50, 13:50

Second option: Subway Line 1 → Subway Line 9 → Lintong Tour Bus No. 613

STEP 1: Start from Bell Tower, walk 1.2km north to Beidajie Station(北大街站) and take Metro Line 1 (direction Textile City/纺织城方向) and get off at Textile City Station(纺织城站) after 9 station/stops.

STEP 2: Transfer inside the station, walk 60 meters to Textile City Station(纺织城站), get on Metro Line 9 (West of Qinling/秦陵西方向), and get off at Huaqingchi Station/华清池站 (Exit C/C出口) after 11 stops.

STEP 3: Walk 70m along South Street/南大街, go straight across the sidewalk, and turn left into Qin Tang Avenue/秦唐大道. Walk along Qin Tang Avenue for 140 meters to Hua Qing Chi Station/华清池站, get on Lintong Tour bus No. 613, get off at Terracotta Warriors Station after 2 stops, get off and walk back, walk along North Qinling Road for 110 meters, turn right across the sidewalk, turn left, continue walking along North Qinling Road for 120 meters to the destination.

3. Xian Railway Station: Subway line 1 – line 9 - Lintong Tourism No. 613

Get on Line 1 (direction Textile City/纺织城方向) at Wulukou station/五路口站 and pass 8 stations and get off at Textile City Station/纺织城站, continue to the step 2 and 3 of the "secondly option" Line 1 - Line 9 and Lintong Tour Bus No. 613.

4. Xian North Railway Station: Subway line 2 - line 1 – line 9 - Lintong Tourism No. 613

Get on subway line 2 (south of Weizhu/韦曲南方向) at Beiku Station/北客站 and get off at Beidajie Station/北大街; continue to the steps of "secondly option" Line 1 - Line 9 and Lintong Tour Bus No. 613.

  • Related experience: Clay terra cotta warrior making Xian
Customize a Xi'an Tour

You may be interested in the following activities that can add to your Xi'an tour

Grace Wang

Hi, I’m Grace Wang, if you like my article, please share it with your friends. Any sugguestions on this article, please contact me. Thanks!

Want to plan a private Xian tour? CREATE NOW


CHINA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019 We researched several companies and studied reviews on Trip Adviser before contacting who did a very China Culture Tour with an initial query. Right from the outset Grace who owns the company was excellent. She emailed detailed with pictures information and a suggested…read more details

Karen from US

Ready to Create a Unique Dream Travel?

Create My Vacation