The Terracotta Army of Warriors and Horses

Discover all you need to know about the Terracotta Warriors Museum (Terracotta Army) also known as Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Museum in Xian, China.

First discover in 1974 by a farmer and his brothers, the Terracotta Army of Warriors and Horses was one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th Century.

The discovery was made in a field 40km northheast of Xian in China’s central Shaanxi Province.


Who was Emperor Qinshihuang?

Emperor Qinshihuang of the Qin Dynasty was China’s firts Emperor. He unified the warring states in 221BC and began a lineage that lasted for the next 2,000 years.

It wasn’t just in life that Qinshihuang was impressive; he was burried alongside 8,000 lifesize terracotta warriors, 670 terracotta horses, 130 charriots and over 40,000 pieces of real weaponry and armour.

The site of the Emperor’s burial is now officialy the Emperor Qinshuhuang Mausoleum Site Museum.


About the Terracotta Warriors Museum

Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

The UNESCO world heritage site consists of three main excavation pits:

  • Pit one is the largests and contains rows of warriors stretching the length of the vast hall.
  • Pit two contains infantry soldiers, cavalry and chariots.
  • Pit three contains 68 soldiers and a charriot with four horses.

How to get to Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum

Getting to Xian

Xian Xianyang international airport has international connections to Europe, Japan Russia and South East Asia.

There are domestic flights from all China’s major cities including Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

Xian is easily reachable by train from anywhere in China. Beijing to Xian takes just 4.5 hours by fast train and costs ¥515.50 ($80) for a second class seat.

Beijing to Xian Train


Getting to the Terracotta Warriors Museum

Terracotta Army of Warriors and Horses
Terracotta Army of Warriors and Horses

From the Airport: From the airport take the Xian Airport Metro Line to Beikezhan and change to line 4. Take line 4 14 stops to Wulukou and change to line 1. Take line 1 8 stops to Fangzhicheng and change to line 9. Take line 9 14 stops to the end of the line at Qinling West. From there take bus 602 to the Terracotta Army Museum.

From the Xian North Station: Take line 2 10 stops to Beidajie and change to line 1. Take line 1 9 stops to Fangzhicheng and change to line 9. Take line 9 14 stops to the end of the line at Qinling West. From there take bus 602 to the Terracotta Army Museum.

From Xian City Centre: Take line 2 to Beidajie and change to line 1. Take line 1 9 stops to Fangzhicheng and change to line 9. Take line 9 14 stops to the end of the line at Qinling West. From there take bus 602 to the Terracotta Army Museum.

Bus: Take bus 307 from Tangchengqiang Jiuqu Bus Stop to the museum.

Taxi: A taxi from central Xian takes around an hour and should cost no more than ¥150 ($23).


Tickets or the Terracotta Army Museum

  • Adult: ¥120 ($18.40)
  • Children under 1.4m: free

What’s included?

The price of the ticket includes entrance to Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, the three main excavation pits, Lishan garden and a free shuttle bus between the main site and the tomb and gardens.

Terracotta Army
Excavation Pit 1 at the Terracotta Warriors Museum

Opening Hours of the Terracotta Army Museum

  • March 16th to November 15th: 08:30 – 18:00
  • November 16th to March 15th: 08:30 – 17:30

Facilities at the Museum

  • The museum has clean toilets (western and squat).
  • Signage is in both Mandarin and English.
  • There is a pleasant garden surrounding the museum.
  • Shops and restuarants are located at the entrance to the museum.

More of China


Steve Rohan

About this author: Steve Rohan has lived in China for six years. He has lived in the frozen city of Harbin, ancient capital of Luoyang and tropical paradise that is Sanya.

After teaching English for a number of years, he now blogs full time for this site and adventure travel blog thetripgoeson.com.