Xian is a big bustling city of nearly 9 million people in North-West China and it is home to so many cultural experiences for tourists. Affordable accommodation is one thing it is not known for so we were on a mission to find something within our budget. In the back streets of the Muslim Quarter, you will find the Alley Youth Hostel.
From the first moment you walk in the door you are greeted and welcomed by the warm and friendly staff. Some of the staff also speak excellent English, which is a huge help for Westerners.
The communal area has a bar, cafe and restaurant all rolled into one. You can buy beer, wine, spirits, soft drink, tea, coffee and water.
The restaurant serves basic meals like fried rice, Cantonese noodles, dumplings, Kung pow Chicken and more.
The prices range from around 20-30RMB for a meal. The Alley Youth Hostel has a real family-friendly feel about it. That’s because a family runs the place together.
You will find table seating to eat around and couches to lounge on. There are movies shown on a wall from a projector most of the day or music playing. You can hire push biked and even a scooter.
Book your stay at the Alley Youth Hostel >> HERE <<
Tourist advice is readily available. The hostel has tours to the Terracotta Warriors, city walking tours and many more that they can help you with if you are unsure. They also have in-house activities such as dumpling making and Chinese calligraphic nights where you get a hands-on experience learning from the locals.
On certain nights of the week, they have specials like buy 2 beers get 1 free, buy 1 cocktail get 1 free and 10rmb for dumplings, fried rice and Cantonese noodles. If you are on a budget these are great ways to save a little money on your stay in Xian, China.
Get the breakfast included in your room booking if you can, We loved the breakfast as there are 4 options. We went for the American breakfast most mornings
This 5 storey building has rooms for singles, doubles and families. All rooms contain a toilet and bathroom with all rooms accommodating 4 people.
The rooms have 2 bunks, 4 lockers, and an air-conditioning unit. Each bunk has its own light, power sockets and pull-down blind for privacy.
The bunks are some of the best we have seen in places that we have stayed in. Normally you will have a metal or wooden set of bunks that are free-standing. These bunks are built into the wall and have a good-sized staircase separating the set. It is a great idea and you know even with the kids climbing on them they are not moving.
The hostel will wash and dry your laundry for 40rmb (20 to wash and 20 to dry) There is a transfer service available to the airport or train station if you need them as well.
In all honesty, I found the transfer overpriced and it is much cheaper to take a cab or call a Didi. We were quoted 300rmb for a transfer for 4 people with 4 suitcases. We walked 300 meters to the main road hailed a cab and it cost us 50rmb to get to the Xian train station.
The Alley Youth Hostel is located a 10-minute walk from the Drum Tower and dead smack in the middle of the Muslim Quarter. At the Drum Tower, you will find a market that sells all the awesome Chinese souvenirs you will need to take home.
The Muslim Quarter is one of the worlds great food hotspots. It has an amazing mix of Chinese and Middle Eastern food combining to create some of the best food we have ever had.
Every Sunday and Thursday the streets, lanes and alleyways of the Muslim Quarter Xian are turned into a market and it comes alive with all types of things. You will find everything from fake Louis Vuitton to cookware, electronics and pets.
How to get to Alley Youth Hostel
Da Xue Xi Ally(大学习巷) is the best drop point for the taxi or didi.
At the T road of Miaohou street and Xiang alley. The location of the hostel is near the 25th Middle School (130m)
Transportation to the Alley Hostel
Metro Line 2(Bei Da St)→Line 1(Sajin Brg)→take a TukTuk to the hostel (5rmb)
Metro Line 2 (Bell Tower)→DaXueXi Alley →take a tuk-tuk to the (5rmb)
Airport Shuttle (Bell Tower Station)→DaXueXi Alley →take a tuk-tuk to the Alley Youth Hostel (5rmb).
How to get to Xian
Xi’an Xianyang International Airport is Xians main airport. The airport covers an area of 5 square kilometres, it is the largest airport in Northwest China. It is 41 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of Xi’an city centre. Book our flight to Xian with Skyscanner here and your airport transfer with sun transfers right here
Xian North railway station is one of the largest hubs for high-speed rail in the north of China. The station has 34 platforms and is located 10 kilometres from the city centre. You can book your china trains here.
Long-distance buses arrive and depart from Xian Fangzhicheng Bus Station. It is serviced by Xian metro line 1.
The main highways in China are fine for travelling by car. Pick up a rental car at any main airport and travel around China by car.
Weather in Xian
July is the hottest month in Xian with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F). Having been to Xian in July I can tell you the temperature in Xain regularly reached 40 degrees. Get the thermals out as the coldest month is January at 1°C(33°F). The wettest month is September with an average of 110mm of rain
Money in China
The Chinese Yuan or RMB is the official currency. Banknotes are available in RMB 0.1, RMB 0.5, RMB 1, RMB 5, RMB 10, RMB 20, RMB 50, RMB 100. China is seemingly transitioning to a cashless society through its use of Alipay and Wepay. These are apps that allow you to pay on your phone. You won’t find ATM’s at shopping centres or on random streets, all ATM’s are located at banks.
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support