- Location: Beiyuan Men Street, Lianhu District, Xi'an City, Shannxi Province, China.
- Recommended reason: Muslim Quarter is a famous food culture district in Xi'an. Encompass service for catering, shopping and amusement. It's a paradise for foodies.
- Opening hours: all day (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, Monday to Friday)
- Entrance fee: free
Xi'an Muslim Quarter, as one of the representatives of Xi'an style, is a collective name of many streets, including Beiyuan Men Street, West Sheep City, Da Piyuan, Huajue Alley, Sajin Qiao, and so on. Muslim Quarter is a perfect place to explore various local food and souvenirs. It is also the gathering place of Xi'an Muslim people (also called Hui nationality). Local people called Muslim Quarter as Huifang Street which is a must-visit place in Xi'an for tourists. You can not only enjoy the delicious special local snacks, but also experience the profound national culture with distinct characteristics.
History of Muslim Quarter
It's said that the Muslim Quarter was the gathering place of foreign diplomats and merchants who came to Chang’an to do business. About one thousand years has passed, but the Muslim Quarter is still very bustling and vibrant. Beiyuan Men Street of the Muslim Quarter was the official area in the Qing dynasty. Shannxi government was located in the northern Drum Tower, so it's called Beiyuan Men Islamic Street (refer to the north gate). At the end of 1990, a number of Muslims operated catering in this street, so the government decided to reform Lianhu District to be a gourmet street. Since then, Beiyuan men Street became Muslim Quarter.
The Structure of the Muslim Quarter
Muslim Quarter is located in Xi'an city center. It's about 500 meters in length and is oriented south and north. Muslim Quarter retains the traditional bluestones path which is suitable for walking around. Along this tree-lined street, you will see many imitated architectures of Ming and Qing dynasties. There are many shops with strong halal characteristics, including all kinds of Xi'an local snacks, halal food, national costume and antiques. Even some of them are time-honored brands. Muslim Quarter is popular with not only domestic tourists but also foreign tourists.
Highlights of Muslim Quarter
There are about ten mosques with different ages and sizes in the Muslim Quarter, while the most famous one is Huajue Alley Grand Mosque which is the earliest existing mosque. Besides, Xi'an City God Temple, as one of the top 3 city god temples, is also located in this district. Many nationalities live here, mainly Han nationality and Hui nationality, which presents a diversified cultural atmosphere and has a unique historical and cultural values. At present, there are more than 60,000 Muslims live here. They maintain the original religious traditions and living habits. You can see the Islamic style everywhere.
Although visitors treat Muslim Quarter as a tourist attraction, it's a leisure place for local people to have snacks and do shopping, especially on the summer night, many citizens enjoy their meal, and wander to kill time. In the evening, the Muslim Quarter has a different atmosphere from the daytime. When the lights on, the whole street is enveloped by a strong sense of civil life. How bustling and lively it is! Everything is full of real enthusiasm and passion for life.
How to Get to Muslim Quarter
Public bus: take Bus No. 618, 15,205 to Bell Tower west station
Metro: take metro Line 2.
Tips for visiting Muslim Quarter
♦ It's very crowded and noisy at night, so take good care of children and wallets.
♦ Many stores open from 10:00 am and close at midnight.
♦ Since the Muslim Quarter is a gathering place of Hui nationality people, there are some taboos in some restaurants. For example, don't eat big meat and no alcohol in halal restaurants. Please respect the living habits and religious faith of local people.
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