Xiamen

The 10 Best Things to Do in Xiamen in 2024

As a local who has grown up in the shadow of its iconic skyline and wandered its historic streets, I’m thrilled to be your guide to the 10 best things to do in Xiamen in 2024.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Zhongshan Road’s bustling markets or relax in the tranquil beauty of Gulangyu Island; Xiamen presents a delightful blend of experiences. Come along on a journey with me as we discover the essential sights that define Xiamen as an unforgettable destination.

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🌟 Xiamen Travel Planning Guide

Considering a last-minute trip to Xiamen?

🇨🇳 Top Activities and Tours in Xiamen:

1. Private One Day Xiamen And Gulangyu Highlight Tour Including Lunch
2. Hakka Tulou Private Day Tour of Yunshuiyao Ancient Village and Hekeng Tulou


🏨Top Hotels in Xiamen:

Swiss Grand Xiamen
Hotel Indigo Xiamen Harbour
Conrad Xiamen
Marco Polo Xiamen

🌐Make sure to install ExpressVPN in advance for unrestricted internet access during your stay in China!

🌏 Where is Xiamen Located

Xiamen, also known as Amoy, is a coastal city in Fujian Province, China. It is situated on the southeastern coast of China, across from Taiwan. The city is located at the mouth of the Jiulong River, facing the Taiwan Strait. Xiamen is a popular tourist destination, famous for its Gulangyu Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its colonial architecture and beautiful beaches. The city is also an important economic hub, with a thriving port and numerous industries, including manufacturing, technology, and tourism.

👑 10 Best Things to Do in Xiamen

1. Gulangyu Island (鼓浪屿)

When visiting Xiamen, a must-visit spot is Gulangyu Island. This small island, known as the “heart” of Xiamen, is separated from the city by a stretch of water and was once listed as a “World Cultural Heritage Site.”

There are no motor vehicles on the island; transportation is by foot, and goods are carried by hand carts. There are no tall buildings made of steel and concrete, only lush trees, quiet alleys, and villa courtyards…

The most bustling place is Longtou Road, which is full of trendy shops and snack streets. It is very clean, and the service at each shop is excellent. You can sample various foods, floral teas, and enjoy the taste. There are also many popular shops such as Zhao Xiao Jie 赵小姐, Zhang San Feng Milk Tea 张三疯奶茶, Lin Shi Fish Ball 林氏鱼丸, Ye Shi Glutinous Rice Cake 叶氏麻糍, and Turkish ice cream, all of which are delicious.

Gulangyu Island also has many attractions, and you can buy a combo ticket. You can go to Sunlight Rock to overlook the Xiamen city, or visit Shuzhuang Garden to see exquisite private gardens.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to buy tickets to attractions. The island’s various styles of old buildings are particularly beautiful. Just take a stroll along the small roads, leisurely enjoy the sunset in the evening, and relax. It is the most wonderful journey.

P.S. It is recommended that tourists returning in the evening disembark from the Xiamen Lundu Ferry Terminal and explore Zhongshan Road nearby.

✅ Access to Gulangyu Island is provided by three wharves:

  • Sanqiutian Wharf, close to traditional attractions, suitable for most visitors
  • Neicuo’ao Wharf, closer to the local community, ideal for those seeking to explore the island’s natural beauty
  • Gangqin Wharf, primarily for local residents

✅ How to go to Gulangyu Island from Xiamen:

  • During the day
RouteOperating TimeTicket Fare
(Round-trip)
 Jun. – Sep.Oct. – May 
Xiagu Wharf – Sanqiutian Wharf7:10 – 18:307:10 – 17:30CNY 35
Xiagu Wharf – Neicuo’ao Wharf7:10 – 18:307:10 – 17:30CNY 35
Songyu Wharf – Neicuo’ao Wharf7:30 – 19:007:10 – 17:50CNY 30
  • At night(from 17:50 to 06:30 the next day)

Take a ship at the Xiamen International Cruise Terminal near Zhongshan Road to reach Sanqiutian Wharf. The round-trip fare costs CNY 35 and the journey takes approximately 7 minutes.

🚗How to reach these wharves:
Xiagu Wharf: Take metro line 2 to Cruise Center Station, exit 6.
Xiamen International Cruise Terminal: Take metro line 1 to Zhenhai Road Station, exit 1.

2. South Putuo Temple (南普陀寺)

With a history of over 600 years, the South Putuo Temple is the most prosperous Buddhist temple in Xiamen and one of the most well-regarded temples in China. The temple is free to enter, and each visitor can receive a free incense stick for worship.

Visitors typically spend about 1 hour exploring the temple grounds.

Within the temple complex, the Devajara Hall houses the Four Heavenly Kings and the Maitreya Buddha; the Mahavira Hall features the statues of the Sakyamuni, Avalokitesvara and Avalokitesvara’s disciples; and the Dabei Hall contains the Thousand-Hand Guanyin, accessible via over 30 steps. Behind the temple lies Wulao Peak, offering a panoramic view of Xiamen.

South Putuo Temple is renowned for its vegetarian cakes and meals. The vegetarian cakes, available in sweet and savory varieties, make delightful gifts. The vegetarian restaurant is open from 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-19:00, which is particularly popular with tourists.

🎫Admission ticket: free
⏰Opening hours: 08:00—18:00
🚗How to get there: Take Bus 1, 21, 45, 751, 841, or B1 to Xiada.

3. Baicheng Beach (白城沙滩)

Baicheng Beach, located just across the street from Xiamen University. The beach has a vast area and is a popular spot near the city for enjoying the sea.

The public facilities are well-equipped, with bike rentals and a variety of recreational facilities such as sea bikes and yachts. Sometimes, folk singers can be found here performing.

However, the beach can be very crowded, and during low tide, the sea can be quite dirty. The beach near Hulishan Fortress is much cleaner.

Overall, if you have ample time, it’s nice to visit in the evening to experience the atmosphere.

P.S. The weather in Baicheng Beach is most suitable for playing on the beach in March-April or November-December. Xiamen’s weather is too hot, with temperatures resembling summer all year round. Especially in August-September, the temperature is too high, and it’s basically impossible to play on the beach under the scorching sun, which can easily lead to heatstroke.

🚗How to get there: Take Bus 2, 20, 29, 47, 87, 92, 122, 135, 310, 751, or 857 to Hulishan.

4. Shapowei (沙坡尾)

To the west of Xiamen University is Shapowei, which, for travelers, roughly encompasses the Shapowei Art Zone and the area around Daxue Road.

Xiamen has been a port since the Ming Dynasty, and Shapowei is the last remaining vestige of Xiamen’s history as a fishing village.

Today, the towering Shimao Building next to the old community stands in stark contrast. The area features retro streets, old bookstores, museums, cafes, stores, the Art Zone, and street graffiti… With tradition on the left and modernity on the right, it is a fusion of diverse elements.

My favorite spot in Shapowei is the small path by the water, lined with many artistic shops. Sitting inside, enjoying a cup of coffee, and buying some creative souvenirs, it’s quite charming.

Although it has become quite commercialized, Shapowei has preserved much of old Xiamen’s original appearance. It’s definitely worth a visit.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 86 or 71 to the Xiamen Art Museum of Chinese Elite stop.

5. Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street (中山路步行街)

Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street stands as Xiamen’s bustling historic commercial hub, distinct with its arcade-style buildings lining both sides of the street. The street, over a thousand meters long, is predominantly in shades of pink and cream, with a history dating back nearly a century.

This elongated pedestrian street boasts many authentic and well-established eateries, such as Huang Ze He 黄则和, Huang Yuan Tang 黄远堂, Huang Sheng Ji 黄胜记, among others. Local Xiamen delicacies include satay noodles, seafood barbecue, peanut soup, and more, attracting crowds of visitors every day.

There’s a variety of local delicacies perfect for souvenirs and gifts, like dried crab, squid, fish, pork floss, nuts, durian, pineapple and mango candies, mooncakes, roast duck, and more. Promoters often offer samples outside shops to attract passersby.

On the west side of the street, there are several alleys with various accessory shops, snack shops, fruit stalls, and more. The shops are small but quite interesting.

Compared to the daytime, the night scene on Zhongshan Road is even more crowded and lively, especially on weekends. Tourists and local residents alike stroll the street, shopping, and enjoying the food. Many eateries have long queues in front of them.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 2, 3, 8, or M1 to the Haibin Plaza (Haibin Dasha) stop.

6. Huandao Road(环岛路)

Huandao Road runs along the coast of Xiamen Island, covering the southeastern part of the island with stunning coastal views. It is often hailed as one of the most beautiful marathon routes, and for good reason.

The stretch of Huandao Road suitable for sightseeing is approximately 21 kilometers long, stretching from Xiamen University to Wuyuan Bay. It connects many attractions, such as Hulishan Fortress, Zeng Cuo An, and Yefeng Village. Along the way, you will also pass by Xiamen’s three most popular beaches: Baicheng Beach, Huangcuo Beach, and Guanyinshan Beach.

The most scenic section of Huandao Road is along Huanhai South Road, which is 7 kilometers long and features a flat road surface, making it ideal for cycling.

This section starts from the Yanwu Bridge viewpoint in the west and extends to Huangcuo Beach in the east. The entire route is almost entirely along the coast, offering various viewpoints, seaside boardwalks, and rocky beaches where you can get close to the sea.

P.S. It is not recommended to ride shared bicycles, as there is a long stretch where shared bicycles are prohibited.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 58 to the Guanyinshan Dreamland World stop.

7. Zeng Cuo An (曾厝垵)

Located on Huandao South Road, Zeng Cuo An is another must-visit hotspot for first-time visitors to Xiamen. Originally a humble fishing village by the sea on Xiamen Island, it attracted a large number of artistic individuals to open shops here due to its low rent. Today, it has transformed into the “most artistic fishing village.”

Zeng Cuo An is not very large, with many narrow lanes that can be even more crowded than Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street. On both sides are various snack stalls and souvenir shops. One unique Xiamen snack to try here is “tusundong” (a type of jelly made from sipunculid worm). Some souvenir shops sell items at slightly higher prices, so it’s best to just browse.

At the entrance of Zeng Cuo An, there is a beach accessible via a pedestrian bridge, which also attracts many visitors in the evening.

Additionally, Zeng Cuo An is a gathering place for characteristic homestays, including traditional courtyards, Baroque-style villas, quaint fishing village houses, and lively and distinctive youth hostels.

At night, Zeng Cuo An transforms into a haven for folk music and bars, creating a lively atmosphere filled with music and drinks.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 29, 47, or 48 to the Zeng Cuo An stop.

8. Eighth Seafood Market (八市)

When traveling to a city, aside from visiting popular tourist attractions, exploring the local markets has become one of the best ways to get a taste of the local culture. Not only can you learn about the local specialties, but you can also immerse yourself in the lives of the locals.

“Bashi,” or the Eighth Seafood Market, is one of Xiamen’s long-standing markets. Although it is somewhat old, it remains lively with many locals frequenting the market.

Here, you can find some of the freshest seafood in Xiamen, with a variety of fish, shrimp, crabs, shellfish, and more available. Many vendors offer on-site cooking services, with prices varying depending on the cooking method, such as blanching, boiling, or steaming, generally ranging from CNY 10-50.

In addition to seafood, Bashi Market also offers a variety of delicious snacks and dishes, including roast duck, shredded chicken, pastries, oyster omelets, spring rolls, and more, all of which are very popular among the locals.

However, be aware of overpriced items from some vendors. You can take a look around first to see how others are buying before making your purchases.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 28, 107, or 12 to the Kaihe Lukou stop.

9. Xidi Coffee Street (西堤咖啡一条街)

Xidi Coffee Street is not very long, only about 500 meters. It starts from the southwest corner of Xidi Villa and ends at the Marco Polo Hotel. Despite its short length, this street is home to dozens of bars, cafes, and Western restaurants.

The environment is excellent, making it a good place to relax and socialize, particularly for young adults from middle to upper-class backgrounds.

The whole street is very quiet, with many beautiful young people gathering here. There are also many expats around.

The nearby buildings are all very European-style, mostly villa-like. The shops along the street are all very artistic, with each having its own style but all being bright and clean. Even the mango trees along the road are decorated with delicate lights.

On the south side facing Yundang Lake, the night view of the lake is also quite nice.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 139, 853, or 107 to the Haiwan Park stop.

10. Fujian Tulou (福建土楼)

Fujian has nearly 50,000 earthen buildings. If you have just one day, your top choice should be the Yunshuiyao Scenic Area in the Nanjing Tulou Cluster. Here, you can visit the classic Hegui Building, Yunshuiyao Ancient Town, and Huaiyuan Building, experiencing three different landscapes and quickly understanding the architectural structure of earthen buildings and the living atmosphere of Minnan ancient villages.

Hegui Building is the tallest tulou in Nanjing, reaching a height of 21.5 meters. What truly astonishes people is that the entire building is actually constructed on a 3,000-square-meter marshland. With just over 200 pine piles underneath, the Hegui Building has stood on this giant floating bed for over 200 years. For the people of the earthen building, it is like Noah’s Ark on the marshland.

While you may think it’s no different from a regular building, when you lightly stomp in the courtyard and the whole building responds by sinking and rising, you can truly feel: this is really built on a marshland.

Cuimei Building is located near the Hegui Building and is not included in the scenic area. For a fee of CNY 5, visitors can enter and tour the building with permission from the residents.

This is a small, undeveloped earthen building in the Yunshuiyao scenic area, also known as the “tilted building.” There are almost no tourists here, and many residents still live in the building, it is simple and quiet.

Upon entering the earthen building, you can see that several floors are staggered. According to an unreliable legend, the two carpenters who undertook this project had some conflicts and different styles, which resulted in the tilted appearance of the Cuimei Building.

Tips: The residential units inside the earthen building are divided into vertical rows. Each unit is referred to as a “building.” Generally, the first floor is the kitchen, the second floor is the warehouse, and people live on the third or fourth floor. Here, you can also see the unused “non-decorated house” in the earthen building.

Yunshuiyao Ancient Town has a very different feel from the Tulou. It is characterized by banyan trees, streams, and waterwheels.

There are more than a dozen century-old banyan trees along the creek in the village, and there is a row of two-story old brick-and-wood structures next to the ancient road, which is the old street market with a history of several hundred years.

Most of the old shops still retain the characteristic of wooden board walls. Walking along, the road is paved with cobblestones.

Walking along the riverbank is livelier, but if you want to experience tranquility, you can turn into the village’s alleyways to see the real ancient village life.

Huaiyuan Building is a tulou constructed using giant cobblestones and rammed earth. It is the most exquisitely crafted and well-preserved double-ring round tulou.

It is also the tallest tulou in terms of its foundation. Legend has it that when the village was hit by a flood one year, the villagers had nowhere else to hide and all sought refuge here.

The first floor is usually the kitchen, and the second floor is the granary. These two levels have no windows, and the walls are over one meter thick. There is only one entrance and exit, usually reinforced with iron or copper, and each stairwell and main entrance has a fire extinguisher. The third floor and above are bedrooms.

To determine the number of floors in a tulou, you just need to count the number of windows and add two for the total number of floors.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 90

✅Transportation:

① High-speed train: There are about 10 high-speed trains traveling between Xiamen and Nanjing Tulou daily, with a journey time of 35-50 minutes and a ticket price of about CNY 20-40.

② After arriving in Nanjing Tulou, take bus 11 to Yuegang Xincun, then transfer to bus 7/9/14/18/22 to the bus platform at the West Bus Station. Walk to the opposite bus station to purchase a ticket for the Nanjing Tulou special line.

TIPS: Traveling from Xiamen to Nanjing Tulou is a well-established tourist route. It is recommended to choose a reputable one-day tour or charter a car. The basic price for a one-day tour is about CNY 200 per person.

👉 Book Fujian Tulou Tour on Viator

🛫 How Do I Travel to Xiamen

By Plane

Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (IATA: XMN) is one of the few airports in China built in the urban area, only 10 kilometers away from the city center.

It mainly consists of two terminals, T3 and T4. Xiamen Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hebei Airlines, and all international flights use T3, while other domestic flights operate at T4. A free shuttle bus connects the two terminals, with a travel time of about 10 minutes.

Transportation to and from the airport is very convenient, with options including airport shuttle buses, city buses, and BRT rapid transit buses. A taxi from the airport to Zhongshan Road in Siming District costs around CNY 50.

By Train

Xiamen has two main passenger train stations: Xiamen Railway Station on the island and Xiamen North Railway Station outside the island.

Xiamen Station mainly operates passenger trains and a few high-speed trains, with services to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei, Nanchang, Chongqing, and other destinations.

Xiamen North Station is further from the city center and mainly operates high-speed trains from various places to Xiamen, such as Fuzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Chongqing.

🚖 How to Get Around Xiamen

Metro

Xiamen currently has three operational subway lines: Line 1, Line 2, and Line 3.

Among them, Line 1, which runs north to south, is China’s first coastal subway. Its northern terminus is Xiamen North Railway Station, and its southern terminus reaches the southwestern corner of Siming District, where the old town area is located, making it the most densely populated tourist area.

Bus

Xiamen’s bus system is well-developed, with most attractions accessible by bus. Bus fare on the island is generally CNY 1, with additional charges for off-island buses based on distance.

In addition to traditional buses, Xiamen also has eight Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes, connecting important transportation hubs such as Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, Xiamen North Railway Station, and the port.

Unlike BRT systems in other cities, Xiamen’s BRT has its own elevated system as a dedicated lane, with almost no traffic lights along the route, making it essentially a “light rail” disguised as a bus system.

Taxi/Ride-Hailing

Many locals and travelers prefer taking taxis due to their convenience and affordability compared to some popular tourist destinations. The fare structure typically includes a base fare of CNY 10 for the first 3km and an additional CNY 2 for each kilometer beyond 3km, increasing to CNY 3 for distances exceeding 8km.

Bicycle

Xiamen is known for being bike-friendly, offering numerous bike lanes and rental services. Rental fees range from CNY 5 to CNY 15 per hour, depending on the type of bicycle, with an additional deposit of CNY 150 to 200.

Xiamen satay noodles are a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, reflecting the city’s rich culinary heritage. This dish typically features thin and chewy noodles bathed in a savory satay sauce made from ground peanuts, sesame seeds, fish, shrimp, and chili. The sauce is simmered to perfection with oil and salt, creating a velvety texture with a hint of spiciness and a fragrant peanut aroma.

Toppings vary but often include a variety of ingredients such as tender pork slices, fresh seafood like shrimp and squid, and a medley of vegetables. This dish offers a delightful balance of flavors and is a must-try for visitors exploring Xiamen’s culinary scene.

Smooth and tender duck meat paired with steaming hot congee—this is duck congee.

The congee is made by soaking selected rice in duck soup, adding glutinous rice and slowly simmering. When the duck soup congee is cooked to a certain point, the braising sauce of the duck is added and simmered over low heat. The congee has a smooth and sticky texture when eaten, with a somewhat thick soup base, a salty-sweet taste, and a slightly soy sauce color.

In addition to duck meat, there are about 20 other ingredients that can be added, such as duck intestines, duck hearts… Of course, it’s also essential to have the perfect companion, youtiao (Chinese fried dough sticks), making it a truly rich dish.

Tu Sun Dong is the most unique snack in the Minnan region, which outsiders are reluctant to try but is beloved by locals.

Its main ingredient is the sipunculid worm that lives in the mud, which is rich in collagen. After boiling, the collagen dissolves into the soup. When the thick liquid cools, it solidifies into a delicious and fresh-tasting Tu Sun Dong. When eating, it is served with soy sauce, peanut sauce, sweet and spicy sauce, as well as coriander, and minced garlic.

Tu Sun Dong comes in different sizes. Large pieces of Tu Sun Dong contain large worms and plenty of ingredients, offering a more flavorful and chewy experience.

Peanut soup is also a major feature of Xiamen cuisine, commonly seen in streets and alleys.

It is another snack with simple ingredients but requires careful preparation. Peanuts are boiled to remove their skins, then cooked with an appropriate amount of sugar. The resulting milky-white soup has peanuts that melt in your mouth, offering a perfect balance of sweetness.

The coastal city of Xiamen is known for its love of oyster omelette, and locals have a variety of ways to prepare them. Among them, fried oysters are a particularly unique local snack.

Fresh and plump oysters are selected, cleaned of mud and sand, and mixed with chopped green onions and sweet potato starch. The mixture is then poured into a pan and fried until golden brown. Finally, beaten eggs are added, resulting in a crispy texture on the outside and a smooth, flavorful filling. This dish is a must-try local snack for visitors.

Sesame glutinous rice cake is definitely one of the representative glutinous rice delicacies in the hearts of Xiamen locals.

After steaming the glutinous rice and kneading it into balls, flatten them and then stuff them with sesame powder, crushed peanuts, and white sugar. Finally, roll them in sesame powder.

The various nutty aromas of sesame, peanuts, and the natural fragrance of glutinous rice blend together perfectly, creating a flavor that is not overly sweet. It is also a great accompaniment to tea.

There are many varieties of zongzi in Fujian, including savory, bean-filled, sweet, and meat-filled zongzi, but Xiamen’s meat-filled zongzi is the most famous.

Meat-filled zongzi is best eaten hot; otherwise, its flavor diminishes significantly, living up to its name “hot meat-filled zongzi.” It is typically made with ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, chestnuts, pork, and glutinous rice. The zongzi is cooked in boiling water until it is fresh and then served with satay sauce, garlic, and red chili sauce, making it truly delicious.

☀️ Best Time to Visit Xiamen

Xiamen has a subtropical maritime monsoon climate, characterized by mild temperatures and abundant rainfall. Winters are not severely cold, and summers are not excessively hot.

Generally, Xiamen experiences distinct seasons, with the best times to visit concentrated in spring and autumn.

Spring, from March to May, is one of the most pleasant seasons in Xiamen. During this time, temperatures gradually rise, and there is a moderate difference between day and night temperatures, making it ideal for travel.

Summer, from June to August, sees temperatures in Xiamen gradually increase, with a relatively humid and hot climate, reaching temperatures of 35°-39°C. This season experiences more rainfall in Xiamen, and occasional typhoons can occur. Despite the sometimes hot weather, the beaches and seaside resorts are popular destinations for tourists seeking a summer getaway.

Autumn, from September to November, is another prime time for tourism in Xiamen. The temperatures are moderate, and the humidity is relatively low, making it the most refreshing time of the year.

While winters in Xiamen are cooler, the temperatures are milder and more pleasant compared to northern cities, typically staying above 0°C.

🏨 Where to Stay in Xiamen

For first-time travelers to Xiamen, the best accommodation areas can be roughly divided into three: the old town area, Gulangyu Island, Huandao Road and surrounding areas.

This area includes Zhongshan Road, Shapowei, Eighth Seafood Market, and other “old town landmarks,” and is also the most convenient area to visit Gulangyu Island.

It offers diverse accommodation options, has concentrated attractions, and is easily accessible by transportation. Next to Zhongshan Road is the ferry terminal, and near the starting point of Metro Line 1, Zhenhai Road Station, there are several BRT rapid transit bus routes leading here.

Travelers planning to explore Gulangyu Island in depth may choose to stay on the island. The island mainly consists of various types of homestays. If your travel wishlist includes “stay in an old villa for a night” experience, consider staying on Gulangyu Island.

Huandao Road runs along the southeast side of Xiamen Island, covering the most beautiful coastal scenery in the southeast of the island. This area includes Xiamen University, Zeng Cuo An, and other popular areas that are a must-visit in Xiamen, as well as connecting Baicheng Beach, Huangcuo Beach, and Guanyinshan Beach. There are many unique homestays and luxury resorts in this area, where you can always find accommodation that suits your needs.

Swiss Grand Xiamen: The hotel overlooks Gulangyu Island across the sea, next to the ferry terminal, making it very convenient to visit the island in the evening. If you don’t plan to visit Gulangyu Island, choose the hotel’s most distinctive Gulangyu Island sea-view room, where you can have a panoramic view of Gulangyu Island without leaving the hotel.

Within a few minutes walk of Zhongshan Road, and it is also located near the starting/ending point of Metro Line 1, about a 5-minute walk away.

As a luxury hotel, the rooms are spacious, and with prices starting at CNY 600, it is considered a cost-effective choice.

Hotel Indigo Xiamen Harbour: This hotel is located in the Lujiangdao CBD, with Gulangyu Island across the river; it takes about three minutes to walk to Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street, and the nearest subway station is about six minutes away on foot.

Upon entering the hotel room, you will see large floor-to-ceiling windows, through which the beautiful sea scenery can be seen. The interior design is rich in the characteristic style of southern Fujian, with a vibrant color palette that is bright and eye-catching in every detail.

Conrad Xiame: Conrad Xiamen is located on the 37th to 54th floors of the iconic twin towers of Xiamen Shimao Strait Tower. From here, you can overlook the entire Xiamen, offering a top-tier experience in high-end accommodations in Xiamen.

The rooms are spacious, with all amenities provided by the luxury brand Shanghai Tang. They feature automatic curtains, smart bathrooms, and guests are greeted with local delicacies like pineapple cakes.

The highlight of Conrad Xiamen is the 180-degree panoramic view of the sea from the high-rise floor-to-ceiling windows and the bathtub by the window, making it an experience not to be missed.

Marco Polo Xiamen: Being one of the early five-star hotels in Xiamen, the Xiamen Marco Polo Oriental Hotel enjoys a high level of recognition. Located in a high-end residential area of Xiamen, the hotel is also known for its large expatriate population and abundance of cafes, with the famous Coffee Street just steps away.

The hotel features a blend of British and Southeast Asian styles in its design. While the room furnishings may be slightly dated, the service quality remains at a high level. The breakfast at the hotel is highly praised.

As a local, I take pride in sharing the wonders of Xiamen with you. This city, with its blend of tradition and modernity, has so much to offer. I hope this guide has given you a taste of what our city has to offer and inspired you to explore further. As you explore our city’s best attractions, I encourage you to take your time, immerse yourself in the local culture, and savor each moment. I hope you’ll fall in love with this city just as I have!

China Travel Planning Guide&FAQ

🎫Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. Most visitors to China will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip, as well as your nationality. If you are a resident of the US, you must apply for a Chinese visa at the Consular Office in the country. On the other hand, inhabitants of countries like Japan, Canada, and the UK can request a visa through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

🤔Why is it necessary to install a VPN in China?

In China, the government has strict regulations on internet access, leading to the blocking of popular websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. To access these sites, a VPN is suggested as a means of bypassing the restrictions. It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider and use caution while doing so. ExpressVPN has been historically deemed the most reliable VPN for this purpose, despite being heavily targeted by China’s censors. Nevertheless, it is still a widely preferred option owing to its ease of installation and user-friendliness.

📲Is it necessary to have a Chinese SIM card while in China?

Yes. It is crucial to acknowledge that accessing the internet in China may pose limitations due to certain websites being prohibited or filtered. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity while staying in China, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. For optimum results, acquiring SIM cards from either China Unicom or China Mobile is recommended. While China Mobile has the most comprehensive coverage in China and is a market leader, China Unicom is more compatible with foreign phones, enabling 3G and 4G services. Or you can purchase a SIM card online.

🔮Should I buy China travel insurance?

Yes. Although China is generally a safe country for travel, it is still possible to encounter accidents or other unexpected occurrences. Therefore, obtaining travel insurance can provide a sense of security and financial protection. In my research, I have found that World Nomads is a reputable travel insurance provider that covers a wide range of activities and is recommended for the average traveler. Nevertheless, I advise you to compare insurance quotes from various providers before making a decision.

🚙Can you rent a car in China?

Unfeasible. Obtaining a Chinese driver’s license to rent a car and self-drive may seem like an option, but it is not a practical choice for most foreigners. Therefore, many prefer to opt for a driver or public transportation when navigating China, as it proves to be more convenient.

✈️What’s the best site to purchase flight tickets for China?

I suggest using Trip for affordable flights to China. As a China-based company, they often offer lower prices compared to foreign companies. Additionally, they offer English-speaking phone support in case of any issues.

🏡What is the best way to book hotels in China?

Not only does Trip offer a wider range of flight options, but it also provides a greater selection of hotels to choose from. Moreover, Agoda is a reliable resource for hotels throughout Asia.

🎒What do I pack for China?

Travel adapter and converter: China uses a different electrical system than many other countries, so it’s important to bring a travel adapter and converter if you plan to use electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and laptops.  
Sunscreen: The UV index in China can be high, particularly during the summer months, and prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Deodorant: It should be noted that finding deodorant in China may not be a simple task.

📚Can a guidebook for traveling to China be useful?

Yes. If you’re planning to travel to China for the first time, a travel guidebook can be a valuable resource, and Lonely Planet is one of the most reputable guides available globally. Its comprehensive itineraries and recommendations take into account your personal preferences and can save you both time and money. The insider tips are also extremely helpful in navigating China’s unique cultural landscape like a local.

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