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Discovering Xiamen: Top 10 Must-Do Activities in China’s Coastal City

Photo things to do in xiamen

Xiamen, located on the southeastern coast of China, is a vibrant and bustling city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its picturesque beaches, historic sites, and delicious cuisine, Xiamen is a must-visit destination for travelers. Whether you are interested in exploring the historic Gulangyu Island, soaking up the sun at the city’s beautiful beaches, or marveling at its unique architecture, Xiamen has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Gulangyu Island is a must-visit for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.
  • Xiamen’s beaches are perfect for sunbathing and water activities.
  • The city’s unique architecture blends traditional Chinese and Western styles.
  • Xiamen’s waterfront offers stunning views and a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Local cuisine is a must-try, with seafood being a specialty.

Explore the Historic Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island is a small island located just off the coast of Xiamen and is known for its rich history and charming atmosphere. Once a foreign concession during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Gulangyu Island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination.

The island is home to numerous historic buildings and attractions, including the Shuzhuang Garden, which features beautiful gardens, pavilions, and rock formations. Another must-see attraction on Gulangyu Island is the Piano Museum, which houses a collection of over 100 pianos from around the world.

Soak up the Sun at Xiamen’s Beautiful Beaches

Xiamen is blessed with several beautiful beaches that are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sun. The city’s beaches are known for their clean sand, clear water, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

One of the best beaches to visit in Xiamen is Baicheng Beach, which offers a wide stretch of golden sand and calm waters. Another popular beach is Hulishan Beach, which is known for its picturesque rock formations and crystal-clear water.

Discover the City’s Unique Architecture

City Number of unique buildings Architectural styles Popular landmarks
New York City 1,200 Art Deco, Gothic Revival, Modernist Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building
Paris 1,800 Baroque, Rococo, Art Nouveau Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Palace of Versailles
Barcelona 1,000 Modernist, Gothic Revival, Art Nouveau Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batllo
Tokyo 900 Modernist, Traditional Japanese, Brutalist Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Meiji Shrine

Xiamen is renowned for its unique architecture, which combines traditional Chinese elements with Western influences. The city’s architecture reflects its history as a major trading port and its cultural exchange with foreign countries.

One of the most famous buildings in Xiamen is the Nanputuo Temple, a Buddhist temple that dates back to the Tang Dynasty. The temple features intricate carvings, beautiful gardens, and stunning views of the surrounding area.

Take a Stroll Along Xiamen’s Scenic Waterfront

Xiamen’s waterfront is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The city’s waterfront offers stunning views of the sea, as well as a variety of recreational activities and attractions.

One of the best places to walk along the waterfront is the Huandao Road, a scenic road that stretches for over 30 kilometers and offers breathtaking views of the coastline. Another popular spot is the Zengcuo’an Village, a charming fishing village that has been transformed into a trendy area with cafes, shops, and art galleries.

Sample Delicious Local Cuisine

Xiamen is known for its delicious cuisine, which combines flavors from Fujian Province with influences from other regions of China and abroad. The city is famous for its seafood dishes, as well as its unique snacks and desserts.

One must-try dish in Xiamen is the seafood hotpot, which features a variety of fresh seafood cooked in a flavorful broth. Another popular dish is the oyster omelette, which is made with fresh oysters, eggs, and vegetables.

Visit the Bustling Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street

Zhongshan Road is one of Xiamen’s most famous shopping streets and is a must-visit destination for shopaholics. The pedestrian street is lined with shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, offering something for everyone.

Some of the best shops to visit on Zhongshan Road include the Bailuzhou Shopping Mall, which offers a wide range of international brands, and the Zhonghua Department Store, which sells a variety of local products and souvenirs.

Marvel at the World’s Largest Drum Tower

The Drum Tower is one of Xiamen’s most iconic landmarks and is a must-visit attraction for history buffs. Built during the Ming Dynasty, the Drum Tower is the largest and best-preserved drum tower in the world.

Visitors to the Drum Tower can climb to the top and enjoy panoramic views of the city. The tower also houses a museum that showcases the history and culture of Xiamen.

Learn About Xiamen’s Fascinating History

Xiamen has a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The city has been an important trading port since ancient times and has been influenced by various cultures and civilizations.

One of the best historical sites to visit in Xiamen is the Hulishan Fortress, which was built during the late Qing Dynasty to defend against foreign invasions. The fortress features well-preserved cannons, barracks, and tunnels, as well as a museum that tells the story of its history.

Take a Boat Tour of the Surrounding Islands

Xiamen is surrounded by several beautiful islands that are worth exploring. Taking a boat tour of these islands is a great way to experience their natural beauty and learn about their history.

One of the best islands to visit is Gulangyu Island, which we mentioned earlier. Another popular island is Nanputuo Island, which is home to the Nanputuo Temple and offers stunning views of Xiamen.

Shop for Souvenirs at Xiamen’s Colorful Night Markets

Xiamen’s night markets are a great place to shop for souvenirs and experience the local culture. These markets offer a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, handicrafts, and local snacks.

One of the best night markets to visit in Xiamen is the Zhongshan Road Night Market, which is known for its vibrant atmosphere and wide variety of goods. Another popular night market is the Shapowei Night Market, which offers a unique mix of food stalls, art galleries, and boutique shops.

In conclusion, Xiamen is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you are interested in exploring the historic Gulangyu Island, soaking up the sun at the city’s beautiful beaches, or marveling at its unique architecture, Xiamen has something for everyone. So why wait? Plan your trip to Xiamen today and experience all that this amazing city has to offer.


What is Xiamen?

Xiamen is a coastal city located in the Fujian province of China.

What are some popular tourist attractions in Xiamen?

Some popular tourist attractions in Xiamen include Gulangyu Island, Nanputuo Temple, Xiamen University, and Hulishan Fortress.

What are some outdoor activities to do in Xiamen?

Visitors can enjoy hiking in the Wanshi Botanical Garden, cycling along the Xiamen Island Ring Road, or relaxing on the beaches of Xiamen.

What are some cultural experiences to have in Xiamen?

Visitors can explore the local food scene, visit the Xiamen Museum, or attend a traditional music or dance performance.

What is the best time to visit Xiamen?

The best time to visit Xiamen is during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and comfortable.

What is the local cuisine in Xiamen?

Xiamen is known for its seafood dishes, such as oyster omelettes and seafood hotpot. Other popular dishes include peanut soup, fried rice noodles, and fried dumplings.

What is the transportation system like in Xiamen?

Xiamen has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, taxis, and a metro system. Visitors can also rent bicycles or electric scooters to get around the city.