Running in Xi’an, China: The City Wall

This was my third trip to Xi’an in less than 10 months and I remember that already the first time I went there I tried to google some running spots and the first thing I found was the Xi’an city wall. The wall surrounds the old parts of Xi’an is in the form of a rectangle where all sides are almost the same length. It is about 14 Km long and 15 meters wide, so it’s quite impressive. Dating back to 1370 it is also China’s most well preserved city wall.

Every year there is also the annual Xi’an Marathon which course is of course the city wall, if you’re interested they even have a web site now:

Getting around Xi’an can be a bit tricky if you can’t speak mandarin and that is also why it took me three trips to finally make the run. If you’re not used to getting a cab or the traffic in China you might not wanna go alone. Your best bet is to have the hotel get you a cab and tell the driver to take you to the South gate. Don’t forget to pickup a business card from the hotel with the address written in Chinese, don’t expect the cab drivers to be able to read western letters….

The entrance opens at 09:00 and the fee is 40 RMB (4€)

South Gate

South Gate

This day was quite hot, 30 degrees Celsius , which to me just arriving from a very late Swedish spring was not really used to, but it still beats snow any day of the year.

This is the view when you first make it up to the wall from the massive stairs at the gate.

Wall seen from south gate

Wall seen from south gate

All around the wall there are different buildings and fortifications.



This time of year it’s also time for the Dragon Boat Festival which meant that there were huge red dragons made of something looking like christmas decorations.

Dragon Festival

Dragon Festival

Sweaty Niklas

Sweaty Niklas

Also when running in Xi’an which still is not that popular you attract some attention as a westerner and many people want their picture taken with you.

Fan club

Fan club

Every stone you run on is hand made and has the name of the stone cutter engraved into it, apparently it was not very good for your health as a stone cutter if a stone broke in the wall which had your name engraved on it….


Garmin route for the run (seems a bit skewed):


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