10 Best Things To Do in Xiamen, China

by Bhoomi Shah Updated on 15 Oct 2018

Xiamen: Sashay away to China’s new cosmopolitan tourism capital!

Why is this fusionistic tropical city in the Fujian province CREATING a buzz in TOWN?

Xiamen, the self-proclaimed “Garden City on the sea”, is rapidly emerging as a tourism magnet in China. Frequented by only the Chinese travellers initially, the former port town of Amoy, has transcended into the cool cosmopolitan Xiamen city, exhibiting a unique fusion of colonial antiquity and sophisticated urbanism, and has now expanded its horizons to welcome the foreign incursion of international “jetizens”. So what’s all the hype about? Xiamen offers a plethora of attractions and activities to trigger the wanderlust in a variety of zealots: from immersing in the gorgeous tropical seascape, or marveling at the medley of varied architectural designs, exploring historical and cultural relics, experiencing homestay in earth Castle, biodiversity conservation venture to immoderate shopping sprees and scrumptious  seafood- Xiamen has a little something in store for everyone, so scroll down to find your idea of a perfect indulgence!

1. Gulangyu Island, the flagship attraction of Xiamen

Gulangyu Island - Image

A wayfarer’s Paradise, Gulangyu is a vehicle-free islet which allows nothing on wheels beside golf carts for tourists. Feast your eyes upon the enticing scenic beauty of this tropical city and varied architecture accorded with the status of a UNESCO world heritage site which comprises of a thousand old provincial buildings that were once European consulates complemented by the contrasting traditional Fujian architecture in the Chinese art deco mansions. Ramble on the winding lanes, or visit the chic Bohemian Café’s nibbling on some noodles or succulent dumplings. 

2. Nanputuo Temple and Hulishan Fortress

For a historical and cultural experience: These are your tickets to the historical ride through the olden days of Tang dynasty. Nanputuo Temple is over a kilo-year-old Buddhist temple complex constituted by a cluster of magnificent wooden buildings zigzagged on the face of a hill, which attracts a multitude of pilgrims every year. Also known as the South Putuo Temple, surrounded by the sea and Wulao peaks it’s picturesque location gives a whole new dimension to the spiritual significance of the place. Hulishan Fortress is an important historical landmark for its defensive role against Japan in 1900, embark on a vicarious journey in the exploration of the granite Castle, Ammunition Depot, commanding tower etc.

3. Fujian Tulou - reminiscing the authentic tribal culture

Fujian Tulou - Image

Explore Fujian's distinctive earth buildings (Tulou) of Nanjing, Yong ding and hua'an clusters. Lose yourself in the rustic charm of these ones of a kind primitive constructions by the Hakka tribe, recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site for being the unrivalled mythical mountain village architecture of the world. The rammed earth buildings hail in a variety of shapes apart from the classic round ones, such as fan, umbrella or turiform shaped, so choose one that suits you best and swap your urban quotidian for a bucolic homestay experience at these Tulous. 

4. Xiamen University

Boasting a beautiful, modern infrastructure sprawling over an expansive land mass, the Xiamen University campus oddly ranks among the top sightseeing spots in Xiamen because of its picturesque location at the foot of the Wulao Feng hill, neighbouring the sea and Xiamen bay. It also houses the beautiful Furong lake swarming with black swans and occasional guests like egrets. Get your eyes glued on to the graffiti of Furong tunnel in the campus which showcases some serious offbeat artistry.

5. Zeng Ccuo An Village

A foodie’s dream: Give in to your gustatory lust and treat yourself to the most amazing seafood and artistic ice cream creations in the maze of streets of this village. Some of the Must try delicacies are butter oysters, shrimp omelette, juicy dumplings etc.

6. Biodiversity conservation at Mount Wuyi

Mount Wuyi - Image

For nature lovers, thrill seekers or those seeking an escape from the monotonous urban jungles, Xiamen offers a nature retreat in Mount Wuyi– a biodiversity conservation. Soak in the lush greenery and explore a baffling diversity of fauna or work a sweat hiking in the cliffs, crank up your adventurous gear to experience rafting in the snaky, nine-bend river and venture out to the skinniest walkways called “thread of the sky”- no matter wherever you stand at the adventure spectrum, Mount Wuyi has got your back, catering to both daredevils as well as safe players! 

7. World’s longest elevated cycling path - A Must Visit

Yep, you heard it right! Xiamen brings to you the longest, elevated cycling path in the WORLD.

8. Overseas Chinese Museum

A peaceful Haven amidst the bustling urban life, the museum is an aspiring celebration of the overseas Chinese communities reflecting the spirit of nationalism embodied in its picture gallery, dioramas, historical artefacts, cultural relics and Street scenes. 

9. Taining Danxia Landform

The reddish sandstone landform formed after billions of years of geological transformation, it encompasses towering peaks, red cliffs, convoluted canyon complexes and the dramatically spectacular caves which are another UNESCO world heritage sites in Danxia China. Taining Danxia perfectly combines streams, lakes, waterfalls and ponds to form a unique natural water wonderland which facilitates cruising, rafting and hiking adventures.

10. The beach and the seaside promenade

Beaches and Seaside in Xiamen - Image

What’s a tropical city without good beaches? Xiamen is no exception because it flaunts sun-kissed sandy shores and the coastline is accompanied by two domineering sail-shaped buildings that have become the landmark of Xiamen city reflecting the fusion we were talking about in the most obvious manner.

The island metropolis is all set to enthral the visitors with its diverse range of attractions, and the charming oddities which make Xiamen unique among other destinations are perhaps the paramount reason behind it’s drawing a distinctive kind of globetrotters who are looking for a multi-faceted holiday experience.

Author: Bhoomi Shah
If life is a journey, let me capture its every frame. This line aptly describes my dreams and aspirations. An ardent traveller, a foodie by birth, a lover of life and a simple person at heart.My dream is to travel every corner of the world and my jo...

Must see places in Xiamen ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Xiamen and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 827 times in trip plans
    Gulangyu Island

    Tags: Museum, Beach, Island, Garden

    Address: No.6 Lujiao Road, Siming District, Xiamen361002, China

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Guolangyu island is listed as one of the ten most scenic places in the province, and fittingly so. The island is known for its beautiful beaches and its varied architecture, After China lost the First...Read more

  2. # 2 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 586 times in trip plans
    Xiamen University

    Tags: Museum, Food And Drinks, Cafe, Lake

    Address: No.422 Siming South Road, Siming District,Xiamen, China

    Timings: 09:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Xiamen University is known for its huge campus. It has 27 schools containing 76 departments and 10 research institutes. The campus is beautiful and very quiet. There’s a lot of greenery, tastefu...Read more

  3. # 3 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 755 times in trip plans
    Nanputuo Temple

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Outdoors, Mountain

    Address:  No.515 Siming South Road, Siming District,Xiamen 361005, China

    Timings: 05:40 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Nanputuo is a very renowned Buddhist temple in the Tang dunasty of Xiamen. The temple is surrounded by the sea and the Wulao peaks. More than a few steps lead to this magnificently made structure. The...Read more

  4. # 4 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 397 times in trip plans
    Zhongshan Road

    Tags: Outdoors, Food And Drinks, Tourist Center, Street Market

    Address: Siming District, Xiamen 361001, China

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Zhongshan is the market street of Xiamen. It stretches for a little more than a kilometre. If you are going to spend one night in Xiamen, this place is a must-visit in the evening. You will get anythi...Read more

  5. # 5 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 603 times in trip plans
    Huaijiu Gulangyu Museum

    Tags: Museum, History Museum, Entertainment, Tourist Center

    Address: No.38 Huangyan Road, Siming District, Xiamen 361002, China

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Huaijiu museum is a preservation centre for the old Chinese culture. This red coloured building is the most well maintained building amongst all the old structures standing on the Gulangyu Island. The...Read more

  6. # 6 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 477 times in trip plans
    Xiamen Piano Museum

    Tags: Museum, Park, View Point, Tourist Center

    Address: No.7 Ganghou Road, Siming District, Xiamen361002, China

    Timings: 08:15 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Xiamen Piano Museum has a piano collection from all over the world. The pianos range from being very old to being very modern. There are 2 floors to this building and about 80 pianos on display. You c...Read more

  7. # 7 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 408 times in trip plans
    Kulangsu Huandao Road

    Tags: View Point, Food And Drinks, Cafe, Restaurant

    Address: Siming District, Xiamen 361000, China

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Kulangsu Huandao Road is a path that runs along the coast of Xiamen. A day long trip along this road will open up many possibilities for many different activities. The cycle track is just a 100 metres...Read more

  8. # 8 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 283 times in trip plans
    International Lettering Museum Of Art Of Xiamen

    Tags: Museum, Tourist Center

    Address: South of Gulangyu Island, Siming District,Xiamen 361002, China

    Timings: 08:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This museum showcases artwork that has been created out of the alphabets of different languages. Though the exhibits are predominantly Chinese, there are also sufficient entries from Japan, South Kore...Read more

  9. # 9 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 559 times in trip plans
    Xiamen Shuzhuang Garden

    Tags: Garden, Observatory, Bridge, Tourist Center

    Address: Tianwei Lu, Gulangyu, 361002, China

    Timings: 06:00 am - 08:30 pm Details

    This garden has been built between the sea and the cliffs. This makes the place look picturesque. Originally built in 1931, it was a private garden of a Taiwanese businessman who had made it as a repl...Read more

  10. # 10 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 335 times in trip plans
    Riguang Mountain

    Tags: Outdoors, View Point, Tourist Center, Peak

    Address: No.62 Huangyan Road, Siming District, Xiamen361002, China

    Riguang mountain is a viewpoint that gives you a 360-degree panoramic view of the Gulangyu island and even the Xiamen city that lies beyond. The highest point of the mountain is 92 metres above the se...Read more

  11. # 11 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 507 times in trip plans
    Xiamen Botanical Garden

    Tags: Outdoors, Theme Park, Botanical Garden, Observatory

    Address: Parks and Landscape Bureau of Xiamen, 25 Huyuan Road, Siming District, Xiamen Fujian 361003, China

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The Xiamen Botanical Garden has been built on a sloping terrain and is scaterred with rocks of all shapes and sizes. These boulders have been carved upon by artists, thus making them an inherent part ...Read more

  12. # 12 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 144 times in trip plans
    Xiamen Riyuegu Hot Spring Resort Communities

    Tags: Cave, Garden, View Point, Waterfall

    Address: No.1888 Fulian Road, Dongfu Town, Haicang District, Xiamen 361027, China

    Timings: 10:00 am - 11:59 pm Details

    This place is known for its saunas. The setting is very calm and spiritual. The music is relaxing. This place will get you rid of your stress in just a day. There are various pools with different scen...Read more

  13. # 13 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 209 times in trip plans
    Xiamen Yuanbo Garden

    Tags: Outdoors, Garden, View Point, Hot Spring

    Address: Zhongzhou Island, Jimei District, Xiamen361000, China

    Timings: 07:30 am - 10:00 pm Details

    This is a collection of many creative gardens. It is located just outside the city of Xiamen. The gardens are differently themed. The arrangement of flowers is artistic and based on the philosophies o...Read more

  14. # 14 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 190 times in trip plans
    Huli Mountain Fort

    Tags: View Point, Ancient Ruin, Historical Site, Tourist Center

    Address: Huli Mountain, Siming District, Xiamen 361002, China

    Timings: 07:30 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This fort is a historic defence system known for its vast collection of ancient weaponry. This place is situated on the Hulishan shore to the south of Xiamen. It was built in the year 19891. The archi...Read more

  15. # 15 of 95 Things To Do in Xiamen | Added 326 times in trip plans
    Zeng Cuo An Village

    Tags: Walking Area, Food And Drinks, Cafe, Club

    Address:  Beside Huandao Road, Xiamen 361005, China

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This village is the nightlife district of Xiamen. Earlier it was just a quiet fishing village. When students and tourists started migrating to this place, they made it younger. The place is what you c...Read more

Explore the best things to do in Xiamen. These are the most preferred tourist activities.