Although Guangren Temple remains an active place of worship, there’s a small admission charge, with China’s standard height-based discounts for children. Travelers who aren’t up to speed on Tibetan (or Chinese) Buddhism will find a guide extremely helpful. Some tours that visit Guangren Temple also take in other religious sites of this multicultural Silk Road city, such as the Muslim Great Mosque, the Chinese Buddhist Daxingshan Temple, the Taoist Temple of the Eight Immortals, and the Catholic St. Francis Cathedral.
Things to Know Before You Go
Guangren Temple will be of interest to culture vultures and photographers.
If you walk along the Xian City Wall, look out for the golden roof of the Buddhist Texts Library.
The position of Tibet in China is extremely sensitive. Asking about, for example, the Dalai Lama will make your guide uncomfortable.
Steps are required to enter most areas of Guangren Temple.
How to Get There
Guangren Temple stands tucked just inside the Xian City Wall, at the northwest corner of the old city. It’s about a 0.5-mile (800-meter) walk from Yuxiangmen metro station (line 1), while bus 712 connects the temple with West Gate, North Gate, and Xian Railway Station. Many travelers prefer the ease of a tour that includes door-to-door round-trip transfers.
When to Get There
Guangren Temple is open from morning to late afternoon, seven days a week. While observances follow the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, weekend daytimes are generally a good time to see monks and worshippers at prayer. The big tour buses don’t visit here, so, outside of Tibetan Buddhist festivals, crowds are rare.
What to See at Guangren Temple
With fluttering prayer flags, spinning prayer wheels, and striking stupas, Guangren Temple is distinctively Tibetan. Highlights include the Buddhist Texts Library, which has a golden roof and a very rare statue of Sakyamuni Buddha; the opulently decorated Hall of a Thousand Buddhas; and the God of Wealth, whose statue is adorned with offerings.
- Xian Great Mosque
- Drum Tower (Gulou)
- Bell and Drum Tower Square
- Shuyuanmen Pedestrian Street
- South Gate (Yongningmen)
- Xi'an City Wall (Chengqiang)
- Xian Museum & Small Wild Goose Pagoda (Xiaoyanta)
- Tang Dynasty Show
- Shaanxi History Museum
- Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayanta)
- Muslim Quarter
- Tomb of Emperor Jing Di (Hanyangling)
- Banpo Village
- Huaqing Palace
- Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Qin Shi Huang Tomb)