An exotic blend of cultures set against a dazzling skyline, Urumqi is the largest city in western China. This major commercial hub is renowned for its street food, collective tourist attractions and impressive mountain backdrop.
Things to do in Ürümqi
The Xīnjiāng Autonomous Region Museum is the perfect introduction to the city, allowing you to follow Urumqi’s commercial development along the ancient Silk Road and learn how cultures collided. The museum highlights the Loulan Beauty, a 3,800-year-old desert-mummified inhabitant. You can feast your eyes upon a collection of white jade and silks before moving on to your next destination.
Take a day to head out of town and visit the exquisite Tianshan Tianchi Lake, situated at the base of Tianshan Mountains. The alpine environment is a refreshing break from the city and the views are outstanding. Take a short boat ride across the lake or hike around its entirety, but plan accordingly as the weather is much colder with its higher elevation and the paths are often icy.
For shopaholics, a visit to the Grand Bazaar is well worth your time. You can take in the Uyghur architecture and enjoy views of the minaret and the mosque while you shop for souvenirs and snacks. Be sure to tempt your taste buds on the famous local raisins.
If the weather is hot, retreat to Red Hill, a lovely public park offering elevated views of the city below. Here you can wander through the gardens, see the Buddhist temple and stroll along the trails surrounding the Red Tower. If you have kids, take a ride on the Ferris wheel for some added entertainment.
Getting around Ürümqi
Urumqi is home to the Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport, your gateway in and out of the city. The city is large, so it’s best to either hail a taxi or spend time learning the bus routes.