One Day in Xiamen

Just like one day in Guangzhou; one day in Xiamen is basically the perfect amount of time to see the best of what it has to offer. Obviously one day in Xiamen or any city means you have to do some hustling to see and do it all but it keeps you busy! Xiamen is not a great city by any means but it’s very pleasant and has a great skyline over the water. Here’s how I spent one day in Xiamen.

One Day in Xiamen, Xiamen, China

Skyline view of Xiamen China from Gulangyu Island

Where to Stay in Xiamen

Xiamen is a massive city that isn’t as modern as some other Chinese cities but certainly has a lot of new buildings as well. I chose to stay at the Westin Xiamen. It was a very nice modern hotel with decent views and an excellent gym. The location was OK, not my favorite area of the city. If I was to visit Xiamen again I would probably stay closer to the water or on Gulangyu Island. Xiamen is a tough city to wrap your arms around because it’s so big and spread out with many areas.

where to stay in Xiamen, Westin Xiamen, gym, Xiamen, China

The gym at the Westin Xiamen in China

What to See and Do in Xiamen

Xiamen doesn’t have a ton that jumps off the page for the tourist. It’s somewhat haphazardly laid out and isn’t a good walking city in general. It has a few temples and shopping of course but only one real must-do site and that’s Gulangyu Island.

Xiamen, Skyline view of Xiamen China from Gulangyu Island, Gulangyu, China, One day in Xiamen

Another Skyline view of Xiamen China from Gulangyu Island

You can get to Gulangyu Island by a 25-minute ferry from the ferry terminal. It’s the same spot where the cruise ships dock. The ferry is going to be crowded with Chinese tourists. We literally didn’t see a single Westerner on the ferry or island; which is both nice and weird at the same time.

temples, pagodas, Gulangyu, Xiamen, China

Temples hiking to the top of Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, China

Once you arrive on Gulangyu Island, you’ll notice there are no cars-none! It’s very un-Asian! So instead of car traffic there is just walking traffic but that’s a lot easier to navigate. I recommend grabbing a map from the tourism office not far from the ferry dock and head straight to the high point of the island for great views. You’ll get a killer panorama of Gulangyu and 2 different sides of Xiamen.

beach, Gulangyu Island, Gulangyu, China, Xiamen

View of the beach on Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, China

You’ll see that Gulangyu looks almost Mediterranean from high up with the orange roofs. You’ll also see they have a pretty nice beach at one end of the island. Gulangyu is a great place to walk around and feel an older type of China in the midst of such a modern boom. I really liked Gulangyu and if you only have one day in Xiamen that’s where you should spend it.

sunset, Xiamen, China

Sunset view from the Gulangyu ferry back to Xiamen

I’ve heard from people that Xiamen has a decent bar and nightlife scene but I didn’t go out at night. We just had a few drinks at the hotel bar and then I crashed out as I was exhausted. So keep that in mind of going out is your thing.

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  1. It’s a huge city but u got all the good points covered

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