Where to go in Urumqi

Table of contents:

Where to go in Urumqi
Where to go in Urumqi
photo: Where to go in Urumqi
photo: Where to go in Urumqi
  • Sights of Urumqi
  • City Museum of Local Lore
  • Note to shopaholics
  • Parks and reserves of Urumqi
  • Delicious points on the map

Due to its dense population and 2500 km separating the city from the nearest sea, Urumqi was in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest on the planet from the most remote from the world's oceans. To say that this Chinese metropolis has a large number of attractions is a sin against the truth, because people usually come to Urumqi for treatment or shopping.

If you bought a ticket with a long connection at a local airport, take the opportunity to get to know the main city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of the PRC. This region of the Celestial Empire is significantly different from other regions, because in addition to the Chinese, Uighurs live on its territory - the indigenous people of East Turkestan, professing Islam, as well as Kazakhs, Kalmyks, Dungans and Russians. The mixture of cultures and customs makes the city special, and the answer to the question of where to go in Urumqi will suit fans of a wide variety of entertainment. You can go on an excursion to architectural landmarks, taste dishes of all local culinary trends, do very profitable shopping or get a lot of emotions at an amusement park.

Sights of Urumqi


During the Cultural Revolution, the vast majority of places of worship and other ancient buildings of religious significance were destroyed. Later, some of them were restored and restored, and tourists had the opportunity to imagine what Urumqi looked like several centuries ago.

Red Mountain or Khun Shan is a high hill formed by rocky rocks. The stones reflect the color of the sun, and the hill takes on a red hue, which is why it got its name. The height of the mountain is about 900 m. It is part of the Hong Shan City Park. At the top of Khun Shan, you can see several typical Buddhist buildings. The Yu Huang Ge Temple appeared on Red Mountain during the Tang Dynasty in the 7th-10th centuries. The monks studied the sacred books within its walls. The temple was rebuilt in the second half of the 20th century. The nine-story red pagoda, on the other hand, has remained unchanged since its construction in the 13th-14th centuries. Its height is 25 m, and the multi-tiered tower looks especially picturesque on a moonlit night or at sunset.

The Tatar mosque is another architectural monument that a European who loves exotic should go to in Urumqi. The cult building is open to tourists of both sexes, but it is worth getting permission for inspection in advance, specifying at the same time a convenient time. Compared to their own kind, the mosque is luxuriously furnished.

Another Muslim religious building appeared in Urumqi in the 18th century. during the reign of the Qin dynasty. The mosque is called Shengxi, since the patron who donated funds for its construction was from the Chinese province of the same name. The authors of the project successfully combined both Islamic features and typical Chinese construction techniques in the architectural appearance of the mosque. The mosque is decorated with wood carvings, roofs are covered with green tiles, and pavilions with light columns and spacious galleries make the building airy and weightless.

The Temple of Confucius, on the other hand, belongs to those who profess the traditional religion of the PRC. Buddhists have come here since 1767, when the building appeared thanks to the care of the representatives of the Qin dynasty. The temple was built in full accordance with traditions, and the entrance to it is guarded by stone statues in the form of mythical lions.

The largest city square is called Narodnaya and serves as a venue for festive processions, rallies and parades. In the middle of the last century, it was called Peace Square, and then it was renamed. People's Square has seen a lot of unrest in its lifetime, when the Uighurs tried to fight for their autonomy. The largest object on the square is a monument in honor of the People's Liberation Army, erected at the end of the last century. The height of the monument is more than 30 m. The facade of the modern 32-storey five-star Hoi Tak Hotel faces the western side of the square.

In 1992, 49 Asian countries decided to take geographic measurements to determine where the center of this part of the world is. After careful research, the flag was stuck into a map near Urumqi. In the village of Xinjiang, 20 km south-west of the metropolis, a monument has appeared, symbolizing the center of Asia.

City Museum of Local Lore

The main museum of Urumqi was founded in the middle of the last century and is dedicated to the history and culture of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The collection of the museum is huge - there are tens of thousands of exhibits in its halls, located on an area of almost 80 hectares:

  • An ethnic collection is presented in the first room. The exhibits tell about the customs and rituals of the peoples living in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. You will see household items, tools, national costumes, dishes, toys, furniture and much more, without which life in this region of the Middle Kingdom is impossible.
  • Want to know everything about the Great Silk Road? Then you should go to the second hall of the museum in Urumqi and get acquainted with the exhibits found during the excavations. Archaeological research on the site where the famous trade road ran, brought many valuable finds to scientists. Some rarities are dated back to the 3rd millennium BC. NS.
  • Hall number three is famous for its mummies. They were found during archaeological and construction work in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Most of the exhibits in the halls of the museum are provided with explanations in English, so if you wish, you can take an independent excursion and get acquainted with the exposition.

Note to shopaholics

Any tour to China necessarily implies shopping, because in the Celestial Empire you can buy absolutely everything and very inexpensively. Where to go shopping in Urumqi? First of all, try to walk to Erdaciao Market, which is often called the city's trademark.

Founded almost a century and a half ago, the bazaar is located in two pavilions and is conventionally divided into Chinese and Uyghur parts. In the first pavilion, both merchants and goods leave no doubt that you have arrived in the Middle Kingdom. The Uyghur part of the market is more like a Central Asian bazaar with a breathtaking smell of spices and seasonings, fragrant pilaf cauldrons and rows of stalls filled with handicrafts in the national Uyghur style. In the evenings, local musicians, illusionists, dancers and representatives of theater groups perform on Erdatsyao.

Parks and reserves of Urumqi

The Red Light Park is both a complex of religious buildings and a place of recreation for townspeople and tourists. It was opened in 2010, and the temple complex became the largest among those operating in the western part of the Celestial Empire. The pagodas and gates are located on a hill, which can be climbed by electric car. The central place is occupied by a gilded statue of Buddha, whose height is 48 m. The buildings are decorated with stone carvings and bright elements carved from wood. There are fountains in front of the pavilions and pagodas.

Another popular tourist attraction in Urumqi is the Guan Lake People's Park. In 1884, the Dragon King Temple was built on its banks - a sign of the goodwill of the Xinjiang government. Ten years later, a pavilion appeared over the waters in the center of the lake. Funds for its construction were donated by Minister Zhang Yinhuan, who was exiled to Urumqi, who failed the reform of a hundred days carried out by the Qing Empire. After the founding of the PRC, the temple was turned into a palace of culture, and the park was renamed into People's.

Salt lake 70 km. from the city, the inhabitants of Urumqi called their own Dead Sea. There is a park on its shores where you can take a course of health treatments, because the salts of the lake have unique medicinal properties. In the arsenal of the doctors of the health resort there are baths with healthy water, acupuncture, massage with stones, salt caves for the treatment of respiratory organs and other methods traditional for Chinese traditional medicine.

The most beautiful protected landscapes of the Southern Pastures Park attract many tourists who like hiking. Travelers interested in local history also come from Urumqi to hike along one of the local routes - an open-air ethnographic museum has been opened in the park. Other attractions of the Southern Pastures include green meadows and waterfalls that slope down from the cliffs; gorges and a glacier, the length of which reaches two kilometers. By purchasing an excursion to the park from local travel agencies, you will get the opportunity to take part in the events that are constantly held in the park and taste Uyghur cuisine, the recipes of which have been carefully passed down from generation to generation.

Delicious points on the map


You can also get acquainted with the local cuisine in restaurants in Urumqi itself, especially since the choice of dishes in them can surprise and satisfy even the most fastidious gourmet:

  • At Qosh Amet, you will find the best options for traditional dapanji and hui food.
  • Even those who do not know Uyghur have a chance to find their way in Chicken Food - the restaurant has a menu in English.
  • In the Erdatsyao market area, there are dozens of authentic establishments with Asian cuisine - lagman, pilaf and lamb pies. For dessert and as a cooling drink, these cafes offer doshas, which include honey, yogurt and ice crumbs.

Tourists who prefer oriental cuisine to any other should go to The Texas Cafe, which serves chili, fajitos and tacos, or Vine Coffee House, which is famous for its steaks and Caribbean dishes.


Where to go in Urumqi
Where to go in Urumqi