As in the days of the Silk Road, Xi'an is a transportation hub with an international airport 47 kilometers (about 29 miles) northeast of the city. It is the meeting place of nine national freeways and six national highways with seven large long-distance bus stations. Train service includes high speed trains to Beijing and bullet trains to Shanghai and Guangzhou - all operating out of the North Railway Station - and regular train service and trains to Lhasa, Tibet, stopping at the Xi'an Railway Station just north of the city wall. Traveling in the city, it makes sense to buy Chang An Tong (transportation smart card), which can be used on local buses, the subway and taxis.
Although car rental agencies can be found at the airport and train station, you would not be able to drive in China unless you have a Chinese driver's license as international driving permits are not recognized. The options is to rent a car with driver or hire a taxi for a trip.
Public bike rentals are available at sites throughout the city between 6:30 am and 9 pm.
The subway system, the first in western China, was launched in 2011 and continues to expand. Line 2 is most useful to tourists. It travels between the North Railway Station and the International Conference and Exhibition Center with major stops in the city center.
Bus service is available throughout the city and suburbs with special tourist lines to major attractions (like the Terra Cotta Warriors) and double-decker hop-on/hop-off sightseeing buses. Buses with "K" before the route number are air-conditioned. Only a few public buses announce stops in English.
Taxis in Xi'an are mostly green and can be hailed on the street. Fares are metered, but longer distances are by flat rate. Most taxi drivers speak only Chinese.