The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, all the nice things to do in Shanxi is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China and is part of the North China region. While its next most populated prefecture-level cities are Changzhi and Datong. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋", after the state of Jin that existed there during the Spring and Autumn period.

The name Shanxi means "West of the Mountains", a reference to the province's location west of the Taihang Mountains. Shanxi borders Hebei to the east, Henan to the south, Shaanxi to the west and Inner Mongolia to the north. Shanxi's terrain is characterised by a plateau bounded partly by mountain ranges. Shanxi's culture is largely dominated by the ethnic Han majority, who make up over 99% of its population. Jin Chinese is considered by some linguists to be a distinct language from Mandarin and its geographical range covers most of Shanxi. Both Jin and Mandarin are spoken in Shanxi.

Shanxi is a leading producer of coal in China, possessing roughly a third of China's total coal deposits. Nevertheless, Shanxi's GDP per capita remains below the national average. The province hosts the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The province is also known for having by far the largest number of historic buildings among all Chinese provinces, by possessing over 70% of China's surviving buildings built during or predating the Song dynasty. Also notable are the Yungang Grottoes, which date back over 1500 years.