Best Time to Visit Great Wall of China

What is the best time of year to visit the Great Wall of China?

The best time to visit Great Wall of China should be between the spring and autumn, from March to October. The chilly winter is not very recommended. In the absence of green plants, the scenery is not as good as in other seasons. However, the snow scenery of the Great Wall is also worth a visit.
Best Time to Visit the Great Wall
Best Time to Visit the Great Wall

March: -2 – 13C (28 - 55°F); pleasant, cloudy and a little windy

This month is the first month of spring. The temperature starts to increase day by day and it is very appropriate for hiking on Great Wall to enjoy the renewed scenery. The recommended sections for first-time and regular tourists are Jinshanling and Simatai, which are less steep and dangerous. For those more experienced hikers, Jiankou Great Wall must be the best challenge. However, making full preparation is very necessary beforehand because of the awkward terrain.

June: 18 – 31C (64 - 88°F); hot and sunny, short-time rains

In the first month of summer, it will be a little hot to hike the Great Wall on land like Badaling or Mutianyu. But it is really a good option to visit the Simatai Great Wall. The nearby Gubei Water Town brings down the temperature a little and makes it one of the best sections to visit in summer; also, Simatai is the only section open at night, when the weather is much cooler than daytime. Besides that, Huanghuacheng Great Wall is a rare lakeside section. The cool clear water just rescues you from the summer heat.  

September: 11 – 23C (52 - 73°F); sunny, pleasant and cool

Generally, the temperature of the suburb area is lower than that of the downtown city, thus it is very cool on the Great Wall in this month. In September, the tree leaves are tinged with autumn color. You can enjoy the best views of Badaling and Mutianyu during this month.

Great Wall in Summer
Great Wall in Summer
Great Wall in Autumn
Autumn Scenery

Better to Avoid Traveling to Great Wall on Holidays

Remember to avoid visiting Great Wall on the Chinese public holidays like National Day holiday from October 1 to 7, and May Day holiday. The summer vacation from July to August is also a tourism peak season and the Great Wall is often full of student visitors and their families during this period. If you have to travel in these times, it is suggested to avoid popular Badaling and Mutianyu sections.  

Best Time of Day to Visit Great Wall of China

The best time of the day to visit Great Wall of China varies a lot according to various sections. Here lists the best time of some popular sections of Great Wall of China.

The most famous Badaling and Mutianyu: Afternoon

Compared with other sections, these two sections always receive more visitors. For a better travel experience, it is suggested to travel there in the afternoon. It takes about 3 hours for a round trip, and 2-3 hours is needed for the visit. In total, about 5-6 hours are enough on the adventure. So you can depart from downtown at about 10:00 to 11:00, arrive there at noon; after having a simple lunch, start enjoying your hiking. Remember don’t miss the last bus or train back to Beijing city. The last bus back from Badaling is at 16:30, the last train at 17:56 and the last bus from Mutianyu is at 16:50.  

Farther Jinshanling and Gubeikou: Morning

Morning is undoubtedly the best time of a day to visit Jinshanling and Gubeikou Great Wall. The two sections are farther away from the downtown and you have to spend 2.5-3 hours on the bus ride to Jinshanling and 3.5-4 hours to Gubeikou. It takes about 4 hours to hike the full Jinshanling and at least 2 hours the Gubeikou. The distance between Gubeikou and Jinshanling is around 10km and it takes about 5 hours to hike from one to another. So if you want to have a day trip, depart in the morning as early as possible.  

Simatai: Night

It is about 120 km (75 mi) from the city area. People usually visit it together with the Gubei Water Town at its foot. This is the only section that tourists can visit at night and it is also an enjoyment to appreciate the night view of the water town. So it is recommended to stay overnight and a two-day weekend getaway is a nice option. Start off on Saturday morning, stroll around the old town after arrival and take a boat on water lanes. At dusk, hike to the Simatai and enjoy the gorgeous night views when it’s getting dark. Stay overnight in the town. On Sunday morning, you can get up early to enjoy the amazing sunrise on the Great Wall. After that, have fun in the town till afternoon and then return back to the city.  

These two sections of the Great Wall are located in China's northwest regions. Standing on the boundless Gobi desert, the best time to capture the magnificent photos of the Great Wall is at sunset time.

For other sections like Juyongguan, Huangguacheng and Shanhaiguan, there is no fixed time and you can choose any time of the day to visit as you like.   

Great Wall of China Weather by Month

 See also:
Badaling Weather 

Mutianyu Weather  

6 Best Places to See Great Wall of China

9 Unusual Things to Do at the Great Wall of China

- Last updated on Jun. 15, 2023 by Catherine He -
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