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Great Wall in Beijing

Our Tour Group on Badaling
Our Tour Group on Badaling
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Beijing is the best destination to admire the Great Wall of China. Most famous Great Wall sections are located in its suburban areas, including the well-preserved Badaling and Mutianyu, the renovated Juyonguan, Jinshanling and Simatai, and wild Jiankou and Gubeikou. They are all not far from downtown Beijing, 1-2 hours’ driving away.

In Chinese history, Beijing was not only one of the ancient capitals, but also one of the most strategic cities in the north. To defend their territory, many rulers have actively ordered to build Great Wall here.

The Great Wall in Beijing totals 370 miles (600 kilometers). Those from Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the last dynasty engaged in Great Wall construction, amount to 350 miles (550 kilometers). They are distributed in Pinggu, Miyun, Huairou, Yanqing, Changping, and Mentougou.
  Most Visited Sections

These sections are equipped with sound tourism facilities, even suitable for kids and seniors. Among them, Badaling is the best-preserved, and famous for its deep-rooted culture, magnificent sights and complete military facilities. You may find many of its pictures in magazines and guide books and printed on stamps. However, during peak travel time like National Day Holiday, Mutianyu may be a better destination as Badaling is always flocked with visitors. Juyongguan is one of three most famous passes along Great wall. There, one can also visit some ancient buildings like towers and temples.
 
 Badaling vs. Mutianyu: Help you to know which one is better.

 Recommended tours including the sections:
 Beijing One Day Tours: 10 options to visit Badaling, Mutianyu, Juyongguan and other major attractions in Beijing.
 Beijing-Xian Express: 6 days travel to Beijing and Xian including high speed train experience.
 Beijing Highlights: 4 days Small Group to visit the major attractions of Beijing, such as Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Great Wall.
 More Great Wall Tours: 14 options for you to choose from.
 
 Popular Sections with Fewer Tourists

These sections have also been developed into scenic spots and are popular among visitors, but are less crowded and one can visit at a leisurely pace. Jinshanling and Simatai have been equipped with cableways. But to visit Simatai, you’d better make a reservation on its official website. Shuiguan, literally meaning water gate, is built over a river to defend against enemies coming from waterways. Although the river has disappeared, one can still learn the magnificence of this special defensive construction. In addition to admire the Great Wall, Xiangshuihu is a site to learn some traditional Chinese health preserving knowledge.
 

 Recommended tours including the sections:
 Jinshanling Hiking: Starting from USD 69 per person
 Simatai Hiking with Gubei Water Town: Starting from USD 89 per person
 

 Wild Sections

Wild Great Wall refers to those that have not been reconstructed and thus retain their original appearances. Although they are broken and dilapidated, the vicissitudes of history are fully revealed. They are hot destinations among hiking lovers and adventurous travelers. Among them, Jiankou is the most dangerous but a great site for photography. Huanghuacheng, partially submerged underwater due to the construction of a reservoir, is the only section by water in Beijing. However, it is not officially allowed to hike the wild sections for safety issues and protection work. So when going there, please be careful and do not do any harm to the precious historical relics.
 


 Recommended tours including the sections:
 Huanghuacheng Hiking: Starting from USD 49 per person
 Jiankou Hiking: Two routes with a distance of 6-7 miles
 Gubeikou Hiking: 7-8 hours of Hexi Village – Wohushan – Hexi Village - Panlongshan
 

 How to Get to the Great Wall from Beijing

The most famous sections in Beijing, like Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, and Simatai, are located in the suburban areas, about 40 miles (64km) to 90 miles (145km) from the city center. You can get to the Great Wall from Beijing by public transport, private cars, or private tours.

Public transport is a nice choice for budget travellers. For example, you can take bus line 877 or S2 train to Badaling directly; bus 916 Express to Mutianyu with a transfer at Huairou. However, the bus stops are reported only in Chinese in most cases, which brings you some trouble in getting off at the right stations. Therefore, if you plan to go there by public transport, make full preparation and get familiar with the bus routes in advance.
  See How to Get to Badaling from Downtown
  See How to Get to Mutianyu from Downtown
For public transport to more sections, please see it on the specific pages.

Or, you can charter a private car and driver to the sites very easily. It makes your trip easier and saves a lot of time. Usually, it takes about 1 hour to reach Badaling and 1.5 hours to Mutianyu from downtown, and the car rental fee is around CNY 800-1,000 for a round-trip. But there is a problem in that the driver may not speak English; so set down the pick-up time and place beforehand.

Other than public transport and private cars, joining a private day tour is a perfect choice for first-time visitors and those who have limited time or worry about language barriers. It saves your time, makes your trip safer and easier, and helps you learn more about the wall with the help of the driver and tour guide. 
 Beijing One-day or Half-Day Great Wall Tour from $39: five itineraries available, including Badaling, Mutianyu, Juyongguan, Sacred Way…

 See How to get to Great Wall from Shanghai?
 See How to get there from Hong Kong?
 Beijing Great Wall Map

Please hover over the names on the following tourist map to learn more about the famous sections:


 
 Damages Brought about by Nature and Human Activities
Compared with the sections in other regions, the Great Wall in Beijing is relatively well-preserved. However, its situation is not that good due to nature and human activities. Some bricks and stones are loose and fall down easily, and some even become piles of debris. The natural factors like erosion, rain, winds, and lightning strikes cause damages to the heritage day by day. The shrubs growing on the wall and in the watchtowers cause them to crack and collapse. What's more, the growing number of tourists crowd into the wild sections, which speeds up their disappearance. Though it is favored by film producers, the shooting work brings no good. On the contrary, they leave props here and there. Some people like to put graffiti on the Great Wall, and some even shove bricks and sell them for personal benefits.
 
 A Call for Urgent Protection
To better protect this human treasure, government, tourists, and local residents should all work together. More laws and regulations should be carried out; tourists should be more careful and bind themselves during the visit; local residents should also stop making benefits from it and pay more attention to its protection in daily life.