Great Wall in Beijing

Our Tour Group on Badaling
Our Tour Group on Badaling
 Pictures        Map
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 573 kilometers (356 miles). Those from Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the last dynasty engaged in Great Wall construction, amount to 526 kilometers (327 miles). 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 or Chinese New Year, 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:
 1- Day Beijing Mini Group Tour from $89: 1 day no shopping tour to Forbidden City and Badaling Great Wall.
 Beijing Highlights from $299: 4 days Small Group to visit the major attractions of Beijing, such as Forbidden City, Great Wall and Temple of Heaven.
 More Great Wall Tours: 25 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 from $69
 Simatai Hiking with Gubei Water Town from $79

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 from $49
 Beijing Knot Hiking:Essence of Jiankou Great Wall from Beijing Knot to Jiankou Spot
 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 Great Wall Day Trip from $49: 5 options of 1-day or half-day 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. 
- Last modified on Feb. 27, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Great Wall in Beijing
Asked by Nurul Saidatul Nadia Lokman from MALAYSIA | Feb. 26, 2019 19:14Reply
Hi, I will go to Beijing on 23th March 2019 to 28th march 2019.
The Mutianyu ski resort is still open for that date?
Answers (1)
Answered by Anne from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 27, 2019 17:34

I'm afraid not. Generally, they will close in late February or early March.
Asked by Ynasweet Thomas from SABAH MALAYSIA | Jan. 15, 2019 07:32Reply
On march i am travel to Beijing so i want to know what the special & good to visit..
on march still winter..😊
Answers (1)
Answered by Jane from NETHERLANDS | Jan. 15, 2019 18:04

Hi, the Great Wall and Forbidden City are still worth to visit even in winter. The ski resorts and hot springs near Beijing are also very recommended.
Asked by Milla from SUOMI | Dec. 22, 2018 14:17Reply
Public transport in December/ January?
I´m at Beijing 31th of Dec 2018 early-1st of Jan 2019 very late (plane leaves on the 2nd of Jan 1:40 local time) and planning to go and see the Great Wall. I'm just by self and don't wanna pay so 80-even 300 dollars from tour so is there going any public transport at that time to the wall? I looked the post and the buses had a timetable only no November...Does the S2 train go. I really would wanted to see a wild section rather than the popular ones but don't wanna pay so much of private driver so i think i have to just settle for the popular one.
Answers (1)
Answered by Anne from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 23, 2018 18:13

Hi, I know there is a direct bus from Beijing Qianmen Bus Station to Mutianyu Great Wall and it takes CNY 50 for a single journey. It can avoid too much transfers and save you a lot of time. Several buses depart from 7:30 to 8:30.
Asked by Jules from CANADA | Dec. 16, 2018 06:58Reply
We are a couple wanting explanation tour in a group setting of Great Wall of China in Beijing.
What are the conditions like in December — we are thinking sometime around this week? Is there a hiking trail?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ben from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 16, 2018 18:47

The temperature in December ranges from -5C to 4C and it may snow on the Great Wall. You need to prepare enough warm clothes and non-skid footwear.
Asked by Paul from CANADA | Dec. 04, 2018 18:55Reply
We are thinking of stopping Beijing for two or three days in March 2019
what options could we explore?
Thank you
Paul Pospisil
Answers (1)
Answered by David from NEW ZEALAND | Dec. 05, 2018 19:17

Hi, you can choose to visit the Badaling or Mutianyu Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple Heaven. You can also join a two or three days package tour, the schedule will be more reasonable and save you a lot of time.
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