Badaling Great Wall

Our Tour Group at Badaling
Our Tour Group at Badaling
 Pictures        Map

The Great Wall is a must for a China tour, while Badaling is a must for a Great Wall tour. Badaling Great Wall in Beijing is the best-preserved and most complete section among the various, hence the most popular, even among world leaders. You should visit it at least once in your life.

Why visit Badaling rather than others

 It is the most popular section.

 It is the best-preserved and most complete section.

 Compared with other sections, most stairs are not very steep and they are equipped with handrails, so it is a relatively easier climb.

 This section has been equipped with cable car and pulley to save energy, and it even has some facilities to make it easier for seniors and the disabled.

 It is close to downtown Beijing, about 43 miles (70 kilometers) away, and easy to reach by public transportation.


Basic Facts about Badaling Great Wall

 Most of the preserved parts were built and reinforced during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD) to defend Beijing against the intrusion of northern Mongolians.

 The total length of this section is 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) with 43 watchtowers, however only 2.3 miles (3.74 kilometers) and 19 watchtowers have been restored and opened to visitors.

 In this section the wall averages about 26 feet (7.8 meters) tall, and 20 feet (6 meters) wide, which would allow five horses to gallop or ten soldiers to march abreast.

 It is built of huge bar-stones and bricks. The interior of the wall was stuffed with rammed earth and small stones to make it firm and solid.

 A number of holes have been drilled in the wall to shoot arrows and to watch enemies.

 The watchtowers were built to accommodate soldiers, send messages, observe the enemy, and store supplies. It also has shooting and observing holes.

 It witnessed many significant events in history: Yuan Taizu, the first emperor of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD) conquered it, took control over Beijing, then the whole China, and began the Yuan Dynasty; Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD) fled from there to western China in 1900 when an alliance of eight western countries controlled Beijing.

 It has drawn tens of millions of tourists both from home and abroad. More than 370 foreign leaders and celebrities have visited it, including former US presidents Nixon, Reagan, Carter, and Gorge W Bush, Queen Elizabeth II of UK, and former South Africa president Mandela.

Admission Fee:
Apr. 1 to Oct.31: CNY 40; Nov.1 to Mar.31: CNY 35 
Opening Hours:
Apr. 1 to Oct.31: 06:30-19:00; Nov.1 to Mar.31: 07:00-18:00  

Cable Car & Pulley in Badaling Great Wall

The scenic site is divided into north and south sections, and is equipped with cable car & Pulley.

The north section provides both. Cable cars that run between the parking lot of the back mountain and No.8 North Tower are suitable for all visitors. Pulleys, more exciting and more challenging than sealed cable cars, are not recommended for seniors and little kids. The lower station is next to the Bear Garden at the front mountain and the upper station is close to No.4 North Tower.

In the south section, only cable car is available, no pulleys. The cable car runs between the the opposite of Zhan Tianyou Memorial Hall and No.4 South Tower.
Badaling Cable Cars
Cable Cars
Badaling Pulleys

Ticket Fare

Single Trip Round Trip
Cable Car CNY 100 CNY 140
Pulley CNY 80 CNY 100
Note: Free for children under 1.2m (3.9ft).

Service Hours of the Cable Car

Apr. - Oct.: 8:00 - 16:30
Nov. - Mar.: 8:30 - 16:00

How to tour Badaling Great Wall - Hiking Tour

Badaling Great Wall Map
Badaling Great Wall Map (Click to enlarge it)

North Section:

 It has twelve watchtowers.

 The Wall winds up and down the mountain ridges, offering more magnificent scenery, but requiring more energy to climb.

 The stone stele engraved with “He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man” is along this section, close to No. 8 North Tower; it is also the highest point in this area, offering a great bird’s-eye view.

 The path through No.9 North Tower to No.12 North Tower is not easy, think before climbing.

 After reaching the furthest tower, No. 12 North, it is not necessary to return the way you came; there is an easier way to get to the exit by Bear Garden. It generally takes about 3 hours to complete this visit on foot. But upon descending via the convenient way, another ticket will be required if you want to climb the south section.

 Between No. 6 North Tower and the exit, there is also a convenient path for descending. Another ticket is also required to ascend the south section. 

South Section:

 It has seven watchtowers.

 The slopes are gentle and less energy-consuming.

 Compared with the north section, there are fewer visitors here and one can enjoy it at a more leisurely pace.

 After arriving at the furthest No.7 South Tower, return to No.3 South Tower for a quick exit. This visit takes about 2 hours on foot. If visitors want to cover the north section, they can go back to the starting point and then continue to the north section; in that case, no extra ticket will be required.

When is the best time for a visit?

The best times are April, May, September, or October, when it is neither too cold nor too hot, and the surrounding natural scenery is amazing. Usually from mid October to late October, the Great Wall is decorated by red leaves; while in the other time, it is surrounded by luxurious green plants. However, you should avoid the May Day holiday (May1st -3rd), the National Day holiday (October 1st-7th) and the Chinese New Year, when the site will be overrun with tourists.

How to get to Badaling Great Wall from downtown Beijing

There are two kinds of public transport: bus and train.

 Bus 877: Deshengmen ⇔ Badaling
Bus 877 is your first choice. It departs from Deshengmen, about 10 minutes' walking from Jishuitan subway station (Exit B2) of subway line 2. It is a non-stop bus, taking about an hour and costing CNY 12 per person. The drop-off site is close to the pulley car lower station and about 10 minutes' walk to the entrance. Please note that the last departure from Deshengmen is at 12:30.

Operating Time:
From Deshemngmen: Apr. 1 - Nov. 15: 06:00-12:30;  Nov. 16 - Mar. 31: 06:30-12:30
From Badaling: Apr. 1 - Nov. 15: 10:30-17:00;  Nov. 16 - Mar. 31: 11:00-16:30

 Tourist Bus Line 1: Qianmen ⇔ Badaling
Boarding Point: southwest of Qianmen Arrow Tower, to the south of Tiananmen Square
Hours at Qianmen: the end of Flag-Raising Ceremony on the Tiananmen Square (5:00-7:30) to 11:00

Destination: Badaling Guntiangou Parking Lot
Hours at Guntiangou: April to October: 9:00 to 17:00; November to March: 11:00 to 16:30

Duration: 100 minutes
Frequency: 30 minutes
Fare: CNY 20 per person paid in cash; transportation card is not applicable.
Tip: The bus to Badaling has a stop at Juyongguan Pass, but the return bus runs directly back to Qianmen. There is a tour guide on each bus.

 Special Note on Bus 919:
Bus 919 is not recommended any more. It used to be a non-stop line from Deshengmen to Badaling. However, it now does not run on expressway and has many stops on the way. It takes 2 hours and costs CNY 12 to Badaling, which is just an intermediate station. The bus is always crowded, with no seat left. In addition, the drop-off site is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from the entrance. You need to walk or take the free shuttle bus to the ticket office.

If you fail to catch bus 877 before 12:30 or the tourist bus line 1 before 11:00, and want to go there in the afternoon, you can choose 919. Please note that bus 919 has many branch lines heading for different destinations. Please confirm with the driver your destination Badaling before you board a bus 919.

Beijing Deshengmen
Deshengmen Bus Stop
Beijing Bus 877
Bus 877 at Deshengmen
Bus 877 from Deshengmen to Badaling
Sign of Bus 877
Bus 877 from Badaling to Deshengmen
Bus 877 from Badaling back to Deshengmen

 On the way from Jishuitan subway station to Deshengmen, there are many fake buses 877, which look similar to the official ones. The ticket sellers even wear “uniforms”. Please ignore them. We recommend that visitors take the official ones from the parking lots.

  If it is an official bus, there are usually many passengers in a long line waiting to boarding; no one is trying to convince you to get on the bus; the official buses are equipped with a card reader, passengers can either pay by cash or transportation card.

 There may be a guide on bus 877 who sells tickets for the wall. The tickets are usually a combo type and we do not advise you to buy them. Regular tickets are available at the scenic site and you can buy what you really need upon arrival.

 If you are using Transportation Smart Card, the bus fare will be 50% off.

 By Train: S2

The trains depart from Huangtudian Railway Station, which is near the Huoying Station along subway line 8 and subway line 13. One should get off at Badaling Railway Station; the entrance to the scenic area is a 15 to 20 minutes' walk. Just follow the passenger flow or direction boards and one will get there easily. A single rail ride takes about 1.5 hours and the fare is CNY 7. There are free shuttle buses between S2 train station and cable car station. If you don't want to walk, you can queue up to take it.

Badaling Railway Station
Badaling Railway Station
S2 Train to Badaling
S2 Train to Badaling

The New Badaling Railway Station for high speed trains is under construction. After its completion in 2020, a bullet train from downtown Beijing to Badaling Great Wall will only take 20 minutes.


How to get there from Ming Tombs

Bus 879 runs between the Ming Tombs and Badaling Town with a stop at the Great Wall. A single ride between the two scenic sites takes about 50 minutes and tickets cost CNY 8.

Operating Time:
From Ming Tombs: 08:00-16:00
To Ming Tombs: 09:30-17:30

How to get there from Capital International Airport

 Take Airport Express to Dongzhimen, get off and change to subway line 2 to Jishuitan (Exit B2), and then walk eastward for about 600 yards (550 meters) to Deshengmen to take Bus No. 877.

 Take Airport Express to Dongzhimen, and change to subway line 13 to Huoying Station, Exit G4. Then, walk to Huangtudian Railway Station to take an S2 train.


How to get there from Beijing West Railway Station

 Take bus no. Te 13 from the West Railway Station to Deshengmen directly.

 Take subway line 9 to Baishiqiao South Station, and transfer to subway line 6 to Nanluoguxiang Station. Then, change to subway line 8 to Huoying Station, Exit G4. Upon arrival, take an S2 train from the nearby Huangtudian Railway Station.


How to get there from Beijing South Railway Station

 Take subway line 4 to Xuanwumen, change to line 2 to Jishuitan, go out Exit B2 and walk to Deshengmen to take bus 877.

 Take subway line 4 to Xizhimen, and switch to subway line 13 to Huoying Station, Exit G4. Walk to Huangtudian Railway Station, and take an S2 train.


How to get there from Beijing Railway Station

 Take subway line 2 to Jishuitan, go out Exit B2 and walk to Deshengmen to take bus 877.

 Take subway line 2 to Guloudajie Station, and change to subway line 8 to Huoying Station, Exit G4. Then, take an S2 train from the nearby Huangtudian Railway Station.

You should take a flight, a bullet train, or an overnight sleeper train from Shanghai to Beijing first, and then follow the routes mentioned above to the site.
First of all, take a flight or train from Hong Kong to Beijing, or take a high speed train from Shenzhen to Beijing. Then, follow the above route to the attraction.

Where to eat

 There are no restaurants inside the scenic area. Although there are some restaurants around the entrance we do not recommend eating there. The food price is generally high and the quality is just so-so. We recommend that you bring some food and snacks for lunch and treat yourself to a good meal after returning to downtown.

 There is a KFC not far from the entrance and the price there is more reasonable.

 Bring some bottled water. It is not available up in the scenic site. But do not drink too much. There are only a few toilets up there.

Which one is better? As the best-preserved and most popular section, Badaling is a must-see for first-time visitors to China. Mutianyu is also a good choice with high popularity among foreigners, but generally less tourists than Badaling, which makes it accessible on big holidays.

- Last modified on May. 14, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Badaling Great Wall
Asked by joe from INDONESIA | May. 16, 2019 02:38Reply
can i pay the Beijing 877 bus with cash?
Asked by Wijaya from MALAYSIA | Apr. 13, 2019 06:59Reply
'He who has never been to the great wall is not true man' at Badaling Great Wall
Hi there, stone stele engraved with “He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man” is in North tower 8 ?
What is the easiest way to reach is stone steel beside cable car? Because i plan to take pulley only
Answers (3)
Answered by Hans from GERMANY | Apr. 14, 2019 19:07

1. Yes, it is.
2. The only way is to walk to there.
Answered by Wijaya from MALAYSIA | Apr. 16, 2019 03:06

Hi sorry to ask more, is it possible to use pulley from the start of our journey? Or pulley only can be used after we reach tower 4?
Answered by Hans from GERMANY | Apr. 16, 2019 18:16

Both of the cable car station and slide way are near the entrance. You can take cable car to the Tower 8 but the slide way can only reach Tower 4
Asked by gdylp from SINGAPORE | Apr. 07, 2019 06:19Reply
Hello, I’ve an elderly mom and would most likely be taking a taxi.
Can I alight at the north cable car station of Badaling Great Wall, and how far is it from the slight point to the cable car station? Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily from CANADA | Apr. 07, 2019 20:00

Yes, you can. It is about 200m to the cable car station.
Asked by John from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 27, 2019 22:39Reply
How often does bus 877 leave from Deshengmen? Every 10 minutes or 30 minutes???
Answers (1)
Answered by Amy from USA | Mar. 28, 2019 18:11

Generally, the interval time is about 10 min to 20 min.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)