Badaling Great Wall
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 cars and pulleys 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 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) with 43 watchtowers, however, only 3.74 kilometers (2.3 miles) and 19 watchtowers have been restored and opened to visitors.
In this section the wall averages about 7.8 meters (26 feet) tall, and 6 meters (20 feet) 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.
See more Badaling Facts
How to Buy Entrance Tickets
Badaling Great Wall allows at most 65,000 visitors a day. Visitors need to buy tickets online through the official ticketing system or their official account on Wechat. The online booking is available 10 days in advance, but English service is not ready yet, so foreigners need to buy tickets through travel agencies or friends knowing Chinese.
|High Season (Apr. 1 to Oct.31)
|Low Season (Nov.1 to Mar.31)
Opening Hours：5:30 - 16:30
Cable Car & Pulley in Badaling Great Wall
The scenic site is divided into north and south section, and is equipped with cable car & pulley, and the cable cars have aerial ones and ground ones.
The north section provides aerial cable cars and pulleys. Aerial 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 the ground cable car is available, no pulleys. The cable car runs between the opposite of Zhan Tianyou Memorial Hall and No.4 South Tower.
Read more: Badaling Great Wall Cable Car vs. Slideway
The cable car fare is free for children under 1.2m (3.9ft).
The ticket fare for pulleys is for reference and is subject to change.
Service Hours of the Cable Car
Ground Cable Car: 7:50 - 16:30
How to tour Badaling Great Wall - Hiking Tour
|Badaling Great Wall Map
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.
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 (May 1st - 3rd), the National Day holiday (October 1st-7th) and the Chinese New Year, when the site will be overrun with tourists.
See more Badaling Weather
How to get to Badaling Great Wall from downtown Beijing
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 1 -1.5 hours 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.
From Deshengmen: 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
Direct Tourist Bus: Qianmen ⇔ Badaling
From Qianmen: Southwest of Qianmen Arrow Tower, to the south of Tiananmen Square
From Badaling Great Wall: Badaling Guntiangou Parking Lot
Duration: 90 minutes for a single trip
Fare: CNY 50 for Qianmen - Badaling single trip; CNY80 for a round trip; transportation card is not applicable.
From Qianmen to Badaling single trip: 7:00 - 11:00 from Qianmen
Qianmen ⇔ Badaling round trip: 6:30 - 11:00 from Qianmen; 11:00 - 16:00 from Guntiangou
Tip: The return bus has a stop at Deshengmen which is close to Jishuitan station of subway line 2.
Not Recommended Bus 919: Deshengmen Bus Station ⇔ Badaling
Bus 919 is usually crowded and has many stops on the way. The duration is 2.5 hours and ticket fare is CNY 13, respectively. In addition, the drop-off site is 1.6 km (1.0 mi) from the entrance and you need to walk or take the free shuttle bus to get there.
See more How to Get to Badaling Great Wall: by Bus
Bullet Train: Take a bullet train from Qinghe Railway Station to Badaling Great Wall Railway Station next to the Badaling Great Wall Scenic Area. A single ride just takes 20-35 minutes and a second class seat costs CNY 18-29.
See detailed Beijing - Badaling High Speed Train
S2 train: The trains run to Badaling Railway Station from Huangtudian Railway Station, which is near the Huoying Station along subway line 8 and subway line 13. A single rail ride takes about 1.5 hours and the fare is CNY 7. The entrance of Badaling Great Wall is 1.7 km (1.1 mi) away from Badaling Railway Station, and one can walk or take free shuttle buses to get there.
See more How to Get to Beijing Great Wall of China by Train - S2 to Badaling
How to Get to Badaling Great Wall from Capital International Airport
Take Airport Express to Dongzhimen Station, transfer to subway line 2 to Jishuitan Station, go out from Exit B2, walk around 500 meters (550 yards) to the eastward to Dongzhimen to take bus line 877.
Take Airport Express to Dongzhimen to transfer to subway line 13 to Huoying Station, go out from Exir G4. Upon arrival, take S2 train from the nearby Huangtudian Railway Station.
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.
Nearby Scenic Spots:
1. I plan to arrive around 7am before the wall opens so I can savor the wall with fewer visitors. Would you recommend I go to the north or south section first?
2. Can I bring a small tripod? This is a solo trip and I plan to take pictures of myself.
2. Yes, of course you can!