Great Wall Tour Tips

'He who does not reach the Great Wall is not a true man', as this famous Chinese saying goes, the Great Wall of China, a great engineering marvel, always attracts throngs of adventurous tourists from all over the world.

Have a rest on Great Wall

Whenever you see this venerable Great Wall, you must feel deep esteem. If you are planning long haul travel to it to look in depth upon this the world's greatest feat of engineering, some of the must-know facts below may be helpful in preparation for your exploration.

Besides the best sections like Badaling and Mutianyu, there are many other popular and interesting sections, including Jinshanling, Simatai, Juyongguan, Jiankou, and Gubeikou in Beijing, Shanhaiguan and Laolongtou in Hebei Province, and Jiayuguan in Gansu Province. One should choose according to your preference and physical strength.

As the grandest and most splendid of all, Badaling is the best section of the Great Wall. It is easily accessible from downtown Beijing, and is equipped with handrails, cableway and pulley, making it easier and safer to climb.

Recommended Vacation Packages including the visit to Badaling:
 1-Day Beijing Mini Group Tour from $89: no shopping tour to Forbidden City and Badaling Great Wall
 4-Day Small Group to Beijing from $299: join the group to visit Badaling, Sacred Way, Ming Tombs, Forbidden City...
 3-Day Private Beijing Tour from $257: travel to Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace...

Mutianyu is the second best-preserved section after Badaling, with remarkable natural scenery. It is steeper than Badaling but less congested by tourists during big holidays. Thus, it may be your priority during some holidays, especially National Day Holiday (October 1st to 7th).
Recommended Tour Packages including the visit to Mutianyu:
 2-Day Beijing Tour from $185: 2 days private itinerary of Mutianyu, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace...
 1-Day Mutianyu Hiking from $86: private guided hiking on Mutianyu Great Wall
 Beijing One-Day Tours from $88: 10 itineraries for you to choose, covering major attractions in and around the city.

 Which one to choose, Badaling or Mutianyu?

Great Wall travel
Climb Watchtowers


Jinshanling is famous for its intoxicating scenery and great variety of watchtowers. The distinctive watchtowers along the winding wall resemble musical notes on a staff. It is an ideal place for photographers and hikers.

If you fancy an adventure, it is better to visit Simatai, which has had less renovation yet is well preserved.  You will seldom encounter vacationers. But, elders and those who are not in good physical condition are advised not to climb this section in view of its cragginess.

Best Time to Visit

The scenery of the Great Wall varies with the seasons, which offers many features and fodder for photographers who seek to obtain characteristic photographic works at any time of the year. However, if you are an ordinary visitor, the best times are spring and autumn, especially May, September or early October when it is usually sunny, with brisk temperatures, leaving you more refreshed and comfortable.

Although it is hotter, June to August is an alternative, as the tourist season is in full swing. November to April is always bitterly cold with biting winds, when the Great Wall encounters few, if any, tourists.

What to Pack

The temperature variation between day and night along the Great Wall is obvious. TravelChinaGuide suggests a loose cotton T-shirt and a loose trousers rather than denim. However, if you go there in summer, wear shorts for daytime hiking and put on warm clothes such as jacket or sweater in the evening for you will feel somewhat cool, particularly in autumn. Good advice if you are to avoid catching cold.

Due to the steep inclines along the wall, trainers may be a good choice for shoes. Never wear high heels or you will quickly suffer from fatigue and in any event, they are hazardous in such locations. Anyway, make yourself as comfortable as possible.

 Food and Drink
Your hike may last for 2-3 hours. Take some snacks along, while a good supply of water is necessary to avoid dehydration. These can be purchased on the Badaling section but at a possibly unexpected higher price. Remember, there are no sales on other sections. However, do not drink too much water for there are no washrooms midway only those around the ticket office and the entrance.

Health and Safety

a. Carry an umbrella to protect you from the sun as well as potential rainfall.
b. Anoint yourself with some sunscreen and wear sunglasses to avoid the harm from strong ultraviolet radiation.
c.  Please inquire about the weather condition before traveling. Do not visit the wall on rainy days. In case it rains while you are on the wall, do not use cell phone, broadcast or any other communication equipment. Turn their power off and take shelter in a beacon tower to avoid lightning strike.
d. As it is always dry in spring, autumn and winter, moisturizer may be helpful to moisturize your skin.
e. It is quite windy in spring, autumn and winter, especially on the Great Wall due to its high altitude, so scarves can be warm and windproof to protect your face.
f. Some sections of the wall are very steep but still can be manageable, use the handrail.
g. Do not be bold to climb the undeveloped sections where the areas are insecure or damaged, or you may injured by the breakage of the wall.
h. Carry some medicines such as remedies for cold, carsickness and some Band-Aids so that they are readily available should the need arise.


Beijing Great Wall crowded with tourists
Beijing Great Wall Travel

Other Travel Tips

a. Get up in the early morning at about 07:00 to catch the first official tourist bus to arrive at the Badaling around 09:00-10:00 to avoid the large crowds of tourists, and thus you can get an early return to the city proper in the evening.
b. For travel to Badaling , you can also hire a taxi and have a round trip journey for about CNY400.00 according to the taxi type and your negotiation with the taxi driver.
c. Allow two to three hours for your visit when in Badaling section.
d. Cable cars are only available in Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Jinshanling sections.
e. You should be aware that noisy hawkers could be a problem on the wall.
f. Learn more of the culture and history of the Great Wall before your hiking trip, to have a more informed experience.
g. For protection of this world heritage, graffiti is not allowed on the wall.
h. Please leave no litter on the wall, there are waste bins provided.

 Great Wall Hiking Tours

- Last modified on Feb. 22, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Great Wall Tour Tips
Asked by Boulos from LEBANON | Mar. 24, 2018 06:15Reply
Where are the top cities to visit in China in May?
Answers (1)
Answered by Callie from UKRAINE | Mar. 26, 2018 03:43

Based on the previous statistics, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Kunming, Hong Kong, Xiamen, Suzhou, Guilin are the hot destinations in China.
Asked by Boulos from LEBANON | Mar. 24, 2018 06:14Reply
My wife and I are visiting Beijing in May
We would like to see the great wall. are there any luxury sight seeing services in terms of pick up, transport, guides and return to Hotel?
Answers (1)
Answered by Vivian from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 26, 2018 03:47

Oh, Boulos, for your convenience, you are advised to join in a Great Wall tour directly. One of my friends joined and tour around Great Wall. They have professional English tour guides, pick-up service... And the price is reasonable. If possible, their contact information is
Asked by Laxman from NEPAL | Dec. 18, 2017 13:02Reply
I am from Nepal. I want to visit China (Great Wall).
Request to show the best and cheapest plan.

Answers (1)
Answered by Ethan from SINGAPORE | Dec. 18, 2017 19:40

You are advised to take a flight to Lhasa first. Then transfer to the flight to Beijing Capital Airport.
Upon landing, take Airport Express to Dongzhimen, get off and change to subway line 2 to Jishuitan (Exit B2). Then walk eastward for about 600 yards (550 meters) to Deshengmen to take Bus No. 877 and arrive at Badaling Great Wall.
Asked by ZHENLEI | Dec. 01, 2017 06:19Reply
We are planning to go China on coming January.
Can we easily travel to Badaling and Mutianyu great wall section on coming January? Traveller said that, these sections are so crowed in winter.
Answers (2)
Answered by James from CANADA | Dec. 03, 2017 19:37

Well, as I know, you are advised to avoid visiting there on weekends and holidays in January. Thus there will have less crowed. Have a nice trip!
Answered by ZhenLei | Dec. 21, 2017 09:37

Thank you for your reply, our family members will go to China coming January 1st week. My father already booked tour packages from Trekclub to travel there. We will stay there five days.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)