10 Guidelines for Travel to Great Wall of China in Winter

Why should you travel to the Great of China in winter? There are 3 reasons: fewer travelers are there compared with other seasons; entry tickets are cheaper; the snowy scene is beautiful if you are luckily there. However, the winter in Beijing is bone-chillingly cold. The Great Wall is located on the outskirts of the city and it is even colder with swirling winds. The temperature in the coldest January can reach -16℃ (3℉). Hiking the Great Wall in this weather, it requires a lot of energy, and there are many notes you need to take. Here are 10 guidelines for those planning to travel to the Great Wall of China in winter.  

1. Know the Great Wall Weather in Winter – Cold, Below 0℃

Beijing’s winter is chilly enough to prevent a lot of tourists and the number of tourists to the Great Wall drops dramatically in blistering cold days. When planning a trip for the Great Wall, it is better to check Beijing’s weather forecast so that you can choose a relatively not that cold day or a day with the weaker wind.

 Great Wall of China in November: -4 – 8℃ (25 – 46℉), cloudy and windy
 Great Wall of China in December: -12 – -1℃ (10 – 30℉), sunny and dry 
 Great Wall of China in January: -12 – 1℃ (10 – 34℉), windy and occasional snowy 


2. Wear Wind Resist Clothing and Outdoor Jacket 

Besides preparing a water-resistant outer layer clothing to prevent rain and snow, wearing wind resist outdoor jacket is very necessary. As most sections of China Great Wall were built on the mountain ridges, the wind is very strong in winter. The warm jacket can make you feel more comfortable when standing at high points of the Great Wall. 

3. Wear Shoes with Good Grip

In winter, the steep steps of the Great Wall can become slippery and frozen because of snow and frost. Suitable hiking shoes can facilitate your trip. Shoes with good grips are recommended and a pair of boots are warm enough to walk on the Great Wall in winter. The leather shoes should be avoided since they can easily freeze. 


4. Wear Grip Gloves

The grip gloves are one of the must things you should take when traveling to the Great Wall of China in winter. Its first function is to keep your hands warm and prevent them from exposing in freezing air. What's more, the good grips of gloves are very helpful to climb on an icy path. You can hold the railings along the sides more tightly.  


5. Choose a Proper Section: Badaling and Mutianyu

Badaling and Mutianyu are undoubtedly the best sections of the Great Wall to visit in winter. They are not far from Beijing and easy to access. The facilities are most developed and cable cars are available in both sections. Also, the path condition is good, not too steep. 

 See more: 6 Best Places to See Great Wall of China


6. Pay Attention to Opening Time of Great Wall and Transport

Pay attention to the opening hours of the Great Wall and bus operation time. Generally, the opening hours in winter will be shortened. For example, the open hours of Badaling in winter is 7:00-18:00 and Mutianyu is 8:00-17:00. The last bus back to downtown from Badaling and Mutianyu depart separately at 16:30 and 17:50.


7. Take Food and Hot Water

Taking a bottle of hot water and sufficient food is necessary to help you stay hydrated, warm and refuel your energy. No food and water are provided upon the Great Wall. The food in nearby restaurants are not very tasty and the price is much higher compared with that in the city area.


8. Bring Android Phones rather than iPhone

The problem is that the iPhone is designed to turn off under extremely low temperatures. The chilly weather of the Great Wall just makes it hard to use iPhone as usual. So the Android phones are more recommended since they won't be affected a lot in very cold weather so that you can avoid temperature-related issues.  


9. Don't Hike on the Wild Great Wall

The wild Great Wall sections like Jiankou is dangerous. In winter, the slippery icy road makes it even more dangerous. The wild Great Wall adventure is suggested to plan out in other seasons. 

10. Never Camp on the Great Wall in Winter

As the night temperature in winter of the Great Wall can be below -15℃ (5℉), it is too cold and risky to camp in winter. You cannot even fall asleep at such a low temperature and strong wind. Generally, the best season to camp on the Great Wall is still summer when you can have a close experience of nature and enjoy bright stars.    

 Further Reading:

Which Section of Great Wall to Visit

Why should I visit the Great Wall of China? - Top 10 Reasons

How to Visit the Great Wall of China

How much does it cost to visit the Great Wall of China? 

10 Insider Tips for Great Wall Travel - Dos and Don’ts

How to Camp on the Great Wall of China

Best Time to Visit Great Wall of China

- Last updated on Jul. 02, 2020 -
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