How to Visit the Great Wall of China

How to Visit the Great Wall of China

One thing you need to keep in mind is that the Great Wall is spread over 8,000 kilometers so there are countless places to visit not just one or two spots. What I've done is put together a description of the most popular places to visit that are easily accessible from Beijing and how to get there.

Visiting the wall may sound a little difficult but it easy and getting there is half the fun. Trust me, visiting the wall will be worth it and a highlight of your time in China. There is a saying from Chairman Mao that goes like "He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man." A little sexist (thank Confucius for that) but clearly shows how awesome the wall is and the importance of seeing it.

The popular areas of the wall are Badaling, Simitai, Mutianyu, Shanhaiguan Pass, and Jiayuguan. Other areas of the wall also good to visit include Gubeikou, Jiayu Pass, Jinshanling, Huangchua cheng and Juyongguan.

How to Visit the Great Wall of China

Which part of the wall to visit? - My Recommendations

Badaling is good to visit if you are short of time and you like crowds and extras in your photos. It is overdeveloped (cable cars, gift kiosks and much more) and packed during the tourist season and called the Disney land of the great wall. The photograph you can see of Badaling was on a peaceful day. Truly!

Mutianyu is less developed and much less crowded so much more rewarding to visit. Simatai is (my opinion) the best part of the wall to visit but tragically closed for renovations. If you are in reasonable physical condition, like hiking and want to see the wall in its original form, Gubeikou is the best part of the wall to visit.

Shanhaiguan is great for 2-3 day trip from Beijing and takes to you to the Bohai Sea. If you have a week spare, visit western China and experience the splendors of Jiayuguan. Go over the details of each part of the wall below and see which part suits you best.


Badaling in Chinese means "reach in eight directions" because the system of ridges the wall straddles stretches out in all directions. These ridges made this part of the wall a strategic position due to transport and defensibility. Magnificent scenery in this area and locals are very proud of the number of international VIPs who have visited Badaling.

There are numerous tour companies that will take you Badaling and most hotels can easily take you there or organize for a tour company to pick you up and take you.

Size - 7,600 meters long with an average height of 7.8 meters and width of 5.7 meters. Big enough the experts say for 5 horses to gallop along side by side. Maybe I'd rather gallop in single file.

History - Built in 1505 by Hong Zhi of the Ming Dynasty.

Getting there - Badaling is 80km outside of Beijing and the easiest part of the wall to visit so you have several options to get there. The main ones are by train, bus, and taxi.

Taxis are expensive with at least 100RMB one way. The best place to find taxis to Badaling is at Tiananmen Square.

Trains leave Beijing North train station roughly every 90 minutes and take an hour to reach Badaling. The train tick cost 15 RMB and the train station at Badaling is close to the wall. Walking from the station to the wall should take around 15-20 minutes.
919 Bus is the best bus to Badaling. Take the subway to the Jishuitian subway station on line 2. Use exit A to leave the subway and walk east around 450 meters to the bus stop which is next to an obvious and large landmark, the Dengshengmen Watchtower. The bus will drop you off at the south side of the wall.

The Great Wall of China


The strict Chinese importance for Mutianyu is respecting fields valley. This piece of the wall is the longest completely reestablished segment and the view is motivating with the wall twisting through the mountains encompassed by tree secured landscape. Insurrection is greatly improved to visit than Badaling in light of the fact that the wall engineering is unrivaled and it is Significantly less swarmed.

Measure - 22,000 meters in length with normal tallness of 7 to 8 meters and a normal width of 4 to 5 meters. There is a watchtower each kilometer which adds a ton to the magnificence of this piece of the wall.

History - Development initially started around 1500 years prior and has been reconstructed/redesigned a few times. The present wall is a rebuilding of the wall is it was in 1568 amid the Ming Administration.

Arriving - Mutianyu is 95 kilometers north of Beijing and arriving takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Harder to reach than Badaling yet all the more fulfilling.

Transports are the main primary choice for getting to Mutianyu and there are two different ways to arrive by transport. The first is to get the 936 transport at the Dongzhimen Wai transport station legitimately to the wall. The second path is to get the 916 or 936 means of transport from Dongzhimen transport station that take you to the Huairou township where you get of at the Huairou transport station or Mingzhu square and can get a minibus to the wall. In the event that there are no minibusses, you can get unlawful cabs to the wall. The taxicabs should cost between 40 to 70 RMB.


Couldn't locate an official interpretation so closest I can concoct myself is the officer responsible for ponies or the station/stage for overseeing steeds. Simatai is an awesome segment of the wall to visit and my undisputed top choice. The terrible news is it has been shut for redesigns since June 2010 and the Simatai specialists are not expected to open it again until in any event mid-2012.

This segment of the wall is one of only a handful couple of areas that have the first appearance of the great wall. This trademark was perceived by UNESCO who recognized it as a World Legacy Site in 1987. The Simatai wall is based on soak mountain edges and exceptionally brutal landscape. Risky, thick, various, sly and impossible to miss are five words frequently used to depict Simatai.

Measure - 5.4 kilometers long and a few pieces of the wall are just 40cm wide. One astonishing normal for Simata is the high thickness of watchtowers with a normal separation of 44 meters between each pinnacle.

History - Initially worked amid the North Qi line in 550-557. It was revamped amid the Ming administration amid the period from 1368 to 1398.

Arriving - Simatai is 120 kilometers from Beijing. With the wall being shut, there are no official methods for transportation and won't be until it opens up once more.

Cautioning - A few pieces of this area are steep with points of up to 85 degrees (stepping stools anybody?) and are exceptionally tight in certain spots so you should be in great physical condition to climb Simatai.


The bring up emerges about Gubeikou is it has not been reestablished and is in its unique structure. Other the wall, for example, Badaling and to a degree, Mutianyu provide food for mass tourism to the detriment of protection. Significant lots of the wall have really been annihilated to clear path for recreations. A dismal destiny that is right now fallen upon the Simatai area. Gubeikou is both perfectly saved and sensibly open and perfect for hiking.

Estimate - More than 20 kilometers in length and 143 signal towers situated at a normal separation of 156 meters. Try not to have the stature width of the wall there. Should take the measuring tape next time I go.

History - The Gubeikou segment remains on a region of vital significance that has been the site of strongholds for more than 2,500 years. The main area of Gubeikou was worked by the Northern Qi Line of 550-557. The wall was later modified, expanded and braced amid the Ming Administration of 1368-1644. The last recreation was finished in 1567 and there have been no remodeling or changes made from that point forward.

Arriving - Found 120 kilometers out of focal Beijing and effectively open by transport. To achieve the wall by transport first catch the metro and get off at the dongzhimen tram stop. The Dongzhimen long-remove transport station is legitimately toward the east. From the transport, stop get transport to Luanping or Chengde and get off at Gubeikou township.

Shanhaiguan Pass

Shanhaiguan implies the mountain go to the ocean which is able in light of the fact that this area of the wall is a noteworthy go of the Great Wall and finishes at the Bohai ocean east of Beijing. Where the wall meets the Bohai see is called old mythical serpent head and it has been transformed into a vast tourist complex with somewhere around 6 noteworthy territories.

Estimate - 26 kilometers in length with normal tallness of 12 meters and a normal width of more than 10 meters. One of the biggest pieces of the Great Wall.

History - Developed in 1381 amid the Tang tradition and was the forefront against the Manchurian clans until they overran the wall and the remainder of China in 1644. A humiliating point that local people incline toward not to discuss.

Arriving - Shanahan is in the city of Qinhuangdao which is just about 300 kilometers east of Beijing. There are somewhere around 8 prepares multi-day to urban communities, for example, Harbin and Shenyang that go through Qinhuangdao. Qinhuangdao was established in 215BC and has a long and rich history so certainly justified regardless of a visiting for a couple of days.

Jiayuguan Pass

This piece of the Great Wall is the most western part and is one of the key passes and military structures of the wall. It is additionally a standout amongst the most very much held and this piece of the wall incorporates a palace complex. The Jiayuguan pass was a key go to the Silk street and gives wonderful perspectives on the Gobi Desert and Qilian Mountains.

Measure - Spreads a zone of 34 square kilometers and comprise of door towers, inward and external city walls, channels and broad fortresses. The walls are 11 meters high and amazingly wide. There are two gigantic doors on the pass. One on the east side and one on the west side. The north and south sides of the pass are associated with the Great Wall.

History - Worked amid the Mindy Dynast around 1372. It was later relinquished and constructed again in 1539 amid the Qing Tradition.

Arriving - Jiayuguan City is more than 1,500 kilometers from Bejing in the Gansu territory. Not by any means useful for the multi-day trip from Beijing yet perfect on the off chance that you are in the west of the nation or traveling the Silk Street.

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