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How to Get to Great Wall of China

There are multiple sections of the Great Wall of China open to the public, so you can choose to visit the one you like the most, or the most popular ones, which are Badaling and Mutianyu.

Andressa García

Andressa García

8 min read

How to Get to Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China | ©William Christen

The Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive and iconic monuments built by the Chinese people. It is so large that whether you see it in person or in pictures, it will always cause a sense of awe, so it is common to want to know how to get to this place.

Some of the most popular sections to visit are Badaling and Mutianyu, which are closest to Beijing. Jinshanling, Jiankou and Simatai are in different parts of the country. But no matter which one you choose, it is clear that going to the Great Wall of China is one of the best things to see and do in Beijing.

1. Guided tour to the Great Wall of China from Beijing

Sunset on the Great Wall of China| ©Bernard Goldbach
Sunset on the Great Wall of China| ©Bernard Goldbach

The guided tour to the Great Wall of China is undoubtedly the best option to travel from Beijing. Usually this type of experience includes transportation from the city to the section of the wall you are going to visit. In addition, one of the most striking features of this option is that the price usually includes the entrance to the section of the wall and a guide who provides information about the history and architecture of the place.

Depending on the itinerary, you will be able to do a walk on the wall and possibly a visit to the Mutianyu section of the wall, which is one of the most famous and popular sections among tourists. There, in fact, you will be able to admire breathtaking panoramic views of the amazing natural scenery. Usually the guided tour to this section of the wall includes direct transport from the city.

On the trip you will have the opportunity to contemplate and take many pictures of the panoramic views of the nearby forest from the top. As in this type of experience you will always be accompanied by a guide, you will be shown and told about the renovated watchtowers that protected the imperial city from invaders. Almost as a general rule, in this kind of tours you will be able to go back down to the starting point, from the Chinese Wall, in the slide, which is already catalogued as a legendary attraction.

Without a doubt this is an enriching experience that I recommend you to do if you travel to Beijing for five days or less, especially if you have never been to China and you want to start knowing one of the most representative icons of this Asian culture, which is none other than the Great Wall of China.

Details of interest

  • Price: this kind of tours usually cost around 60 euros per person.
  • Duration: as a general rule these experiences usually last around 3 hours, although everything can vary according to the activities that are scheduled.
  • Means of transportation: almost always this kind of tours are done by minibus or private car with all the comforts.
  • Advantages of this option: It is a tour guided by a professional who will take you to know the Great Wall of China. Generally this kind of tours are done on board of a bus with all the comforts. You are almost always offered local food during the tour.
  • Recommended if... You have never visited the Great Wall of China and you do not want to miss any detail of the tour.

Book an excursion to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs

2. Hire a private transportation service

Mutianyu Great Wall| ©Fabio Achilli
Mutianyu Great Wall| ©Fabio Achilli

The second most popular option to visit the Great Wall of China is to hire a private transportation service. This, without a doubt, is a very good option if you are looking for comfort and flexibility in your visit. Generally this type of service includes direct transportation from your hotel or place of accommodation in Beijing to the section of the wall you want to visit. And the best thing about this is that the driver can give you recommendations of the sections you should visit.

Sometimes, this private service gives you the possibility of having a tour guide to give you information about the wall and its history. This is the best option if you are traveling to Beijing for a short time and want to explore the city in its entirety, including a good but quick visit to the famous Great Wall of China. You can choose this option to visit the iconic monument right after making your transfer from the airport to Beijing.

When you make such a trip, you have to keep in mind that all expenses will be on your own. The private transportation is only supposed to pick you up from your hotel or accommodation site and bring you back once you have seen and explored the entire section of the wall you went to visit.

In the Mutianyu, Badaling and other sections of the Great Wall, you can enjoy not only a fun and historical walk, but also enjoy the breathtaking views from the wall.

Details of interest

  • Price: private transportation without a tour guide usually costs about 96 to 100 euros per person.
  • Duration: it will take you between 5 and 8 hours to complete this tour.
  • Means of transportation: transportation is always by private car, bus or private minivan and with all the comforts.
  • Advantages of this option: private transportation to and from the hotel or lodging site is included. You will also be accompanied by an experienced driver.
  • Recommended if... you are traveling to the city with little time but do not want to miss a short visit to the Great Wall of China to appreciate this work of ancient architecture.

Book the bus transfer to the Great Wall

3. Board the public transportation bus

Jinshanling Great Wall| ©Laurel F
Jinshanling Great Wall| ©Laurel F

The public transportation option is one of the most economical options to get to the Great Wall of China. There are different sections of the Great Wall of China that you will love to visit. In this case I propose you to visit the Mutianyu and Jinshanling sections.

To get to Mutianyu

To make use of this system, you will have to go directly to Dongzhimen subway station, and once there you will have to use lines 2 and 13 of the Beijing subway. Once you get out of the subway, you will have to find the bus station and get on the 916 Express bus to get to Mutianyu, one of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall of China.

The Mutianyu Roundabout will be the place where you have to get off and then get on a bus that will take you directly to the entrance of the Great Wall.

Getting to Jinshanling

On the other hand, if you want to visit the Jinshanling section from Beijing, you will have to get on a daily bus, whose departure time is at 8:00 am, to return around 3:00 pm.

At this point I recommend you to arrive very early to get a seat for you, because it is the only bus that leaves daily, so it fills up very easily and quickly. Once you are in Jinshanling, a free minibus will take you to one of the entrances to the Great Wall. I recommend you get off at the first entrance to enjoy the longest stretch of the wall.

One of the best advantages of taking this bus trip is that, once you get to any of the sections of the Great Wall, you will have the opportunity to sign up for one of the best bike tours in and around Beijing, which will allow you to ride more comfortably along the wall.

Interesting details

  • Price: you will have to pay about 9 euros per person to get on the public transport bus that will take you to the Great Wall of China.
  • Duration: the bus ride can take up to one hour between the city of Beijing and the Great Wall of China. The bus departs around 8:00 am and returns around 3:00 pm.
  • Means of transportation: the whole trip is completed by bus.
  • Advantages of this option: it is undoubtedly the most economical option to get to know the Great Wall of China.
  • Recommended if... you are traveling with little money and want to live a more adventurous experience in your backpacker trip.

4. Use the Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch tour bus

Tourist bus| ©zoesfolks
Tourist bus| ©zoesfolks

Finally, another option to visit the Great Wall of China is to take the Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch tourist bus service. This is a very good option if you want to visit the Great Wall of China but do not know how to do it. With this option you will have a guaranteed transportation system, with an integrated real-time GPS system that will let you know where you are and how much time is left before you get to the next stop.

The best thing is that while you ride the tourist bus, you will be able to use the audio system in several languages that you will have available on board, to learn detailed information about the history and details of the Great Wall. In addition, this Beijing tourist bus allows you to choose from many stops and routes to customize your itinerary.

You should know that the tourist bus that takes you to the Great Wall of China, can also take you to other interesting places in the city of Beijing and its surroundings, because it is a route designed especially for tourists who come with all the desire to know the most incredible and interesting places in the city.

The best of all is that, in any of these routes you choose, you will have the possibility to get off at different stops, to explore the highlights of the city.

Interesting details

  • Price: you will have to pay about 12 euros to get on the city's tourist bus and enjoy not only the Great Wall of China, but also other sites of interest that are quite popular in Beijing.
  • Duration: the schedules of the tourist bus vary according to many factors, mainly may vary according to the season of the year, but in general, you can get on this bus between 08:00 and 18:00. You can also enjoy this service between 09:00 and 19:00, every day.
  • Means of transport: this route is by bus.
  • Advantages of this option: the price of the bus ticket includes reduced fares to enter tourist attractions that require an entrance ticket. The price is for a round-trip ticket, which also includes a tour guide. Lunch fare is also included on some of the routes. People over 60 years of age and children under 1.2 meters tall can enter some tourist sites with preferential or even free tickets.
  • Recommended if... you are traveling to Beijing with the intention of seeing much more than just the Great Wall of China.

As you can see, the truth is that it is not very difficult to get to the Great Wall of China from Beijing, what is certain is that each of the ways to get to this site, will fit you, according to the plan or itinerary you have stipulated for your trip.

Book the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and Tiananmen tour