Xiangyang is far from Beijing

Great Wall of China: the 10 best sections

Visiting the Great Wall of China: which sections are worthwhile?

Who doesn't know them: the Great Wall of China, one of the seven New Wonders of the World. For many, visiting the Great Wall of China is a lifelong dream.

Since this stretches over several thousand kilometers, a tourist in Beijing asks one question:Which section of the Great Wall of China is the most beautiful?

Every section of the wall is fascinating and unique.

Which section of the Great Wall you choose depends on what you want to see and do there. Our LTL guide tells you everything about them 10 Best Sections of the Great Wall of China.

Where does the Great Wall of China end?

Great Wall of China End: Visit Laolongtou Wall! Laolongtou Great Wall of China… Most of the tourists who come to China take the chance to visit the world famous Great Wall of China. Rightly so! If you are looking for a section of the Great Wall of China ...

Visit Great Wall of China

You can visit the wall from different places. The most famous (and most beautiful) sections can be found near the capital Beijing. The Great Wall of China in Beijing is also divided into smaller sections.

1. Great Wall of China: Mutianyu (慕田峪)

  • The most popular section
  • 1.5 hours from Beijing (73km)

The Great Wall of China Mutianyu is the most popular section of the wall among tourists. As this section has been renovated, it is also suitable for families with children, as the wall in Mutianyu is relatively easy to climb.

If you are short on time to visit the Great Wall of China in Beijing, Mutianyu is the right choice! Thanks to the cable car that takes you up and down the Great Wall, you only have to plan half a day for the Mutianyu Great Wall of China.

How do I get to Mutianyu?

We recommend taking a bus from Beijing to Mutianyu. The bus stop for buses to Mutianyu is called Dongzhimen. From here you take the 916 Express Bus (approx. 1 hour, 12 CNY) and then take bus lines h23, h24, h35 or h36 towards Mutianyu roundabout. Then it's just a short walk to the ticket booth.

2. Great Wall of China: Badaling (八达岭)

  • The most popular route for Chinese tourists
  • 2 hours from Beijing (72km)

The wall of Badaling is without a doubt the part of the wall that is visited by most of the Chinese tourists.

So you are forewarned, because this part is always quite crowded (especially on weekends and during the Chinese holidays). Therefore, it will likely make it harder to get great photos!

The Badaling Great Wall of China is a restored and not entirely original part of the wall. But this is probably the section you know from photos!

There is a cable car in Badaling, the Great Wall Museum and parts of the wall here are even wheelchair accessible.

How do I get to Badaling?

From Beijing by train to the Great Wall of China:
Take the train from Huangtudian Station to Badaling Station. The journey takes about 1.5 hours and costs only 7 CNY! After that, it's only a short 15-minute walk to the entrance. (1.5h, 7CNY).

From Beijing by bus to the Great Wall of China:
It's best to take bus number 877, which leaves from Deshengmen - near the Jishuitan subway station, line 2, exit B2. The bus takes you straight to the wall. The trip takes an hour and costs 12 CNY.

3. Great Wall of China: Jiankou (箭扣)

  • Very popular among adventurers
  • 3 hours from Beijing (100km)

If you like it a little more challenging and want to have a little adventure on the Great Wall of China, the section of Jiankou right for you! The ascent here is quite strenuous and not entirely harmless, so you should take care of your international health insurance beforehand! Since this part of the Great Wall is three hours from Beijing, Jiankou is ideal as a day trip.

How do I get to Jiankou?

From Beijing by bus to the Great Wall of China:
The best way to get to the Jiankou Wall is to go to Xizhazi Village or Wofo Mountain Village first. There is a bus that starts at the Yujiayuan bus stop in Beijing. You can reach the Xizhazi village from here by bus no. H25, to the Wofo mountain village you can take bus no. H36. If you want to travel a little more comfortably, you can take a taxi, which will cost you around 100 CNY each way.

4. Great Wall of China: Simatai (司马台)

  • Enjoy the illuminated Great Wall of China in the evening
  • 2-3 hours from Beijing (120km)

Simatai offers you a good mix. At this beautiful section of the Great Wall, you can take the cable car, hike and enjoy the great view. This part was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is not as crowded as Badaling, for example. Evening tours are offered here and you can spend the night in the nearby Gubei water town.

How do I get to Simatai?

From Beijing by bus to the Great Wall of China:
Take the Beijing subway to Dongzhimen Station (Line 2/13). From there you can take a tourist bus to the Gubei water town, which is right next to the Simatai wall.

Alternatively, you can take the number 980 bus from Dongzhimen from Miyun Xidaqiao. Change here, take bus number 51 and also arrive at Gubei Wasserstadt.

5. Great Wall of China: Jinshanling (金山岭)

  • Suitable for hikes
  • 2-3 hours from Beijing (154km)

There Jinshanling has only been partially restored and thus still looks relatively original, nature lovers and hikers in particular visit this section.

You can admire the spectacular mountain landscape around the 10 km long section of the wall.

How do I get to Jinshanling?

From Beijing by bus to the Great Wall of China:
From Dongzhimen Subway Station (Line 2/13), you can take a bus directly to Jinshanling. But you should note that the bus only leaves when there are more than 20 people on the bus and only leaves once at around 7:40 a.m. and back to Beijing at 4:00 p.m. Another stop for this bus is at Wangjing West Station.

6. Great Wall of China: Shanhai Pass (山海关)

  • Nice to see another section of the wall further out
  • 3.5 hours from Beijing

The Shanhai Pass differs from the other parts of the wall because this is where the Great Wall of China meets the sea. This is the eastern end of the Great Wall of China, which was built during the Ming Dynasty to hold off the Manchurians.

Since the section is relatively far from Beijing, you should plan at least a full day to visit the Shanhai Pass.

How do I get to the Shanhai Pass?

From Beijing to the Great Wall of China by train:
First, take the train from Beijing to Qinhuangdao Railway Station. From there, take the train to Shanhaiguan Station. From here you walk only 10 minutes to the southern entrance gate of the Shanhai Pass.

Where does the Great Wall of China end?

Great Wall of China End: Visit Laolongtou Wall! Laolongtou Great Wall of China… Most of the tourists who come to China take the chance to visit the world famous Great Wall of China. Rightly so! If you are looking for a section of the Great Wall of China ...

7. Great Wall of China: Gubeikou (古北口)

  • Historical section
  • 2 hours from Beijing (145km)

Are you interested in Chinese history? Then the section of the Great Wall is from Gubeikou right for you! Over 130 battles between Mongols and Chinese took place along this historic section.

That's because this section played a key role in defending Beijing.

It is best to visit this part with a local guide who can tell you more about the history of the Great Wall of China.

How do I get to Gubeikou?

From Beijing by bus to the Great Wall of China:
You start again at the Dongzhimen bus stop and take the express bus number 980 to the Miyun bus stop. Here you change to bus number 25, which will take you directly to Gubeikou.

8. Great Wall of China: Huanghuacheng (黄花城)

  • Unlike any other section: Great for camping
  • 1.5 hours from Beijing (75km)

The Great Wall of China Huanghuacheng is known for its unique landscape, which also includes a lake. Since this part has hardly been restored, there are still many historical relics here, for example old watchtowers.

Since it is not too far from Beijing, you can either spend half a day or a full day here.

How do I get to Huanghuacheng?

From Beijing by bus to the Great Wall of China:
Tourist bus: Buy a combination ticket (return bus and the entrance ticket for the Great Wall of China) at the Public Transport Hub. The buses only run during the high season!

Public Bus: Take the # 916 bus to Huairou Bus Station, from there you can take the # H21 bus to Small West Lake (Lakeside Great Wall) Station. From here it is only a short walk to the lookout point.

9. Great Wall of China: Huangyaguan (黄崖关)

  • The site of the Great Wall Marathon
  • 3 hours from Beijing, located in Tianjin

The Great Wall Marathon takes place annually in May on the Huangyaguan section.

This part is often referred to as the miniature version of the whole Great Wall of China, here you can find parts from the Ming Dynasty and the Northern Qi Dynasty.

How do I get to Huangyaguan?

From Beijing to the Great Wall of China by train:
Take a train from Beijing to Jixian District Station, which takes an hour and costs approximately CNY 14.5. From there you can book a private minibus that will take you to the entrance of the wall.

10. Great Wall of China: Juyongguan (居庸关)

  • Easy to get to from Beijing
  • 1.5 hours from Beijing (60km)

If you only have a little time, it is worth traveling to Juyongguan, as it is only 60km from Beijing to Juyongguan. This section is also suitable for wheelchair users.

Since it is also relatively crowded here in summer, you should try to visit this part at the beginning or end of summer.

How do I get to Juyongguan?

From Beijing to the Great Wall of China by train:
Go to Huoying Subway Station and take Exit G4. You come out at the Huangtudian Railway Station, from here you take the number S2 train to Badaling Station. Then take a free shuttle bus to the stop for bus number 879, which will take you to the starting point of the Juyongguan Wall.

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Written by

Moritz Viering

Moritz has worked for LTL as a German freelancer since 2019. He enjoys exploring the world and diving into foreign cultures. Especially traditional Chinese characters, which have always fascinated him.