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Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the greatest symbol of ancient Chinese engineering and one of the world's most famous structures. Its name in Chinese means 'Long Fortress', and it was built to protect the northern edge of the Chinese empire against invasions from Mongolian nomads. 

All up, the Great Wall, including trenches and natural defensive features such as rivers, stretches 8,850km (5,500mi). It was begun in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) on a very simple scale, and was expanded and fortified in the Ming Dynasty. Truth to tell, the Wall was never that effective against Mongol invasion, but eventually the threat abated anyway as the Mongol nomads were converted and assimilated.

A wander on the Great Wall these days takes you back to the Ming empire as well as affording you sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

Practical Info

Much of the Great Wall is now in disrepair, but certain sections are maintained for visitors. One of the most popular is Badaling, close to Beijing; this section is often crammed with tourists.

The Mutianyu section offers a quieter alternative, also close to Beijing, This section features an optional cable car ride, or an opportunity to climb more than 1,400 steps to the top.

Tours & Tickets

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Great Wall of China at Badaling and Ming Tombs Day Tour from Beijing

4.5 star rating: Recommended 258 Reviews

See two of China's most popular destinations, the World Heritage-listed Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs, on one unforgettable guided day trip from ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $72.99

Viator VIP: Beijing's Forbidden City with Special Viewing of Treasure Gallery and the Great Wall Ruins at Badaling

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 16 Reviews

Enjoy a VIP tour of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Beijing – the Forbidden City and Badaling Great Wall Ruins. With your expert guide, gain special ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $195.90

Great Wall of China at Mutianyu Full Day Tour including Lunch from Beijing

4 star rating: Recommended 177 Reviews

This full-day Beijing sightseeing tour to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China provides an opportunity to experience steeper sections of the ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 6-7 hours

From USD $64.99

Great Wall of China Small Group Day Trip from Beijing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 73 Reviews

Discover the Great Wall of China on this small group tour from Beijing. Travel to the restored Mutianyu section and climb the Ming Dynasty watchtowers for ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 7-8 hours

From USD $109.00

Viator Exclusive: Great Wall at Mutianyu Tour with Picnic and Wine

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 10 Reviews

Scale the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and take in the views with a picnic at its peak, a Viator Exclusive that can’t be booked anywhere else. This ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $159.94

Great Wall Hiking Tour from Beijing: Simatai West to Jinshanling

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Explore both untouched and restored parts of the Great Wall of China on this small-group hiking tour from Beijing. Follow your expert guide along the Simatai ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $121.67

Best Private Tour: Great Wall of China at Juyongguan and Ming Tombs from Beijing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

See the best of China’s ancient civilization on this private full-day trip from Beijing to the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs. At the Great Wall, ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $78.30
$87.00 Save $8.70

Best 3-Day Private Hiking Adventure on the Great Wall: Gubeikou, Jinshanling and Simatai

Get the ultimate experience of the Great Wall on this 3-day private hiking adventure with transport from Beijing. With your expert English-speaking guide, ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights

From USD $377.32

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