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Guide to Climbing the Great Wall

By Viator, July 2014

4.5 310 Reviews | Add your review

The Great Wall, a Wonder of the World and one of China’s most recognizable landmarks, deserves a place on any itinerary to Beijing. With several sections located just outside of the city, you’ll have your pick of experiences depending on what you want out of the visit.

A majority of tourists to the Great Wall see the section known as Badaling Pass. Located about an hour from Beijing, this portion of the wall features a cable car to ferry guests to the top of a flat stretch of the wall spanning out in either direction. While it’s the most crowded portion of the wall, it’s also one of the most convenient and accessible.

If you don’t mind doing a little climbing, Juyongguan is actually the closest portion of the wall to Beijing -- only 37 miles (60 kilometers) -- but it doesn’t have a single flat stretch in sight, and the steps are very steep and uneven. The Mutianyu section requires a full day’s journey, but it’s worth it for the scenic, flat stretch of wall, cable car and sparser crowds that the first two segments.

While much of the Great Wall is officially closed to tourists, those wishing to hike a portion of the wall can do so between Jinshanling and Simtai. This will allow you to see completely unrestored portions of the wall without another soul in sight.

Fall and spring are the best times to visit the Great Wall, as temperatures aren’t as hot and the crowds not as thick as summer. If possible, avoid weekends when Chinese families like to visit, and avoid visiting on Chinese holidays at all cost.

Tours & Tickets

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

4.5 star rating: Recommended 178 Reviews

See two of China's most popular destinations, the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs on one unforgettable guided day trip from Beijing. You'll visit the ...  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 7 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

Beijing Essential Full-Day Tour including Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

4.5 star rating: Recommended 112 Reviews

If your time in Beijing is short, take this full-day tour to see all the essential sights: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Badaling section of ...  Read more

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

From USD $86.99

Beijing in One Day: Day Trip from Shanghai by Air

4.5 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

If you’re spending time in Shanghai, take a day trip to Beijing by air to make your visit to China complete. While you’re in China’s ancient capital, visit the ...  Read more

Location: Shanghai, China
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $810.00

Great Wall Hiking Tour from Beijing: Simatai West to Jinshanling

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 $114.99

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

4.5 star rating: Recommended 5 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 $149.94

2-Day Great Wall Hiking Tour from Beijing: Jiankou, Mutianyu, Jinshanling and Simatai West

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

This 2-day hiking adventure takes you along the Great Wall’s untouched and restored sections of Jiankou, Mutianyu, Jinshanling and Simatai West. Escape from ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 2 days, 1 night

From USD $258.99

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 $446.66

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