The Great Wall of China, Great Wall Travel Guide


The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

Rating5 star #3of 27 attractions in Beijing

Tickets different from each section

Tour Time half day for every section

Features Greatest Tourist Attraction in the World; Greatest Human Feat in History; The Goal of Millions of tourists; The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest sights in the world. The longest wall in the world, it is an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture

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Chairman Mao said: the one who did not climb up the Great Wall was not a real man. So, are you ready to explore the immensely long man-made wall?

You are at the right place with detailed Great Wall travel guide and tours. Great Wall hiking is one of the top 10 must-to-do things for any Beijing tour, even China tour. It has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

Great Wall Sections in Beijing

The Great Wall passes through the north of Beijing, an hour or two by car from Beijing downtown. Most of the sections of Great Wall in Beijing are well-preserved and touristy, and they have their own unique features. Hiking some of the sections of the Great Wall is a must-do activity for any Beijing tour.

If you are planning a Great Wall tour, we at tourbeijing.com are here to tailor-made a tour for getting over all your needs and difficulties for free of charge. Or, you can choose a Beijing tour including Great Wall hiking from our ready-made Great Wall tours.

Badaling Great Wall Mutianyu Great Wall Juyongguan Great Wall
Best Time to Hike Great Wall Best Section to Hike Great Wall Overnight Tour
Great Wall Hiking Tips

There are particulars to each section, some are in better shape than others and may be easier to climb, others offer cable cars, trolleys, zip lines or toboggans. Here is a list of some of the sections that are currently opened to the public, and you can make a choice of where you would like to visit.

  • Badaling: most popular but very crowded; completely restored with a cable car to help you up and down the wall.
  • Mutianyu: a bit further to Beijing downtown but less crowded. Also fully restored, offers a cable car and a chair lift to get up or down, and a toboggan slideway to get down.
  • Juyongguan: closest to Beijing and the most recently opened section.
  • Simatai: More remote, less crowded and in a more “natural” state. Conditions are rougher than the above sections and it may be unsuitable for persons prone to vertigo because of its unguarded sheer drops where some crenellations have fallen away. There are cable cars at both sites and Simatai has the option of a zip-line descent for the more adventurous. Trekking can be done from Jinshanling to Simatai and vice versa. Presently, it has been closed for renovation work which is expected to last two years. Check Beijing Simatai Great Wall Hiking Tour for updates and details.
  • Huanghuacheng: the closest place that you could get to the ‘genuine’ wall within a short distance from Beijing. The reservoir here is a pleasant place to walk around and particularly suitable for anyone who wants to see the wall without actually walking on it.
  • Xiaoheikou: the oldest great wall section in China first built in Qi dynasty in Liaoning province. Xiaoheikou Great Wall is considered to be the most authentic Great Wall of China which has been untouched by man for thousands of years.
  • Jiankou: this section of the wall is not officially opened to the public, it is steep and can be dangerous because of its ruinous state.

Great Wall FAQs

1. How long is the Great Wall of China?

The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The most comprehensive archaeplogical survey, using advanced technologies, has recently concluded that the entire Great Wall, with all of its branches, stretches for 8,851.78 km. This is made up of 6,259.6 km of sections of actual wall, 359.7 km of stretches and 2,232.5 km of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.

2. Who built the Great Wall, when and why?

There are many answers about who built the Great Wall. However, the most credible answer given by the experts is: as early as the Warring States Periods (476 BC 221 BC), the ruling powers began to build walls as a defense against the northern nomadic tribes and other protential enemies. The state of Chu was the first to build a wall, followed by the Qi, Yan, Wei, Zhao and Qin.

After Emperor Qin Shihuang unified the six states, he ordered to connect the existing walls and to extend them further as a front line defense against possible invasion. Then the Great Wall was formed, extending form Lintao County in Gansu Province in the west and ending at Liaoning province in the east. Over the 2,000 years, the Great Wall was rebuilt, modified and extended throughout the Chinese history.

The Functions of the Great Wall

The primary purpose of the construction of Great Wall was always to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other invaders. Besides, the Great Wall also provided protection to the economic development and cultural progress, such as, it safeguarded the trading routs the Silk Road and secured transmission of information and transportation.

Today, most of sections of the Great Wall are open to the public for tourism, and it has become one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world.

3. Who of the world leaders have visited the Great Wall?

Beijing the pride of China and a world cultural relic, the Great Wall has attracted lots of world celebrities and foreign leaders and heads of government when they visit China over the years. Some examples are as follows:

  • President Barack Obama tours the Great Wall in Badaling, China, Wednesday, Nov.18, 2009.
  • George W. Bush, former President of the United States, visited the Great Wall in 2002.
  • Bill Clinton, former President of the United States, visited the Great Wall in 1998.
  • Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States, visited the Great Wall in 1984.
  • Roman Herzog, former German President visited Badaling on Nov.18, 1996.
  • Constantin Dascalescu, former Prime Minister of Romania, visited the Great Wall at Badaling on Nov. 30, 1983.

When is the best time to vist Beijing Great Wall

Visit it in different times to get a quite different scene. In spring, when trees and plants begin to turn green, the wall wonders among the lush vegetation. Every thing looks so fresh. It is a good time to avoid the crowd tourists in summer and autumn. In late Spring with the flowers bloom is a great time to find a wild section of the wall and hike up to it.

Summer comes, the booming flowers and colored leaves cover the mountains. The Great Wall snakes its way like a silver necklace. What a nice sight!

When fall comes, the mountains are blanketed by colors, creating an amazing view and the weather during this time is pleasant. This season could be the best season to visit.

The mountains and the wall itself are covered with snow in winter, offering an awesome snowy scene. The weather in this time of the year will be frozenly cold and tourists are fewer. It is the best time to get the whole view of the wall.

Because the most popular sections of Great Wall all are located in Beijing, you should always follow the Beijing weather forcast to check out the Beijing climate and arrange your Great Wall tour.