Great Wall Tour Tips

Great Wall Tour Tips are very useful for your China Great Wall Travel, view our recommendations to the travel FAQs before when you make the tour plan. Our Great Wall travel guide includes the tips for Great Wall Transportation, Great Wall Accommodation and Great Wall Dining, the best time to visit, as well as reasons why you should visit the Wall, etc.

Reasons to Visit the Great Wall of China

As one of the wonders of the medieval world and claimed as China’s No. 1 Tourist Site, the Grea Wall travel has other gains beyond its impressive specifications and unsurpassed surface area. 

  • Learn Chinese History: The Great Wall has a long history of more than 2,700 years. You can hire a personal guide or follow the signs as you snake your way along the Great Wall, learning about the dynasties by whom it was built and the kingdoms and emperors each section represents.
  • Test Your Endurance: Badaling and Mutianyu are the preferred choices for most tourists, taking at least 2 hours to hike. With ranges of the wall tiring tourists out after less than a mile, climbing the steep steps of the Great Wall is a fabulous test of endurance. 
  • Take Photos: At a site so often photographed, it is a true challenge to capture a fresh and dynamic image of the wall.
  • Reflect: Thinking about the engineering intelligence, tribal loyalty, fear, willpower and endurance that created this structure is really the primary reason for a visit to the Great Wall of China.
  • Lifelong Memories: At the end of the day, the motivation to travel to a far-away place is about being in the moment while you are there and the memories you take with you.

The Best Time to Visit the Great Wall

The best time to visit the Great Wall depends on the natural scenery that you prefer and the section of the Great Wall you plan to visit. According to China Highlights, the further north you travel, the colder and rainier the weather will be. Spring trips provide a view of fresh foliage and allow you to avoid the summer tourism season. Summer means larger crowds, but it also provides a view of blooming flowers. July and August bring the most rain. Winter brings the fewest tourists because of the cold temperatures, but the snow on the mountains can provide a stunning view. Try to avoid the Chinese Golden Week holiday in October, when the Great Wall is usually filled with crowds.

Read more about When is the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall?

Which Section Should I Choose?

Many sections of the wall were restored in 1980s and travelers can visit these more easily. As for Great Walls in Beijing: Sightseeing at Badaling, Juyongguan and Mutianyu sections; Hiking at Jinshanling, Simatai, Gubeikou, Mutianyu and Jiankou sections. Tianjin: Sightseeing and hiking at Huangyaguan section Shanhaiguan in the eastern end: Sightseeing and hiking at Shanhaiguan section Gobi desert in the western end: Sightseeing and hiking at Jiayuguan section.

Among all the sections, Badaling and Mutianyu are the most favoured ones for visitors. Badaling is a must-visit site for Beijing Great Wall Tour, while Mutianyu is a nice choice to avoid large crowds in the peak season. 

Read More:

Top Things to Do at the Great Wall

The most popular thing to do on the Great Wall is HIKING, i.e. walking on the wall. Besides hiking, you can do a night walk, camp on the wall, enjoy a picnic with great mountain views, run a Great Wall marathon, and take a roller cart down.


Hiking on and around the Great Wall is easily one of the most popular activities. For most visitors, Mutianyu and Jinshanling offer good, medium difficulty hikes, while still being very safe. For those looking for a serious hike along wild, unrestored portions of the Wall, we suggest the Gubeikou to Jinshanling, or Jiankou to Mutianyu routes. All of these hiking routes boast both unrestored and picturesque renovated sections of the Wall. However, please be aware that hikes along wild, unrestored parts of the Great Wall involve many steep climbs and loose bricks, and can be very dangerous in some places.

Night Walking on the Simatai Great Wall

Simatai’s Great Wall section offers night access for a short distance. The Great Wall will be lit up at night between the 5th and 6th watchtowers. There is a well-paved path up to the wall. On Simatai’s wall at night, you can have a beautiful view of the brightly lit Gubei Water Town resort at the bottom of mountains.


Thrill seekers visiting the Great Wall won’t want to miss paragliding at Simatai. Tourists will have the chance to leap off the edge of the Simatai wall section and glide almost 1,000 feet into the valley below. Paragliding is permitted on all sections of the wall open to the public. After gliding into the valley, many people enjoy a hike back up to the wall, or through the surrounding countryside.

Read More about Top Things to Do at the Great Wall

Great Wall Transportation

How far is the Great Wall from Beijing?

  • Restored Mutianyu Great Wall: 2 hours’ drive
  • Wild Jiankou Great Wall: 3 hours’ drive
  • Steep Simatai Great Wall: 2.5 hours’ drive
  • Unrestored Gubeikou Great Wall: 1.5 hours’ drive
  • Wheelchair-friendly Juyongguan Great Wall: 1.5 hours’ drive 

The popular sections of the Great Wall are mostly in Beijing, so if you want to start the Great Wall travel, you should firstly arrive in Beijing, and then go to the Great Wall sections you are aiming for. Here below are popular transportation routes often used by tourists.

How to Get to the Great Wall from Beijing?

The best-known sections, like Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall, are located in the outskirt of Beijing. You can get there by public transport, private cars or join our Beijing Tours.

Read more about How to Get to the Great Wall from Beijing?

How to Get to the Great Wall from Shanghai?

First, you need to get to Beijing from Shanghai by air or train. Then, take a bus or train to it from downtown Beijing.  Badaling and Mutianyu sections are the most popular among tourists.

Read more about How to Get to the Great Wall from Shanghai?

How to Get to the Great Wall from Hong Kong?

You should take a direct flight or train to Beijing from Hong Kong at first. Or, take a high speed train to Beijing from Shenzhen North Railway Station. Upon arrival, take a city bus or train to reach the destination.

Read more about How to Get to the Great Wall from Hong Kong?

Beijing Great Wall Accommodation

Dont’t expect too much on the public tranpsortation, if you want to leave more time and engery for the Great Wall hiking and enjoy a more leisure Great Wall travel, it is highly recommended to stay at the foot of the Great Wall. Check the links below for the hotels closest to the Great Wall.

Read More:

Beijing Great Wall Dining Tips

Although there are some small stores and stands selling food on the Great Wall, the price of food and water can be steep as the wall. Take a packed lunch and several large bottles of water. If you forget, you’ll probably find an enterprising salesperson on top of a watchtower who will help you out, but you’ll pay for the privilege. There are also some nice food shops near the Great Wall recommended.

Read more about Best Places to Eat Near Beijing’s Great Wall Sections

Things you Should Know before Visiting the Great Wall of China

  • 1. Visit the great wall on a weekday to avoid crowds.
  • 2. Your passport isn’t necessary to enter the great wall.
  • 3. Public transportation is more difficult than you might think.
  • 4. It’s worth getting there early- just be prepared to walk.
  • 5. Some parts of the wall are very steep.
  • 6. Wear comfortable shoes.
  • 7. Expect long travel times to the great wall.
  • 8. There are no restrooms beyond the main entrance.
  • 9. Simatai is the best section open at night – and it’s spectacular.
  • 10. Weather can vary — and it gets windy up there.

Read More: Dos and Don’ts at the Great Wall of China

Keep Reading