The Great Wall in Beijing

Why is The Great Wall so Special?

The Great Wall, also known as the Great Wall, is a military defense project in ancient China. It is a tall, strong and continuous wall to restrict the movement of the enemy. The Great Wall is not a purely isolated wall. After Qin destroyed the six countries and unified the world, Qin Shihuang connected and repaired the Great Wall of the Warring States Period, which became known as the Great Wall of China.

History of The Great Wall

The name of the Great Wall began in the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. It is the most common name for the Great Wall.

The Great Wall is an ancient defense project with the longest construction time and the largest project amount in the world. It has been continuously built for more than 2,000 years since the Western Zhou Dynasty.

In the 26th year of Qin Shihuang’s reign (221 years ago), Qin annexed six countries and unified the world, establishing the first unified multi-ethnic centralized state in Chinese history. In order to safeguard and consolidate the unprecedented and unified security of the great empire, Qin Shihuang successively adopted a series of major strategic measures for national defense construction and border defense. One of them was the large-scale construction of the Great Wall.

Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty built the Great Wall to expel the Huns, which played a great role in maintaining the safety of the Western Han Empire, and also maintained the smooth flow and safety of the Silk Road. It is of great historical significance.

The Great Wall of the Qing Dynasty is different from the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty and the Great Wall of all previous dynasties. It is a tool for internal bloody suppression of peasant uprisings and national uprisings, but not external. The Great Wall of Qing Dynasty was an expedient measure taken by the Manchu government. It was relatively crude and poorly preserved, and had a single function. Therefore, it was rarely mentioned and could not be compared with the Great Wall of Ming Dynasty.

On March 4, 1961, the Great Wall was announced by the State Council as the first batch of national key cultural relics protection units. In December 1987, the Great Wall was listed as a world cultural heritage.

The Great Wall in Beijing

Since the Great Wall is widely spread in China, this article focuses on the Great Wall in Beijing area.

Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城)

The Badaling Great Wall in Beijing is the best preserved and most complete section of all the Great Wall, and is therefore also the most popular, even among world leaders.

Badaling has been an important military strategic place since ancient times. The Great Wall was built here during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period in order to prevent the invasion of northern nationalities.

Badaling Great Wall is the earliest section of the Great Wall open to tourists. Badaling received more than 130 million Chinese and foreign tourists. 372 foreign leaders and many world figures, including Nixon, Reagan, Thatcher, Gorbachev, Elizabeth and Heath, boarded Badaling for sightseeing.

Admission Fee

High Season (Apr. 1 to Oct.31) CNY 40
Low Season (Nov.1 to Mar.31) CNY 35

1. Children under 1.2m (3.9ft) or under 6 years old and seniors aged above 60 with valid passport proof can get tickets free of charge at the ticket window.
2. Children aged between 6 and 18 enjoy half-price tickets with valid passport proof.

Openning Hours

Apr. 1 to Jun.30 06:30-19:00
Jul. 1 to Aug.31 06:00-19:30
Sep. 1 to Oct.31 06:30-19:00
Nov.1 to Mar.31 07:30-18:00 

Note: The online ticket booking ends one hour earlier than the closing time.

How to get to Badaling Great Wall from downtown Beijing

  • Bus 877: Deshengmen ⇔ Badaling
    Bus 877 is your first choice. It departs from Deshengmen, about 10 minutes’ walking from Jishuitan subway station (Exit B2) of subway line 2. It is a non-stop bus, taking about 1 -1.5 hours and costing CNY 12 per person. The drop-off site is close to the pulley car lower station and about 10 minutes’ walk to the entrance. Please note that the last departure from Deshengmen is at 12:30.
  • Tourist Bus Line 1: Qianmen ⇔ Badaling
    Boarding Point: Southwest of Qianmen Arrow Tower, to the south of Tiananmen Square Destination: Badaling Guntiangou Parking Lot
    Duration: 100 minutes
    Fare: CNY 20 per person paid in cash; transportation card is not applicable.

    Operating Time:
    From Qianmen: the end of Flag-Raising Ceremony on the Tiananmen Square 5:00-7:30 till 11:00
    From Guntiangou: April to October: 9:00 – 17:00; November to March: 11:00 – 16:30

    Tip: The bus to Badaling has a stop at Juyongguan Pass, but the return bus runs directly back to Qianmen. There is a tour guide on each bus.

  • Not Recommened Bus 919: Deshengmen ⇔ Badaling
    Bus 919 is usually crowded and has many stops on the way. The duration and ticket fare are 2 hous and CNY 12, respectively. In addition, the drop-off site is 1.6 km (1.0 mi) from the entance and you need to walk or take free shuttle bus to get there.

Simatai Great Wall (司马台长城)

Simatai Great Wall has been partially restored and opened. The tourist area is limited to its eastern section, so hiking from Xisimatai to Jinshanling is not allowed. Simatai Great Wall is also the only place to visit at night. Since you need to cross the ancient north water village to reach simatai, if you only plan to visit the great wall itself, you need to make a reservation.

The best time to travel is April, May, September or October. Warm weather is very comfortable for tourists in April, May and September. Lush plants cover the mountain and the winding wall looks like a dragon lying on the green sea. In October, red leaves cover the ridge, providing you with another wonderful scene.

Admission Fee

The ticket price is CNY 40. CNY 20 for children between 1.2 – 1.5m (3.9 – 4.9 feet);
Free for children under 1.2m.

Opening Hours

Daytime Apr. – Oct.: 8:00 – 18:00
Nov.: – Mar.: 8:00 – 17:30
Note: Site-cleared at 16:30
Night Apr. – Oct.: 18:00 – 22:00
Nov.: – Mar.: 17:30 – 21:00 (Mon. – Fri.), 17:30 – 21:30 (Weekends)
Ticketing time:
Apr. – Oct.: 18:00 – 21:30
Nov. – Mar.: 17:30 – 20:10 (Mon. – Fri.), 17:30 – 20:40 (Weekends)

How to get to Simatai Great Wall from Downtown Beijing

  • Take Metro Line 2 or Line 13 to Dongzhimen Station.
    1. Take a tourist bus from Dongzhimen to go directly to Gubei Watertown. It takes 2 hours one way, CNY 48 yuan. The buses leave at 8:00, 9:00, 12:00 and 15:30, and another bus stops at 14:00 on weekends and holidays. The returning bus leaves at 13:00, 17:00 and 21:00, and another bus leaves at 19:00 on weekends and holidays.
    2. Take the 980/ 980 express from Dongzhimen to Miyun West Bridge, and then change to Miyun No.51 bus to Gubei Water Town (Gubei Water Town).

Juyongguan Great Wall (居庸关长城)

Juyongguan Great Wall, along with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan, is one of the three most famous passes along the Great Wall of China. Juyongguan, 37 miles (60 kilometers) from downtown Beijing, is a strong fortress surrounding a valley. In ancient times, it was a direct passage to the north of Beijing.

Opening Hours

April to October 8:00 – 17:00
November to March 8:30 – 16:00

Admission Fee

April to October CNY 45 for adults and children over 3.9 feet (1.2 meters).
November to March CNY 40 for adults and children over 3.9 feet (1.2 meters).

How to Get to Juyongguan Great Wall from Downtown Beijing

  • By Bus:  883 or 919
    Take bus line 883 or 919 from Deshengmen West or Deshengmen to Nankou Lukou South or Nankou Lukou North. Then, change to bus line Chang 20 to Juyongguan Great Wall.
  • By Train: S2
    You can first take subway line 8 or line 13 to get to Huoying Station, and exit from G4 to find Huangtudian Railway Station. Here take the train S2 to Badaling Railway Station, and then take a free shuttle bus to Badaling Bus Station, where you can transfer to bus 879 to get to Juyongguan.

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