Great Wall Sections
Here we introduce five sections which we recommend to see the best and greatest variety of the Great Wall. See "Great Wall Sections by Region" for a full list of Great Wall sections open to the public.
As can be seen above, the Great Wall of China extends 6,400 km (4,000 miles) from Gansu Province east to the seaside town of Shanhaiguan.
Recommended Great Wall Sections
The Great Wall at Mutianyu is fully-restored and characterized by many watchtowers on overlapping mountain ranges. It is less crowded and has better architecture than at Badaling,
View Mutianyu Great Wall Video
Badaling is the site of the best-preserved and most popular section of the Great Wall. 370 foreign leaders and VIPs have climbed the Badaling section. It is one of the closest sections to Beijing (about 1 hour 30 minutes on the Badaling Expressway).
The Simatai Great Wall is a section of unrestored original wall, well-preserved with a good range of architecture. Every part is at least 400 years old. The mountains at Simatai are particularly steep, offering great views, but the hiking is more testing.
Note: Simatai is Currently Closed to the Public. See more at The Simatai Great Wall.
Shanhaiguan is known as "the First Pass Under Heaven". With Old Dragon's Head (Laolongtou), the eastern limit of the Great Wall, only 5 km (3 miles) away, you can see where the Great Wall meets the sea, a section of the wall that was of huge military importance.
Jiayuguan is a very well-preserved pass that has served as a gateway of the Silk Road for centuries. Jiayu Pass, in the Western limits of the Great Wall in Gansu Province, traverses desert and much of the wall has been buried by sandstorms. Experience a very different environment and culture in this part of China.
Hi Christine, how long will you stay in China, please? The Jiayuguan Great Wall is far far away from Beijing. It is in Gansu Province which is about 1500km. There is no direct fligh from Beijing to Jiayuguan. You will have to transit in Xian or other city. It almost takes one day on the way. If your time permits, we would like to work out an itinerary for your reference.
Besides the Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing, we also recommend the Forbidden City, the Tain'anmen Square, Temple of Heaven, the traditional local residence Hutong, the Summer Palace, etc.
For more Great Wall sections in Beijing, the wilder sections of the Great Wall such as Jinshanling Great Wall, Gubeikou Great Wall, Simatai Great Wall, and Jiankou Great Wall are also suggested. And they are just in the suburb of Beijing, no need to fly several hours to get there.Whitney Liao Replied on 02:45 AM Mar. 05 2014
Hi Rebecca, yes, you can. Welcome.Whitney Liao Replied on 04:08 AM Feb. 21 2014
There are five sections of the Great Wall recommended in Beijing, Badaling, Juyongguan, Mutianyu, Jinshanling and Simatai sections.
The first two are nearer (1.5 hrs away from the downtown), Badaling is the first section open to the tourists and it’s best-preserved, it is more famous and attracts more tourists, so it would get very crowded in peak seasons.
Juyongguan is famous for its steepness and magnificence, but it isn’t equipped with round way cable cars, senior tourists and young children may not enjoy the tour fully.
Mutianyu is also well-known, but it is less crowded and tourists on the section have greater views on the Wall.
For the last two ones, they are far (3 hrs) but are the least developed ones and it is perfect to take a hiking trip for energetic tourists from Jinshanling to Simatai (lasts for about 4.5 hrs). But Simatai is closed at present.Carol Wang Replied on 7:59 PM Jan. 28 2014
Hi Shelley, may i know how many persons are there in your group and when do you plan to do the tour? I will send you a proposal when i have the information.
Simon Huang Replied on 9:11 PM Nov. 06 2013