Great Wall Sections
Summary – Why Visit Badaling (八达岭)
The Badaling section of the Great Wall is the best preserved and the most popular one amongst all the sections. It is more than 1,000 meters (3281 ft) above sea level, and commands a strategic position for transportation and defense in ancient times.
Badaling, literally meaning "reach eight directions", got its name because the maze of its ridges stretches in all directions. It is easily accessible and has easy walking conditions. About 370 state leaders and VIPs have climbed Badaling and admired the magnificence and beauty of its scenery.
Scenery: The mountain and valley scenery at Badaling changes with the seasons. See What is the best time to visit the Great Wall?
Dimensions: Badaling is 7,600 meters (4.7 miles) long. It has the most magnificent wall among all the sections of the Great Wall. Built with tall granite slabs (weighing 1,000 kg or 2,205 pounds each) on the outside, the walls are very solid and trim. The wall is on average 7.8 meters (26 ft) tall and 5.7 meters (19 ft), which allows five horses to gallop abreast and ten people to go shoulder to shoulder.
History: The Great Wall at Badaling was built in the 18th year (1505) of the reign of Hong Zhi, an emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Badaling is the section that has been open to the public the longest (since 1957).
Comprehensive Tour Services: Badaling has the most comprehensive tour services amongst all sections of the Great Wall, including a circular-screen cinema, Great Wall Museum, shopping and dining facilities, as well as barrier-free structures for the disabled.
Disabled Friendly: Badaling section of the Great Wall has a special flat lane built for wheelchair to get to the third watch tower. There are two elevators which need to be booked in advance. (More tips for disabled travelers to China)
Helicopter Ride: Visitors can take a helicopter ride to fly over the Great Wall, taking in magnificent views of Badaling section of the Great Wall, Yeyahu Wetland Park, Kangxi Grassland, Guanting Reservoir, Juyongguan section of the Great Wall and so on, depending on the length of the ride. Currently there are 15-minute, 30-minute and 1-hour rides. If you are interested, send us an enquiry.
When to go
The scenery of the Great Wall varies with the seasons and each season has its pros and cons. Click here for what you can expect on the Great Wall near Beijing.
Badaling Tours typically include a visit to the nearby Ming Tombs with their Sacred Way.
- The Badaling Great Wall Tour from $17*
- Includes the Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs and Sacred Way.
- 4-Day Essence of Beijing Tour B from $499*
- See the top sights of Beijing, including the Great Wall at Badaling.
- 4-Day Essence of Beijing Seat-In-Coach Tour from $259*
- See the top sights of Beijing, including the Great Wall at Badaling for LESS on a coach tour.
- 5-Day Beijing Imperial Tour from $569*
- See the highlights of the imperial era in Beijing, including the Great Wall at Badaling.
- more Great Wall Tours
*Prices based on 2 persons
Badaling is located about 80 km (50 miles) northwest of Beijing (a 1 hour 30 minutes journey from the city center). China Highlights use comfortable high-quality air-conditioned private transport for your convenience.
The paths, pavements and steps of the Great Wall at Badaling are well-paved with granite slabs, and handrails are installed inside each side of the wall, therefore walking conditions pose no significant risks. There is the option to use a cable car or pulley to avoid the trek up to the wall.
Dress for hiking and dress for the weather. Choose comfortable footwear with good grip and support for the feet. Layers of clothes that can be taken on and off allow for greater comfort and temperature control.
Wear/bring sun protection in the summer and dress for sub zero temperatures in the winter. It can feel much colder on the wall than down in the valleys because of altitude and exposure.
What to Bring
Bring breathable waterproofs for protection from rain and wind. Umbrellas may be used here as the ascents and descents are not difficult, but may be inconvenient in strong winds. Bring a camera and money for souvenirs and refreshments. Bring snacks and water if you want to walk a long portion of the wall.
The paths, pavements and steps of the Great Wall at Badaling are well-paved with granite slabs, and handrails are installed inside each side of the wall, therefore walking conditions pose no significant risks. There is the option to use a cable car or pulley to avoid the trek up to the wall. See map below.
Map of Great Wall at Badaling
The imperial cemetery - Ming Tombs is located about half way from Beijing city center to Badaling.
If you want to see more of the Great Wall near Beijing, see here for a list of the sections.
There are also many attractions to see in Beijing City.