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How to Get to the Great Wall from Beijing

In this article, we provide you with up-to-date (April 2019) insider information about how to get to two famous sections of the Great Wall of China (Mutianyu and Badaling) from Beijing city center and Beijing airport by taxi, S2 train, bus, and transfer services included in our Beijing Great Wall tours, including costs for each.

Famous great wall near to Beijing

Where the Great Wall of China Is Located

The Great Wall of China winds across mountain ridges along what were once the northern borders of ancient China. It has existed for over two thousand years and its total length is over 21,000 kilometers.

Beijing has the 10 best sections of the Great Wall. It is worth visiting the sections that are located in its suburban areas.

The two most popular sections of the Great Wall are Mutianyu and Badaling. These are, respectively, the most fully-restored section of the Great Wall and the most famous section.

They are both located some 70 kilometers north of Beijing city center. Learn more about Badaling Versus Mutianyu: Which One Should I Visit?

getting to great wall from beijing city,distance and time cost

(This map shows the distance and time costs to Mutianyu and Badaling Great Wall from Beijing City by taxi.)

How to Get to the Great Wall at Mutianyu from Beijing City

Mutianyu Great WallMutianyu Great Wall

The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is located 73 kilometers (45 miles) from Beijing city center, taking 2 hours to get there by taxi. You can also get to the Mutianyu section in a tourist bus or with a transfer service included in our Beijing Great Wall tours.

Option 1. By Taxi (2 Hours, $37)

It costs about 250 yuan ($37) with the toll fee included each way to get to the Great Wall at Mutianyu scenic area from Beijing city center. It’s a 2-hour drive if you don’t encounter any traffic controls or jams.

Show the taxi driver this Chinese message: 请带我去慕田峪长城景区. It means: Please take me to the Great Wall at Mutianyu scenic area.

Opening times and fees for the Great Wall at Mutianyu: The scenic area at the Great Wall at Mutianyu opens from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm all year round. The entrance fee is 45 yuan.

Option 2. By a Transfer Service Included in Our Great Wall Day Tours (Tour Starts from $159)

get to great wall by private transferGet to Great Wall by transfer service

The tours usually offer: A spacious car, An English-speaking guide, Collection from your hotel lobby / the airport according to your schedule,The must-see attractions, such as Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall (either section of the Great Wall and a cable car trip included both ways), Lunch (optional), Entrance fees to listed sites, A return drive to your hotel or the airport.

Inquire about our Great Wall Day Tour — they are all customizable according to your preferences.

Option 3. By Tourist Bus (60 Yuan / $9 Both Ways)

At present, there is only one tourist bus route heading to the Great Wall at Mutianyu from Beijing city center. It starts from Qianmen tourist dispatch center, passes Dongzhimen, and ends at the front gate of the Great Wall at Mutianyu scenic area.

Passengers can purchase tickets at the Beijing Hub of Tourist Dispatch Centers(北京旅游集散中心) in either Qianmen or Dongzhimen, or you can book your ticket(s) via their official websites in advance.

  • The departure time from Qianmen is between 7:30 am and 8:30 am every day. The coach will set off when it is full.
  • The ticket fare is 60 yuan / $9 for both ways. The journey to the Great Wall at Mutianyu takes about 2 hours and will allow you to explore the Great Wall on your own for 4 hours after getting there.
  • Then you need to head back before 3:30 pm as the last bus going back to town sets off at 4 pm.
  • Excluded: Vouchers to have lunch on the Great Wall and the cable car fees.

Why a Tourist Bus is NOT the Best Option

  • For foreign tourists, locating the tourist dispatch center can be quite a challenge, not to mention the language barrier when dealing with the purchasing process either on the spot or online (the official website doesn’t have an English version at present).
  • The departure times of the bus are not flexible, which isn’t good for tourists with limited time in Beijing, especially those with layovers.
  • During weekends, national holidays, and summer/winter school vacations, the bus tickets are likely to be sold out very quickly, and booking them via the website in advance is rarely possible.

Option 4. By Public Bus 916 Then Change to H23(Not Recommened)

There were options to take subway Line 2 to Dongzhimen, then to take public bus 916, and then bus H23/H50/H35, and get off at the Great Wall at Mutianyu. However, H50 and H35 have been out of service since the tourist shuttle bus services started to operate recently.

How to Get to the Great Wall at Badaling from Beijing City

Badaling Great WallBadaling Great Wall

The Great Wall at Badaling is located 72 kilometers northwest of Beijing city center, taking 1½ hours to get there by taxi. You can also get to the Great Wall at Badaling by S2 train and will be able to get there in a bullet train by 2020.

Option 1. By Taxi (1½ hours, $36)

It costs about 240 yuan ($36) with the toll fee included each way to get to the Great Wall at Badaling scenic area from Beijing city center. It takes 1½ hours to drive there if no traffic controls or jams are encountered.

Show the taxi driver this Chinese message: 请带我去八达岭长城景区. It means: Please take me to ‘Badaling Great Wall Scenic Area’.

Option 2. By a Transfer Service Included in Our Great Wall Day Tours (Tour Starts from $159)

Getting to Great Wall by Transfer ServiceGetting to Great Wall by Transfer Service

The tours usually offer: A spacious car, An English-speaking guide, Collection from your hotel lobby / the airport according to your schedule, The must-see attractions, such as Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall (either section of the Great Wall and a cable car trip included both ways), Lunch (optional), Entrance fees to listed sites, A return drive to your hotel or the airport.

Take a look at our popular Beijing Great Wall Day Tours, they are all customizable according to your preferences.

Option 3. By S2 Train (2½ hours, $2)

Travel to Huoying (霍营) Station either on subway Line 8 or 13, or take the Airport Express line.

Exit the station and go to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店火车站) nearby, then take the S2 train and get off at Badaling Railway Station.

The entrance to the Great Wall at Badaling is a 20-minute walk from the railway station. You can follow the flow of other passengers or be guided by the signs along the roads, which are written in both English and Chinese.

There are free shuttle buses from the railway station to the cable car station at the Badaling section of the Great Wall although you have to queue for a while to get one of these.

Essential Information about Taking the S2 train to the Great Wall at Badaling

  • Fare: 7 yuan
  • Frequency: Eight pairs of trains operate during weekdays while 12 pairs operate during national holidays and weekends.
  • Duration: 1½ hours
  • In service: 7:45 am to 10 pm (these times are liable to change without notice due to passenger flow adjustments)
  •  

Opening times and fees for the Great Wall at Badaling: The Great Wall at Badaling scenic area opens from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm during the peak season and from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm during the off season. The entrance fee is 45 yuan during the peak season and 40 yuan/trip for the cable car.

Option 4. By Tourist Bus (40 Yuan / $6 Both Ways)

Tourist BusesTourist Buses

There is one tourist bus route heading to the Great Wall at Badaling from Beijing city center. It starts from Qianmen tourist dispatch center and ends at the front gate to the Great Wall at Badaling scenic area.

Passengers can purchase tickets at Qianmen tourist dispatch center 30 minutes before departure or via their official website.

  • Departure time: Between 7 am and 11 am every day. The coach sets off when it is full.
  • Ticket fare: 40 yuan / $6 each way. The journey takes about 2 hours to reach the Great Wall at Badaling.
  • The last bus back to town sets off at 3:30 pm.
  • Excluded: lunch, the Great Wall tickets, and cable car fees.
  •  

Why a Tourist Bus is NOT the Best Option: Similar to the main reasons why a tourist bus to Mutianyu is not recommended, as mentioned above, you will have difficulty locating the dispatch centers, be hampered by the language barrier, be restricted to fixed departure and return times, and discover that the tickets rapidly sell out.

Option 5. By High-Speed Train (20 Minutes)

By 2020, the new Badaling railway station for high-speed trains will be completed. Bullet trains departing from Beijing city center will reach the Great Wall at Badaling in 20 minutes.

Option 6. By Bus (14 Yuan, 3 Hours — Not Recommended)

You can get on bus 5 at Tian’anmen East Station (天安门东站) and change to bus 919 at the Madianqiaonan stop (马甸桥南站), then get off at the stop for Badaling National Forest Park to reach the Great Wall at Badaling. For foreign tourists, it’s difficult to locate the stops and easy to take a bus going in the wrong direction.

Getting to the Great Wall from Beijing Capital International Airport

If you wish to have a short visit to the Great Wall from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), we recommend you go to the Mutianyu section as it is closer to the airport as well as being equally famous and interesting.

Option 1. By Taxi

The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is located 54 kilometers (34 miles) north of Beijing Capital International Airport. It takes about 1½ hours to get there by taxi and costs about 180 yuan ($27) each way, including the toll fee.

As a comparison, a taxi from Beijing airport to Badaling, which is located 73 kilometers (45 miles) to the northwest, will take about 2 hours by taxi and cost about 280 yuan ($42) each way.

If you have plenty of time, you can choose to take the Airport Express and change to Line 13, then take the S2 train to get to the Great Wall at Badaling. The journey takes about 3 hours.

Option 2. By a Transfer Service Included in Great Wall Layover Tours 

Transfer service to Great wall from AirportTransfer service from Airport to Great Wall

This is the most sensible way to visit the Great Wall if you have a short layover in Beijing airport.

The tour price starts from $159 and include collecting you upon your arrival in PEK, driving to and from the Great Wall, having an English-speaking guide, help with luggage/visas-free problems(if occurs any), the Great Wall entrance and cable car fees, and lunch. The tours are completely worry-free and time efficient.

Check out some of our best-selling Great Wall layover tours — they are all customizable according to your preferences:

Tips You Should Know Before Getting to the Great Wall

(The prices for transportation and Great Wall fees mentioned in this article were updated in April, 2019 and are only for reference — they are subject to change by the operators.)

Take a Worry-Free Private Great Wall Tour (Transfer Included) with Us

Enjoy a trip to the Great Wall during your layover time

Here are some of our popular itineraries:

Just make a free inquiry for a customized tour, we can arrange everything in advance to suit your time, pace, and preferences. !

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