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How to Travel from Shanghai to the Great Wall of China

The Great WallThe Great Wall

The Great Wall is about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) away from downtown Shanghai. As swift and convenient transportation is available, the two places are not as far apart as they seem.

If you are already in or plan to be in Shanghai, it is possible to visit one section of the Great Wall in Beijing within 1 or 2 days. For first-time visitors, the Great Wall at Mutianyu is recommended as this section of the Great Wall is well-preserved and not as crowded as other sections. See the top 10 sections of the Great Wall to visit.

Just read on to see how to travel from Shanghai to the Great Wall and how to visit the Great Wall in 1 or 2 days.

Step 1: Shanghai to Beijing

There are over 50 direct flights and 40 high-speed trains from Shanghai to Beijing. Both types of transportation are convenient for overseas travelers. If you haven’t experienced China’s high-speed railway, you are recommended to have a try.

By Air

Shanghai Hongqiao International AirportShanghai Hongqiao International Airport

There are over 50 flights from Shanghai to Beijing every day. Most of the flights depart from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), and about 14 flights depart from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG). Taking a flight from Shanghai to Beijing takes about 2 hours 20 minutes.

Arriving in Beijing on a flight is the best choice as a flight is quicker than taking a train and the airport is closer to the Great Wall.

By High-Speed Train

There are 40 pairs of high-speed trains running from Shanghai to Beijing every day. Most of the trains depart from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Beijing South Railway Station, and about four trains depart from Shanghai Railway Station.

A high-speed train between Shanghai and Beijing operates at a speed of 350 kph and takes you to your destination in 5–6 hours.

See how to take a train in China.

Step 2: Railway Station / Airport to the Great Wall at Mutianyu

Great Wall at MutianyuGreat Wall at Mutianyu

There are no direct metro lines or buses from Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing South Railway Station to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. You need to take the metro to downtown Beijing first and then transfer to at least two buses to get there.

Traveling by metro and bus is not recommended as the transfers could be hard to manage if you are not familiar with Beijing, and it may take you 3 hours or more.

A better choice is to take a taxi, which will take you to the Great Wall at Mutianyu in 1 hour from the airport or 2 hours from the railway station. Be aware that the language barrier could be a challenge.

Consider Using Our Private Transport

If you want a hassle-free journey and to enjoy more time visiting the Great Wall, you should consider traveling with us.

You will have a local English-speaking guide and a private vehicle waiting for you at the airport or railway station, and we will drive you directly to your destination.

Shanghai to the Great Wall Day Trip Plan

Great Wall at MutianyuGreat Wall at Mutianyu

From Shanghai, it is possible to take a day trip to visit the Great Wall. Check the following tour plan:

Morning: Take a flight or train ride from Shanghai to Beijing.

Noon: Have a meal near the Great Wall.

Afternoon: Visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu. You may choose to take a cable car or chairlift up to the wall in 7 minutes, or hike for about 45 minutes. Then, enjoy hiking between the watchtowers and take some excellent photos on the wall.

Night: Take a flight or train ride back to Shanghai.

If you are interested in this plan, check our Half-Day Great Wall at Mutianyu Hiking Tour for detailed information.

If you have one full day or more in Beijing, it is possible to visit two sections of the Great Wall or other famous attractions in Beijing. Check the itinerary below for more ideas:

Enjoy Your Great Wall Visit with Us

Visit the Great Wall with usVisit the Great Wall with us

Visit the Great Wall with us - we will help you to choose the most suitable section of the Great Wall and arrange all the bookings. You can enjoy a hassle-free journey with a private car to drive you around and an English-speaking guide will travel with you.

Check out some popular tours:

Check out our Great Wall tours and Beijing tours for reference. All itineraries can be customized according to your interests. You can also tell us your requirements to create your own tour.