Beijing Tour Guide’s Insider Tips for Best Way to See the Great Wall

2022-06-22   Leo Kui      0

Welcome to Beijing, the gateway to one of the world’s most extraordinary wonders – the Great Wall of China. As a local tour guide, I am excited to share my insider tips on making your visit to the Great Wall an unforgettable experience. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll reveal the best ways to see and appreciate this architectural marvel, ensuring you leave with incredible memories to cherish.

Selecting the Perfect Section

With numerous sections of the Great Wall, selecting the one that matches your preferences and travel goals is essential. I’ll provide an overview of popular sections like Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, and Simatai, highlighting their unique characteristics, accessibility, and crowd levels. This will help you choose the ideal section that meets your expectations.

Recommend No. 1 Choose Jinshanling Great Wall!

Jinshanling, a section of the Great Wall located in Hebei rather than Beijing, is often overlooked by tourists. However, its stunning views, peaceful atmosphere, and flexible visiting hours make it a hidden gem. Don’t just take my word for it; check out the photos and videos online. Even other sections of the Great Wall use images from Jinshanling in their advertisements. Unlike the more popular sections, Jinshanling offers the opportunity to schedule sunrise or sunset tours and has consistently fewer visitors due to its distance from Beijing. Explore this captivating destination and create unforgettable memories amidst its remarkable landscape.

Recommend NO. 2 Mutianyu Great Wall

For a layover or limited time (half-day trip), the nearest Great Wall to Beijing city is Juyongguan. It’s just 60 km away and can be reached within a one-hour car ride. If you have more time, consider visiting Mutianyu, less crowded than Badaling. For those on a layover trip from Beijing airport, Mutianyu is the closest option, approximately 55 km away, requiring about 1 hour and 20 minutes of travel time. With limited time, Mutianyu is your best choice.

Everything you need to know before visit Mutianyu Great Wall

With kids or Seniors who want a leisure trip

A cable car is crucial for traveling with kids or seniors seeking a leisurely trip. Four sections of the Great Wall offer cable cars: Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai, and Jinshanling. However, I recommend Jinshanling or Juyongguan Great Wall for convenience and ease. The path to the cable car is flat, allowing for a comfortable walk or transportation assistance. On the other hand, Mutianyu’s toboggan ride is an exciting highlight for kids. However, traveling during the high season or the Chinese holiday can be busy.

Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Path

For those seeking a more adventurous and authentic experience, I’ll introduce you to lesser-known sections of the Great Wall that offer unique insights and stunning views. These hidden gems provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of the wall and escape the tourist crowds. Uncover secret trails and less-explored sections for a truly memorable adventure.

How to choose an excellent wall hike tour?

There are many hikes you can choose to hike the Great Wall, but there are two most famous hikes you can choose from:

A. Jiankou to Mutianyu

B. Jinshanling to Simatai west

C. Gubeikou to Jinshanling Hike

These hikes are hard to decide as they are all great and offer an excellent view of the Great Wall. However, if you like a stricter hike, Jiankou to Mutianyu with 11kms beats the Jinshanling. If you want a more peaceful hike, choose Jinshanling to Simatai West, as Mutianyu is always busy.

Jinshanling to Gubeikou Great Wall Hiking with Gourmet Picnic 

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Private Hiking Tour

Capturing Unforgettable Moments

Preserving your memories of the Great Wall is essential. I’ll share tips on capturing stunning photographs, including the best vantage points, lighting conditions, and composition techniques. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, I’ll help you frame the wall’s magnificence in unforgettable images.

Private Great Wall Sunset Tour at Jinshanling and Gubeikou


1. Is it better for the Great Wall sunrise or sunset at Jinshanling?

Sunset is easier. It is a 2.5-hour drive, so you have to wake up early, but fewer people in the morning.

You can stay at the hotel nearby in the evening and go up the wall for sunrise.

2. How hard is it to get there?

It is a 1-hour walk at average speed from the entrance to this point. But it can be challenging if you are not ok with the steps. The steps are all rebuilt, so it is not dangerous.

3. What should I bring?

Regular hiking equipment is necessary. (comfortable shoes, water, snacks, winter cold, so dress warmly). It is better to have a wide-angle lens.

4. Is it ok to fly a drone on the Great Wall?

Fly drones are not officially allowed, but no one controls them when they are early or late. I have flown drones there many times without any trouble.

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