Beijing was the first place I had ever been to in China. In early summer 2012, I had the opportunity to visit the Chinese capital for a whole week with our University Chinese course. It was super exciting and an experience I will never forget. That’s why I was super happy when I had the chance to visit Beijing again this year in December and even happier when Jeongsu also booked a ticket to meet me there! As we only had a weekend there together, we decided to conquer the Great Wall in half a day – and you can do it too!

Our time was limited but we were able to see all major sights in just 1.5 days! We started off with the Great Wall in Badaling about 1 hour from Beijing and also had one of the famous Peking Duck dishes [CLICK]!

Here’s how to conquer the Great Wall in half a day:

How to conquer the Great Wall in half a day


Hiking The Great Wall in 4-5 hours

It’s possible to conquer the Great Wall in half a day and finish touring it in just about 4-5 hours.

We decided to take a bus from the bus station below Deshengmen Arrow Tower (德胜们箭楼). Initially, we wanted to take bus 877 but since that one didn’t show up within 30 minutes of waiting we hopped on bus 919 which also stops at Badaling. The ticket is just 12 RMB per person and the bus ride takes about 1.5 hours. Make sure to go there as early as possible starting from 6am and get some sleep on the bus if needed.

Get off at the last station Badaling. There are some Great Wall stops before that but they aren’t as nice. You need to walk a pretty long walk from the bus stop to the Great Wall entrance. There are private taxi drivers who offer to take you there which I recommend you do if the driver seems like a good guy. 10 RMB per person is totally reasonable for the short drive. If you think you can save that money and walk, think again. There’s no sidewalk and you will probably have to walk for about 30 minutes. Take a private car.

Climb The North Side

Once you arrived at the Great Wall, there are a few stores and restaurants you can check out before you buy a ticket for the hike. A ticket is between 35 and 45 RMB depending on the season. Don’t let anyone fool you and sell you a ticket more expensive!

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Once you enter the gate, you will see a sign saying “South or North”. Choose the north side of the Badaling Wall, it’s more beautiful. Most tourists go up to the 4th tower which is totally enough and offers a great view. I also have to add that we had extraordinarily great weather during our entire trip! 

the north side is said to be more beautiful!
the north side is said to be more beautiful!

Usually, you see pictures of Beijing covered in smog but we even had blue sky during the entire weekend! It was wonderful!

There is a cable car station but it’s not necessary for you to take one. A one-way ticket is 80 RMB and round-trip about 120RMB. Don’t waste your money on that.

Have you been to the Great Wall of China?

Special Announcement

10436669_974847095863380_6843946870633933191_nAs promised in the title, there are some special news I would like to share with you: Jeongsu proposed to me during our trip to Beijing!

We are now officially engaged! 

It was a super romantic and intimate proposal and I was really surprised! In Korea, the “engagement process” works a little bit different since the couple usually gets engaged very short before the wedding (just about 6 months). However, we won’t get married that quickly and like to enjoy our time as fiancés.


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How to climb the Great Wall in half a day  HOW TO ONLY SPEND HALF A DAY CLIMBING THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

  • Nice guide 🙂
    Even though I was in Beijing once I didn’t manage to go to the great wall. We only went to the forbidden city and afterwards into some shopping area to go eating…

    • thanks! you should definitely go then! it’s breathtaking!

  • finally, it was so painful to be happy about you two and not let anyone else know it 😀 once again – congrats 😀 from Sing as well 😀 now you two have to revisit us 😀

    • thaaaank you sweetie!! we really wanna go back to California! We are planning a trip to California and Vegas hahaha but that’s far in the future 🙁 hehe

  • Ah, Congratulations!! And enjoy your time being an engaged couple!! My husband and I were actually engaged for nearly two years as it took more than a year to plan two weddings on two different continents!!

  • mychinesebf

    Congratulations on the wedding proposal! :,) Such exciting news to share. You should tell us more about your engagement in the future.

    I’ve been the Great Wall before. It’s such a breathtaking view. I’ve studied Chinese history while in university so I’m such a geek when it comes to seeing these historical places. Now that I’m done with school hopefully I can return again in the future.

    • thank you! oh I will keep you updated 🙂
      I’m sure you will return 🙂

  • So happy for you! Congrats on getting engaged! Will you share a post about the proposal as well?

    • Thank you Ruth! I don’t think I will write a post specifically about the proposal! But I will keep you updated on engagement life and wedding preparations!

  • Congratulations!

    Dawen and I were in Beijing for only 1.5 days, as well. We also went to the Great Wall of China. We basically did what you two did.

    • thank you Eileen! Awesome! I really didn’t think you could so much in such a short time! but it was really neat!

    • Congratulations from me too!! This last two months the majority of the people I’ve met got engaged or married haha!

  • Congratulations! So happy for you.

  • Oh, you changed your blog theme. XD Niceee. It’s snowing. Haha. Also, interesting article! And congratssss!! Lots of happiness!

  • Congratulations to the future Mrs. Kim! 🙂 In China, I was told that they also get married within about 6 months of being engaged. In the Italian culture however, it is completely different, with most couples taking about 2-3 years to plan their wedding, along with many other celebrations along the way to celebrate the up and coming marriage. We did it in 6 months, so we followed the Chinese tradition! 🙂

    • hahha! oh yeah, we will get married in 1.5 years at the earliest haha! it will take a looooot of planning!

  • Congratulations 🙂

  • Congratulations!!!! Were you surprised when he proposed? You two make a gorgeous couple.

    Beautiful photos of the Great Wall. Makes me want to go! Do you guys use a selfie-stick or is someone else taking your photo?

    • thanks! yes, I was very surprised hehe! Yeah, we use a selfie stick! it’s the best thing in the wooooooorld!

      • Your pictures look really good with that stick! Maybe really be worth investing in one, me thinks!

        • i bought it actually very cheap on Tmall! Like 40-50 RMB!

  • This is BIG news, and you just mention it at the very end of a post about the Great Wall of China. It’s like, I don’t know, somewhat weird to me. Will there be a detailed a juicy post about the proposal coming up? 😉
    And, of course, Congratulations!! 😀

    • Thank you! Of course it’s HUGE news! but it’s a very intimate thing and was very special to both of us so I think I won’t share a detailed post about it.

  • Pratik Wagh

    Congrats on your engagement Linda!
    I had a question, what time if the year is best to visit great wall?
    Preferences: Good weather and not crowded.
    Thanks!
    Pratik

  • Congratulations on getting engaged Linda! I’m so incredibly happy for you!