How To Conquer The Great Wall in Half A Day
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 !
Here’s 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!
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!
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?
As 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.
Save it and pin it for later!