5 Best Spots to Watch Sunrises & Sunsets on the Great Wall

The Most Awe-Inspiring Spots to See Sunrises & Sunsets on the Wall

Young hiker at Great wall ,Beijing,China
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Whether you want some peaceful time alone or a special moment with someone you care about it,  the rising/sinking sun is a perfect occasion for anyone.

Nothing quite like witnessing the beautiful red skies over the Great Wall as sunrise & sunset,  you’ll agree it’s one of the most beautiful sights on earth.

We suggest getting your friends together or even that girl you’re trying to woo and head off into the sunset (literally!) Check out our list of top spots for catching sunrise & sunset on the Great Wall of China.

1. West Five Window Tower at Jinshanling

Jinshanling is probably one of the top places for sunset-watching in this list. If you want a lovely place you can take professional-looking photographs, make sure you visit Jinshanling.

Explore the West Five Window Tower to watch a fantastic view of the sun rising or setting over the Great Wall.

Bring your favorite photography equipment and make yourself comfortable as you snap pictures of this lovely scene.

Because of its remoteness, there won’t be throngs of people to share the sunset with. The light as the sun begins to dip can give you the perfect lighting for some stunning photographs.

Jinshanling is perfect for a day’s getaway with the sunset as a lovely ending to your Great Wall day hike.

Besides West Five Window Tower, there are many spots at Jinshanling that you could use in case you wanted to beautify your Instagram feed such as West Six Window Tower, General Tower, Sanchakou, Lesser Jinshan Tower, Gaojian Tower, Flowery Tower, and Guajiao Tower.

5 Best Spots to Watch Stunning Sunrises & Sunsets on the Great Wall
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How to get there: Walk the path behind the Jinshanling main gate to the Zhuanduokou Pass. Along the way, you’ll see a Zhuanduokou sign. Head up the stairs at Zhuanduokou Pass and keep walking west. After passing two towers, you will see the Western Five-Window Tower.

It will take approximately 20 minutes from the Zhuanduokou Pass to the Western Five-Window Tower.

Jinshanling sunrise sunset
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2. Zhengbeilou Tower at Jinakou

Located 80 kilometres outside of Beijing, Jiankou is a favourite of nature lovers and folks who like to climb and hike.

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we suggest climbing Zhengbeilou Tower at Jinakou to enjoy glimpses of the sunrise. Come here to unwind and catch a breath of fresh air while you enjoy the landscape of Jiankou and its surrounding greenery.

This portion of the wall features bricks that are light-colored and highlighted by a background of trees and mountains.

Taking pictures as the sun moves will enable you to get a series of unbeatable snapshots.

best postion for sunrise Great Wall
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How to get there: Hike up along steep bushy mountain path behind Xizhazi village for an hour, you will get to Zhengbeilou Tower. The normal time taken to climb to Zhengbeilou Tower by the trail is an hour with 360 meters ascent. If you are moderately fit, climbing to reach Zhengbeilou is definitely within your reach.

zhengbeilou Great Wall sunrise sunset
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3. Tower 8 at Simatai Great Wall

Simatai is a lesser known spot for sunset-viewing and you’ll get captivating views and fewer crowds than Mutianyu.

Tower 8 is the perfect location to watch the skies turn to a brilliant orange hue as the sun finally sets along the skyline. And then watch as the city lights come to life, contrasted against the night sky.

Simatai is frequented by most of the public, either in the mornings for a short hike or on weekends by families for some quality time.

This portion of the wall features 28 watchtowers in original appearance, while the accessible part of Simatai Great Wall is quite short.

Because this portion of the wall has not been renovated, it’s definitely going to give you unique photos of the sunset.

Round up your loved ones for a day of fun outdoor activities here and then settle them down when the sun sets to complete your day on a sweet note.

How to get there:  Simatai Great Wall is easy to navigate. It can take around two and a half hours of hiking to reach Tower 8. If you don’t like too much climbing up, a cable car is available and takes you to hillside, there is a footpath leading to Tower 8.

Simatai sunrise sunset
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4. Tower 1 of Mutianyu Great Wall

Located in Huairou, north of Beijing, Mutianyu provides a great sunset view and a serene environment.

You can reach Mutianyu easily by car and will be able to take in the calm atmosphere along it’s walk, and watch as the sun finally descends into the horizon.

When you visit at sunrise or sunset, you can snap an assortment of pictures that feature both the wall and the scenery surrounding it.

Note besieds tower1, Mutianyu has many watchtowers to watch the sunset – and there’s plenty of space to stand or sit around while doing so!

How to get there: take the chair lift to tower 6, then walk pass 4 towers, you will reach tower 1.

Mutianyu Great Wall sunset
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5. A lookout Point Near Zhuangdaokou of Huanghuacheng

Are you ready to have an adventure? It will take about 45 minutes of climbing to reach the highest point of Huanghuacheng, but the beautiful lookout point and the 360° views of the surrounding countryside will be more than worth it.

This is one of the best places to watch the sunset, as it features an assortment of different visuals you can take pictures of.

Look down to a local reservoir and back up to hills on the opposite side.

Enjoying the sunset with a drink in your hands is an experience you will live to tell over and over again.

How to get there: at Zhuangdaokou, walk eastward along with steep steps for about half-hour, you will reach the lookout point.

Huanghuacheng sunset sunrise
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Monthly Sunrise Time in Beijing

MonthSunrise TimeDay Break TimeSunset TimeDay Length
January07:25-07:36 am06:30~7:00 am16:58~17:30 pm9.5~10.5 hrs
February06:51~07:24 am06:20~06:50 am17:32~18:03 pm10~11 hrs
March06:02~06:49 am06:00~05:30 am18:04~18:35 pm11~12.5 hrs
April05:18~06:00 am05:30~05:00 am18:36~19:06 pm12.5~13.5 hrs
May04:49~05:16 am04:50~04:10 am19:07~19:34 pm14~15 hrs
June04:50am04:20 am19:35~19:45 pm14.5-15 hrs
July04:50~05:12 am04:10~04:50 am19:28~19:45 pm14~15 hrs
August05:13~05:41 am04:40~05:20 am18:47~19:27 pm13~14 hrs
September05:42~06:09 am05:20~05:40 am5:58~6:45pm12~13 hrs
October06:10~06:42 am05:30~06:00 am17:13~17:57 pm10.5~12hrs
November06:43~07:15 am06:00~06:20 am16:49~17:12pm9.5~10.5 hrs
December07:16~07:36 am06:20~06:40 am16:49~16:57 pm9.5~10 hrs

Whether you’re a professional photographer or you simply want to get the best picture from your visit to the Great Wall, taking the time to visit at sunset or sunrise will enable you to do so.

Remember that exploring the Great Wall is a memory you won’t want to forget. Take the time to choose the perfect spot for morning or evening pictures so you’re able to get the best possible visual souvenirs of your trip.

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2 Responses to “5 Best Spots to Watch Sunrises & Sunsets on the Great Wall”

  1. arne de knegt

    Hi, I’ve been at Jinshanling 2 times. 2007 & 2015. I’m planning to visit Jinshanling again in april 2019. Is it still possible to stay at a hotel inside the gate area (both times we stayed at Duan’s place) and see sunrise on the wall or is it now impossible because the gate has changed and opening hours are after sunrise?

  2. Ricky

    As Jinshanling has been renovated in 2017, all the hotels inside the gate area have been moved out, you can still enjoy sunrise / sunset on the Wall while staying inside the gate area is impossible now, better to stay outside the gate, if that works for you.

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