Travel in the Time of COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

The current situation due to the spread of the Corona Virus is unprecedented and a great challenge for us, but we are ready to face it, because we know: Every crisis will be over one day and then our guests will feel like going on holiday again.

Click on questions below to find answers to a dozen Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find the answers that you are looking for, please contact us.

We look forward to being there for you then again, and to organising unforgettable trips for you in the future!

Todays’s Question (May 24th, 2020)

Q: Is life back to normal in Beijing?

A: Life is slowly coming back to normal in Beijing but people who arrive in China are all required to be tested. Everyone still wears masks, and most places also offer hand sanitizer.

Most restaurants, and places like convenience stores are open but the majority of places still ask for temperature checks, and some ask for a code, which comes from a government-generated app that tracks your travel history, and only if you have a green code can you then go into that business. 

You can get food delivered to your apartment door now, while you had to walk to your community gate to pick it up one week ago. 

Todays’s Question (May 20th, 2020)

Q: Hello, just wondering is Mutianyu opened? do we need to make a reservation and report ID in advance?

A: Mutianyu has been opened to the public since early April this year with some new rules. The tourist area is still from tower 1 to tower 20. While Mutianyu tourist center and Great Wall museum remain closed until further notice, at least through the summer. Guided tours are also suspended. The daily limit of 12,000 visitors will be subdivided into morning and afternoon time slots.

Visitors are required to make a reservation through the website:  http://www.mutianyugreatwall.com/subscribe/tickets

After registration, if your cell phone sims are from China then you will receive a successful appointment message. At Mutianyu entrance just show “the successful appointment” message you received, and present a digital health code showing no recent travel to infection hotspots, as well as undergo a temperature check, then you will get into the Wall.

Simply put, Mutianyu requires visitors to pre-book, show ID, undergo temperature and health checks, and wear masks. The physical distancing of one meter is also required, and the staff will be deployed to disperse any large congregations.

Todays’s Question (May 13th, 2020)

Q: Hello, three of us are interested in finding a driver to take us to the Wall to do the Jiankou to Mutianyu self-guided tour. We would like to do this on Friday, 15 May. Are these sections reopened?

A: Just checked out I am sorry to tell you the Jiankou area is still closing as a measure to control the potential spread of the virus, the reopening date is not clear yet. Probably June or July will be mostly safe to travel to the Great Wall if that works for you.

Todays’s Question (March 6th, 2020)

Q: Hi, I just saw your website and I would like to book a visit for one day in May to visit this amazing great wall of China, we will arrive at the Beijing Airport. I would like to ask you what is your advice about what part of the wall visit, as we have seen that there are different areas to visit and as we only have one day, we want to be sure that we book the best option.

A: Visiting Mutianyu–the closest part to the airport (PEK) is highly recommended. It takes no more than 1 hour 30 minutes to get to Mutianyu each way from the PEK airport. Mutianyu Great Wall is a good alternative for Badaling with the complete facilities including a cable car, chairlift, and toboggan. For more details on Mutianyu, check this page: https://www.wildgreatwall.com/mutianyu-toboggan-ride/

Todays’s Question (Feb 29th, 2020)

Q: Hi hope you are coping OK with the problems with the virus. Please can you advise us with your current situation with your guided walks that have been canceled and when if all clears up you hope to resume them? If they are being canceled are you issuing refunds?

A: So far (Feb 29th, 8:46 am) there are 146 confirmed cases in Beijing. It’s estimated that the virus would disappear by April. If all clears up in April then we will resume the tours immediately. If the virus will not go away until May/June, you may request to reschedule your hike to a different date up until 3 days before your hike. In the event that we need to cancel your hike due to the potential spread of the coronavirus or for any other reason, we will reschedule you on a different date. If rescheduling is not possible, we will happily issue you a full refund. Meanwhile, you may cancel your hike for a full refund no later than 10 days before your hike.

Todays’s Question (Feb 26th, 2020)

Q: Hi, are you still doing the 1-day tour from Beijing airport to the Great Wall of china despite the coronavirus scare? Please advise, thanks!

A: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Beijing airport to the Great Wall tour is not available at this moment. So far (Feb 26th, 8:46am) there are181 confirmed cases in Beijing. Mutianyu Great Wall and other sites are closing as a measure to control the potential spread of the virus and will remain closed until further notice.

Most governments advise against travel to China at present, and some foreign citizens have been evacuated from the Wuhan area. It is expected that the coronavirus will be limited to isolated pockets by April 2020. Probably April will be mostly safe to travel to China if that works for you.


8 Cool Things to Do During a Layover in Beijing

Best Options For Your Layover In Beijing

things to do at Beijing airport

 

Wondering what to do on a layover in Beijing airport? Beijing is much more than just a place to refuel and stretch your legs during a layover. There are many fantastic things to do during a layover in Beijing. It’s worth leaving the airport, and taking a day or two to see the classic tourist attractions. Before we jump to the conclusion, here is our selection of questions you may ask:

Can I leave Beijing Airport During a Layover?

Yes you can do that. For a short layover within the airport a visa is not needed, for a longer layover which will see you leaving the terminal you will need either a tourist visa or a 24/72/144-hour temporary entry permit.

Just like other arrival passengers, you will have to clear customs/ immigration before you can leave the airport for the tour.

Make sure you’re back at the departing terminal at least two hours before your onward/international flight, or at least 1 hour before a domestic flight.

Can I Visit Beijing During a Layover?

Yes, you can. Fortunately, the city of Beijing, the Beijing Tourism Bureau and Beijing Airport have made it easy to make a mini-vacation of an otherwise long wait between connecting flights. If you’ve got the right “visa” (either tourist visa or 24/72/144-hour temporary entry permit), and your flight layover is long enough for sightseeing, you should be visiting Beijing.

Do I Need a Visa for a Layover In Beijing?

No, if you will not leave the transit lounge at the airport, a visa is not required to transit through Beijing on the way to another destination.

However, if you wish to enter Beijing as a tourist or short-term visitor, Beijing offers 24/72/144-hour temporary entry permit for ‘visitors in transit’, which is intended for people who have longer layovers before transiting and want to go sightseeing or resting in Beijing for few days (up to 144 hours).

Some Important Information:

  • You need a 24/72/144-hour temporary entry permit to get off the airport. Transit visas are issued to those traveling through Beijing to an onward destination. This transit visa allows you to pass through the transit channels and requires that you depart from the same airport within 24/144 hours. If you stay at the transit area waiting for your next flight you do not need a visa.
  • Be aware that you need to calculate not only the layover time – but also the time of travel from the airport to the top attractions (like the Great Wall, Forbidden City,  approximately 1,5 hours from PEK airport to Mutianyu Great Wall/Forbidden City), as well as the return and time required for re-boarding procedures–it’s a good idea to skip some attraction if you realize that the time is shorter than anticipated. For international flights, arriving at PEK airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure time is often recommended to make your connection.
  • Sketch out a rough itinerary ahead of time. Research the locations of attractions you are interested in. Depending on the duration of your layover, you may want to focus on a single attraction to make the most of the day such as Mutianyu Great Wall to save travel time.

Quick Summary–8 Cool Things to Do in A Beijing Layover

Whether you’re traveling on your own, with friends, or with family members, these are top 8 things you should put on your list:

  1. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: Mutianyu Great Wall
  2. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: Forbidden City
  3. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: Tiananmen Square
  4. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: Nanluoguxiang (Hutong)
  5. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: 798 Art District
  6. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: Wangfujing Snack Street
  7. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: the Silk Market
  8. Cool things to do in a Beijing layover: Quanjude Peking Duck Restaurant

The Map on 8 Cool Things to Do in Beijing Layover

 

1. Walk Mutianyu Great Wall

If you want an activity you can reach easily, consider visiting the Mutianyu Great Wall. You can access this straight from the airport. Reaching Mutianyu from the airport will take about 1.5 hours each way, so if you have a longer layover, this can be a lovely way to see some of Beijing up close and personal.

  • Opening hours: 8:00 – 18:00 (March 16 to Nov 15); 8:30 – 17:00 (Nov 16 to Mar 15).
  • Ticket prices: RMB 45.

Further reading:

things to do in Beijing layover -Mutianyu Great Wall

 

2. Stroll Through the Imperial Garden (Forbidden City)

For history lovers, a visit to the imperial garden in the Forbidden City is a “must.” View the lovely plants and flowers, explore the buildings, and even observe lovely statues that fill this space. Each corner of the garden houses a small pavilion. These pavilions represent the four seasons of the year.

Make sure you visit each one on your visit to the garden. You may notice that some of the footpaths boast colorful rocks and pebbles. This is a purposeful representation of good luck! Remember to book your ticket in advance on the internet so you do not waste time in line!

  • Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:00 (Apr to Oct); 8:30 – 16:30 (Nov to Mar). Closes on Mondays, except for legal holidays.
  • Ticket prices: From November to March (Low season) RMB 40. From April to October (High season) RMB 60.

Further reading:

things to do in Beijing layover- Forbidden City

 

3. Walk Around Tiananmen Square

Don’t forget to explore Tiananmen Square during your stopover in Beijing. This is located around 1 hour from the airport and is the perfect way to spend an afternoon enjoying Chinese culture and history. View Tiananmen Tower, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, or even the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao on your visit.

  • Opening hours: 5:00 – 18:00, free.
things to do in Beijing layover- Tiananmen Square

 

4. Explore Hutong–Nanluoguxiang Area

Nanluoguxiang is known for being a lovely historical part of Beijing. When you visit, you’ll find shops and bars located in beautiful historical buildings. What better place to experience a bit of Chinese culture than by walking around, shopping, eating, and exploring? Enjoy new foods or even shop for souvenirs.

  • Opening hours: 8:30 – 23:00, free.
things to do in Beijing layover- Nanluoguxiang

 

5. Soak Up Some Culture at 798 Art District

If you like nothing better than seeing lovely sculptures, paintings, and other creations by local artists, you must visit 798 Art District on your stopover. Spend a few hours walking around and exploring the different art displays you’ll see.

  • Opening hours: 10:00 – 20:00, free.
things to do in Beijing layover -798 art zone

 

6. Grab Some Food at Wangfujing Snack Street

If you love to eat, you absolutely must visit Wangfujing Snack Street during your stopover in Beijing. Whether you want western food, like KFC, or you’re more interested in local street vendors, you’ll find everything your stomach desires.

  • Opening hours: 16:00 – 20:30, free.
things to do in Beijing layover wangfujing snack street

 

7. Pick Up Some Souvenirs at the Silk Market

No great vacation is complete without shopping for souvenirs, and your trip to Beijing should be no exception. Visit the Silk Market to explore clothing, watches, jewelry, and more. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, you’ll be delighted to discover just how many fantastic items are available for purchase.

  • Opening hours: 9:00 – 21:00, free.
things to do in Beijing layover - silk market

 

8. Eat Roast Duck at Quanjude Restaurant

Each year, Quanjude serves over two million roast ducks to customers. Make sure you visit during your layover to enjoy one of the most famous restaurants in China. You’ll be able to order one of the most delicious meals you’ve ever experienced. This reflects perfectly with the name, “Quanjude,” which means perfection and unity.

  • Opening hours: 10:30 – 21:00, RMB150 – RMB 300 per person.
things to do in Beijing layover

 

How Much Time Do You Need For a Beijing Airport Layover?

Round trip into Beijing or the Great Wall of China, including the time you need at the airport for passing through security, is 5.5 to 6 hours. You can expect to spend:

  1. Approx. 2.5 hours to apply for a 24/144-hour transit visa, possibly longer when they have more arrivals during weekends or Christmas week.
  2. 10-20 minutes to walk to the vehicle in the parking lot
  3. Approx. 1.5 hours journey to Mutianyu Great Wall
  4. At least 1 hour on the wall to really enjoy the trip
  5. Approx. 1.5 hours to return from Mutianyu to the airport
  6. 2 hours in advance at the airport to check-in before an international flight

So, to make this worthwhile you need at least a 9-hour layover in Beijing airport if your layover is all during the day. The longer the layover, the more you’ll be able to discover Beijing.

Things to Do in A 8-Hour Layover

If your flight layover is 8 hours, you’re really not going to be able to leave the airport. Beijing Capital Airport is big, with this amount of time, you’ll need to think things to do in the airport.

Many a wise traveler has warned against traipsing off into central Beijing with 8 hours to spare before the connecting flight. It’s best to play it safe and wait out your layover at the airport.

Things to Do in A 9-Hour Layover

No time? No problem! 9 hours may be a bit of a rush, but you keep moving, focus on the one or two things you really care to see. You’ll need to make some choices:

  • Option A: Mutianyu Great Wall (1 hour). A quick meal of fast food somewhere if time permits.
  • Option B: Forbidden City (1-1.5 hours).

Don’t waste time on lunch, instead grab a quick takeaway or fast food. Remember it takes approx. 1.5 hours each way to and from Beijing, so don’t spread yourself too thin.

Things to Do in A 10-Hour Layover

Luckily, with a 10-hour layover, you have time to explore a quiet part of the Great Wall – Huanghuacheng at your own pace. Travel for approximately 2 hours from PEK airport to Huanghuacheng. You would focus on either:

  • Option A: Huanghuacheng Great Wall (1 hour)
  • Option B: Tiananmen Square (30 minutes), Forbidden City (1.5 hours).

10-hour layover might be plenty of time to get out and explore the Great Wall. To play it safe, it’s best to calculate what you can do, always take into account the round trip time to the airport.

Things to Do in A 11-Hour Layover

An 11-hour layover will allow you a more stress-free visit to the Great Wall or city sites. You’ll be able to explore Mutianyu Great Wall/city sites at a fairly leisurely pace, enjoy an excellent sit-down Peking duck meal in between. I recommend focusing on:

  • Option A: Mutianyu Great Wall (2 hours), sample a leisurely Peking duck meal near the airport (1 hour).
  • Option B: Tiananmen Square (30 minutes), Forbidden City (1.5 hours), taste a leisurely Peking duck meal in the city (1 hour).

You should be able to complete one of the “must-see” sites –  either the Great Wall or Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square. It’s best to stay on schedule and set an alarm for when you need to return to the airport.

Things to Do in A 12-Hour Layover

This may seem like a lot of time, but you’re going to have to make compromises. Still focusing on Mutianyu Great Wall, Tiananmen Square. It’s best to skip lunch to save your valuable time.

  • Best option: Mutianyu Great Wall (1.5 hours), Tiananmen Square (1 hour).

Things to Do in A 14-Hour Layover

This is a good, long, proper layover in Beijing. This is really the answer to what to do in Beijing for a day. My recommendation is to focus on the itinerary: Mutianyu Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and Forbidden City.

  • Best option: Mutianyu Great Wall (2 hours), Tiananmen Square (30 minutes), Forbidden City (1.5 hours).

If you have any extra time, get a Peking duck dinner in the city before returning to the airport.

Things to Do in A 16-Hour Layover

You should easily be able to explore the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square in this amount of time, with a leisurely dinner in the city. While a few hours stop can give little more than a takeaway or fast food to finish a busy day.

  • Best option: Mutianyu Great Wall (2.5 hours), Tiananmen Square (30 minutes), Forbidden City (2 hours), Peking duck dinner (1 hour).

Things to Do in A 20-Hour Layover

There are plenty of things for you to discover and experience if you have a 20-hour layover in Beijing. I recommend focusing on:

If you are an avid hiker, you probably already know about some of these unforgettable Great Wall hiking trails. It’s absolutely worth taking a day trip from the airport to the Great Wall for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Beijing is a city full of rich cultural history, beautiful buildings, and lovely shops. During your next layover, make sure you take the time to fully visit beautiful Beijing and explore some of these fantastic attractions.

things to do at Beijing airport

 

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How to Setup and Use WeChat As a Traveler in China

Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide of WeChat

WeChat is the most popular social network in China with over 900-million users at present. It’s the largest and most dominating social platform used in China. It’s the all-in-one app that forms the basis of your daily digital life in China. When you download and install this app on your smartphone, you have access to

  • media
  • online shops
  • developers
  • instant messaging

The Importance of WeChat in China

WeChat is one of the best travel Apps while traveling in China. If you plan to travel to China for whatever reason, you should know the importance of this app.

At a glance, WeChat looks like WhatsApp – another popular messaging app that lets people connect with their family and friends and send voice, video, image, and text updates. But WeChat is much more than WhatsApp. It comes with a lot of mini-programs to cover a person’s daily life. You can

  • provide invoice information
  • order food
  • pay for goods & services
  • do a lot more things

That’s why you need to learn how to set up and use WeChat when you plan to visit China for whatever reason.

Download WeChat

How to Set Up WeChat on Your Phone?

WeChat is mostly used for communication purposes in China. Having the app on your smartphone is an essential element of communication between you and your friends, family when you are in China.

The first step to setting up an account on WeChat is to download the app from Google Play Store or the app store depending on the type of your phone Android or iPhone.

Once the app is installed on your smartphone, open the app and you will see the “Sign Up” button.

Enter your phone number and the area code to sign up.

Once you have entered the correct information, you will receive a verification code from WeChat. Type this code into the relevant box and press Submit.

Now you need to fill in the other information to complete the sign-up process. Make sure you complete the profile so that your family and friends can recognize you. Once this information is entered, you will have a WeChat account ready to be used.

How to Add Contacts on WeChat?

Adding contacts to your WeChat account is important to communicate with them. To add your friends to your account, you should head to the main “Chats” page. There you will find a small Plus (+) mark on the upper righthand corner. Click on this + mark and you will find a menu with the “Add Contacts” symbol.

Click on this symbol and you can search for your contacts in several ways. You can search for a friend by entering his or her phone number or WeChat ID in the space provided at the top of the screen.

Another method is to add a friend by scanning a QR code from their phone. You need to select the “Scan QR Code” from the menu to do this. The next step is to position their QR Code in the square at the center of the screen. You can now add him or her as a contact.

If your friends want to add you as a contact, you should select the “My QR Code” option from the menu. You will find this option in green color at the bottom of the scanning page.

WeChat has a unique feature to add people nearby. In fact, you can just look around and become friends with people nearby. But you should be cautious when enabling this feature because people around you will be able to find you as well. They will be able to see your 10 latest images on the album.

To enable people nearby, you should tap on the “Discover” tab and select “People Nearby.” You will have access to the “People Nearby” page where you can start sending greetings to them. If he or she adds you, you become friends.

Now that you have been able to add some contacts to your WeChat account, it is time to start chatting with them.

Typical Features You Will Use on WeChat

There are many essential features on WeChat that you will be using almost on a daily basis. Most of these features have become a way of life for Chinese users. The app cares for its users by simplifying many of their day to day tasks. That’s why WeChat has become so popular as a social network. Here are some of the most important features you can use on WeChat:

  1. Texting on WeChat
  2. Voice Messages
  3. Voice Calls
  4. Video Calls

1. Texting on WeChat

Texting is one of the most popular features of WeChat. Millions of users rely on this feature on a daily basis. This feature will let you send text messages, images, videos, and even audio clips to your family, friends, and business contacts. You can add multiple contacts to the chat with the Group Messaging feature of WeChat.

Adding someone to your contact list on WeChat is quite easy. You can do it in a couple of ways.

  • You can use his or her phone number to add someone to your contact list. This can be done by entering the phone number of the contact or scanning their QR code.
  • If you want to add someone by his/her QR code, you should ask to see his/her “Profile QR Code” and scan it using your smartphone’s camera. You will see their user name appear on the screen when you do it successfully.

WeChat has a unique way of encouraging you to meet new contacts. It’s known as the “Shaking Feature.” To activate this feature, you need to open the WeChat app and shake your smartphone.

The app will immediately search for someone who shook his/her device at the same time you shook the phone.

Most probably, you will find a match, and you are given the option of messaging this person and starting a conversation. If you don’t like the newfound contact, you should shake your smartphone once again to find a new contact.

2. Voice Messages

WeChat provides a voice recording feature you record your messages. Instead of typing your message, you can use the in-built Voice Message feature to record your message. This feature has become popular with millions of users who use the app.

For example, when you are in the middle of an important task, you may not have time to reply to an important message by way of typing the text. Rather than stopping what you are doing, you have the option of pressing the “hold to talk” button and replying to the message. When you have a lot to say and you don’t want to type all of it, this feature can come in handy.

3. Voice Calls

You can use WeChat to call your contacts just like calling with an ordinary phone. But WeChat won’t charge you anything to call anyone living in any part of the world.

You can easily take long-distance calls using WeChat and save a lot of money by calling your family and friends at home when you are walking the Great Wall of China. Just imagine how much money you will be able to save with this feature alone!

4. Video Calls

Making a video call is another popular feature offered by WeChat. This feature is quite similar to Skype or Facetime. You can make a video call to anyone who is listed in your contact list. This feature is a great way to stay in touch with your family and friends oversees when you are in China. A video call offers more intimacy when calling a family member or friend compared to an ordinary phone call. That’s why you need to take advantage of this feature when you are using WeChat.

How to Use WeChat Translation?

The WeChat Translation Feature is one of the most popular features of this app. You can use this feature to easily translate content to your preferred language.

Setting up Language in WeChat

Before you can use this feature, you need to set up the language in WeChat. It will use the language you set up when offering translation services.

If you set English as your language, you will be able to translate messages in any other language to English. To Set up your preferred language, open the WeChat app and tap on the “Me” tab. Now go to the “Settings” section.

Tap on the “General” 

Then click on “Language” option.

Now choose your preferred language.

There are three different ways of using the translation feature in WeChat for iPhone and Android.

  1. Translate In Individual Chat
  2. Translate In Group Chat
  3. Scan Documents And Translate Content

1. Translate in Individual Chat

The first thing you need to do is to open a chat with an individual contact. Press and hold the message and you will see a popup appearing with many options.

Tap the right-side arrow mark on this popup and select the “Translate” option. The app will translate this message to the language you set up in your language settings.

2. Translate in Group Chat

This process is almost the same as individual chat. Go to the group chat you want to translate and tap and hold on the message until the popup appears.

Tap the right arrow of the popup to select the “Translate” option. The app will do the needful and translate the message to the language you set up. After the translation, the popup will show “Untranslate.” You can press this to remove the translation and show only the original message.

3. Scan Documents and Translate Content

The app offers a great feature of scanning a document and translating its content. The translation will work both ways such as Chinese to English and English to Chinese. You can scan a document or image or select one that’s already on your phone for this purpose.

Open the app and tap on “Discover” and select “Scan” from the menu options. You will see both “Scan” and “Translate” options available at the bottom of the page. Tap on the “Translate” option and you will see a big white button in the middle of the screen to scan a document or an image.

Align the phone’s display with the document or image you want to scan and tap on the big white button. After scanning, the app will convert any text in the image to your chosen language.

Can Tourists Pay WeChat in China?

Absolutely yes, you can use WeChat to make some online payments. But if you want to use the WeChat app-linked bank card to add some money to your account balance, you need to enable the “WeChat Pay” function on your account.

If you download the app using a Chinese SIM, this option will already appear on your profile under the “Me” tab.

If you have downloaded the international version of the app, you may not see this option on your homepage.

The first thing you need to do is to ask one of your contact (who has the WeChat Pay feature already set up) to send you a “Red Packet.”

You simply need to click on the “Red Packet” and click on “Open” to accept it. Receiving a “Red Packet” will help put some money in your balance.

Now the WeChat Pay feature will appear on your profile. You will be asked to set up a 6-digit PIN of your choice while setting up WeChat Pay. You need to remember this PIN since you will need to enter it whenever you make payments. If you are on a holiday in China, you can ask your tour guide to send you a “Red Packet.”

How to Pay For Things Using WeChat Pay?

Go to the “Chats” page and click on the small “+” icon in the upper-righthand corner. You should select “Scan” or “Money” from this menu – depending on how you are going to pay. You should remember that WeChat needs mobile data or a Wi-Fi connection to operate.

That’s it for our beginner’s guide to how to set up and use WeChat as a traveler in China. Hopefully you can now connect with your friends and family, no matter where they are in the world!

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When Is the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall of China [2020]

the great wall in sunrise

Top Tips on Best Time to Visit the Great Wall

Planning to visit the Great Wall of China and wondering when is the best time to visit the Great Wall to avoid crowds? There are at least five parts to this answer – time of year, day of the week, and time of day.

Preferably most people like visiting the Great Wall when the weather is moderate, but at the end of the day, all that matters is an individual’s tastes and schedules.

Best Time of the Year to Visit the Great Wall–The Quick Answer

If weather is your primary concern, the best time to visit the Great Wall is from April to early June and September to early November when the weather is warm and pleasant but the tourist crowds are not overwhelming. Summer is hot, deep winter – January and February – is cold, but that also means cheaper hotel rates. Spring and Fall are just the right time to visit the Great Wall. The cheapest time is from December to the end of February.

September-November (High Season)

September-November is one of the most popular times to visit the Great Wall if you don’t mind steep hotel rates. Mild weather makes this time ideal for exploring the Grea Wall as well as Beijing city on foot, with a backdrop of the changing colors of trees in the fall.

You will experience a clear lovely sky, incredible mountains and plenty of juicy fruits like grapes, apricots, and peaches. Many locals leave the city during this time, which means that it can feel a little crowded while tourism is high.

This is also the best season for photography lovers since they get the most serene weather for capturing beautiful photographs during sunset and sunrise. 

A long-sleeved shirt or T-shirt plus a light jacket or a knitted sweater is generally enough in early October. And November also ushers in lower temperatures, so be sure to pack a coat.

December-March (Low Season)

The Great Wall is at its quietest during these cold winter months, when snow is common and temperatures hover between -5°C and 4°C. Sometimes you’ll have to endure temperatures at -10°C, but you’re sure to save on a hotel. This is a great time for bargain hunters who don’t mind the cold to visit Beijing and the Great Wall. 

If you come in these months when there are fewer tourists, you will find the Great Wall somewhat less crowded. Especially on non-holiday weekdays.

Winter lovers will enjoy the incredible snowy mountains as well as the snow-covered Great Wall. 

The Chinese New year period also falls in late January to the beginning of February, and as a result, Badaling section is usually flocked with Chinese tourists.

Pack accordingly with hats, scarves, gloves, winter coats to keep you warm from the freezing Beijing climate of January/February.

winter great wall hiking

April-June (Shoulder Season)

In April spring ushers in warmer weather, tourism isn’t quite peaking during these months, but they are still popular times to visit the Great Wall and Beijing.

You will also experience plenty of warm days and affordable traveling and accommodation rates. The whole city and the Great Wall are blooming marvelous at this time of year, making your Great Wall visit a truly memorable one.

Early April can still be chilly, so pack some warm clothes while a long-sleeved T-shirt or shirt and a light overcoat or windproof jacket will be more than enough in May. But be prepared to see a lot of flowers.

July-August (High Season)

The hottest season in Beijing, summertime is also a hugely popular time to visit, especially among families whose kids are out of school. The Great Wall will pretty much always be crowded.

During this busy tourism period, expect airfare and hotel rates to be at their peak and availability to be low. Book well in advance will save you from experiencing increased prices on flights and hotels.

Starting in July the weather gets hot, and the humidity gets heavier and heavier. Wear some cool clothes for sticky days that skim 40°C. Be sure to pack an umbrella as July and August are the city’s rainiest months.

Best Time of the Year to Avoid Crowds

  • First two weeks of September: Once the summer rush has ended, most kids are back in school by the end of August, the city of Beijing slows down, so the crowds are not as heavy as they were. It makes it easier to book tickets, make reservations and waiting times become shorter.
  • The deep winter months of January through early March offer your best chance to see the Great Wall as well as the city top attractions without being mobbed by tourists, though you’ll trade lower airfare and hotel rates for frigid temperatures.

Best Time of the Year For Kids and Families

  • Spring break: A whole week off from school makes a particularly popular time for families to visit the Great Wall and Beijing. In Spring, the crowds are generally not as dense as they are in summer or fall. Save for spring break.
  • Summer: Although the city is at its peak due to the amount of visitors every day, vacationing with families tends to be easier. It’s easier to pack lighter. No need for gloves, hats, scarves, etc. Preparing to go outside like visiting the Great Wall won’t be an event. The city offers loads for kids to do during the summer, from outdoor concerts to boating, kite flying, etc, but the seasonal crowds can be tough to manage with small ones and strollers.

Is Beijing Safe For Kids?

Beijing is a safe place for traveling with children and babies. The culture is very family-oriented, and that includes your family, too. Kids are welcome everywhere, and there are facilities and amenities catering to children of all ages. With a few considerations, your trip to Beijing can be safe and a lot of fun for everyone.

Is the Great Wall of China Child Friendly?

Mutianyu Great Wall is child friendly with complete facilities including cable car, chairlift, and toboggan. It is a wonderful destination for families with children and teens.

Looking for a cheap, reliable car hire service? Check out our Great Wall car rental service page: Car hire to Great Wall from Beijing.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall Beijing

Best Day of the Week to Visit the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is open 7 days a week. So is there a day of the week that is best for visiting the Great Wall? Absolutely yes.

The best time to visit the Great Wall and avoid long lines is on a weekday typically, not always, but typically. It’s just the days when the last week crowds, the weekend crowds are gone.

If you’re looking for lower wait times, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are typically the best options.

On the weekends, you have locals going to the Great Wall with friends and family. You also have people who live near Beijing and want to enjoy a day to the Great Wall. For smaller crowds, weekdays are better than weekends.

Best Time of the Day to Visit the Great Wall of China

Just about any time of year, high season or not, I always suggest visiting the Great Wall in these times of the day:

  • at 7:30 am/8:30 am when it first opens.
  • 1-2 hours before the last entry.
  • sunrise
  • sunset
  • full moon night

In general, you will avoid crowds and feel more comfortable, or, you will take great photos and see the beams of light throughout the wall in these times of the day.

  • At 7:30 am/8:30 am when it first opens. Even in high season, you will still see people at these hours, but much smaller than late morning and the middle of the day, especially if you visit the sections like Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Huanghuacheng or Gubeikou. The crowds tend to be at their heaviest from about 10 am to 3 pm.
  • One or two hours before the last entry. Last entry is one or two hours before it actually closes, so if you go about two hours before that, you will have plenty of time to enjoy it and not feel rushed, but by then, the crowds have greatly thinned out. The “last entry” and closing times vary throughout the year, usually 4:30 pm in summer and 4 pm in winter.
  • Jinshanling at Sunrise: The first rays of the sun illuminating Jinshanling is a moment of delight. The soft golden color is heartwarming. At this hour you can enjoy moments of utter calmness. Also, free of crowds you can enjoy the beauty of the wall at your own leisure.
  • Jinshanling at Sunset: Jinshanling Great Wall looks spectacular when it’s lit up against the glowing orange and purple skies. As dusk is among the favorite times of the day for romantic therefore it’s highly recommended to pay a visit to Jinshanling with your significant other once while the sun sets. The sunset over Jinshanling is prime Instagram material.
  • Huanghuacheng/Simatai Under Full Moon Night: The view of the moonlit Huanghuacheng /Simatai is absolutely beyond words. You get the opportunity to visit the Great Wall almost entirely to yourself. After a glimpse of the shining moon over the wonder of the world, few things will be able to enthrall you. A full moon also makes a great backdrop for photography.

In hot months like July, August, you should avoid coming in the middle of the day, as there is virtually no shade and no place to sit down.

Early closing hours in winter: Most famous Beijing Great Wall sections except for Simatai, Jinshanling, and Huanghuacheng closes at “sundown” so, in the winter months, you’ll need to come earlier in the day.

What Time Does the Great Wall of China Open?

The various sections of the Great Wall in Beijing are open 7 days a week, every day of the year, including holidays. The opening hours differ slightly depending on the month of your visit. See Mutianyu Great Wall opening times below:

  • March 16 to November 15: Monday-Friday: 07:30am-18:00pm; Weekends: 07:30am-18:30pm, last admission: 4:30pm.
  • November 16 to March 15: 8:00am-17:00pm, last admission: 4:00pm.

As with most popular tourist attractions, you would do well to arrive when the doors open to beat the crowds.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall OF cHINA

The Worst Time to Visit the Great Wall of China

While the Great Wall tends to be beautiful in every season, if you’re looking to escape the crowds or certain kinds of weather, you may wish to keep these times of the year in mind.

Public holiday: Let’s hop over to the public holidays. These are a popular time for locals to make trips to the Great Wall, and rightly so. Many locals love the atmosphere around the holidays, even with the extra crowds. The Great Wall is most crowded around the following holidays:

  • The Labor Day (the first week of May, especially May 1–3)
  • Qingming Festival (likely early April)
  • Dragon Boat Festival (likely mid-June)
  • Mid-Autumn Festival (likely September or October)
  • The National Day (the first week of October)

The Great Wall’s busiest weeks of the year come in the first week of May, and the first week of October. Due to this huge influx of visitors, May 2nd, or, Oct 2nd could be the busiest day of the year.

Weekends: weekends typically draw bigger crowds to the Great Wall except over December, January, and February. It’s recommended that guests—especially those who have never been to the Great Wall—visit on a weekday.

Great Wall (Beijing) Weather by Month

  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in January: January is Beijing’s coldest month. Temperatures range from -8°to 2°C, generally hovering around 3°C. Snow is likely around this time. You will find this is an ideal destination for winter sports and activities like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, and much more.(Average Max Temperature: 2°C. Average Precipitation: 3mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in February: February remains cold, with the average daytime high creeping up to 5°C. It may possibly snow. Sometimes extreme blizzards mixed with snow and freezing rain make Beijing virtually life less, particularly mid-February has a tendency to be really brutal and harsh. (Average Max Temperature: 5°C. Average Precipitation: 6mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in March:  Winter is over and it’s early spring in Beijing. But still, it is a bit cold and windy, at least during night and early morning. And if you plan to go outdoor, you must need a good jacket and clothing that can be layered. Snow in March is rare in Beijing, though still possible – especially around the beginning of the month. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 10mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in April: Beijing weather in April is very pleasant and enjoyable. Days are a little warm and nights are gentle cool. Flowers are up and blooming, the grass turns green and everything comes to life after long, harsh winter. (Average Max temperature: 20°C. Average Precipitation: 25mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in May: May is one of Beijing’s loveliest months. The temperature ranges from 14-26°C, so it’s usually warm but but still very pleasant, and without the humidity that you’ll find during the summer months. Early mornings and nights can be a little cool and you might still need a light jacket. It’s an excellent time of year to explore the city’s many parks. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in June: June days grow warmer. It is the beginning of a beautiful summer in Beijing. Most days in June are bright, with the sunny blue sky while few days have occasional drizzles. Shorts and sandal season is in full swing, and the month’s long days (the sun sets around 7:45 pm) are perfect for catching the sunset on the Great Wall (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 70mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in July: The hottest month of the year, expect temperatures to range from 22-31°C. It’s muggy along with frequent thunderstorms. But do not worry. It is not all about the heat and humidity. You will find quite a few moderately hot, sunny days and pleasant evenings. And you might be greeted by some drizzles too. July is one of the busiest months of the year, full of visitors from different parts of the world. It’s advisable to drink lots of water and juices to avoid sunstroke, especially when you are on day out. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 175mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in August: Though July is NYC’s hottest month by temperature, August is the most humid. Sometimes high humidity adds fumes to already sizzling weather in August. It’s a good idea to drink lots of water and juices to avoid sunstroke and apply quality sunscreen lotion to avoid sunburn, especially when you are on day out. Beijing gets a good amount of rain in August, and mostly in the form of drizzles and occasional downpours. So bring your umbrella.(Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 180mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in September: With sharp drop in temperature and modest humidity, Beijing’s weather in September is really fantastic and enjoyable. Temperatures range from 15-27°C until mid-month, with cooler air settling in as October approaches. Because summer’s humidity has gone, even September’s warmest days are perfect for outdoor activities, but always check the temperatures and keep the light jacket handy. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in October: Traditionally Beijing’s driest month of the year, October boasts mild to chilly temperatures and crisp autumn air. Temps range from 8-19°C, so it’s a good idea to pack a light jacket – though you might not need it. The trees’ leaves take an array of colors from crimson red to golden yellow, resulting in a gorgeous masterpiece of nature. Many folks consider this a perfect time to see Beijing. (Average Max Temperature 19°C. Average Precipitation: 20mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in November: Days are getting shorter, chillier. It still has warm, crispy days with gentle breezes and placid nights at the beginning of November. The average temperature float around 8 °C and sometimes it drops to very low, especially during nights, reminding us about the coming winter. A jacket is essential, and a hat is a good idea. (Average Max Temperature: 10°C. Average Precipitation: 6mm.)
  • Great Wall (Beijing) Weather in December: Winter arrives in Beijing, with cold temperatures, some infrequent snowfall and continues till March. Wind and temperatures can be bitingly cold. The average minimum temperature drops way below the freezing point and frequent wind chill makes it even further severe. (Average Max Temperature: 4°C. Average Precipitation: 2mm.)

Great Wall Weather Conditions to Be Aware Of

Beijing and by extension the Great Wall of China has its distinct climatic and weather conditions. With colder temperatures, rain, and snow on the Great Wall, it’s important to be aware of weather conditions and when the trails might be susceptible to damage. Basically, there are four types of weather to be aware of:

  • snow
  • wind
  • fog
  • rain

Great Wall of China Weather Conditions: Snow

If you visit the Great Wall in winter, you will likely see plenty of snow like snow-capped mountains. However, watch out for the treacherous and slippery icy terrain.

Wisdom and common sense would prove quite useful in determining where to walk. Put on suitable winter gear and equipment to prevent hypothermia and heed to the weather forecasts announcements.

A heavy snow forecast, for instance, means the snow has a thickness of up to six inches. So much snow can reduce visibility, and also cover the paths, making the terrain highly dangerous.

If forecast warns of blizzards, do not attempt walking the Great Wall. The slippery ground and the near-zero visibility challenges and disorients even the most experienced hikers.

great-wall-weather-conditions

Great Wall of China Weather Conditions: Wind

Winter and spring are the windiest seasons, where the storm can blow from 50 mph to 70 mph. If the terrain consists of ridges and exposed paths, the dusty wind will make hiking uncomfortable, problematic and risky.

A powerful storm can even blow someone over the ridge. If you intend to ascend the highest peak of the Great wall during any of these periods, first bring along wind-resistant gear, and make sure you carefully listen to the weather forecasts.

Great Wall of China Weather Conditions: Fog

If you walk along the highest peaks of the Great Wall, you are highly likely to encounter fog, irrespective of the season or time of year.

Fog is, however, quite prevalent between the months of January to June, and from November to December. Fog reduces visibility and increases disorientation.

It further makes it difficult to see the surroundings or find the right path. When you hear a fog forecast, just reschedule your walk to another day. However, if the fog comes down while you are on the wall, do not panic. Just take the most sensible option.

In case you are near the highest sections of the wall, and the fog only conceals the summit, it is safe to proceed. However, if you are in the lower sections of the wall and a thick fog looms overhead, your safest move is to turn around and go back.

weather-conditions-of-the-great-wall-of-china

Great Wall of China Weather Conditions: Rain

You are likely to experience plenty of rainfall if you visit the Great Wall in summer, between early June and mid-September.

Despite the torrential rain, the weather gets extremely hot. About 30 to 40 degrees Celsius making it ideal to wear light clothes. Even on seemingly sunny days, short and heavy rainstorms can come unpredictably.

It is here that listening to weather forecasts reward generously. Imagine being caught up in a thunderstorm while at the top of exposed summits and ridges. The rains will make you wet, bog your visit, decrease visibility and make the terrain muddy.

weather-at-great-wall-of-china

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Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu & Summer Palace day tour Beijing

Ultimate Travel Guide to Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall is around 1.5 hours of driving from downtown Beijing, or at least 1 hour 20 minutes if you are coming from PEK Airport by road. Being the fully restored section of the Great Wall, Mutianyu is much quieter and easier to walk in than Badaling.

With fewer tour buses, stops, easier walking conditions, convenient facilities (cable car, chairlift, and toboggan), Mutianyu is a good alternative for Badaling.

Great Wall map Mutianyu

Go Early-Just Be Prepared To Walk

The best way to have an exciting tour of the Mutianyu is to start very early at the crack of dawn. Getting to Mutianyu early in the morning you will enjoy the best walk, with the perfect opportunity to ride cable car or chairlift for the shortest trip up the wall. You should, however, relieve yourself before reaching the Mutianyu since there are very limited restrooms.

The entire Mutianyu section is 2.2 kilometers long, going early in the morning, therefore, gives you adequate time to tour all the towers starting from the first to the twenty tower.

Bring Comfortable Shoes

Walking the Great Wall of China is no stroll in the park although the surface of Mutianyu is generally smooth. The section between tower 19 and 20 (left towers when you’re facing the entrance) is really steep, containing approx. 450 steps. If you find climbing vertical steps exciting, you will enjoy this part of the wall.

Similarly, the vertical steps between the 1st and the 6th towers may add the difficulty of your walk. If you are not in good shape, you may struggle.

However, thanks to the cable car and the chairlift, you can still get to the top of the Mutianyu without hiking up the wall. You only need to book a seat in either.

Check the Weather Forecast

It’s advisable to check Mutianyu weather forecast before you start your walk if heavy rain/ snow/ low cloud or other severe weather conditions is predicted then postpone your walk for another day.

The Great wall of China ancient national architectural landmakrs high in Mutianyu mountains under blue sky tracing away

Walk Duration Is Approx. 2-3 hours

About 9 million people walk along all or part of Mutianyu Great Wall each year, enjoying some amazing views. The entire Mutianyu walk will take approx. 2 -3 hours, with plenty of relaxation, resting, picture taking along the way.

The Mutianyu trails are well-formed and easy to follow, which makes walking along with it relatively easy. It takes on average of 40 minutes to hike uphill to the wall, with some breaks regardless of individual fitness, age and/or length of stride.

Walk up the trails you will reach the sixth, eighth or tenth tower. If you are coming from the Dream Stone City or the South Entrance, near the toboggan, walk up the stairs you will reach towers six or eight.

Alternatively, walk up from North Entrance close to the cable car station, and ascend the stairs till you reach tower eight or ten.

Three Easy Ways to Visit Mutianyu

There are three easy/popular means of ascending/descending the Mutianyu. They include:

  • The Toboggan (slide)
  • The Chairlift
  • The Cable car
Mutianyu Great Wall toboggan

1. The Mutianyu Toboggan (Slide)

If you are in search of a fast and convenient way of returning to the entrance, your solution lies in riding the toboggan.

You can hop aboard the toboggan and travel from the Wall to the valley below on a metal winding track. Alone or in pairs, you ride the toboggan reaching speeds of up to 45km/hr, travelling through the valley to the bottom of the hill.

Situated on between tower 6 and tower 5, no marking, near a side gate on the Wall, toboggan runs for 5184 feet or 1580 meters long. From 1998 when it started operating, the toboggan runs all year round, only pausing operations during extreme weather conditions like heavy rains or snow.

Open hour: 8am-5pm in summer. 8:30am – 4:30pm in winter.

Everything You Need to Know about Mutianyu

Mutianyu Great Wall Toboggan uses the theory of acceleration of gravity and makes you dive along the mountain path like low – latitude flying or high – speed driving.

The toboggan ride goes down a series of zigzag bends, with an altitude difference of 100 m (328 ft). Carts for single and double is available so that adult can keep their child accompany during the toboggan ride. Mutianyu Toboggan down cost: RMB 100 per person.

Where to Board Toboggan

You can take toboggan down from No. 6 Watchtower near the South Entrance. You can easily find it.

How to Control Toboggan

  • The toboggan is fun, safe and not scary at all, although you may be backed up a little. Moreover, it is easy to use control features – push handle forward = speed up, pull back = brake.
  • Keep your hands and feet inside the toboggan, sit centrally (center of gravity!) on the sledge – do not touch the track or lean outside, you might burn yourself or fall out.
  • Do not stop, stand still or exit on the run.
  • Always keep a distance of 10 metres on the run between yourself and the person in front. Ride safely and at a speed that does not endanger you or others.
great-wall-toboggan-slide-at-Mutianyu

The Best Time to Ride Toboggan

The perfect timing to have a memorable toboggan ride on the Mutianyu is on weekdays. Try to avoid visiting the Mutianyu during holidays or on weekends, as more people would take weekends to explore it, making the Great Wall rather crowded than usual.

Avoiding the long lines: go either early in the morning from 8 am to 11 am or much later in the afternoon between 2 pm to 5 pm to avoid the crowds. Avoid getting stuck behind other riders who are scared of moving fast, if you don’t want to ruin your fun.

Is There a Weight Limit for Tobogganing?

Most people can ride (maximum weight 110 kg). You decide the speed yourself and in theory, heavier loads make the toboggan go faster.

Restrictions for Riding Toboggan

The sick, the elderly as well as children below the ages of ten or have a height measuring less than 130 cm, must be accompanied by a responsible adult to ride.

A word of caution, though, you cannot use a toboggan ticket on a cable car and vice versa, as different companies run both the chair lift/toboggan and the cable car, and do not accept each others’ tickets. A return ticket for the cable car will not get you down on the chairlift or toboggan. You can buy tickets for all three at the top, so best to decide before you go.

2. The Chairlift

A 550 meters long open chairlift will take you from the parking lot to tower six and vice versa under ten minutes.

The open ski-lift kind of cable car can comfortably accommodate 2  passengers side by side. The ride offers a perfect elevated opportunity to sit back, relax and savor the breathtaking beauty of the Mutianyu Great Wall section.

Chairlift works from 8 am to 5 pm during summer, while in winter, it runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The good thing about the chairlift is that if you have two-way tickets, you can ride down either using the chairlift or the toboggan.

The chairlift gives you the chance to relax if you had a longish hike, sit back, and enjoy the scenery.

Charlift Price and How to Pay For the Ride

To buy a chairlift ticket at Mutianyu, you can pay cash either at the tourist center or at the south ticket booth.

Chairlift One Way: RMB 100
Children 12 & Under: RMB 60
Chairlift Two Way: RMB 120
Children 12 & Under: RMB 80

Where to Board A Chairlift

Chairlift lower station is near south ticket check, and the upper station is between tower 5 and tower 6, you can easily find it.

How to Get on A Chairlift

Riding the chairlift is really simpler than you think.

  1. Once it is your turn to get on the chairlift, move your body to the “load here” line.
  2. just sit down when the chair touches the back of your legs, and put the safety/footrest bar down.
  3. If you are riding with strangers who have not put the safety/footrest bar down, simply ask that you are pulling the bar down.

Feeling confident on the chairlift can make your Mutianyu Great Wall visit much more pleasant.

How to Get Off A Chairlift

  1. As you approach the upper chairlift station, make sure your feet are off of the footrest and put it up.
  2. Stay where you are on the seat until you reach the “unload here” marker.
  3. Use your free hands to push up the chair to stand up, get out in a clear zone and walk away.
mutianyu-great-wall-chair-lift

3. The Cable Car

If the prospect of climbing the Mutianyu turns you off, then you will love the cable car. It is a six-passenger seating capacity vehicle, which offers a convenient and efficient manner of getting to the top.

Riding the cable car is a quick journey from one side to the other – only about 8 minutes – but it is possible to book yourself for a roundtrip visit. The cable cars are spaced 30 seconds apart and such high frequency means long queues aren’t a problem.

The cable car brings you to the platform close to tower 14. You will notice that two separate companies operate the cable car and the chairlift at Mutianyu. If you take the red enclosed cable cars, it will take you up to the 14th tower from where you can either descend the wall or continue walking uphill.

Open hour: 8am-5pm in summer. 8:30am – 4:30pm in winter. Please note that in high winds or dangerous weather, the cable car may temporarily close.

Cable Car Price and How to Pay For the Ride

Pay before you get on. You can buy tickets either at tourist center or at the booth near the cable car station.

Cable Car One Way: RMB 100
Children One Way: RMB 50
Cable Car Two Way: RMB 120
Children Two Way: RMB 60

Where to Board Cable Car

It’s easy to find and board a cable car. The lower station of Mutianyu cable car is near the North Entrance, while the upper station is near tower 14 watchtower. When waiting at the station, you’ll see the cable car approaching from a distance.

How to Ride Cable Car

Four things to know:

  1. Riding a cable car at Mutianyu is somewhere between riding an enclosed bus and taking a roller coaster ride (but a slow roller coaster!)
  2. When it’s your turn to get on, you can sit anywhere there are seats available or stand and hold onto a pole near the door. Many people prefer to sit down for a more comfortable ride.
  3. Be sure to take your bag off back, and place bag between legs if you want to have the best views or most comfortable ride — or both!
  4. Make sure to keep your arms and legs inside the car for the reasons of the safety.

Getting Off Cable Car

Three things to know:

  1. Be very careful getting off. You will be stepping right into a lane of traffic. Getting off when the car moves very slowly is the safest.
  2. Stand with your back against the car and lower yourself carefully, so you don’t hit your head.
  3. Don’t rush. Rotate and slide feet out.

All in all, touring Mutianyu Great Wall by cable car is a rewarding experience and a productive way of spending your holiday.

Everything You Need to Know about Mutianyu Beijing

Are Cable Car/Chairlift/Toboggan Safe?

Yes, if you sit on the benches or stand inside, they are totally safe. Cable Car/chairlift/toboggan are used safely on Mutianyu every day. Just apply simple common sense, obey the safety rules and pay attention, then you will be one of the hundreds of thousands of people who ride every year on Mutianyu and go away with wonderful memories.

Mutianyu Shuttle Bus Service

Mutianyu Great Wall cable car/chairlift entrance is approx. 3km away from the ticket booth/ parking lot. You can either ride a shuttle bus (15RMB p.p/10 minutes ride) or walk to the entrance.

The shuttle bus is convenient and drops you off outside the cable car/chairlift entrance. Then you can either go up by cable car/chairlift (approx. 10 minutes ride) or just climb up. When you finished, you return to the parking lot/ticket booth by shuttle bus.

shuttle bus Mutianyu Great Wall

Suggested Walking Routes With Maps

Mutianyu has two entrances — cable car/hiking trail entrance (north entrance) and chairlift/ toboggan/hiking trail entrance (south entrance). To facilitate movement through Mutianyu, visitors entering Mutianyu at north entrance can choose between two popular routes, marked in green on the info panels. There are also two popular routes beginning at south entrance, marked in green too as below. You can use either entrance.

Mutianyu Walking Route A (Duration: 2.5 to 3.5 hours)

  • Start from the cable car at Tower 14
  • Turn left/west towards Tower 20
  • Return back and walk all the way to Tower 10 or futher to tower 8 if you have enough time in schedule
  • Return to tower 14 to descend by the cable car

Starts at the north entrance. The tour is circular and provides an opportunity to have a bird eye view of the whole Mutianyu at tower 20, followed by walking back to tower 14 with spectacular views along the way — a combination of walks and cable car rides. Enjoy the beauty of the wall. Return to the starting point (north entrance) at tower 14.

Mutianyu Walking Route B (Duration: 2.5 to 4 hours)

  • Start from the cable car at Tower 14
  • Turn left/west towards Tower 20
  • Return back and walk all the way to Tower 6 to descend by the toboggan

Starts at the north entrance. The tour gives you the opportunity to explore the most part of Mutianyu, and experience the hilarious and safe toboggan run at tower 6 on your return. This route let you explore an additional section from Tower 14 to 6 without having to backtrack if you had bought the return ticket for the cable car. The tour ends at the south entrance.

Mutianyu Walking Route C (Duration: 2.5 to 3.5 hours)

  • Start from the chairlift at Tower 6
  • Turn right/east towards Tower 1
  • Return back and walk all the way to Tower 6 or keep walking to tower 8, 10 if you are fit enough
  • Return to tower 6 to descend by the toboggan 

Starting point is at the south entrance. Sightseeing is circular, and explore east part of Mutianyu (the section between tower 6 and tower 1),  where there are numerous viewpoints offering spectacular views of the wall. Return to the starting point by the fun toboggan run.

Mutianyu Walking Route D (Duration: 2.5 to 4 hours)

  • Start from the chairlift at Tower 6
  • Turn left/west towards Tower 14 or futher to tower 20 if you are fit enough for the hike
  • Return back and walk all the way to Tower 14 to descend by the cable car

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Mutianyu?

Mutianyu Admission fees vary depending on age, with free entry for children under a certain height:

  • Adults entrance ticket RMB 45. There is a reduced fee for seniors elder than 60: RMB 20 (valid ID or passport required).
  • Teenagers between 1.2 and 1.4 meters: entrance ticket RMB 20.
  • Children under 1.2 meters are free of charge.
  • Shuttle bus  (one-way): RMB 10.
  • Shuttle bus (return) : RMB 15.

The cost of getting to Mutianyu depends on how you reach the wall and back – by cable car, chairlift, toboggan or on foot, but you can expect to pay:

  • Entrance fee (RMB 45) + Shuttle bus (RMB 15 return) + climb up (free) + walk down to the entrance (free)= RMB 60: The cheapest way to get to Mutianyu is to climb up to the top and back, which takes approximately 3-4 hours. If you are an experienced hiker and you have enough time in your schedule, there is a lot of steps for you to climb to reach the wall itself.
  • Entrance fee (RMB 45) + Shuttle bus (RMB 15 return) + Cable car  (RMB 100 one-way up) + Walk down to the entrance (free)= RMB 160 If you don’t like the initial climb up or, you’re in a hurry, the quickest way to reach the top is to take a cable car to save your time and energy.
  • Entrance fee (RMB 45) + Shuttle bus (RMB 15 return) + Cable car (RMB 120 return)= RMB 180 If you don’t like too much climbing or, you want to spend more quality time on the wall itself, the fastest way to get to the top and return is to ride a cable car up and down. That means you board the cable car to go up the mountain, enjoy the views, and then use the same ticket to come back down in the cable car. This way will make your Great Wall walk more relaxing and refreshing.
  • Entrance fee (RMB 45) + Shuttle bus (RMB 15 return) + Cable car (RMB 100 one-way up) + Toboggan (RMB 100 one-way down) = RMB 260 The coolest and the most expensive way to experience Mutianyu is to take a cable car up and ride toboggan down to the bottom. Toboggan is fun for everyone, kids would love it.
  • Entrance fee (RMB 45) + Shuttle bus (RMB 15 return) + Chairlift up + Chairlift or toboggan down (RMB 120 return in total)= RMB 180 To enjoy a short walk in the section between tower 6 and tower 1, the simplest way is to take a chairlift up, then get down by either chairlift or toboggan. This section usually has fewer visitors, you can have some quiet moments on the wall.

Is Mutianyu Great Wall Crowded?

Mutianyu doesn’t have big tourist crowds. It is more quiet than Badaling and seldom overcrowded. The busiest time of year is from June to October and the quietest times are weekdays during the winter. The worst month to visit Mutianyu is July and August: not only does it have the highest number of visitors, but that’s also the months when most local kids take their summer school holidays.

When is the Best Time of Day to Visit Mutianyu?

Mutianyu has the smallest queues in the morning at the opening time (from 7:30am in summer or 8 am in winter). If you don’t mind getting up early to avoid crowds, going at this hour will give you a quieter and more private experience even during Chinese public holidays such as National Day Holiday (October 1–7) and Labor Day Holiday (May 1–3).

To avoid the weekend crowds, aim to visit Mutianyu in the morning on a weekday. You may run into a school trip happening during the week, however, the best time of the day to see Mutianyu is still between the hours of 7:30 am – 9 am or during the lunch hour (early afternoon) as these are the quietest times. The largest crowds will generally start to thin out after 3:00 pm in the afternoon on weekdays.

How to Avoid the Line at the Entrance? How to Get Tickets in Advance?

Here are the ways to get Mutianyu tickets in advance and avoid the lines/queues:

  • Get Beijing Annual Pass for Tourist Attractions (It offers skip-the-line entry to Mutianyu). I don’t actually recommend this as the best money-saving deal. But it does allow you entry to Mutianyu without waiting in the line to buy tickets. If you have an Annual Pass, you can skip the longer line, and go to the much shorter line for Annual Pass holders.
  • You can book a driver/tour of Mutianyu. When you book a tour, the driver/tour guide/company takes care of getting the tickets for you, and of course, you skip the line.
  • You can pre-purchase tickets on the Mutianyu websitethe official website of Mutianyu Great Wall office. If you cannot read Chinese, you may try using Google Translate. You also need to provide a local mobile phone number to verify your order, as well as an Alipay account or a local Chinese bank card. Unfortunately, foreign cards are not accepted. If you don’t have a local phone number and local Chinese bank card, this could be difficult for you.
  • If you do not get tickets in advance, there is still a good chance you can avoid the lines. As I mentioned before, you can purchase your tickets at the entry when they first open at 7:30 am/8:30 am to skip the lines.

Where to Eat Near Mutianyu Great Wall?

You will find good places to eat around Mutianyu. It’s easy to skip the tourist traps and have a great meal at one of many local favorites. Below are some good restaurants/cafes near Mutianyu.

  • Kao Shan Tun Northeast farm dish restaurant (20 minutes’ drive from Mutianyu), Chinese restaurant, Food include dumplings, Kung Pow Chicken, Sauteed Mushrooms , and Local Barbecue Fish. One of the few local restaurants open late. It’s around 50RMB per person without drink.
  • XinShuangQuan Restaurant, Chinese restaurant, Food include Kung Pow Chicken, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Local Barbecue Fish. One of the few local restaurants opens late. 30-50yuan per person. Open time: 8:30am–7:00pm. Phone: (010)61621633
  • Xiaolongpu Restaurant, dishes from around China, including Sichuan, Canton, Northeast, and even Beijing. A good place for a quick meal to or from Mutianyu. 30-50yuan per person. Open time: 8:30am–7:00pm.  Phone: (010)61621322
  • Fish Chef, near Mutianyu Roundabout famous for the rainbow trout barbecue, 30-50yuan per person. Open time: 7:30am–10:30pm. Phone: (010)61621024
  • Subway fast-food restaurant, at the base of Mutianyu, 30-50yuan per person. Open time: 8:00am –6:00pm. Phone: (010)61626496

Map of Restaurants/Cafes Near Mutianyu

Is There a Direct Train Between Beijing and Mutianyu?

No, there’s no direct train service from Beijing to Mutianyu Great Wall. The fastest and most stress-free transfer from Beijing to Mutianyu is to taxi or private car.

Is There a Direct Bus Between Beijing and Mutianyu?

No, there is no direct bus from Beijing to Mutianyu. However, there are services departing from Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub and arriving at Xinying Station(辛营站) via HuaiRouBeiDaJie Station( 怀柔北大街站) near Mutianyu Great Wall. The journey, including transfers takes approximately 2.5 hours.

What is the Cheapest Way to Get From Beijing to Mutianyu?

The cheapest way to get from Beijing to Mutianyu is to take Bus 916 Express and Bus H23 which costs RMB 16 per person from Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub to Mutianyu. Be aware that if the seats of Bus 916 Express are full, you would have to take the next bus or better get bus station earlier to secure a seat.

  • Step 1: take Bus 916 Express from Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub until Huairoubeidajie Station (approximately 90-110 minutes).
  • Step 2: cross the road to the other side and transfer to Bus H23 until Xinying Station, where you will arrive 450 meters from the ticket office (approximately 40-60 minutes).

What is the Fastest Way to Get From Beijing to Mutianyu?

The quickest way to get from Beijing to Mutianyu is to taxi, or book a car in advance, which takes only 1.5 hours from Beijing to Mutianyu.

What is the Best Way to Get From Beijing to Mutianyu?

The best way to visit Mutianyu from Beijing is to book a driver in advance. It’s quick and most stress free, usually a fixed with each booking. Even when the traffic is busy and your driver knows a faster but longer route, the initial price is usually the price you will actually pay.

If must-see sights, insider experiences and care-free travel sound like your cup of tea, then a guided tour to Mutianyu is the travel style for you. In an era of internet deals and DIY travel, guided tours remain an ideal choice for travelers seeking an enriching, hassle-free way to visit the Great Wall.

Hassle-Free Fully-Guided Tour to Mutianyu

A guided tour is a fantastic way to see Mutianyu and other sights, as in most cases your time in Beijing is limited. You want to maximise the sights, without getting lost along the walkways. The advantages of guided tours are a lot:

  • Make it easy on yourself
  • Quickly learn about destinations
  • They do the driving for you
  • They speak your language
  • Get insights into local culture
  • Get free advice
  • Safety and more

A popular option for visiting Mutianyu is to combine a visit to Mutianyu and the largest royal garden, the fantastic Summer Palace in one day.

Having a tour guide can really enhance your travel experience as they will take care of all of the details from transportation to dining to sightseeing. … You save time and energy that you would normally put into planning out your own tours. They make traveling a breeze, especially when going to to an international destination where you may not have any knowledge of the area.

Mutianyu Walk vs Jiankou to Mutianyu Day Hike

Hiking trips, walking tours can make from some of the most interesting and enjoyable escapes of the Great Wall, giving you a chance to truly immerse yourselves in a culture or location. Choosing the right trip is a key ingredient for enjoying your Great Wall tour.

Jiankou to Mutianyu day hike is an exceptional way to maximize a short amount of time at the Great Wall. Jiankou is much more wild and isolated compared with Mutianyu. The difficulty of the hike is moderate for average person. Children (age 5-10 years) to senior citizens, have successfully hiked from Jiankou towards Mutianyu. Further reading:

How Will You Decide?

The hard part of planning a trip is narrowing it down. When you plan your trip think about your life, your interests, what has inspired you to want to take this trip in the first place, and ask yourself:

  • Does hiking from Jiankou to Mutianyu for 4-5 hours sound like fun for you?
  • You may walk a mile or two on pavement comfortably, but can you walk four or five miles a day on rough trails?
  • What will the weather be at Jiankou on the day you planned?
  • Do you need to train for this hike?

Be sure you know your limits, as well as your strengths and weaknesses, ahead of time. It is important that you know and acknowledge the expectations of the hike before you commit your time and money. Below are the most popular Jiankou to Mutianyu hiking tours for inspiration:

Book a Private Car to Mutianyu Great Wall

Hiring a private driver/car for excursions outside the city is a good choice if you are traveling on a budget and want to avoid the crowded people and traffic. If you are traveling with 3 or 4 friends, this way is much more cost-efficient. 

Your driver will be happy to purchase the tickets for you upon your arrival if required. To make things more interesting, hiring an English speaking guide (550RMB–750RMB per day, 8-9 working hours) is a good option if this travel style works for you.

great-wall-toboggan-slide-at-Mutianyu

Lowest Fixed Prices With No Surprises 

The fare is fixed, even if the driver has to make a detour caused by a road block for example. With each booking you’ll know exactly what the ride will cost you. For no added costs, we will get you to your destination as quickly as possible.

Please bear in mind that the driver speaks little English, he knows some simple words and usually has a translation App on his phone. He can take you to the sites, wait for you and he knows where to take you and when to bring you back. If any problem arises please call our office (+86 185 1025 4530) if there is any misunderstanding with the Non-English speaking driver.

Vehicles You Will Use

Cars, vans, and minibusses, all our vehicles are modern comfortable and air-conditioned which can help you explore Beijing in comfort. Check out the vehicle page for the details.

Vehicle (Car, Van, Coach) Rental Rates (RMB)

OptionsPEK Airport-pickup/ drop offMutianyu

+ Ming Tombs 

Longqing GorgeBadaling

OR Huanghua

cheng

Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu

+Summer Palace

Simatai OR Jinshanling 
4 seats Hyundai
300790890750690790990
6 seats Buick35096010909908909601290
14 seats Ford Transit
550149014901390139014901790
16 seats Joylong750 1890 1790 1790169018902090

Vehicle (Car, Van, Coach) Rental Rates (RMB)

OptionsTiananmen, Forbidden City
Mutianyu
Airport

pick up Mutianyu
airport drop off

Airport pick up / drop off
Mutianyu & city sites

Loingqing Gorge & Badaling

Shilinxia (Glass Platform)Eastern Qing TombsCuandixia Village
4 seats Hyundai
7908501190950950990990
6 seats Buick990105013901140115012901190
14 seats Ford Transit
1290149015901590139014901690
16 seats Joylong1790189018901890169018901890

All Prices shown are in RMB (Chinese Yuan) unless otherwise stated.

The cost includes:
  • City accommodation pick up / drop off,
  • Non-English / Chinese speaking driver
  • A quality vehicle with A/C
  • Transportation fees
  • Parking fees, gasoline, toll fees
The cost doesn’t include
  • entrance fees to the sites
  • single journey of chairlift / toboggan / cable car (optional)
  • round trip of chairlift / toboggan / cable car (optional)
  • Meal and tips
Weekend Special!

Enjoy a weekend rate of 600RMB for a four-seater air-conditioning car to visit the splendid Mutianyu Great Wall from Beijing. Explore the spectacular Mutianyu on an intimate, private car trip. Recommended length of visit: 2-4 hours. Check out Mutianyu travel guide for more tips.

The cost includes:
  • City accommodation pick up / drop off,
  • Non-English / Chinese speaking driver
  • A quality vehicle with A/C
  • Transportation fees
  • Parking fees, gasoline, toll fees
The cost doesn’t include
  • Airport (hotel) pick up / drop off
  • 60RMB p.p entrance fees to Mutianyu
  • 100RMB p.p for single journey of chairlift / toboggan / cable car (optional)
  • 120RMB p.p for round trip of chairlift / toboggan / cable car (optional)
  • Meal and tips

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