Mutianyu Great Wall Vs Badaling Great Wall – Which Is Better?

Wondering Which Section of the Great Wall to Visit? Discover the Best Section to Go in Beijing

Mutianyu Great Wall
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The Great Wall is absolutely a ‘must-see’ when you visit China. The Mutianyu Great Wall and the Badaling Great Wall are two popular choices among tourists. Each has its unique advantages. Below, we will be going over some of the pros and cons of each to help you plan your trip.

Pros Of Mutianyu Great Wall

1. More authentic.

Mutianyu appears more authentic than Badaling. One of the biggest reasons this is a good option that you feel more authentic while visiting Mutianyu.

Mutianyu happens to be the longest fully restored section of the Great Wall of China. It allows you to take in the vast nature of the wall itself.

2. Less Crowded.

Another reason you might want to check out this section is because it happens to be much less crowded and less touristy than the more popular section at Badaling.

At Mutianyu, you will be able to enjoy a quiet time, be away from the crowds, listen to the silence of the mountains, take time to sit on the edge of the wall, and take it all in…

3. Better Architecture.

Nothing can define a place quite as distinctly as its architecture. The entire section of Mutianyu is restored. Due to its superior architecture, you will be able to enjoy the better architecture that provides a more authentic feel.

4: Fun Toboggan Ride.

Both Mutianyu and Badaling have cable cars. Besides a chairlift, Mutianyu features a fast toboggan run for going down.

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

You sit very close to the ground and control your speed with a hand brake. Although you may be backed up a little, the toboggan is fun, safe, and not scary. Kids would love Mutianyu.

Mutianyu Great Wall Vs Badaling Great Wall
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Cons of Mutianyu Great Wall

1. Harder Climb to the Top.

One of the biggest cons associated with Mutianyu might be considered a good thing for some. This section will typically require a higher fitness level to complete because it’s steeper stairs.

For example, the section between towers 19 and 20 is steep, containing approx. 450 steps. If you have hip, ankle, or knee issues, watch the steps. If you find climbing vertical steps exciting, you will enjoy this wall part.

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

While the steps are steeper, there are handrails that you can use to help brace yourself and provide yourself with the support you might need to get through it.

It is also essential to watch your footing throughout because the entire area is not fully restored.

2. Bit Further Out.

Another negative that might be associated with Mutianyu would be the fact that Mutianyu is a little further out. There is no direct train between Mutianyu and Beijing.

It is more challenging to reach Mutianyu by public transport. It is best to arrange a driver ( or taxi at a set rate) to travel to Mutianyu from Beijing.

Mutianyu Great Wall Vs Badaling Great Wall Which Is Better
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Pros of Badaling Great Wall

1. Easily Accessible by Train and Bus.

One of the biggest pros of the Badaling Great Wall, and perhaps it is the most popular section among tourists, is its convenience and accessibility.

Badaling is closer to Beijing city than Mutianyu. You can easily travel to Badaling by bus or train. A single trip takes 1.5 hours by train, or 1.5 -2 hours by bus, depending on traffic.

2. Most Famous.

Another thing that makes Badaling so popular is that it happens to be the most famous section of the Great Wall.

Over 400 world leaders and celebrities have visited Badaling, including former US presidents Nixon, Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, and US basketball legend Michael Jordan.

3. Easier to Get to the Top.

Because it happens to be the best-preserved section, you will not need to be at a high fitness level to get to the Top and enjoy the views.

The stairs are certainly not as steep, making it much easier to climb than Mutianyu.

Cons of Badaling Great Wall

1. More Crowded.

This happens to be the most popular section of the Great Wall. Therefore, you can anticipate large crowds and more people to deal with.

If you need good pictures of the Great Wall, better visit Badaling during off-peak season. During the peak season or public holidays, it is always overcrowded.

2: More Commercial.

With restaurants, hotels, viewing telescopes, and a long row of souvenir market stalls, Badaling is more commercial than Mutianyu. Nearly all tour groups include this thrilling section as part of the Beijing tour package.


Overall, each of these sections has its unique advantages and disadvantages. The option you choose should come down to preference as to which benefits weigh the most to your particular self and situation.

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