The Best Time To Visit The Great Wall Of China
Where is The Great Wall of China located?
The Great Wall of China is located in the northern Chinese city of Beijing. The Wall stretches approximately 21,000km in length and there are several access points along the way for visitors to come and explore and enjoy this UNESCO Heritage listed and New 7 Wonder of the world.
The best time to visit The Great Wall of China
The best time of day to visit The Great Wall of China is dependent on the experience you are looking for and also which section of the Wall you are visiting.
The Summer months bring the heat, higher prices and crowds; whereas the Winter months can prove to be bitterly cold and precarious for hikers, however, incredibly picturesque, often snow capped. March to May and August to October are the less populated months of the year, typically.
If you are looking to beat the crowds and experience the Wall with ease and take it all in, the earlier in the day the better. If you are lucky to arrive before the hawkers do, you will have access to much of the Wall to yourself. This can be a truly remarkable and unbelievable pinch-yourself experience.
The best place to visit The Great Wall of China
Sections of The Great Wall of China to visit
Mutianyu is the most popular section to visit for international tourists and it is the most kid friendly section of The Great Wall of China. Mutianyu is about one and a half hours from Beijing by car.
Jinshanling to Simatai is the most popular section to hike. Some of this section is restored and is arguably the most beautiful. Jinshanling is a 2-3 hour drive from Beijing, you will need to play your time to do this section and include an overnight stay.
Jiankou which is completely original, untouched and in some parts very dangerous. This section is for fit, serious hikers and for photographers, typically. Jiankou is about a three hour drive from Beijing.
Simatai is the only part open at night and should be considered by tour only. This is about a 2-3 hour drive from Beijing.
Huanghuacheng is known for the lake and water views and the ancient wall. It is roughly an hour and a half from Beijing. During the warmer months, May to September, hiking and camping is encouraged.
Gubeikou is wild and untouched, which protected an important pass to Beijing from Northern Mongol regions. It is roughly 2 hours from Beijing.
Badaling is the most popular for Chinese tourists and is typically very crowded. There are some sections of this that are wheelchair friendly.
Juyongguan is the closest part to Beijing and is known to be the greatest Great Wall forts to have defended ancient Beijing. This section is wheelchair friendly.
Huangyaguan is three hours from Beijing and is where The Great Wall marathon starts each May.
Shanhai Pass is about three hours from Beijing and is where the Great Wall meets the sea at the east end of main Ming Dynasty Great Wall.
Interesting facts about The Great Wall of China
Why was the Great Wall of China built?
The Great Wall of China is a collection of walls which were constructed to protect and consolidate Chinese States and territories.
Who built The Great Wall of China?
The Great Wall was built in different areas by different people to serve the needs of those in each section.
- The (Pre-) Warring States Period (770-221BC) – A Qi State duke first built walls to prevent invasion.
- The Qin Dynasty (221-207BC) – Emporer Qin unified state walls to secure the northern China border.
- The Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) – The Han Great Wall was extended to protect the silk road trade.
- The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) – Most of The Great Wall was built or restored during the Ming Dynasty.
- The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) – The emperors of the Qing Dynasty didn’t build The Great Wall, in fact they forbade it.
- Modern Times – The Great Wall reconstruction and protection began in Badaling in 1957.
Height and length of The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China measures 21,196.18 km (or 13,170.7 mi), as per all known sections. The walls were built with the intention of being roughly three times the height of any human.
Other interesting things to do in Beijing
There are so many fabulous things to do in Beijing; here are some popular ideas for tourists:
- Forbidden City
- The Summer Palace
- Peking Opera Show
- Chaoyang Acrobatic Show
- Evening Foodie Tour
- Lonely Planet Experiences: Small Group Food Tour
- Tiananmen, Forbidden City & Great Wall
- Beijing City: Private Full-Day or Half-Day Tour by Car
Accommodation in Beijing, China
Accommodation choices are endless in Beijing. You are best to plan your trip and stay in Beijing and then book accommodation based on where you are best situated to access attractions you wish to visit. Be sure to read reviews and carefully select accommodation to suit your needs.