Great Wall of China
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Great Wall of China: Tours & Tickets

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Top sights in Beijing

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Top 5 surprising facts about the Great Wall of China

There are as many Great Wall of China facts as the structure is long and old. The Great Wall of China was built in the 7th century BC primarily using the wheelbarrow, an invention of the Chinese. Read on to learn more about its ancient history before visiting!

Great Wall of China Length

The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world. Its literal Chinese meaning is The Immeasurably-Long or the 10,000-Mile-Long Wall. It is 13,171 miles long.

The Cost of Construction

During its construction, it was called “the longest cemetery on earth” because so many died building it. The estimated number of lives lost is over one million.

Some World Math

If you added the length of all Chinese defense walls built over the last 2,000 years, the number would be about 31,070 miles—6,216 miles less than the circumference of the planet.

Outer Space Myth Debunked

The Great Wall cannot in fact be seen from the moon without aid. This widespread “Great Wall of China from space” myth was popularized by Robert Ripley back in 1932.

Saving a Legacy

Over 10 million people visit annually. With sections crumbling and graffiti-covered, the Chinese have struggled with maintenance—the sheer length makes preservation impossible.

Our insider tips

Research where to visit

The best point of departure is Beijing with the four most popular sections being Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Jinshanling. Each has its advantages and disadvantages: some are closer but more crowded, better for kids or the elderly, have a better view of the mountains, beautiful forest cover, or fun ruins to climb.

Prepare Ahead

Give yourself no less than three hours to explore, so be sure to pack sunscreen, snacks and a good supply of water. Don’t forget to check the weather before you head out!

Wake Up Early

Take the first tourist bus around 7:00AM, arriving around 9:00AM or 10:00AM, to avoid the crowds.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Hours vary by entrance point. Some sections of the wall close periodically for repairs, so check online in advance.
  • Is it expensive?
    Entrance-only prices vary by location, and can be as low as 25 RMB ($4) or even free, but continue up with tour options.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guide is recommended not only for the history, but also due to the fact that some wall sections are very dangerous and poorly maintained.
  • How to get there
    Directions vary by selected entrance, with the closest being 50km away. Many train/bus options are available to each.
  • Additional information

    • Remember that November to April offers bitterly cold weather, so a visit to the Wall may not be enjoyable.

    • If traveling without a guide/tour, please use caution as some sections of the Wall can be in disrepair.

What people are saying about Great Wall of China

Great value. Drive further out of Beijing. Avoid tourist trap.

Taking a private tour and zooming along the toll road meant we bypassed the tourist masses. For the first hour we were the only ones on our section of the wall. We feel very privileged to have been given this experience. Thank you Paul.

The Mutianyu Tour was canceled. I was offered Jinshanling Tour instead

The Mutianyu Tour was canceled by the authorities because of the weathr conditions. I was offered Jinshanling Tour instead. This one was much more difficult and it put my strengths to the limit, as long as I had 115 kg by the time I climbed up the Wall. But I managed to finish it and the views from the Wall were fantastic.

Beijing: Mutianyu Great Wall of China Bus Tour (No Shopping) Reviewed by VLADIMIR GEORGE, 20/08/2018

Awesome experience that inverts any perception about Man and Nature

I have to admit that when I booked the tour I was full of expectations, because I've always wanted to walk on the Great Wall (at least) once in my life and the combo with the Summer Palace seemed to fit perfectly that clue of history and emotions. And I'm really excited to say that everything went really great, from the trip itself (smart driver, comfortable atmosphere, complimentary water refilled at every stop) to the guide (Vivian, extremely caring and friendly - and she can also take wonderful pics with the smartphone!) and of course to both venues (Great Wall, in particular, was literally breathtaking: I still don't understand how *human* people could have built it using only their hands). Even the lunch was good in a traditional - although a bit touristy - restaurant suggested by Vivian, with some tasty dishes and a funny atmosphere. Highly recommended to spend one of the best days of your life.

Great experience, definitely would do this again!

When a group of friends and I visited the Great Wall, our tour guide Clair went above and beyond to help us. She exceeded my expectations with the way she treated all in the tour, making sure that everyone was okay and took care of us like a family member. The bus driver was also well prepared with water in case people needed to buy some. Overall, it was a great experience, Clair even stayed to help us get a taxi after the tour was over.

Mutianyu Great Wall Bus Transfer with Options Reviewed by Deisy, 10/07/2018

Awesome experience and highly recommended.

Gill, our private guide was highly professional. Her English was flawless and she made our trip extremely interesting. Gill adapted her explanations to my 11 year old daughter, who showed a keen interest to what she was showing. She was also very patient and did not hesitate to re-explain things to her. I can only recommend her as a guide to the wonderful sites in Beijing, and simply can't thank her enough.

Private Tour of Mutianyu Great Wall Reviewed by Neil, 16/05/2018

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