Great Wall at Badaling
Visit the Great Wall at Badaling on a day trip from Beijing, as part of a China highlights tour, or even on a layover; many packages include a restaurant lunch and a visit to a jade workshop, while a few also include cable car tickets. Some day trips combine the Great Wall at Badaling with nearby attractions, such as the Guyaju Caves or the nearby Badaling Ski Resort. Other additions include Longqing Gorge, which has an ice sculpture festival in winter, or the Ming Tombs, a grand imperial graveyard that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, opt to pair the Great Wall at Badaling with imperial sights in Beijing, such as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, or the Temple of Heaven.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Easily accessible from Beijing, the Great Wall at Badaling is a good choice for time-pressed travelers.
The wall can be bitterly cold in winter. Wear gloves, a warm coat, and a hat that covers your ears.
Ramps and elevators make the Great Wall at Badaling the easiest stretch of the wall for travelers who use wheelchairs. Ask your tour operator to phone ahead to ensure elevator access.
How to Get There
The Great Wall at Badaling is about 42 miles (68 kilometers) north of downtown Beijing. It’s easily reached by the suburban S2 train that runs frequently from Huangtudian station in Beijing; to get there, take metro line 8 or 13 to Huoying. When Beijing North railway station reopens at the end of 2019, the S2 will depart from there instead of Huangtudian. To reach Beijing North, take metro line 2, 4, or 13 to Xizhimen.
When to Get There
The Great Wall at Badaling is open from early morning until early evening seven days a week, with slightly shorter hours during winter (November through March). The site is always busy, but don’t even think about visiting on weekends or over the major Chinese holidays: Lunar New Year in late winter and Golden Week at the beginning of October.
How Long Is the Great Wall of China?
Historians date the Great Wall of China to the time of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a united China, in the third century BC, but some of its fortifications are even older than that. After a 5-year survey at the turn of the 21st century, the Chinese government calculated the length of the Great Wall, including all its different branches and constructions from different eras, at 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers). That’s more than twice as long as previously thought.
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