Great Wall of China Map || 10 Best Sections to Visit
The Great Wall of China is steeped in vast amounts of history and is one of the most interesting and diverse places to visit.
It stretches across miles and miles of land over China – and isn’t called Great for no reason.
So how do you go about picking the best part to visit?
Each section of the Great Wall is unique in its own way, attracting different audiences for different reasons.
This means that looking at a Great Wall of China map can be very daunting. So, we’ve put together a list of the best sections to go to, what perks each section has, and how to get there.
Great Wall of China Map #1 – Mutianyu (慕田峪)
Great Wall of China Map #2 – Badaling (八达岭)
Great Wall of China Map #3 – Jiankou (箭扣)
Great Wall of China Map #4 – Simatai (司马台)
Great Wall of China Map #5 – Jinshanling (金山岭)
Great Wall of China Map #6 – Shanhai Pass (山海关)
Great Wall of China Map #7 – Gubeikou (古北口)
Great Wall of China Map #8 – Huanghuacheng (黄花城)
Great Wall of China Map #9 – Huangyaguan (黄崖关)
Great Wall of China Map #10 – Juyongguan (居庸关)
Depending on which area you’d like to visit (see below), there are different ways to get to the wall.
The most popular spot to head to the wall from is Beijing, China’s capital city.
To get from the centre of Beijing to the Great Wall, there is a variety of options.
Exploring the Great Wall of China: Uncovering History and Fascinating Facts
Beyond the Myths: Unveiling the Rich History of the Great Wall PLUS Fun Facts! LTL Student Tereza from Liberec, Czech Republic, exploring the Great Wall Hey there, adventurers! Are you ready to take a journey to one of the most…
Great Wall Map || #1 Mutianyu (慕田峪)
- The most popular section to visit
- 1.5hrs drive from Beijing (73km/45 miles)
The Mutianyu Great Wall section is the most popular to visit for travellers, tourists, or those visiting as a family.
Due to it being the best-restored part of the wall, it is the most child-friendly section and the easiest to enjoy.
Taking just half a day to visit, and facilities such as a cable car both up and down, this is the section to visit if you’re short on time.
Great Wall Map || #2 Badaling (八达岭)
- Most popular section to visit for Chinese tourists
- 2hrs drive from Beijing (72km/45 miles)
The Badaling section of the Great Wall is solidly on the Great Wall of China map as the most popular amongst Chinese tourists.
Due to this, this section is always crowded. Due to it’s popularity, do be warned that your photos may contain more tourists than the actual Great Wall itself.
Facilities here include cable car service, the Great Wall Museum, and in some parts there is wheelchair access.
Exploring Beijing’s Railway Stations || Comprehensive Guide to Navigating the City’s Rail Hub
Beijing Railway Stations for 2023: North, East, South or West? Getting the high speed rail is probably one of the best ways to explore the middle kingdom. So, you’ll probably be spending a fair amount of time in a Beijing…
Great Wall Map || #3 Jiankou (箭扣)
- Most popular section to visit for adventurers
- 3hrs drive from Beijing (100km/62 miles)
This section of the wall is the one for those who are seeking adventure.
It is the most dangerous and difficult part of the wall to climb, with many areas very steep and treacherous.
Make sure you’re covered with travel insurance! At three hours away, it is great for a day trip to the Great Wall.
Great Wall Map || #4 Simatai (司马台)
- Here you can enjoy a night-time expedition
- 2-3hrs drive from Beijing (120km/75 miles)
Simatai offers a pleasant medium for those wanting a tough hike, and those wanting peace and tranquility to enjoy the surrounding beauty.
Acknowledged as a World Heritage Site in 1987, it is a more peaceful section of the wall with a variety of architecture. It is also open for night tours, or perfect for day trips to the Great Wall.
Great Wall Map || #5 Jinshanling (金山岭)
- Most popular with hikers
- 2-3hrs drive from Beijing (154km/96 miles)
Jinshanling is the most popular section with hikers, due to it only partly being restored.
The other part is relatively wild, offering both a challenge and a pleasant walk.
It is also arguably the most beautiful section of the wall, with incredible mountainous scenery across the 10km stretch.
Beijing Metro Map: Discover all 490 Stations and 27 Lines
In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about all 27 lines, which ones to take for famous sites, how to buy tickets and travel tips.
Great Wall Map || #6 Shanhai Pass (山海关)
- Great way to get further out and see something different
- 3.5hrs drive from Beijing in Hebei Province
This area of the wall is unlike others. It is where the Great Wall meets the sea, and is the end part of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. It previously served as a frontier against the Manchus. Due to its distance, you will need a full day trip to the Great Wall to get the most of it.
Where Does the Great Wall of China End?
Discover the Ancient Marvel of Laolongtou: China’s Legendary Dragon Head When you come to China, the Great Wall – built to protect China from raids and conquerors – is something you simply have to visit. There are many sections to…
Great Wall Map || #7 Gubeikou (古北口)
- Steeped in history
- 2hrs drive from Beijing (145km/90 miles)
This stretch of the wall is filled with history, with over 130 battles with the Mongol tribesmen happening in this area.
Historically, it played a very key part in history as it guards an important pass to Beijing.
Therefore, it is best to visit with a local guide who can keep you up to date on all of the history you’re passing by.
It’s a great place to visit as a first or second visit, as it is largely wild and unrestored.
Great Wall Map || #8 Huanghuacheng (黄花城)
- Unlike any other section – fantastic scenery and great for camping
- 1.5hrs drive from Beijing (75km/47 miles)
Huanghuacheng Great Wall section is most famous for its unique scenery. Notably, the lake surrounding it.
Parts of the wall are also underwater. There are many original parts of the wall, as well as original watchtowers, since it is largely unrestored.
Since it is convenient to visit, it can either be done as a day trip to the Great Wall or as a half-day trip.
Great Wall Map || #9 Huangyaguan (黄崖关)
- Site for the annual Great Wall Marathon
- 3hrs drive from Beijing, located in Tianjin
At Huangyaguan, the Great Wall Marathon takes place every year in May.
Often known as a miniature version of the Great Wall, you can find battlements built by the Ming Dynasty as well as the Northern Qi Dynasty.
Great Wall Map || #10 Juyongguan (居庸关)
- Closest section to Beijing with the easiest access
- 1.5hrs drive from Beijing (60km/37 miles)
The closest section to Beijing, this section is perfect for those not prepared to do a full-day trip to the Great Wall, but instead want to spend half a day.
It is fairly accessible for wheelchair users, and therefore suitable for handicapped travellers.
It can be a bit crowded during tourist peak season, so try earlier or later months of summer.
Great Wall of China Map – FAQ’s
How long is the Great Wall of China?
The total length of the Great Wall is a huge 21,196.18 km (13,170.70 miles).
When is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China?
Pick the time of year that suits you best but typically, we’d advise March/April/October/November time.
When should I avoid visiting the Great Wall of China?
Which is the most popular section of the Great Wall for Chinese tourists?
Badaling (八达岭) is without doubt the most popular with Chinese tourists so if you want to visit a part with few people, you’d be best advised to look at another part of the Wall.
Where does the Great Wall end and meet the sea?
Laolongtou is where the Great Wall meets the sea, and is the end part of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. It previously served as a frontier against the Manchus.
When was the Great Wall awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
The Great Wall of China was of the first six sites in China to be given the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage title in 1987.
Want more from LTL?
If you wish to hear more from LTL Mandarin School why not join our mailing list?
We give plenty of handy information on learning Chinese, useful apps to learn the language and everything going on at our LTL schools.
Sign up below and become part of our ever-growing community.
BONUS | Learn Chinese with LTL in person. Our student community is growing by the week.