Great Wall – Excursion or Independent Trip?

The Great Wall of China is the most famous landmark of China. If you find yourself in Beijing, then it’s a shame to skip the opportunity to look at her. But how to get there and see this miracle of light? What is better to pay an organized excursion or ride yourself?

In Beijing you have three options to watch the Great Wall. Of course, this choice concerns independent tourists. Those who arrived in China in an organized tour, the whole program is already painted in advance.

1. Ride yourself by train or bus. The train is most convenient, we wrote about this way in the article "Trip to Badalin".

2. Buy an inexpensive excursion in any street tourist agency.

3. Buy dear excursion in a good travel agency. Options for excursions to the Great Wall of China, we described in detail about them in the article "Excursions in Beijing".

Each option has its own "minuses" and "pluses" that we will analyze in detail now. If you configured in advance to one of these options, do not hurry, read this article completely.

How much does a ride cost

Let’s start with the most burning – prices. Independent trip out competition. For a self-trip you will need 2 Chinese yuan for paying a trip to the Beijing Metro and 6 yuan to pay from Badalin Station. In both sides, only 16 yuan, but you still have to pay for a ticket to a wall that stands for an independent tourist 45 yuan. All you pay 61 yuan per person. Unfortunately, on this advantage of an independent trip end.

Cheap excursion is 100-200 yuan. This amount includes a bus ride to the wall, and this is not necessarily a site of Badalin, it can be plots of Mutyanyui or Simitai.

Also in the price includes lunch, the services of an English-speaking guide and visiting the tombs of the emperors of the Ming dynasty or the Underground Palace Dinlin. Tickets on the wall and in the tombs are included in the price.

Tour from a solid company is already 350-400 yuan. Such a tour is similar to the previous option, but the driver will be certified, all participants are insured additionally, the restaurant will be better, the guide normally speaks English, and the group will consist of no more than 10 people.

Independent trip Cheap excursion Dear excursion
61 yuan (350 rubles) 100-200 yuan (550-1100 rubles) 350-400 yuan (1900-2200 rubles)

How is the trip to the wall itself

During the independent trip, you will have to go to the subway to the North Station Beijing, and then go by train. The duration of a trip by train ranges from 1 hour 10 minutes to 2 hours. You can travel by bus, but time spent the same. Once again we will advise our article "Trip to Badalin", there we have described all the "charms" of this method.

During the excursions you will be lucky by bus or minibus. In an inexpensive excursion you will go on a big tourist bus with a crowd of tourists, mostly Chinese. During the expensive excursion, you will go to a group of no more than 10 people.

Naturally, a group of 10 people is much easier to collect at the moment when you need to serve back, so in the course of a cheap excursion, get ready for unplanned delays.

At the beginning of any excursion you will be taken directly from your hotel in Beijing. It is very convenient, you will need only wake up in the morning at the right time.

Independent trip Cheap excursion Dear excursion
Go on the train, most likely standing Large tourist bus, large group of tourists Minibus, group no more than 10 people

Guide services

If you buy an excursion to the agency, the English-language guide will go with you. Let’s not deceive, guides speak English not very good. It is logical, in China, the knowledge of European languages ​​is very valued, and those who managed to learn at least English, work in the field of international trade, where high salary and serious framework for personnel. Who learned badly, welcome to the guides.

It is not worth it to be very offended, our languages ​​are very different, and it is difficult for the Chinese to teach the languages ​​of the European Group. For Europeans, the Chinese language is even more difficult to learn, and many tourists feel it when trying to somehow communicate in China.

Value of guides is doubtful because of the bad knowledge of the language. How to listen to the guide, it is much easier to read our article "Great Wall of China", where you will find detailed and most interesting information about this object. We will not include guide services as an advantage in comparing different ways to visit the wall for this reason.

In travel agencies you can hire a Russian-speaking guide. There are guides who confidently speak Russian, but more often they talk "barely barely" – it is hard to understand what they say, and even more difficult to explain something to them. Russian-speaking guides are a lottery.

On the wall itself

If you are going on your own, then your time on the wall is not limited, go how much you want. To be honest, then walking on it is not very interesting. Easy walking it will not be called, in some areas an angle of lifting is up to 45 degrees, and if the weather is wet, you can ride down.

Choosing an organized excursion, you will give you from two to three hours on the wall, which is enough "for eyes". Go far along the wall will not work, a plot available for tourists is limited.

Read our article "On the greatest Chinese wall", where we described in detail that you can see interesting here.

Independent trip Cheap excursion Dear excursion
Time is not limited On the inspection of the walls give from 2 to 3 hours On the inspection of the walls give from 2 to 3 hours

Now for inspection of tourists, three parts of the wall are open: Badalin, Mutyanyuy or Simitai. Badalin is the most popular area, you can get here on your own. There is always a huge number of tourists, however, the wall is big and tourists do not hinder each other much. Although Badalin is considered "tourist lots", Ride here is quite interesting.

More "Elite" It is considered a plot of Mutyanyu, where much fewer people, and this section of the wall of the ancient plot in Badalin for 1000 years. It was built in the 6th century, but at the Ming dynasty was seriously rebuilt along with the Badalin region. Mutyanyuy is considered the most well-preserved section of the wall, and inscriptions (we mean the inscriptions made by tourists) here much less.

The most amazing views of the mountains open from the walls precisely on the plot of Mutyanyu. Also on this section of the loopholes are watching both sides that it is rare on the wall. On this site the largest concentration of observation towers. Here is a strategically important passage of Mutyanyu, who was guarded by three watchdogs, this architectural ensemble is still standing, and you can see it.

The plot of Simatay was worse than the rest, and it is very difficult to get on it. Here you can go with the excursion, but this tour still needs to be found, not in every agency they sell tours to the site of Simtai.

After inspecting the wall

In the case of an independent trip, after inspecting the wall itself, you will go to the railway station and you will wait for the train to Beijing. We recommend in advance to familiarize yourself with the train schedule, as the intervals are large, and you can lose a lot of time at the train waiting for the train.

Period from May to September is considered the main tourist season in Beijing. At this time, they allow additional trains from the Northern station to Badalin Station. Unfortunately, their schedule is inconsistency, and we cannot publish it in advance.

You will arrive on the train back to Beijing, and on this your trip will end. This is another advantage of an independent trip – you will be free to dinner and you can go somewhere else. Some tourists manage to see two main attractions of Beijing – the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.

Great Wall - Excursion or Independent Trip

If you go to an organized excursion, you will be put on the bus and will be lucky for lunch to restaurant. The restaurant is very sensitive to the difference between excursions for 150 and 350 yuan. Lunch during an excursion for 150 yuan can be confidently called "budget", There will be a small cafe with a choice of several dishes. Rice and noodles will be a lot, the meat will be, if lucky.

On the road excursion you are full of full "Buffet" with a good choice of dishes. By the way, serious travel companies do not have the right to carry you into any cafe, but only to the public catering establishment, where you can be confident in compliance with all sanitary standards.

Independent trip Cheap excursion Dear excursion
What to buy with you, and you will eat Simple cafe Good institution

After lunch

On an organized excursion you will be lucky to watch the tombs of the emperors of the Ming dynasty. This place is nearby, where the tombs of the Thirteen Emperors are located. This is a very beautiful place, the only disadvantage of which is that walking is very much and for a very long time. It’s rather not just tombs, but an entire architectural complex.

Important! If you first be lucky to tombs, and only then on the wall, you should not be surprised. Excursions are divided 50 to 50, half first rides the wall, the second half first to the tombs.

After inspecting historical attractions, you will be transported by the Olympic facilities and will get to the market (most likely it will be a silk market). I do not recommend buying anything in the market, prices there are higher than in ordinary stores, but "run out" on the fake or poor-quality goods are much more.

And at the end of the day you will be brought directly to the hotel, which is extremely convenient. Usually the excursion ends at 18-00, and you will have time to go to dinner or go shopping.

Comparative table of visits to the Great Wall of China:

Independent trip Cheap excursion Dear excursion
Price 61 yuan 100-200 yuan 350-400 yuan
Where will you get from You have to go to the subway to the North Station Beijing Will be taken straight from the hotel Will be taken straight from the hotel
How do you go to the wall Go on the train, most likely standing Large tourist bus, large group of tourists Minibus, group no more than 10 people
Which section of the wall can be viewed Only Badalin Badalin and Mutyanyu, rarely have excursions to Simitai Badalin and Mutyanyu, rarely have excursions to Simitai.
Time on the wall Time is not limited On the inspection of the walls give from 2 to 3 hours On the inspection of the walls give from 2 to 3 hours
Dinner What to buy with you, and you will eat Simple cafe Good institution
Additional sights Shopping center near the northern station Tombs of emperors dynasty min, Olympic facilities Tombs of emperors dynasty min, Olympic facilities
Where you will arrive At the northern station, from there again on the subway Brought to the hotel Brought to the hotel

The only serious advantages of an independent trip can be called a low price and freedom of action, which will be limited to you only by timetable trains. Otherwise, no doubt, the excursion wins.

There are some more ways to look at the Great Wall. These are individual excursions by car or in mini-vein, it is worth such a pleasure from 600 yuan. There is a version of the helicopter flight, but how much is this pleasure, we do not know exactly, they were not interested.

Some tourists travel to the Chinese wall by taxi. Taxi in China is quite cheap, but still this way is dear.

We wish interesting excursions, and read our other useful articles about China (Links below).

Leave your comment. Your opinion is important to us! Show comments Hide comments

Everything is clear and clearly painted, thank you very much!

Hello!I have a question, I want to go with a child (4g) to go on a tour of the Chinese wall, if you have to walk a lot on the basis of your becoming, is it possible to provide a baby stroller?

Alexander – Glavred site

Some travel agent will provide baby carriages and wheelchairs. Look for such agency.

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