I recently spent 38 hours in Beijing and wrote 10 Things I Learned From My Recent Trip to Beijing, China. The number one thing on my itinerary was to venture out to the Great Wall of China at Badaling first thing in the morning. There’s a lot of confusing and outdated information on the internet regarding on how to get to and from Beijing city center to the Badaling Great Wall of China. Of course, the easy way to get to the Great Wall of China is by taxi but that will easily set you back a few hundred Chinese yuan as it’s very far from Beijing city center.
I only had one full day in Beijing and wanted to make the most out of it by taking the first train out of Beijing. In my opinion, the only way to see the Great Wall of China at Badaling is to get there very early because of the crowds later in the day. Here’s a step by step guide on How to Get From Beijing to Badaling Great Wall of China.
Step 1. Take the Beijing subway to Xizhimen metro station – The Beijing subway station doesn’t open until 5am, but you’ll need to be at one of the Line 2 stations at 5am if you want to catch the first 6:12am train to Badaling.
Step 2. At Xizhimen subway station, follow the Exit Area A and A2 signs to the Beijing North Railway Station.
Step 3. Follow the signs for the S2 Train and take the escalator upstairs because the Underground Entrance will be closed.
Step 4. Double check the schedule of the train you want to take and take a picture of it with your smartphone or use this image below to save on time.
Step 5. The outside ticket counter will be closed, so buy your ticket for the S2 Train to Badaling at the ticket office on the right side.
The cashier will not speak English, so show the picture of the S2 train schedule and they will know what you want. The ticket cost is 6RMB ~ $0.97 USD and it’s good for a one-way trip.
Step 6. Head inside to the Beijing North Railway Station where you will have to show your ticket and pass through a metal detector.
Step 7. There’s a waiting area inside the railway station and when the gates open, there will be a mad dash to the train.
Seats are first come, first serve and the journey will take an hour and a half to the Badaling Railway Station.
Step 8. Follow the exit signs to the Great Wall of China at Badaling where it will be a 10 minute walk to the main ticket entrance.
Step 9. There are a lot of ticket options (mostly half off or free for qualified seniors, active duty military, minors, and for the disabled), but the most basic one is 40RMB ~ 6.45 USD which will grant you access to the Badaling Great Wall of China.
I highly recommend you visit the Great Wall at Badaling in the morning if you plan on doing so. I would also avoid any expensive package tours to Badaling because they will sucker you into visiting the Jade Factory Museum and other shops along the way. The packaged guided tours only give you 2 hours to explore the Badaling Great Wall which is pretty rushed. I am highly against packaged deals and I love to explore new places at my own leisurely pace, not under someone’s commanding watch watching over you like a hawk.
If you have any questions, please comment below and I will answer them.