How to Get From Beijing to Badaling Great Wall of China

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 There’s a lot of confusing and outdated information on the internet regarding on how to get to and from Beijing city center to the Badaling Great Wall of China.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.

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Step 3. Follow the signs for the S2 Train and take the escalator upstairs because the Underground Entrance will be closed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Step 6. Head inside to the Beijing North Railway Station where you will have to show your ticket and pass through a metal detector.

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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.

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Seats are first come, first serve and the journey will take an hour and a half to the Badaling Railway Station.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Continue to How to get From the Great Wall of China at Badaling to Beijing

If you have any questions, please comment below and I will answer them.


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12 Comments on "How to Get From Beijing to Badaling Great Wall of China"

  1. Wandertheglobe | April 30, 2015 at 9:25 am | Reply

    Good write up J. Question on step 8. The sign doesn’t explicitly say which way to Badaling. Is it right or left?

  2. Great write up!

    I arrive at PEK airport at 6:30AM from BKK. I figure it would be a bit late by the time I get my bag dropped off an take this train to Badaling.

    Do you know of any other reliable info to other parts of the great wall? I do want to avoid crowds if I can.

    • There are many departure times to Badaling by train for the same price. Perhaps you can save the Great Wall for a full day when you can get there early in the morning and I’m not sure about other parts of the Great Wall.

  3. Nice guide, you break it down really clearly with the pictures!

    But I wish you’d have had time to visit a different section of the wall!

    Badaling is so touristy, brand new stone, gift shops etc. Maybe next time you can follow my guide to camping on an unrestored section of the Great Wall ( which i discovered while living and teaching there a few years ago.

  4. Thank you for the comprehensive writeup, i am going Beijing in 1.5 weeks and will visit Badaling

  5. Thanks for the info and the way you have articulated step by step showing photos of many things. I needed to be more elaborate on how you actually arrive at the top area of the Badaling once you enter the main entrance. There is a gondola ride (bucket seated dolly that carries one on a rope, isn’t it?) which then takes you way up to an open area and one walks in and around some area, then actually sees the wall. Where is that stuff in your writing? I wonder..

  6. OMG!!! Life saver!!!

    thank you so much for all the details. Totally agree about the tours. Been trying to find a tour where i dont have to go to the jade factory!!!


  7. Nice and clear information on the Great Wall! May I know that if there is any taxi around when you get off from the S2 train? (Although I know that we can walk there) This is because I will be going with oldies and scare that they can’t walk much.

  8. Thank you for this step by step guide. It is much appreciated.

  9. Life safer…. Great write up and world need a lot of people like you. Keep it up.

  10. Anne Kingma-Lord | March 8, 2017 at 5:37 am | Reply

    Hi! Thank you so much for the great article. My fiancé and I are going to Beijing on a layover April 3rd, 2017. We were wondering if we left really early (just like you did), we would be able to spend a little bit of time at the Wall then be at the airport around 2:15 pm? We will be sleeping near Dongzhimen the night before.

    Thanks 🙂


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