How to Visit the Great Wall from Shanghai

Written by Sally Guo Updated Jul. 20, 2023

Shanghai is around 1,200 kilometers from the Great Wall in Beijing and has good connections for an easy Great Wall trip. A day tour is possible to visit the Great Wall from Shanghai. Here's how to plan your adventure from Shanghai to Beijing's iconic monument.

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

How to Travel from Shanghai to Beijing (Great Wall)

Traveling from Shanghai to Beijing is simple. Being two big cities in China, they have loads of flights and bullet trains running between them. It makes getting from one to the other really easy.

By Flights

Flying from Shanghai to Beijing is really easy and fast. There are around 80 flights every day, starting early in the morning and leaving about every 30 minutes. You can catch a flight from either Shanghai Pudong International Airport or Hongqiao Airport.

Your flight can land at Beijing International Airport or Daxing Airport. But remember, most flights go to Daxing Airport and it's a bit further from downtown Beijing. The flight usually takes about 2-2.5 hours.

Here are the addresses of Shanghai's airports if you need them:

To maximize your time, we suggest you consider booking an early morning flight to Beijing, allowing a full day for the Great Wall visit. Keep in mind the time you'll need for the airport procedures and traveling from Beijing to the Great Wall.

By Bullet Train

Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Taking a bullet train from Shanghai to Beijing is also very convenient. There are about 40 trains every day between the two cities. Most trains leave from Shanghai Hongqiao Train Station and arrive at Beijing South Railway Station.

The first train leaves at around 6:30 am and the last one at about 9:30 pm. It takes between 4.5 to 6 hours to travel.

And don't worry about getting tickets. It's simple to buy them online through China Travel. A first-class ticket costs about 900 yuan and a second-class ticket is about 550 yuan.

By Overnight Train

If you're arriving in Shanghai in the afternoon and have limited time for your Great Wall tour, the overnight train is a fantastic option. The train departs from Shanghai in the evening and arrives in Beijing early the next morning. This allows you to visit the Wall in the morning and return to Shanghai by the afternoon. 

 Beijing Airports/Railway Stations to the Great Wall

Beijing has two airports: Beijing International Airport and Daxing Airport. Your flight from Shanghai might land at either one. It takes roughly 2 hours to get from Beijing International Airport to the Mutianyu Great Wall. From Daxing Airport, it's a bit longer.

Beijing South Railway Station is also a 2-hour drive from the Mutianyu Great Wall. Sadly, there's no direct bus or metro from the airports or the railway station to the Great Wall.

You could take a taxi from the airport or railway station to the Great Wall. This takes about 2 hours. But the taxi driver might not speak English.

To make your travel experience more efficient and comfortable, we highly recommend opting for a private transfer service or booking a private tour. This can save you a lot of time and avoid various hassles.

If you travel with us, our guide will greet you at the arrival gate, assists with your luggage, and transports you directly from the airport to the Great Wall.

Beijing airport pick up
Beijing airport pick up

How to Plan a Day Tour from Shanghai to the Great Wall

It is possible to have a day trip to visit the Great Wall of China from Shanghai as long as you manage your schedule efficiently.

One-Day Shanghai to Great Wall Tour Itinerary

Below are our recommendations for a time-smart itinerary:

Shanghai to the Great Wall tour
Shanghai to the Great Wall tour

With proper planning, you can leave Shanghai early in the morning and arrive in Beijing by 10 AM. For instance, the early morning Jixiang Airline flight departs from Shanghai around 7:30 AM and lands at Beijing Daxing Airport at 9:55 AM. From Daxing, the Great Wall is roughly 2.5 hours away.

Although you can squeeze this trip into one day, it might be a bit tight. We suggest setting 2-3 days for a more relaxed exploration of this world-famous site.

How to Plan Your Trip During Chinese Holidays

Be aware that the Great Wall tends to get crowded during Chinese public holidays like National Day (October 1-7), the May 1st holiday (May 1-3), during summer holidays in July and August, and on weekends. Heavy traffic and long waiting lines are expected during these periods.  Please ask your travel advisor about the current situation before finalizing your plans.

Try to Maximize Your Experience on the Wall

Even with limited time, there are several ways you can ensure an unforgettable experience at the Great Wall.

Strategically Plan Your Route

Choose a section of the Great Wall that's close to your arrival point (the airport or railway station) and has facilities to save energy and time. For instance, the Mutianyu Great Wall offers cable cars and chair lifts for a quick commute up and down the Wall.

Consider a Private Tour or Transfer Using a tour service or private transfer with an experienced driver and guide can be a time-efficient way to reach the Great Wall. A guide can also maximize your experience on the wall.

Don't Miss the Highlight Points on the Wall

There are important locations on the Wall that you won't want to miss. For great views of the Wall winding its way across mountains, head to the 14th Tower. Besides, the toboggan ride down from the Mutianyu Great Wall is a thrilling experience you shouldn't skip.

Shanghai to Beijing Great Wall tour
Shanghai to Beijing Great Wall tour

Travel with China Travel to Explore the Great Wall from Shanghai

We will ensure you have an enjoyable Great Wall trip. 

Our drivers are familiar with the quickest routes and aim to avoid heavy traffic whenever possible.

After your Great Wall trip, your driver will take you quickly back to the airport. This way, you can spend the most time at the Wall and then relax on the drive back after a day of sightseeing. Contact Us Now!

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