How to Visit the Great Wall with Kids

The Great Wall is one of the greatest and most celebrated achievements of ancient China, and nowadays a must-see for travelers to Beijing. There are some well-preserved and -restored sections, though it is still a pretty tough challenge to visit the Great Wall with kids.

In this article, we list 3 child-friendly sections of the wall and provide some travel tips, to make your family journey safe, fun, and educational.

Mutianyu – Fully-Restored, Most Child-Friendly Section

  • Location: Huairou County, Beijing
  • From Downtown Beijing: 72 km (45 miles), 1½ hours' drive
  • Facilities: Cable cars, tobogganing, shuttle bus, wheelchair access, restaurants
Mutianyu Great Wall
 

Mutianyu Great Wall

The Great Wall at Mutianyu (慕田峪) is in better shape, yet attracts fewer tourists, than the Badaling Section or Juyongguan Pass. Mutianyu, the longest fully-restored section of the wall, was rebuilt with smooth and even steps which are child-friendly. The landscape here is even more charming than at Badaling.

If your kids are energetic enough, you can encourage them to walk through the watchtowers along the wall, to enjoy superb views as it snakes across hills and mountains. Ascending by cable car and returning by slipway will make your journey more exciting and less laborious.

Badaling – Best-Preserved and Most-Visited Section

  • Location: Yanqing County, Beijing
  • From Downtown Beijing: 72 km (45 miles), 1½ hours' drive
  • Facilities: Cable cars, the Great Wall Museum, a circular-screen cinema, restaurants, KFC, wheelchair access
Badaling Great Wall
 

Badaling Great Wall

As the best-preserved and most-visited section, Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城) is an essential part of the Ming Great Wall. In 1957 it was inaugurated as the first section of the wall to be opened to the Chinese public as a tourist site.

Not surprisingly, this section of the Great Wall, at such a strategic position immediately north of the capital city, has been well maintained down through the ages. As Badaling’s reputation has grown, however, it has become increasingly overcrowded.

Please contact us for a less-crowded Badaling Great Wall tour.

Jinshanling – the Most Popular Section for Hiking

  • Location: Chengde, Hebei
  • From Downtown Beijing: 130 km (80 miles), about 2½ hours’ drive
  • Facilities: cable car, restaurants
Jinshanling Great Wall
 

Jinshanling Great Wall

As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, Jinshanling retains a pristine and majestic look, with 67 well-preserved watchtowers along its length. It’s a section of the Wall guaranteed to satisfy your kids’ curiosity about this magnificent defensive fortification.

This quiet section with amazing vistas is only half-restored, and still half-wild. It is suitable for older children who are curious about ancient Chinese defenses, or who are fond of hiking and photography.

Want to tailor-make a hassle-free Jinshanling Great Wall tour with us?

Travel Tips for Parents

To visit the Great Wall with kids is never an easy mission, but it is definitely a worthwhile adventure for your family. Before your departure, here are several important things you should check:

Best Time to Go

Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are the ideal seasons for visiting the Great Wall, for the temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold, and they offer some amazing scenery. Refer to the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall for more information.

Avoid the Crowds

Crowds on the Great Wall
 

Crowds on the Great Wall

To make the most of the Great Wall, you should try to avoid China’s major holidays, when there may be a massive sea of tourists at this great venue.

These include Labor Day (May 1st, 3-day bank holiday), National Day (October 1st, 7-day bank holiday), and summer vacation, from the end of June to the beginning of September.

What to Prepare

Simatai Great Wall at Night
 

Simatai Great Wall at Night

1. Tell your kids some Wall myths and legends before going. With its thousands of years of construction, numerous legends and stories about the Great Wall have been handed down, among which the best-known is Meng Jiangnü weeping over the wall.

You can arouse your children’s interests in the Great Wall tour by sharing its interesting stories and military functions. Click Great Wall Stories and Highlights to find out more.

2. Please gear up sufficiently for your trip. You should pack sunblock, hats, coat, waterproofs, enough water, and energy-boosting snacks; along with a first aid kit, just in case.

3. Weather-wise, the best time to tour the Great Wall is late summer or autumn, when the weather is dry and cool, so you and your kids will have clear views and safer walking trails. But no matter when you go, check the weather three days beforehand.

Safety Issues

Stay with Your Kid
 

Stay with Your Kid

1. Keep your kids in your line of sight. The sections mentioned above are well restored and easy to follow, but they include some parts where it may be hard for younger children to walk up, especially on the Jinshanling Section.

2. Stay on marked trails. Accidents can happen on the Great Wall, especially when you’re traveling with children, so keep them away from the dangerous parts of the wall, such as steep steps, or non-restored areas with loose bricks.

3. Do not allow your children to play “hide and seek” on the wall! The Great Wall is a vast structure, which would make it easy for your kids to get lost in the crowds or the clouds.

Visit the Great Wall with China Travel – Safe, Fun, and Educational

Visiting the Great Wall with Kids
 

Visiting the Great Wall with Your Kids

A travel guide can save you much trouble when you visit the Great Wall with kids. Besides providing guidance and help, he/she can answer all your curious children’s questions! Here are several Beijing tours including the Great Wall, for your reference. Feel free to mix and match.

Back to the Great Wall of China

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