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Badaling vs Mutianyu Great Wall: Which One Is Better?

Your trip to Beijing is not completed without a visit to the Great Wall. As the old Chinese saying goes: Not a true man unless he comes to the Great Wall. The Great Wall is on everyone's must-do list when travelling in Beijing. Generally speaking, Badaling and Mutianyu are the most visited Great Wall sections from Beijing. Badaling Great Wall is more popular among Chinese tourists, while foreign tourists would prefer Mutianyu Great Wall. Badaling vs Mutianyu Great Wall: Which one is better?  Which one should I visit?  Here Top China Travel would like to give you the answer by telling their difference, pros and cons.

badaling great wall

Badaling vs Mutianyu

  Badaling Mutianyu
Distance from Beijing: 70km 75km
Public transport: Train, Bus Mu Bus Shuttle Bus/ Public Bus
Admission fee: Aprl-Nov: CNY40; Dec-Mar: CNY35 Adult: CNY40; Child: CNY20
Opening hours: 06:30-19:00 or 07:30-18:00 08:00-17:00 or 07:30-18:30

Badaling is more easily accessible from Beijing than Mutianyu

Badaling vs Mutianyu Great Wall: which one is better to reach? In fact, both Badaling and Mutianyu Great Wall sections are easily accessible by public transport from Beijing. But Badaling is easier than Mutianyu as Badaling can be accessible by direct bus even a train, while Mutianyu can only be reached by bus. If you are push for time, Badaling is your right choice.

If by train, tourists can take S2 train to Badaling Great Wall, which departs from Huangtudian Railway Station near Huoying metro stop (on line 8 and line 13)and get off at Badaling Railway Station.It takes about 1 hour for one way.

No trains are available to Mutianyu. There is a special shuttle bus line called Mu Bus from Beijing downtown to Mutianyu Great Wall which is quite convenient for independent tourists. Mu bus departs from the Exit C of Dongsishitiao station(Metro Line 2 ) at  8:00 and 10:00 every day, returns at 14:30 and 17: 00, CNY 38 per person per single way. It only takes 1.5 hours to arrive in Mutianyu Great Wall.

Friendly Reminder: If you buy entrance tickets of Mutianyua Great Wall through Mu Bus, you don't need to by additional  Mutianyu shuttle bus tickets (CNY 15 ) and Mu Bus will take you directly to Mutianyu Pakring Lot. 

Mutianyu is more original than Badaling

Both Badaling and Mutianyu are the best-preserved great wall sections outside Beijing and have beautiful sceneries, while most parts of Badaling Great Wall have been renovated which makes it less original. Mutianyu has less renovated parts with more than 90% vegetation coverage.

However, Badaling is more famous to foreigners and domestic tourists and it is the commonly-visited section from Beijing. A lots of foreign celebrities has been to Badaling Great Wall. But for better travel experiences, Top China Travel often recommend Mutianyu Great Wall to our clients , because it is less crowded but more original.

mutianyu great wall

Both are well-equipped and tourist-friendly

Badaling Great Wall section is the most developed section with good tourist-friendly facilities, including disabled access and carble cars for climbing, going up or down the walls, also restaurants for eating.

Mutianyu Great Wall section also provides cable cars, chairlifts for going up and down the wall as well as toboggan ride for down the wall. See more information at cable cars in Mutianyu page.

Badaling is more crowded than Mutianyu

Badaling vs Mutianyu Great Wall, which one is better to travel? Badaling is more crowded than Mutianyu. As Badaling is more close to Beijing with easy access, which makes Badaling Great Wall the most popular section in Beijing. It is most commonly visited by domestic tourists. Especially during Chinese public holidays it will become insanely crowded. So, you'd better avoid visiting Badaling Great Wall on holidays. Just check our Chinese public holiday calendar.

Mutianyu is touristy and less crowded as it is a little bit far from central Beijing. If you are willing to plan a day tour to Mutianyu, we would highly recommend you : One Day Mutianyu Great Wall & Frobidden City Tour.

In conclusion

Both Badaling and Mutianyu are the well-preserved Great Wall sections with beautiful sceneries and abosolutely worth visiting during your visit in Beijing.

Badaling has the best preserved parts and well renovated walls. It can be easier accessible via train and bus, but it is insansely crowded on holidays.

While Mutianyu Great Wall is more authentic with less tourists,  it is far from centeral Beijing with less transport options.

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