How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus

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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Mutianyu Great Wall by bus. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

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Unlike Badaling Great Wall which has a direct Bus 877 starting at Deshengmen Bus Terminal on the northern second ring road,  Mutianyu Great Wall doesn’t have a direct public bus line connecting downtown Beijing. For this, I often get  some online inquiry about how to get to Mutianyu Great Wall by public bus.

When googling “How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall by bus”, I discover some of the Mutianyu bus related travel information is outdated and even a bit misleading. Some bus travel guide has been written in  a too complicated way, a bit daunting for first-time foreign visitors.

Recently I made a fam trip to Mutianyu Great Wall by public bus starting from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub. Below is my trip report, detailing the whole process of how to get to Mutianyu Great Wall By Public Bus from downtown Beijing. Hopefully, my trip review will help you a little bit plan your own bus trip to Mutianyu.

I try to keep my trip report updated. Any updating information is welcome!

tips-1Tips for Getting from downtown Beijing to Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus

1. Get to Dongzhimen Transport Hub early in the morning
Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub (东直门交通枢纽) is mainly composed of three forms of public transport – Dongzhimen Bus Station ( or officially called Bus Transfer Hall) where you take Bus 916 Express for the direction of Mutianyu Great Wall), Dongzhimen Subway Station ( Subway Line 2 and 13 ) and Dongzhimen Airport Express ( for Beijing Capital Airport). These three forms of public transport are connected underground as a whole.

Try to get to Dongzhimen Transport Hub early in the morning either by subway or taxi. For subway, you may take the subway line 2 or 13 and exit from Exit C. Then you enter the massive hub building from its south or west entrance.

The Bus Transfer Hall on the ground floor is mainly composed of two parts – North Platform and South Platform. Your Mutianyu-bound Bus 916 Express is on the northern platform. There are signs overhead to guide you in the direction to the 916 Express Bus Stop.

Overhead Chinese Sign " 916 快“ ( 916 Express )

Overhead Chinese Sign ” 916 快“ ( 916 Express )

 

Chinese and English Sign for Bus 916 Express Overhead

Chinese and English Sign for Bus 916 Express Overhead

 

Wait in line for Bus 916 Express

Wait in line for Bus 916 Express

Wait in line for the Bus 916 Express and the bus fare at 12 yuan.  If you have a transportation card, you will be entitled to half price. You may pay cash on board and get ready for the small money and often they don’t have the change.

2. Taking Bus 916 Express and Get off at Beidajie ( North Street ) in Huairou District
( 62km – One Hour Drive)

916 Express Operating Hours: 5:50 – 19:50 ( Dongzhimen Transport Hub to Huairou )
04:50 – 18:50 (Huairou to Dongzhimen Transport Hub)

The 916 buses are clean and air-conditioned.

The 916 buses are clean and air-conditioned.

916 Express buses are clean and air-conditioned.

There are totally 20 stops for Public Bus 916 Express and you get off at the 15th stop of Beidajie ( North Street ) 北大街 ) in Huairou District. Then connect a local taxi ( about 50 yuan per taxi ) or connect the local public Bus H23,( 5 yuan ).  The H23 buses are few and far between, so taking a taxi from Beidajie is a good option. Taxi drivers are nice and aren’t trying to scam passengers.

The 916 runs every couple of minutes, so there is no waiting at all.  A lot of people get off at Huairou Beidajie, so even if you don’t speak Chinese, you’ll know when to get off.

Basically, the bus makes a couple stops in Beijing after leaving Dongzhimen, then doesn’t make any stops for a long time, until it gets to Huairou District, where it makes stops every couple of minutes. After a handful of those stops, you’ll be at Beidajie (North Street).

For each stop, Bus 916 Express will announce the name of the bus stop both  in English and Chinese. The Chinese stops will be shown on the electronic screen on the front of your bus, and make sure you get off at the 15th stop of Beidajie (North Street) 北大街 in Huairou.

There is an official bus stop sign for Beidajie ( 北大街)  now as shown in the picture below:

The picture of Beidajie Stop taken by Roxanne & Maartje

The Beidajie ( North Street ) Bus Stop is located by the side road in front of the large governmental building (Beijing Huairou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局.

You get off the 15th stop pf Beidajie ( North Street ) by the side of the large governmental building.

You get off the 15th stop pf Beidajie ( North Street ) by the side road in front of  the massive governmental building (Beijing Huairou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局

Google maps location of where you need to get off at Beidajie ( North Street) at Bus 916 in front of the large governmental building (Beijing Huairou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局

Google maps location of where you need to get off the 916.

Note:
1) The bus fare is 12 yuan. Be ready for the small amount of money to pay for the bus fare.  If you have a transportation card, you just swipe, and you are entitled to half price.
2) Try to get to the 916 Express bus stop as early as possible to beat the crowds on the Great Wall. The first bus leaves at 5:50 am.
3) You should get off at the 15th stop of Beidajie (北大街).  There is a bus stop sign for Beidajie ( 北大街) .

3.  Connecting Bus H23 for Mutianyu ( 18 km – 50 Minutes Drive)
Once you get off 916 express Bus, you have two options for next transport to your destination – Mutianyu Great Wall: Connect the local bus H23 ; or take a local taxi for Mutianyu.

Below is the way how to connect the local buses for Mutianyu:

You can continue to take Bus H23 for Mutianyu Great Wall. The Bus Stop for Bus H23 is just across where you get off at Beidajie ( North Street in Huairou ) – the same bus stop for 916 Express back to Beijing.

For easy memory,  the location of the bus stop H23 is just in front of the China Mobile Building ( Keep in mind that this is the same bus stop for 916 Express back to Beijing).

Kindly reminder:  basically you need to wait for quite some time before you can get on Bus h23.

The picture is taken by Roxanne & Maartje

Cost 3 yuan paid to ticket lady on the bus. The Bus  h23 is green and there is a blue cardboard sign in the window next to the driver saying h23. The sign on the bus H23 are very small. You should pay attention to the place ( Mutianyu Roundabout ) where you get off.

Google maps location of where you need to get off h23:

There are about 19 stops for Bus H23, keep in mind that you will alight at the 8th stop of Mutianyu Roundabout (慕田峪环岛). The Bus H23 runs the route between Huairou Downtown and Dongtai Village.

You may show your bus driver the Chinese characters “我要去慕田峪长城” ( I want to go to Mutianyu Great Wall) and the driver will remind you of the stop when the bus arrives at Mutianyu Roundabout (慕田峪环岛).

Some of the H23 Buses do pass the Mutianyu Roundabout and somes don’t. On the bus, you should  ask the conductor whether the bus passing the Mutianyu or not. Should anybody wish to ride H23 from Huairou, better confirm with the driver or conductor whether the bus passing Mutianyu roundabout or not. The H23 and H24 buses are few and far between.

When you get off at Mutianyu Roundabout, you simply walk down to the ticket Box Building ( Tourist Service Center ). Just keep in the mind the place where you get off. Come back to the same place (Stops opposite to where you drops off) to wait for Bus H23 back to Beidajie ( North Street ) in Huairou and connect Bus 916 back to Beijing when you finish your visiting Mutianyu Great Wall.

4. Transfer to Mutianyu by Taking a Local Taxi ( 18km – Half Hour Drive)
When getting off Bus 916 at Beidajie ( North Street ), alternatively you can choose to take a local taxi directly bringing you to the ticketing box offices at Mutianyu.

The fact is that the moment you get off Bus 916, you will be approached by “black taxi drivers”.  We suggest you use the official taxis. Most of the official taxi drivers would stay inside their taxis and wait for customers ( maybe they don’t want to have any conflicts with black drivers).

Most of the Huairou official taxis are waiting by the side of the governmental building known as Beijing Huairou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局. They use meters and the taxi ride costs about 42 yuan per taxi.

Huairou Local Taxi

Huairou Local Taxi

Taxi transfer is fast and comfortable.

Taxi transfer is fast and comfortable.

Taxi transfer is fast and comfortable.

When you arrive at Mutianyu, you should ask for a printed receipt which shows the taxi fare, distance and timing.

Printed Taxi Bill ( Receipt ).

Printed Taxi Bill ( Receipt ).

If you cannot find any official taxis by the governmental building,  just wait for a while and they will definitely will come back after their business.

Black taxi drivers will charge you about 50 yuan for the ride plus 20 yuan for so-called parking fee at Mutianyu. Actually, Mutianyu official parking lot offers free parking within 20 minutes.

Huairou Taxi Hotline: 69651168
Huairou Taxi Complaint: 60697889

5. Buying Your Tickets at Tourist Service Building
The large tourist service center mainly consists of ticketing offices, toilets, a Great Wall exhibition hall and a large tourist information hall where you can use ATM machine.

 

Mutianyu Tourist Service Building

Mutianyu Tourist Service Building

Price Information:
Entrance Fee Adults: 45 yuan ( 25yuan if you have valid student card)
Children between 1.2 meters and 1.4 meters in height: 25 yuan
Children less than 1.2 meters in height are free of charge
Cable Car:100 yuan(single way ); 120 yuan ( return )
Chairlift + Slide: 120 yuan ( 100 yuan for single )
Ferry Shuttle Bus: 15 yuan

Opening Hours:
April to October: 8:00 -17:00
November to March: 8:30-16:30

Important Notice:
Cable car up and down is operated by one company; while chair-lift up and down ( or toboggan down) are operated by another company. They sell their tickets separately through the same ticketing window.  This is a tricky part in Mutianyu Great Wall.

A return ticket is cheaper. But if you are going to take cable car up and the toboggan down, you have to buy two single tickets. If you take the chair-lift up and the toboggan down, you are able to buy a return ticket. This is a tricky part in Mutianyu Great Wall.

Cable car brings you up to the place below the 14th Watch Tower;
Chair-lift takes you up to the place below the 6th Watch Tower;
Walking up along the stone steps (like a mountain hike – 30 minute hike ) – to the 10th or 8th Watch Tower.
Click the Map of Mutianyu Great Wall for more information.

There are 23 towers on the Mutianyu Great Wall snaking the ridge for about 3000 meters. The watch towers at the Mutianyu Great Wall are distributed at short intervals. The 23 watch towers are numbered from right (east) to left (west). The or 23rd tower is highest point of the Mutianyu Great Wall.

Wait in line at Ticketing Box Offices

Wait in line at Ticketing Box Offices

Note: Two different companies operate cable car and chairlift (toboggan) separately. You either choose cable or chairlift (toboggan).  The ticketing staff will ask you which you prefer, cable car or chairlift ( or toboggan down )?

If you have strong legs and prefer to hike up to the Great Wall, you can do the hiking without using the service of cable car or chairlift.

On the right side of the Tourist Service Building is the Exhibition Hall for Great Wall Culture, a brief introduction to the Great Wall of China and Mutianyu Great Wall in particular.

 Exhibitional Hall for Great Wall Culture

Exhibition Hall for Great Wall Culture

The large service center building where you can use ATM machine.

The large service center building where you can use ATM machine

The large service center building where you can use ATM machine

Clean and modern toilet.

Clean and modern toilet

Clean and modern toilet

6. Taking a ferry Shuttle Bus  ( 2.5km ) to the Starting Points for the Mutianyu Great Wall
At the ticketing box office, you are required to buy a 10 yuan ferry shuttle bus. From the tourist service center, you till need to walk about 200 meters to get to the shuttle bus terminal.

The road leading to the Shuttle Bus Terminal is lined with restaurants and vendor stalls.

The road leading to the Shuttle Bus Terminal is lined with restaurants and vendor stalls.

The 200-meter road leading to the shuttle bus terminal is lined with restaurants on the left side and vendors on the right side.

You have the choices of King Burger, Pizza, and Chinese food and more. Bottled water on the vendor stalls here is much cheaper ( 3 yuan per bottle ) than that sold up on the Wall ( 15 yuan per bottle ).

The 5-minute free shuttle ride brings you to the area close to the starting points for Visiting Mutianyu Great Wall.

Ferry Shuttle Bus

Ferry Shuttle Bus

7. Three Ways to Go up to Mutianyu Great Wall
When you get off the ferry shuttle bus, you need to walk along an accessible stone path (600 meters long ) leading up first to the entrance area for chairlift ( or toboggan down ), second to the walking path up to the Wall and last to the area for cable car up to the Wall respectively.

The Cable Car Station is at the end of the 600-meter stone slope. That said, there are three ways to go up to Mutianyu Great Wall.

The Cable Car Station

The Cable Car Station

1) Taking a chairlift to the Great Wall – to the 6th Watch Tower ( or take a toboggan down).
2) Walking up the Great Wall along the stone steps (like a mountain hike – 30 minute hike ) – to the 10th or 8th Watch Tower
3) Taking a cable car up to the Great Wall – to the 14th Watch Tower
Click the Map of Mutianyu Great Wall for more information.

Note:
1) There are 23 towers on the Mutianyu Great Wall snaking the ridge for about 3000 meters. The watch towers at the Mutianyu Great Wall are distributed at short intervals.

2) The 23 watch towers are numbered from right (east) to left (west). The 23rd tower is highest point of the Mutianyu Great Wall.

Mutianyu Great Wall in summer

Mutianyu Great wall in summer

Mutianyu Great wall in summer

A good spot for selfie.

A good spot for selfie.

A good spot for selfie.

Basically it is more convenient to use its smooth and gentle ramp leading up Badaling Great Wall. You don’t need to  use the cable car. The area for the upper cable station is not wheelchair-friendly and teem with domestic tourists.

On the Mutianyu Great Wall, wheelchair users may take a cable car up and then use the accessible lane leading to the platform below the 14th watch tower for a good view of Mutianyu Great Wall.

8. The accessible paths in Mutianyu Great wall are too steep, not so wheelchair user-friendly!
4293-20011On the Mutianyu Great Wall, wheelchair users may take a cable car up and then use the accessible lane leading to the platform below the 14th watch tower for a good view of Mutianyu Great Wall.

The steep accessible ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

The steep accessible ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

But unfortunately, the accessible ramp leading from the upper cable station to the platform below the 14th watch tower is too steep, very much challenging for wheelchair users.

Note:
Badaling Great Wall is more wheelchair user-friendly. Basically it is more convenient to use its smooth and gentle ramp leading up Badaling Great Wall. You don’t need to  use the cable car.

9. Going Back on the Same Way
At the end of your Mutianyu visit, just retrace on the same travel route.   You may  have the following options for your transfer from Mutianyu to the 916 express bus stop at Huairou:

1) Walk from Mutianyu Great Wall Service Area to the Mutianyu Roundabout  and take the h23 back as well. Stops opposite to where you drops off. You can flag it down if you are not  sure if it would have stopped.

2) Take an official taxi from the parking lot of Mutianyu Great Wall Service Area to 916 express bus stop at Huairou;

3) Take a “black taxi” at the parking lot bringing you back to 916 express bus stop at Huairou ( a choice of no choice).

Newest Update from :
The blue taxi cabs are not allowed to wait and collect passengers at Mutianyu. Not sure what happened, but didn’t find a single cab while returning from Mutianyu and the office closed. There were several people asking me to board their taxi or minibus. I walked to the public bus stop and i waved down a passing blue cab. He was worried that someone might notice my getting into his cab.

10. Possible Tourist Scam at Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub
2000px-warning_icon-svg-p111ngLike “Mor” said, do NOT take the 980 when going to Mutianyu. The Bus 980 goes to Miyun County in the northeast of Beijing instead of Bus 916 Express going to Huairou District where Mutianyu Great Wall is located, in the north of Beijing.

We’ve also got a feedback from “Boskovic”  as listed below for your reference:
————————-
The official bus station employee (‘friendly lady”- don’t trust her) told us to take the 980 cause it would be a shorter ride and that we should get off at the 4th stop. At the 4th stop, there was an older man waiting with a “black taxi”. It was all planned. He was just waiting for us so we were pretty sure that the lady and him were working together.

We ended up taking the bus back to Beijing. He was not gonna get our money, that’s for sure.
So we lost a couple of hours there, unfortunately.
———————

11. Hassle-free Mutianyu Great Wall Guided Tours
06611If you don’t want to go the seemingly daunting do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Mutianyu Great wall.

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour ( No shopping )
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour ( No Shopping )

Further Readings


How to Get to Badaling Great Wall by Bus
How to visit Great Wall of China around Beijing

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

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57 Responses to “How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus”

  1. Daniel says:

    Dear Bee,

    Congratulation on your bus trip to Mutianyu! You’ve made it. Thanks for your latest update!

  2. Paul says:

    Very nice description. I followed most of the instructions and had a great time at the wall.
    Because of some recommendations here I left very early (took the 916Express at 7 am) and can only support this. I arrived on top of the wall around 9 o’clock. The upside of arriving so early is that you don’t have to wait at the various stations like the shuttle bus or the cable car. Very few people there as well. I left when it got crowded around 11:30 and saw how long the lines were (probably 30 minutes wait at each station). I took a black taxi towards the wall and back for 90RMB total (shared a ride one way). A little sidenote from me: You can negotiate the prices with the black taxis and also the little kiosks that sell overpriced water. Just be confident and ‘threaten’ to walk away. Usually they will comply with your offer.

    10/10 for this article.

  3. Ruru says:

    Thanks for these directions – just used them yesterday successfully! Since we are a family of 4 we took a cab to Mutianyu, ¥41 exactly, and then when I asked the cab driver how to find taxis to get back he said to call him and he’d pick us up, though for an extra ¥20 since he would have to come back out from town. Seemed like a fair bargain for the convenience so we did that and it worked out perfectly! We did get swarmed with offers when we first got off the 916express, so your photos of what the official cabs would look like were very helpful.

    Oh, one more update – the one way tickets for the cable car and slide are now at ¥100, while return is only ¥120. think they’ve cottoned on to how popular it is to take the cable car, walk from tower 14 to 6 (or beyond), and come back down, instead of backtracking for the return trips. We couldn’t have done it any other way with a child and in the heat and anyway, so something to consider.

  4. Daniel says:

    Dear Paul,

    Thanks for your feedback and update! Much appreciated!

  5. Daniel says:

    Dear Ruru,

    Thanks for your time writing us the review on your recent trip to Beijing! This is quite helpful for new comers.

  6. Melanie says:

    Thanks for this super comprehensive guide! Really appreciate it. I’ll be visiting beijing at end of October and I plan to go to Mutianyu especially to toobogan down. Will definitely need this and write back if any updates applicable. Cheers from Malaysia

  7. Daniel says:

    Dear Melanie,

    Thanks for reading the article! Much appreciated if you have any feedback! Mutianyu Great Wall will be coated with golden autumn hues. Hope you have a good time in Beijing!

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