How to Visit Great Wall of China by Train – Badaling Great Wall

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Important Notice


Beijing North Railway Station has been closed for a three-year reconstruction program –  part of the overall construction of Beijing Zhangjiakou High Speed Railway in preparation for the 2022 Olmpic Winter Games.

Now all the S2 trains ( going to Badaling Great Wall ), originally handled by Beijing North Railway Station,  have been moved to the newly built Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) for the three-year transition.

So if you want to go to Badaling Great Wall by train, you should head to Huangtudian Railway Station which is located in Changping District, about 20 km north of Beijing’s city center.

How to get to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
You can take Subway Line 13 or Subway Line 8 and get off at Huoying Station ( 霍营站) and exit from Exit G4.  The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

Huoying Station ( 霍营站) is an interchange station on Line 8 and Line 13 of the Beijing Subway. You can easily take either subway line 13 or 8 from towntown Beijing to Huoying Station ( 霍营站) which is just next to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

How to get from Beijing South Railway Station to Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
First you take the subway line 4 directly from within Beijing South Railway Station to the north direction and get off at the 9th station of Dongzhimen (东直门) and then interchange for Subway Line 13 and get off at the 8th station of Huoying Station ( 霍营站) and exit from Exit G4.

See the Beijing Subway Map to hone your skill for facilitating your Beijing subway trip.


S2 Trains:
These are suburban trains running from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station to Badaling (Great Wall )八达岭 and Yanqing ( 延庆).Train Tickets:RMB 6 per ride; if using “Yikatong” Transportation Card, RMB 5 per ticket. All the S2 train tickets are free seating.

Like public buses, no advance train tickets booking.Just line up and buy the train tickets on the spot.In tourist high season,  the trains fill up quite fast and once it is full, you will have to wait for the next train. One way ticket only, if you want to buy a return ticket, you have to buy it from other side. “Yikatong” Transportation Card is definiteky a smart way to pay for the train ride. Just swipe and go!

Kindly Reminder:
We advise you to purchase a “Yikatong” Transportation Card ( One Pass for All Card), similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Singapore’s EZ-Link, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London in United Kingdom.”Yikatong” Transportation Card can be also used to pay for Beijing taxi, Beijing public buses, Beijing subway as well as S2 trains to Badaling Great Wall.More about “Yikatong” card:

People cannot share a Yikatong card. For a short stay in Beijing,  you may put 50 yuan ( including 20 yuan deposite ) into your Yikatong card. You may keep Yikatong as a souvenir or reimburse it at a ticketing booth when you leave Beijing.

If you don’t have enough time for returning your Yikatong, you may keep it for future use which basically will be never outdated. It is a transportation card without your identification. If you lose it, then it’s hard for you to reclaim it. Keep it well!


In tourist season, there is a limit to the daily ticket selling, but there is more leniency to transportation card holders – Just swipe and go !!

Beijing S2 Trains going between Huangtudian Railway Station and Badaling.

Beijing S2 Trains

Inside the cars of the Ss train.

Inside a car of the S train.

Inside a car of the S2 train.

Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule
The S2 Train Timetable below is just for your reference and subject to possible changes.Note: The 7:58 train out of Beijing is quite crowded. One has to run to get a good seat.
The return trip at 11:50 is mostly empty.In tourist high season, the trains fill up quite fast and once it is full, you will have to wait for the next train.12 daily “S2 trains” from Friday through Sunday; 8 daily “S2 trains” from Monday through Thursday.

(A)Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station → Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule
Train S201: 06:30 – 07:37
Train S205: 08:40 – 09:05
Train S207: 09:06 – 10:15
Train S209: 11:06– 12:13
Train S211: 12:38– 14:01
Train S213: 13:20 – 14:25
Train S215: 13:44 – 14:50
Train S217: 15:34 – 16:43
Train S219: 17:09 – 18:30
Train S221: 17:50 – 18:57
Train S227 21:30 – 22:38
Train S229 22:06 – 23:29
Train S231 21:37 – 23:59

(B)Badaling Great Wall → Beijing Huangtudian Ralway Station Train Timetable
Train S202: 06:00 – 07:25
Train S204: 06:29 – 07:52
Train S206: 07:08 – 08:38
Train S208: 08:13 – 09:41
Train S210: 10:35 – 12:03
Train S214: 11:38 – 13:10
Train S216: 13:20 – 14:53
Train S218: 14:45 – 16:31
Train S220: 15:30 – 17:04
Train S222: 16:05 – 17:40
Train S224: 17:17 – 18:54
Train S226: 19:18 – 20:47
Train S228: 19:40 – 21:30
Train S230: 20:41 – 22:35
Train S232: 20:59 – 22:35

On the way, you can enjoy the total view of the Guan Valley Scenic Area, pass by Juyongguan Great Wall, and especially immersing yourself in the hundred-year-old Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, first designed by Mr. Zhan Tianyou (1861 – 1919), the famous Chinese designer of the railway.

How to get from Badaling Train Station to the Ticketing Office at Badaling
After getting off the train at Badaling Station, just follow the throng and get out of the train station. Free shuttle buses are waiting for you, taking you to the box ticket offices at Badaling Great Wall.

Getting off at Badaling Train Station

Getting off at Badaling Train Station

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station, taking you to the ticket offices.

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station

 The free shuttle buses have two stops:
Stop 01:  Get off to walk up Badaling Great Wall from its No.01 Tower. If you want to avoid the crowds and like to hike up the Wall, you may stop at the Stop 01.

Stop 02:  Get off at the Cable Station to buy cable ticket ( entrance fee as well ) and get up to the Tower No.07. Then walk down to No.01 Tower or No.12 Tower. Basically no need for a return cable car.

One of the most gorgeous and magnificent parts of the Great Wall around Beijing, Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城) is the well preserved Ming Dynasty Great Wall with original appearance.

Now it is divided into two sections – north and south, which start at the Badaling Pass and Gate. Most tourists prefer to climb the north section where the highest watch tower (Tower No.08) is located.

Also the cableway is available on the north section. Many people choose to climb up the north section of the Great Wall, then take the cable car down or vice versa.

The cable car goes up to somewhere below between Tower No.08 and No.09. So when you take cable car up, you will see large crowds of people. So we recommend you hike from Tower 01 and back instead of taking cable car.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall

To hike up the north section of the Badaling Great Wall, you have two starting points – either from the Badaling Pass or the Badaling Bear Park. Why two starting points? Actually the north Badaling Great Wall ( totally 12 towers on the wall ) has two parallel sections meeting at the most northern tip – the 8th Watch Tower ( a curve ) of the Badaling Great Wall.

There are totally 12 towers on the northern Badaling Great Wall. So you ether start at Tower No.01 starting from Badaling Pass or Tower No.12 from Badaling Bear Park.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall

We often call the two north parallel sections “front mountain” and “back mountain” respectively. The “front mountain” ( from Tower No.01 to Tower No.08 ) is to the north of the “back mountain” ( from Tower No.08 to Tower No.12 ).

If you want to climb up the north “front mountain” Badaling Great Wall, you start from the Badaling Pass; if you climb up the north “back mountain” Badaling Great Wall, you start from the Badaling Bear Park.

Most passengers prefer to hike the northern slope of Badaling Great Wall simple because the north part is more scenic and convenient with cable car and slide services in between. But still some people like to hike the southern slope to avoid the crowds for better photo opportunities. If you hike the southern slope, you have to backtrack.

Ticket Price: RMB40 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31); RMB 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Cable Car: RMB80 (single trip); RMB100 (round trip)
Toboggan: RMB30 (single trip);
Opening Hours:06:30-19:00 (in summer); 07:00-18:00 (in winter)
Hiking Time: Two Hours
Bus Route: Take Bus No.877 or No. 919 at Deshengmen, RMB12 for ticket.
S Train: Take S train from Beijing North Railway Station and get off at the station of Badaling.

Travel Tips:
1. No advance ticket booking service for this train route. You have to buy tickets on the spot. No need for ID for ticket purchasing.

2. For coming back, get to the station and get in the “queue” early. When the train arrives, there’s an almighty (but highly amusing) stampede through the double doors to get out onto the platform and onto the train (which instantly fills up).

3. You can use Beijing Transportation smart card for travelling S2 train from Beijing Huangtudian Railway station to Badaling great wall.  So If you have a transportation card, you don’t have to wait in line for buying a ticket. Just put your card on a reader and go. The S Train is unnumbered, free seating.

4. Alternatively, you can also take Badaling Bus 877  at Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall, then take train back to Beijing. To get to the Badaling Bus 877, you are advised to take the subway and get off at Jishuitan Stop (积水潭). Then you walk all the way to Deshengmen (德胜门),  which is a whole block east of the  Jishuitan Subway Exit A (over 15-minute walk in the east direction).

5. And don’t forget to haggle if buying a souvenir at the shops near the wall’s entrance (those 180Yuan tshirts are happily sold for far less than their displayed price).

6. Kindly reminder: there may be allegedly “official tourist information volunteers” with red badges on, who will try to drive tourists to get on their minibuses with all sorts of excuses to lure you on. Just don’t go for it. Otherwise, you will be on a nightmare trip.

7. Hassle-free Badaling Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Badaling Great wall.

Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour

Further Readings


Badaling Great Wall Tourist Map
Tips for Visiting the Great Wall of China around Beijing
How to Visit Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus
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 line.

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169 Responses to “How to Visit Great Wall of China by Train – Badaling Great Wall”

  1. Marita says:

    Dear Sirs/Madam,
    I want to visit Great wall with my 65 years old sisters.
    Please let me know which entrance the most suitable and which hotel we have to book.

    We will come from Wuxi, very appreciate if can guide me for the transportation as well.

    Thank you,
    Marita

  2. Daniel says:

    Hi Marita,

    If you want to use the public transport to visit the Great Wall of China around Beijing,we recommend you go to Badaling Great Wall which is relatively easier to be reached by S2 Trains starting from Huangtuduan Railway Station ( see my blog on how to get there ).

    Personally I recommend you visit Mutianyu Great Wall considering you are traveling with your 65-year-old sister. Mutianyu Great Wall is less crowded than Badaling Great Wall, suitable for seniors and kids. But it is very tricky to use the public transport to get there. Alternatively you may book a join-in group tour or hire a private private car and tour guide to visit Mutinayu Great Wall. Check out the two links below:

    Mutianyu Great Wall Guided Bus Tour
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/coach_tours/bns_1.php

    Mutianyu Great Wall Half day private tour
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/beijing_tours/half_day_tours/great_wall_excursion.php

    As where to stay in Beijing, it largely depends on your budget and favored locations in Beijing. Personally I recommend:

    ibis Jianguomen
    This hotel chain has reaonable prices, good service and location ( only for your reference).
    Add:No 6 South Jianhua road Beijing
    Book online: http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-8253-ibis-beijing-jianguomen/index.shtml
    Tel:010-65671588

    The following pages may be useful for your trip to Beijing:

    Top 10 Tourist Scams in Beijing
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/china-travel/tourist-traps-in-china/top-10-tourist-scams-beijing

    Beijing Airport Express Trains
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/travel_blog/beijing_china_sightseeing/beijing_airport_express_train.php

    Beijing Taxi
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/taxi/

    How to Take subway in Beijing
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/beijing-travel/beijing-tour-reviews/how-to-take-subway-in-beijing

    Have a good time in Beijing!

  3. Ceira says:

    Hello,

    I will be traveling from Shanghai to the Beijing South Station on a Monday, can I purchase a “Yikatong” Transportation Card at that station to use for a trip to Badaling on Tuesday? How much money should we put on it for 2 people? Or do we each need one?

    Is the train currently running from Beijing North Railway Station or the Huangtudian Railway Station as stated above?

    How do we get back from the station (Huangtudian Railway Station or Beijing North, whichever is correct) to the Beijing South station to catch our train to Shanghai?

    We would like to leave for Badaling on the 07:58 train, hike for 2-3 hours and then take the 13:40 train back to Shanghai at 17:15. Is that going to be too tight of a schedule?

    Finally, would you recommend the train over the 877 Bus? Can you use the same Transportation Card for both?

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi Ceira,

    1. Yikatong
    Yes, you can buy a Yikatong. You have to buy two and each for one. You may put 50 yuan ( including 20 yuan deposite ). You may keep Yikatong as a souvenir or return to the ticketing booth on the same day. If you don’t have enough time for returning your Yikatong, you may keep it for future use which will be basically never outdated. It is a transportation card without your identification. If you lose it,then it’s hard foryou to reclaim it. Keep it well!

    2. The S2 trains for Badaling start from Huangtudian Railway Station.

    3. Personally I prefer S2 trains instead of 877 bus for Badaling.Yes, you can use the same Yikatong for the Bus 877.

    4. Your plan “Badaling on the 07:58 train, hike for 2-3 hours and then take the 13:40 train back to Shanghai at 17:15” sounds not bad.

    5. You use the same connected subway routes for your round trip transfer to Badaling and back to Beijing South Railway Station.

    First you take the subway line 4 directly from within Beijing South Railway Station to the north direction and get off at the 9th station of Dongzhimen (东直门) and then interchange for Subway Line 13 and get off at the 8th station of Huoying Station ( 霍营站) and exit from Exit G4. The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

    See the Subway Map http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Beijing-Subway.png to hone your skill for facilitating your Beijing subway trip.

    Have a nice time in Beijing!

  5. Richard George says:

    Hi. I will arrive at Beijing Capital Airport at 5am on Dec 26th. I want to go directly to Mutianyu Wall from the airport without going into Beijing City first, returning to the airport after a few hours at the Wall. Is it possible to do this independently (and easily! ) without taking an expensive private tour?
    Thank you.

  6. Daniel says:

    Hi Richard George,

    If you have enough time, you may take trains to visit Badaling Great Wall, which is much cheaper than taking a private tour.

  7. Melisa Primatika says:

    Hi. I will be travelling to Beijing in this 12 February. In 14 Feb, I want to go to Badaling Greatwall first using the first S2 Train at 06:30. Hiking on Badaling at 08:00 – 11:00, then using taxi to Badaling Ski and skiing until 16:30. Go back to Badaling railway station and go to huangtudian railway station at 17:30 – 19:00. Is that possible to do that? Esspecially to take taxi beetween Badaling Greatwall and Badaling Ski. Thankyou very much. I hope you can reply as soon as possible.

  8. Daniel says:

    Hi Melisa Primatika,

    Happy Holidays!

    It sounds good. Taking the local taxi from Badaling Great Wall to the ski resort is a bit tricky. If you manage it well, your whole trip will be ok. Good luck!

  9. Ally Mislan says:

    Hi. I will be travelling to Beijing and Shanghai. That “Yikatong card, available at Shanghai too? Or only at Beijing?
    Thanks in advance.

  10. Daniel says:

    Dear Ally Mislan,

    Thanks for your inquiry!

    Shanghai has its own Yikatong cards. But Beijing and Shanghai are not computerized in terms of trasportation cards and they are used separately.

  11. Angelina says:

    My husband and I will be going to China in June 2017 and wanted to know whether we are able to purchase train ticket prior to our travel as we will be travelling to various destinations in China?

    I hope you are able to help; and thank you for you support. If you are not able to help perhaps you can suggest a website?

  12. Daniel says:

    Hi Angelina,

    Thanks for your inquiry!

    1. Trains going to Badaling Great Wall
    You cannot book your train tickets in advance. The trains like public buses, just buy your tickets on the spot and go.

    2. For other inter-city train tickets, please check out the travel website for ticket booking:

    http://english.ctrip.com/trains/

    Have a good time in China!

  13. Ami says:

    Hi. Very informative blog post. I have few questions. Hope you could help.
    I am planning to go to Badaling Great Wall this coming 3rd April with about 15 family members.

    I had read about tourist bus in Qianmen. Which one would you suggest? taking the tourist bus or the S2 train?

    Does the Beijing Railway Station still under construction if I would like to take the S2 train?
    I wish to take early train but I will be staying are Dongsi and if I take an early train, wouldnt it will be packed with people going to work?

    Thanks in advance.

    PS: I am planning to buy the subway transportation card

  14. Daniel says:

    Hi Ami,

    1. Beijing North Railway Station is still under reconstruction. If you want to go to Badaling Great Wall by train, you need to go to Huangtudian Railwai Station for s Trains.

    2. For busing to Badaling Great Wall, you’d better take Bus 877 at Qianmen.

    Getting up earlier for either for Bus 877 or s trains.

    You can buy one transportation card used both for subway and bus. But one card for one person. For 15 persons, you have to buy a card for each person!

    For me, personally I would like to rent a coach for the transfer since 15 persons can easily share the cost.

    Have a nice time in Beijing!

  15. Massimo says:

    Hi !
    Train times for badaling remain the same at Huangtudian Railway Station?

  16. Daniel says:

    Dear Massimo,

    As far as I know, the timetable is the same. If any difference, please kindly update us for the benefit of future visitors. Thanks!

  17. Beijing and the great wall – Nina the Nomad says:

    Personally I chose the Badaling wall as it was easy to get to by public transport and I would not need to book with a tour agency. I took the earliest train which was at 06:30 am and took about one hour and was a lovely ride. The trains go roughly every hour until 21:30.

  18. The Goog says:

    Hi There!

    I will be arriving at Beijing Railway Station at 3 pm, do you think I still have time to go to The Great Wall? I have really short time in Beijing as another morning I will have to get on the train to Ulan Bator at 11 am, really need to be there. Need your advice.

    Thank you so much

  19. Daniel says:

    Dear The Goog,

    It seems you are a bit late for going to the Great Wall of China per your arrival time. Maybe you should be back to Beijing for the Wall next time.

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