Visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter – everything you need to know!

Visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter – everything you need to know!

Should you visit the Great Wall of China in Winter? I this guide we round up the best reasons to visit the Great Wall of China in Winter and some reasons why you shouldn’t from our personal experience along with our top tips for what to wear to the Great Wall of China in Winter, which areas you should visit and more!

Reasons to Visit the Great Wall of China in Winter

Visiting The Great Wall of China in WInter

  • There’s a chance to see the Great Wall of China in Snow 
    The Great Wall of China I think looks it most beautiful when covered in snow 
  • There aren’t as many crowds at the Great Wall of China in Winter – 
    We’ve all seen those photos of the Great Wall of China jam packed with people. You won’t have this experience in Winter. 
  • It is Cheaper to Visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter 
    Along with not having to face the crowds that visit the Great Wall of China in Summer is the added bonus that it is cheaper to visit in Winter. We looked and found that both the costs of transportation and admission to the Great Wall of China was cheaper in the Winter to the Summer. 
  • You’ll have less crowds at other Beijing tourist attractions in Winter 

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit the Great Wall of China in Winter 

  • It’s cold – very cold 
  • The Air Pollution in Beijing is at its worse in Winter and may effect the rest of your trip. 

So now we have weighed up the pros and cons of visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter versus Summer we will round up our top tips to help you if you have decided to visit in Winter like we did. 

Tips for Visiting The Great Wall of China in Winter

Carrier needed at the Great Wall

What is the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall of China in Winter?

If you are visiting Beijing in Winter you will find that most tourist attractions will have last admittance at around 4:30 an that it gets dark in Beijing by 5pm in the evening. Therefore the best time to visit the Great Wall of China in Winter is definitely in the mornings. If you get there very early however be sure you walk carefully as there may be a lot of ice on the wall. 

When Not to Visit the Great Wall of China in Winter

As with anywhere in China I would recommend not visiting during Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year moves every year so be sure to check the exact dates but it is usually around the end of January or start of February. The crowds at all parts of the Great Wall but especially Badaling will swell at this time of year so avoid if you can. 

Which section of the Great Wall of China is Best to Visit in Winter? 

When we travel we usually like to get off the beaten track and visit a city’s hidden gems. If however you are looking for the best section of the Great Wall of China to visit in Winter we recommend the exact opposite – stay on the beaten path. 

The two most visited sections of the Great Wall of China are:

  • Badaling 
  • Mutianyu

Badaling is the closest section of the Great Wall of China to Beijing and therefore in summer is the place where you see images of swarms of people on the wall. In Winter, even Badaling isn’t that crowded. Badaling also has the added bonus that there is a direct train to this section of the wall from Beijing and there is also a cable car up and down the hills to the Great Wall which means it is accessible even in Winter. 

When we visited the Great Wall of China we headed to the Mutianyu section as we wanted to avoided the busiest section of the wall. WE also found that Mutianyu was the best section of the Great Wall of China with kids. Like Badaling it has a cable car up and down but it also has a toboggan ride down which older children are sure to love. The wall is also in good repair at this section making it easier to walk in Winter. 

For our visit we decided to get a private tour as we were travelling with a toddler. We used Great Wall Hiking to do this and thoroughly recommend them. However there are plenty of other options for Walking the Great Wall of China at both Badaling and Mutianyu. Click here for reviews and prices. 

What is the weather usually like at the Great Wall of China in Winter

Cold – very cold is the short answer.

Overall Beijing is generally cold and dry in Winter but you do have the chance of snow. The temperature at the Great Wall of China in Winter is often below zero. If you are visiting the Great Wall of China in December or January there is a chance you will see snow. 

What to Pack for Visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter

Visiting The Great Wall of China with kids - Visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter

As I have said it gets very cold at the Great Wall of China in Winter so be sure to pack: 

THERMALS

This for me is the number one tip for surviving Winter in Beijing. It is very cold at the wall especially due to the wind chill and the fact you will want to get there in the morning so thermals are an essential. 

WOOLEN HATS

Another essential. The wind is bitter so I would advise packing a WOOLEN HATS and ear muffs too for when you are on top of the wall. 

GLOVES

Another essential for me is a good pair of fleece lined leather gloves which I find are best for keeping hands warm. 

However if you are an avid instagrammer or you want to take lots of photos with your smartphone while on your trip – and let’s me honest a trip to the Great Wall of China is somewhere you’ll be taking lots of photos so you may want to have gloves designed to allow you to carry on using your touch phones with! 

Hiking Boots

Do not visit the Great Wall of China without hiking boots. There is a strong possibility the Great Wall of China will be covered in snow or ice in winter so it can get pretty slippy – top that with the uneven surfaces on the wall means there are definitely slip hazards. 

Winter Down Coat

I would also recommend traveling with a good thick Winter Coat! If you can get a down one even better. 

What to Pack for Kids for Visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter

If you are visiting the Great Wall of China with kids in winter then I would definitely make sure you have a good thick winter Snowsuit with you and some children’s hiking boots as well.

We also recommend taking a children’s carrier back pack if travelling with babies or toddlers on the Great Wall! we walked for several kilometres on our trip and even though my little one is a great hiker even she sat in the toddler back pack  carrier for a bit.

Have you visited the Great Wall of China in Winter? Where did you go? Do you have any other tips to add? 

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