The Great Wall of China has been on my bucket list for years. When we had Baby Wandermust I did worry that it would stay on my bucket list for a long time to come, I just wasn’t sure that it was doable to walk the Great Wall of China with kids. I wasn’t sure how to get to the Great Wall of China in the first place, what was the best bit of the Great Wall of China to walk with kids or how long it would take to walk the Great Wall of China with kids. But after much research, we decided to take the plunge and just go for it and I am so glad we did. It was a once in a lifetime experience that we will remember and treasure forever. So if you would like to go walking the Great Wall with kids then we have some top tips and pieces of advice for you!
What is the best area for Visiting Great Wall of China for kids?
There are many places where you can walk the Great Wall of China. Each of these areas varies in terms of how busy it gets and how easy the wall is to walk. We think the best area to go when visiting Great Wall of China with kids has to be the Mutianyu Section. The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu is about a 90 minute drive away from central Beijing (traffic dependent) meaning that you are not having to go on too long a drive to get there. This means it isn’t the quietest area of the wall but it is certainly easy to get to and isn’t the busiest section by a long shot. Badaling is a similar distance from Beijing but is a much busier section of the wall and for that reason I think Mutianyu is a much better section to visit with kids.
How accessible is the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu?
As far as the Great Wall of China goes, the Mutianyu section is probably the most accessible to visit with children. The Great Wall at Mutianyu is reached by taking a short shuttle bus ride to the Mutianyu Cable car station. The Mutianyu Cable Car is a short ride up and you have reached the wall. The wall itself, we found relatively easy to walk. I must admit that I hadn’t quite expected the Great Wall to be as mountainous as it is. However, saying that, we found that the walk itself was relatively easy. The Great Wall at Mutianyu has been well restored so for the most part was an easy walk. There are however some steep steps of different inclinations that make the walk a bit more challenging, particularly given that there are no hand rails. There is one section of the wall at Mutianyu that is particularly steep with over 400 steps to reach the summit, however you can walk a large section of the wall without doing this if you would prefer. One section of the wall we walked was so even that even our toddler managed to walk a large section.
What is there at the Great wall of China for kids at the Mutianyu Section?
One of the reasons we like the Mutianyu section is because there is the most to do at the Great Wall of china for kids here.
The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu is reached by taking a short shuttle bus ride to catch the Mutianyu cable car up to the Great Wall which is a spectacular start. For the more daring there is also a ski lift to take you to the top. And as a reward for their efforts of walking the wall, kids will love to take the toboggan also known as the Mutianyu slide ride back down.
What is the best time for visiting Great Wall of China with kids?
As with any tourist attractions in China there are peak times when tourists just flock there. The Great Wall of China is no exception. When we were looking to visit the first question I asked was what is the best time for visiting Great Wall of China with kids? We went to Beijing in Winter, New Years Eve in fact and we found that we had the Great Wall mostly to ourselves. So if you want to visit the Great Wall without tons of tourists then I can vouch for Winter. However the cold can make the pollution worse in Beijing! Also, although we were lucky, New Years Eve is a National Holiday, I would recommend visiting the Great Wall when there isn’t a national or school holiday in China. I particuarly recommend avoid Chinese New Year as hear that the wall can be at its busiest at this time of year!
Looking for a way of keeping track of key festival dates around the world? Check out this post!
Have you ever visited the Great Wall of China? What is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China in your opinion?
Top Tips for Visiting the Great Wall of China with Kids?
We found the Great Wall of China to be such a rewarding thing to do with our little one. If you want to do it we recommend:
Getting a guide for a private tour of the Great Wall of China
We went with Great Wall Hiking and we found the guide Cheney to be excellent, especially with dealing with walking the Great wall of china with a toddler and making sure everything was done at our own pace.
While we recommend Great Wall Hiking there are other hiking tours available and you can check online reviews here!
Mutianyu Tour of the Great Wall
This section is the best distance from Beijing and is less crowded so is the ideal place to visit with children. Our Mutianyu Tour of the Great Wall was done by Great Wall hiking and if you are looking for a Mutianyu tour of the Great Wall I would thoroughly recommend them. The Mutianyu Great Wall entrance fee was included in the tour price.
Take a carrier
We found the carrier to be an essential. The Great Wall would be totally inaccessible with a stroller and while our little one did a great job of walking, they will tire. Be warned though, when passing through the watchtowers the ceilings are very low and you will have to duck to get through.
Remember to pack well for your littles when traveling to the Great Wall. There are shops around the Great Wall but the Wall itself doesn’t have any such amenities. At the bottom of the Wall next to the Cable Car Station there is a subway and in the village there is a Burger King. At the end of our tour we went for lunch in a restaurant in a town a short drive away. the food was superb and our guide arranged for a meal for our little one that had no salt or spices which was greatly appreciated.
FAQS About Visiting the Great Wall of China with Kids
Are there Toilets at the Great wall of China?
Wherever I go with my little one, toilets are always a concern. There are some toilets at the Subway in the town but there are no toilets on the wall. I recommend wherever you travel in China you take hand sanitizer with you. We also make sure we use the velcro style nappies when doing outdoor adventures with our little one as they are much easier to change in difficult locations.
Please note this is about the Mutianyu section and can’t comment on whether there are toilets at the Great Wall of China other sections.
Want to read about another section of the wall with kids, then check out this guide by our friends at go live young!
Can you Visit the great wall of china in winter?
We visited the Great Wall of China in Winter. We didn’t have snow but it was quite cold and many layers are required when visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter. The only downside to visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter is that in the cities you can get more sever air pollution.
For more Beijing advice why not check out our recommendations on where to stay and how to cope with the air pollution!
What is the best time to visit the great wall of china?
We visited the Great Wall of China in Winter and loved it even though the pollution in Beijing was bad. MY top tip for finding the best time to visit the great wall of china is to find out when the Chinese public holidays and avoid these!
And if you are looking for things to do other than the Great Wall then check out this post!
Have you ever walked the Great Wall of China with kids? What are your top tips for walking the Great Wall with kids?
Tuesday 25th of June 2019
Thanks for this post! We're going to China in august with our one year old, so this has been helpful ;)
Tuesday 25th of June 2019
I’m so glad it helped - if you have any other questions do let us know
Thursday 3rd of January 2019
I have a one year, is it advisable to travel to Beijing and Great Wall of china in mid January
Thursday 3rd of January 2019
Pollution can be bad so prepare for it! Winter is worst but I don’t regret going and was a highlight of 2018 travels! We recommend staying at grand Hyatt as has great indoor amenities for when pollution bad
Gretta - Mums do travel
Sunday 25th of November 2018
This sounds like a brilliant experience - and very do-able with young children.
Monday 5th of November 2018
There are many places where you can walk the Great Wall of China. Mutianyu is the best place in the great wall of China to walk with the kids. I had a trip with my family to a great wall with the help Treckclub. The trip was going awesome and we enjoyed a lot. That was a memorable trip for us. Thank you for your post to describe all the information about the great wall.
Sunday 4th of November 2018
Great post! We are planning on this section of the Great Wall next month with our 6 and 8 year old. I'm interested in if the toboggan down would be a good idea for their age. I'm assuming each with a parent it might be possible? What would you say?