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 of the 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 walking on the Great Wall of China with kids has to be at Mutianyu. 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.
Why visit the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu with kids?
Our Mutianyu tour had plenty of attractions to offer children when visiting the Great Wall of China. 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 to visit the 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 to visit the Great Wall of China? We went in the 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. 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 our little one and making sure everything was done at our own pace.
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.
The 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 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
Want to read about another section of the wall with kids, then check out this guide by our friends at go live young!
Have you ever walked the Great Wall of China with kids? What are your top tips for walking the Great Wall with kids?