Mutianyu Great Wall: Facts & How to Get There

The Mutianyu Great Wall is a beautiful section of the Great Wall of China, known for its stunning views and well-preserved watchtowers. Compared with other sections of the Great Wall, Mutianyu has a gentler terrain and is fully restored, making it perfect for a family tour. With its historical significance, Mutianyu offers a rich cultural experience. Follow our ultimate travel guide to discover what you can experience on this magnificent part of the Great Wall.

The Great Wall of China, one of the 7 wonders of the worldThe Great Wall of China, one of the 7 wonders of the world

With 22 watchtowers, the Mutianyu Great Wall stretches for 5 kilometers across the mountains. It's like a giant stone dragon with a restored 3-kilometer section that has 20 watchtowers open for tourists to visit.

The walls are constructed primarily of granite, standing tall at an average height of 7-8 meters (23-26 feet) and 4-5 meters (13-16 feet) wide, with crenellated parapets on both sides. These features make the Mutianyu Great Wall hard to break. In 1988, Mutianyu was opened. It was the second part of the Great Wall open to the world, only later than the Badaling Great Wall.

General Map of MutianyuGeneral Map of Mutianyu

Opening Hours

Daytime Session

Peak Season (March 16th to November 15th):
Monday to Friday: 7:30 am - 6:00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 7:30am - 6:30pm
Accessible area: No.1 to No. 20 watchtowers

Off Season (November 16th to March 15th of the following year):
Monday to Sunday: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Accessible area: No. 1 to No. 20 watchtowers

Nighttime Session

Opening hours: 7:30 pm - 10 pm
Accessible area: No. 10 to No. 15 watchtowers (The lights will be on at 7 pm)

A gentle reminder: The night session is available only on certain days. The Mutianyu Great Wall will announce the dates a few days in advance on the official website for booking tickets. During the night session, only cable cars are available for going up and down.

Entrance Ticket Price for Mutianyu

If you visit Mutianyu with your family, there are discounts for kids and seniors. Entrance tickets cost 40 yuan per person. For kids aged 6 to 18 and seniors over 60, tickets are 20 yuan per person. The shuttle bus costs 15 yuan per person, kids under 1.2 meters tall can take the shuttle bus for free.

For the nighttime session, the package ticket costs 200 yuan per person. This includes the entrance, shuttle bus, and round-trip cable car tickets.

Beautiful view of the Great WallBeautiful view of the Great Wall

Located in Huairou District, in the northeastern part of Beijing, Mutianyu is easy to reach from downtown. You can take an express bus, a taxi, or a private car to the Mutianyu tourist center. Once there, you may need to take a shuttle bus to the entrance of the Great Wall or walk for about 20 minutes to reach it.

Take an Express Bus

There are 6 lines of express buses to the Mutianyu Great Wall. All are convenient to take and will cost 80 yuan per person for a round trip (entrance ticket not included).

LineDeparture Time
No. 1: Dongzhimen Station (Exit B1), Metro Line 26:30 am; 8 am; 10 am
No. 2: Heping Xiqiao Station (Exit B), Metro Line 58 am; 9 am; 10 am; 12 pm; 3:30 pm (for nighttime session)
No. 3: Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch at QianmenFrom 7:30 am to 10 am (frequent departures)
No. 4: Shaoyaoju Station (Exit E), Line 109:30 am
No. 5: Bus Stop No. 194 at Beijing Chaoyang Railway Station9 am
No. 6: Mutianyu Great Wall Tourist Line Bus Stop on Beikoulu Street, near the north entrance of Qianmen Street12 pm

When you take bus Nos. 1 to 4, they will take you directly to the entrance of Mutianyu. If you take the remaining 2 buses, you can get free tickets for the shuttle bus.

Take a Taxi or a Private Car

Taking a taxi to Mutianyu will cost about 1.5 hours from downtown Beijing. After reaching the tourist center, you can take a shuttle bus to the entrance or simply walk there, which will take about 20 minutes.

If you prefer a more private experience, our customized tours provide exclusive car transportation with flexible departure times to suit your needs.

Overlook the Great Wall on No. 20 Watchtower

Overlook the Great WallOverlook the Great Wall

The No. 20 Watchtower is the highest point on Mutianyu. This watchtower provides a panoramic view of the wall snaking through the lush mountains. On a clear day, you can even see the scenery miles away from here.

In addition, there's a stone called Haohan Stone beside the No. 20 watchtower. All the sections of the Great Wall have this stone. You can take pictures with the stone to prove that you've conquered Mutianyu.

However, the passage from the No. 19 to No. 20 watchtower might be a bit challenging because the stairs are steeper.

Visit the Zhengguan Terrace (No. 4 Watchtower)

The entrance of a watchtowerThe entrance of a watchtower

The No. 3 watchtower, commonly known as the Zhengguan Terrace, is a unique structure on the Great Wall. Unlike other watchtowers, this one features three connected towers that have two floors. That's why it has a larger and more complex structure.

It was a crucial military position in ancient times. Now, it offers fascinating insights into the history and architecture of the Great Wall. You may not find another watchtower that has the same construction as Zhengguan Terrace.

Visit Big Corner Tower (No. 1 Watchtower)

The Big Corner Tower, or No. 1 Watchtower, is another must-see spot at Mutianyu. Located at the eastern end of this section, it stands out with its large size and strategic location as the connecting point of 3 sections of the Great Wall. It's the highest point on the east side of Mutianyu. The rare structure makes it worth visiting and is good for photoshooting.

Mark Your Name on Mutianyu

The graffiti wall in No. 14 watchtowerThe graffiti wall in No. 14 watchtower

Yes, you didn't make it wrong. You can mark your name on Mutianyu. There's a graffiti wall inside the No. 14 watchtower. You can write your name and wishes on the wall. It's like memorizing your trip.

Take a Toboggan Ride

This is the most popular activity for kids on the Great Wall. You will sit on a toboggan that has wheels and slides all the way down. The toboggan has a control lever that lets you adjust to a speed you like.

A friendly reminder: the toboggan slideway closes on rainy and snowy days. Even if the rain and snow stop, you may need to wait for the staff to clean the track before it reopens.

Exploring Mutianyu involves hiking, so we've compiled a few recommended routes to help you make the most of your visit. Routes 1 to 3 are the easiest for seniors and kids. If you're a hiking enthusiast, Routes 4 and 5 are more suitable for you, offering a more challenging and rewarding experience.

Route 1: Visit the Western Part

Map for Hiking Route 1Map for Mutianyu Hiking Route #1

Recommendation Level: 5 Stars
Time Required: About 2 hours
Area: No. 14 to No. 20 watchtowers

Take a cable car from the station near the northern ticket check. This will take you to the No. 14 Watchtower, where you can start your hike and visit the watchtowers to the west. Since the No. 20 Watchtower is the highest point at Mutianyu, the stairs between the No. 19 and No. 20 watchtowers are a bit steeper.

After exploring the western part, return to the cable car station and take the cable car back down the Great Wall.

Route 2: Visit the Eastern Part

Map for Hiking Route 2Map for Mutianyu Hiking Route #2

Recommendation Level: 5 Stars
Time Required: About 2 hours
Area: No. 1 to No. 6 watchtowers

Take the chairlift from the southern ticket check, and you'll get to the No. 6 watchtower. From there, start your journey to the eastern part of Mutianyu. As you walk east, you will see the Zhengguan Terrace (No. 4 watchtower) and, finally, the No. 1 watchtower, the summit of the eastern part.

When you finish your visit, you can take a toboggan back down from the Great Wall.

Route 3: Visit the Middle Part

Map for Hiking Route 3Map for Mutianyu Hiking Route #3

Recommendation Level: 5 Stars
Time Required: About 2.5 hours
Area: No. 6 to No. 14 watchtowers

This is the easiest route for exploring Mutianyu, making it ideal for elders and kids. Start by taking a cable car to the No. 14 watchtower. From there, begin your journey through the middle part of Mutianyu. The path from the No. 14 watchtower to the No. 6 watchtower gently slopes all the way down. When you reach the No. 6 watchtower, you can take a toboggan to go down.

Route 4: Conquer the Whole Mutianyu

Map for Mutianyu HikingMap for Mutianyu Hiking Route #4

Recommendation Level: 4 Stars
Time Required: About 4 hours (+1 hour if you prefer to go up and down on foot)
Area: No. 1 to No. 20 watchtowers

This is the extended route for Route 3. First, take the cable car to the No. 14 watchtower and visit the western part. Then, walk east all the way from the No. 20 to the No. 1 watchtower. After visiting the No. 1 watchtower, walk back west to the No. 6 watchtower and go down from the Great Wall by toboggan.

If you're a hiking enthusiast or want to challenge yourself, you can get on Mutianyu by walking up through the north passage. It will lead you to the No. 10 watchtower and take about 30 minutes to get there. When you finish your journey, walk back west to the No. 6 watchtower and descend the Great Wall through the south passage from there, which takes another 30 minutes.

The spring view of the Great WallThe spring view of the Great Wall

The peak season for the Mutianyu Great Wall is March to November. However, the best times to visit Mutianyu Great Wall are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these two seasons, the weather is pleasant. We suggest you avoid public holidays in China because there will be crowds of tourists:

  • Labor Day: from May 1st to May 5th
  • Mid-Autumn Festival: Lunar August 15th, usually in late September or early October
  • National Day: from October 1st to October 7th

The views in summer and winter are attractive, too. However, in summer, from June to August, it is the hottest time in Beijing. Except for the terrace towers, there's no place to take a break from the heat. In winter, it will be chilly and windy on the Mutianyu Great Wall, and it could be quite slippery when it snows.

Learn more about the weather on the Great Wall: Best Time to Visit Great Wall of China 2024/2025

Fewer Crowds

Mutianyu is less crowded than Badaling, which makes it a more tranquil and easier place for families with elders and kids to visit. You can explore Mutianyu more leisurely, taking in the panoramic views and historical ambiance without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by throngs of tourists.

Well-preservation and Scenic Beauty

Mutianyu stands out as one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall, retaining much of its original structure. This section is well-maintained and ensures a clean and comfortable environment that enhances the overall experience for you.

Easy to Access

Getting to Mutianyu is relatively straightforward. Easily accessible from Beijing's downtown area by a 1.5-hour drive, it is a prime choice for a day trip and a perfect addition to a Beijing city sightseeing itinerary.

Friendly for All Ages

Unlike Jinshanling, Mutianyu features gentler steps and a moderate length, making it more suitable for hiking. Additionally, the infrastructure at Mutianyu is well-developed, with facilities like cable cars and speed slideway making the ascent and descent easier for people of all ages and levels.

Rich History Background

Mutianyu has a long history that can date back to A.D. 550. It was designed to defend against invasions. The section was rebuilt and expanded during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), showcasing classic Ming architecture and offering you an authentic glimpse into history.

1. Dress in layers, especially if visiting during spring or autumn, because there might be a temperature difference throughout the day. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes for hiking.

2. There are only three restrooms on the Mutianyu Great Wall. The first one is near the No. 4 watchtower. The second one is near the No. 8 watchtower. The third one is near the upper cable car station. Therefore, we recommend using the restroom before starting your visit.

3. When you're going down from Mutianyu, waiting for toboggans may take more than an hour at busy times. The cable car departs more often, so you won't have to wait long.

4. You may see lots of cats on the Great Wall. They are gentle and won't hurt you if you don't irritate them.

5. There won't be restaurants on the Great Wall. So we suggest you pack some snacks and water in case you need to refuel.

Plan Your Tour

If you prefer a private tour that covers exclusive cars and guides, you can contact us or write to All the itineraries can be customized to fit your needs and offer you a worry-free trip to China.

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