Jinshanling is a section of the Great Wall about 2.5 hours outside of Beijing in a beautiful mountainous area. It is a half restored and half wild area that was originally built around 1358–1389 and rebuilt in 1567 and 1570.
If you’re planning a trip to the Great Wall, the Jinshanling Section should be at the top of your list. As one of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall, Jinshanling is a popular choice to visit because of its stunning views and there are usually not many people visiting this section (making it much easy to snap great photos here!)
Getting To The Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall
The Jinshanling Section is northeast of Beijing and connects to the Simatai section of the Great Wall. You can reach the Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall by public bus or private car. Because it’s one of the father sections, most people prefer to book a trip here with a tour or private car.
If you want to take public transportation, you can take the Jinshanling Tourist Bus Line to the scenic area from the Dongzhimen Bus Station. The bus departs at 7:40 and returns at 16:00 and costs 32 RMB one way. There’s also a bus that goes from Wangjing West Subway Station to the Jinshanling Service Area for 32 RMB. For more information about public buses, check this site.
I’ve been to Jinshanling twice, once with a private car and once with an organized tour group called CET (Cultural Exchange Trip). The CET trip cost 110 RMB for transportation fees and insurance. Both trips made it really easy to get to Jinshanling, so I recommend booking with a tour – it will save you time and is much more convenient.
Part of our CET group.
Hiking The Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall
Jinshanling tickets are the same price as other sections of the Great Wall – you may not need your passport to buy the ticket, but we were recommended to bring ours in case. The Jingshanling Section has a cable car that goes up and down the mountains if you don’t want to hike the entire time.
- Ticket Fee: 55 RMB for a Great Wall ticket
- Cable Car Fee: 40 RMB one way, 60 RMB round-trip
There are several routes you can hike, depending on how much time you have and your fitness level. Most people start from the main gate and exit from the east gate. You can hike or take the cable car up. Alternatively you can start from the main gate and hike to the western section.
Below is the route I recently took from the cable car up to the East Gate:
Depending on your route, you can hike in about 2 – 3 hours. From the last tower down to the East Gate it takes about 15 minutes of walking. At various guard towers you’ll meet little Chinese ladies selling souvenirs, snacks, water, and beer – it’s interesting that everyday they hike up the wall to sell their things!
It was a beautiful day on the wall and we had a great time exploring.
Tips for Visiting Jinshanling
- Wear sturdy shoes with good traction – you’re going to do lots of walking and some parts are pretty steep (you may bear crawl up some parts!)
- Bring lots of water and snacks. You can always buy some there, but it will be more expensive.
- Spring is usually the best time to visit Jinshanling because the trees are more vibrant and blooming and it’s not too hot, but really any season will be fine. The first time I visited Jinshanling was during January and there was snow on the wall which made it very slippery, but it was still just as nice.
Oh, and when you reach the end, grab a Yanjing and celebrate your successful Great Wall hike 😉
Jinshanling has to be my favorite section of the wall I’ve visited so far! The wall and the surrounding mountains are stunning, and the fact that you don’t have to push past people and fight crowds for good photos make it even better. I highly recommend visiting this section of the wall if you have the chance.
Have you been to the Great Wall? Which section is your favorite?
There are still many sections of the Great Wall I haven’t visited, but plan to in the future! You can read more about the other sections I’ve visited here:
If you’re planning a trip to Beijing and looking for other things to do, try these:
- The Best Instagram Spots in Beijing
- The Best Places To Take Photos of The Forbidden City
- 5 Tips For Visiting The Summer Palace