• How to get to Jinshanling Great Wall from Beijing by public transport (and save $$$)

    See this AND save money!

    See this AND save money!

    Visiting the Great Wall is, well, great. But it can be busy and expensive. And tours to the less busy places like Jinshanlin can be even more expensive. At my hostel a tour to Jinshanjing would set you back 345 Chinese RMB which is about £25-35, or $40-50. Which seems a bit much. Luckily there is way to get there independently, which is significantly cheaper, and fairly idiot proof. (Well I managed it at least…)



    How to get to Jinshanling Great Wall by public transport…

    First things first, get yourself a rechargable Beijing Metro Card. It will cost you 20RMB (as a deposit) plus whatever credit you want to put on it and its great for getting you around Beijing generally, saving queuing at Metro Stations and getting you small savings on bus tickets. You want to make sure you have at least 20RMB credit on it to get you to the wall at Jinshanling. Now take the metro from wherever your hostel is to Wangjing West Station, which is on Lines 13 and 15. This should cost you 2RMB (although there is talk of upping the cost of Metro journeys to 4RMB.) At Wangjing West Station, make sure to take Exit C (otherwise you will get lost, which is what I did…). As you exit from Exit C you will see opposite you on the other side of the road, a bus station. At this Bus Station, there only appears to be one bus that you can catch from the station itself. It doesn’t have a number but this is the one you want and will have 滦平written on it somewhere, which I think means Luaping, which is where the bus is going. Before you get the bus though you might want to pick up some snacks and drink for the wall and for breakfast. There is a “Fulltime CVS” minimart just to the left of the bus station as you look at it from the Metro exit. It does remarkably good pastries. UPDATE – the CVS is no more, in its place a store called OurHours.

    With breakfast sorted, go to the bus station and wait for the bus. As I said, it’s going to Luaping, and this is also written on the bus stand (in English) so you should be fairly confident you are getting on the right bus! Feel free to check though, locals use this bus to get to the wall at Jinshanling as well so they should be able to point you in the right direction if you have somehow joined the wrong queue.

    The bus apparently leaves every hour starting from 7am, however I managed to catch it at 07:30 having just missed the 7am one so it would seem that early in the morning at least they may run more often. Travellers in the comments section have also spoken about getting buses at 07.40 and at some times of year there is a special tourist bus.  If anyone is able to photo an upto date timetable and post it in the comments section that would be great! It will cost you 13 RMB in cash which you will hand over to a bus station worker as you queue up to get on the bus, you then tap your card up against the reader when you actually board the bus which will cost you about 7RMB. If you don’t have a card they will charge you something like 32RMB in cash, so make sure you have the card!

    The bus will then leave and you can relax and stare out of the window as you need the first bus stop, but the first stop wont be for about 80-90minutes! It will drop you off at the rest stop for the Jingshanglin Great Wall. From here, you can take a free shuttle bus to the site itself. Unfortunately I didn’t take this shuttle bus or make a note of the times so I can’t tell you when it leaves. Sorry about that. But I can tell you there is a timetable by the toilets. (Traveller feedback – whether this bus exists or not appears to change frequently – so for planning purposes its probably best to assume it doesn’t)

    If there isn’t one leaving soon you will find people offering to drive you there for some amount of money (remember to negotiate!). They will tell you that it is very far to the entrance and a very long walk. They are sort of telling the truth. If you want to get to where the cable car will take you up to the wall its a good 5-6km walk to get there. However the Eastern entrance to the wall, is a much more manageable 2km walk although whether this is something you will want to do will be up to your judgement! The best combination is probably to note the times of the return shuttle bus from the Cable Car and then walk to the Eastern Entrance, go up the great wall, and then leave via the Cable Car exit (not necessarily taking the cable car, unless you are lazy) in time to pick up the free shuttle bus. Or you can just walk back as I did, it is manageable. Walking to the wall is straight forward. Head back the way the bus came, and follow the slip road leading off the left of the Rest Area and going underneath the main highway. You then take the turning to the right which is signposted as going to the Jinshanling Wall. Then simply follow the road. Ticket for the wall itself is 65RMB

    The reward - great scenery, few tourists, and more cash in your pocket

    The reward – great scenery, few tourists, and more cash in your pocket

    Getting the bus back to Beijing feels less straight forward but it’s still manageable. Back where you were dropped off you will see a building  apparently functioning as a tourist information centre, although it was offering no information when I was there. The bus back to Beijing will stop in front of this building. Just wait for it to turn up, tap your Travel Card against the reader and pay the driver the remaining 13RMB in cash. Note that it might be a rather busy bus on the way back. There was only one free seat when it picked me up. Luckily no one else got on so I got to nab the seat. About 90 minutes later you will find yourself back at Wangjing West from where you can get the metro back to your hostel. Because the metro beats Beijing traffic jams any day of the week the odds are you will get back to your hostel before the people who have taken the much more expensive tour. Silently allow yourself a moment to gloat when they finally do return, to find you are already busy drinking a beer…

    (UPDATE – a good tip from Alex the comments section, if you are travelling on a busy day (weekend or public holiday) and want to try to avoid risks of queues for the public bus back, you could try approaching tour group leaders to see if for a small payment you can get a spot on their tour bus back to Beijing. This probably only really works if there is one or two of you, and obviously there are no guarantees there will be space or they will be accommodating, but its worth a try!)

    Hopefully this post will give you the confidence that you can get to the Great Wall at Jinshanling both beating the crowds and saving money.  (and here are some photos showing you why you should go!)

    This information is confirmed from traveller feedback as still being accurate as of  April 2018  – please use the comment section below to let me and you fellow travellers(!) know if you find the information to be accurate or if anything has changed!

    And if this does save you money, maybe you should remember me in your will?  Or alternatively just read more of my blog posts…

63 Responsesso far.

  1. […] The most impressive part of the wall I saw was at Jingshangling, which is doable as an easy day-trip from Beijing. Here is a post on how you can do this for cheap, avoiding expensive tours offered by hostels. How to get to Jinshanling. […]

  2. […] The most impressive part of the wall I saw was at Jingshangling, which is doable as an easy day-trip from Beijing. Here is a post on how you can do this for cheap, avoiding expensive tours offered by hostels. How to get to Jinshanling. […]

  3. […] The most impressive part of the wall I saw was at Jingshangling, which is doable as an easy day-trip from Beijing. Here is a post on how you can do this for cheap, avoiding expensive tours offered by hostels. How to get to Jinshanling. […]

  4. Nayara says:

    Hello! I want to know if the bus that we take at subway station to Luaping is common bus and is not that tourist bus. Is it works all seasons, or just peak season?

    • noflytri says:

      Hey Nayara, the tourist bus is just seasonal I think, but the other bus that I took is a normal regular commuter bus so should just run all year round so I think you should be fine. I took it in October which was after golden week but before the official end of peak season which I think was start November.
      Please let me know how your trip goes!

  5. Michael says:

    Hi there.
    First of all, thanks for your blog post!

    Secondly, where did you buy your Jinshanling entry pass from? Is there a very obvious ticket booth or did you have to search for it?


    • noflytri says:

      The ticket booth was really obvious. There are two entrances as you walk (or take the shuttle) along the road from the bus stop, most people who use the shuttle or who arrive on a tour use the furthest away one, but using the closer one will get you closer to the more decrepit “atmospheric” bit of the wall.

  6. rho says:

    Great tips yo, almost all of it still accurate in May 2016. The bus fare is 13 rmb cash plus card fare, clear signs at the bus stand to the bus and v regular services to the Great Wall. (Always carry clear Chinese characters of wherever you have to go, unlikely anyone will understand what you say because of your accent). The bus stand is between exits C and D, take either and look out for the bus stand. Takes well over 2 hours on weekends when the traffic is a mess so go on weekdays guys! Walk from the stop to the east wall and find a trail down (i got lazy and took the cable car) lots of taxis happy to ferry you for about rmb 30 either way. Do Negotiate. There is no tourist information centre anymore, the return bus leaves from the supermarket right before the toilets: there doesn’t seem to be a shuttle bus in place either (or any timings). In short: go on weekdays, carry enough water and enjoy the lovely hike!

  7. Andy says:

    Awesome post! Everything is accurate, taking into account Rho’s post.
    We even met a chinese guy and he’s son on the bus which made the day more unique, even if it did look like we hired a guide.
    Highly recommend this method of seeing such an amazing place.

  8. Kelly Baxley says:

    I am bringing 16 students from America with me and we’d love to visit this part of the wall. Any thoughts/concerns about their safety if took public transportation without a guide. We are coming mid November. Would we be able to get back all together on the bus or possible have to split up? Is the hike to the entrance from the bus station pretty easy to find.

    • noflytri says:

      November is off-peak generally so I think there are slightly shorter opening times at the wall as it’s likely to be quite cold.
      From my experience I would say there would not be a problem taking an early public bus to the site as there were not that many people on the bus I took from Beijing, and as I mentioned it will be low season so less Chinese tourists generally. However the bus back to Beijing was pretty much already full when it stopped by to pick me up. I grabbed the last seat, so this is likely to be more problematic if they are 16 of you. How open they will be to people standing/sitting in the aisles I am not sure as I do know they occasionally show very grizzly(!) public safety videos/posters about bus safety so they might not let you. Sorry I can’t be more help. Not sure if anyone else who has done this route more recently could offer advice?

  9. Sofie says:

    Has it been confirmed that there is no shuttle bus? Several websites say that there is a shuttle bus from the drop off area to the Wall itself. Also, do you buy the ticket to the Wall at the drop off area or at the Wall?

    • noflytri says:

      Buy tickets at the wall itself. There are two entrances/exits. You can get tickets at both.
      The latest info above from Rho suggests there is no shuttle bus, but things change, so perhaps it will return during the summer peak? If it returns, someone will hopefully update us below!
      From my experience, (and the others who have commented), even in the absence of a shuttle bus, you should find no difficulties in getting a taxi ride to the wall. Remember to negotiate! It will still be cheaper than any tour and you will have more freedom in terms of timings etc.

  10. Alexis says:

    Wow all this was so precise and usefull, i could’nt thank you enough for making my day so awesome! That part of the wall is just incredible. Thank you again and i invite everyone who want to see that part of the wall to follow this guide (coming from someone who is not used to travel without tour guide)

  11. Kyle says:

    Used the above method last week. Taking into account Rho’s comments everything went well. Just wanted to clarify a couple of things. From the guide and comments I was got the impression the bus leaves from a bus stop that is opposite metro exit D and that is very close to the “Fulltime CVS” minimart. So after fruitlessly looking for an English sign saying Launping and showing my chinese translation of launping to nearby vendors, whilst constantly fighting off touts trying to get me onto tourist buses, or man with a van kind of set ups that were charging 5x the price i sort of finally gave up. Resigning to the fact I couldnt find the bus I went to the right of the bus stop by the “Fulltime CVS” minimart to a bus station, again joining the wrong queue, a few poorly translated exchanges later I found out the bus to luanping is on the other side of the bus station. Eventually finding the right entrance, you will see a sign saying Luanping, and probably will find the touts literally standing in the way of the entrance to the correct queue, politely slip by, and you will of made it.
    So just to clarify, the bus leaves from the bus station that you will see across the road if you exit the metro at exit C or D, not from the bus stop next to the “Fulltime CVS” minimart. If you are looking at the “Fulltime CVS” minimart you will see the bus station to the right, the closest entrance to the “Fulltime CVS” minimart is not the right one, instead walk past that, continue forward roughly 100 yards, to the other side of the bus station, look to your left and you will see another entrance, with a nice sign saying Luanping! Bus leaves from 7am, and it runs every 40 minutes. Price is the same as listed above.
    The bus will then stop at the Luanping “rest area” or “service area” and is indeed the first stop. Walk to the slip road described above, go under the highway, and continue straight on following the sign for Jinshangling great wall. Now this sign will say entrance is 5 km, however this is for the west entrance. You basically walk uphill on a slight incline, go round a steeper S shaped road, walk two more minutes and you will be at the East gate entrance, roughly 2km as described. No need for taxis or shuttle bus. Was a slightly unnerving walk as like I said there was no signs of the east gate, only the 5km signs for west gate, and it was 30 degrees plus at the time! Upon arriving at the east gate buy your tickets and the ascend to the wall. Be aware its a good half hour up steep steps to actually get to the wall form east gate. Make sure to pack enough water, I drained a bottle just from this climb. After this though, it’s a fairly leisurely walk on the wall itself. So arriving at the wall you can turn left and walk about four towers down arriving at the closed off Simatai section, much less restored. You would then need to turn around and go back the way you came, go past the tower you ascended to from east gate, and walk past that. From that tower to the west gate cable cars its only about a hour and a half walk. Descend using the cable cars (10-15 mins) and from there walk to the tourist information centre. So this is where it gets interesting, I went into the tourist information centre, and asked how I get back to the rest area to catch the bus back to Beijing, they said they had a bus arriving at 3pm, which costs 32RMB, at this point I was happy to pay the extra 12RMB to catch the bus form there and not the rest area. What actually happened however was that we got on a small bus, which shuttled us to the rest area where we were dropped off at in the morning, we then got on a bigger bus when it arrived which took us back to Beijing. This bus was the same one that dropped us off, and it cost the same. However at the tourist information center they quoted us 32RMB, which is coincidentally the cost of the bus if you dont have the subway IC card. Now there was only about 10 of a us at the time, so i’m not sure that if there was more of us the bus would of been bigger and would of cost us 32RMB and would of took us straight back to Beijing, but because there wasn’t many of us it just shuttled us back to the rest area. I believe however it was actually the elusive shuttle bus, so I am going to tentatively confirm it’s existence. I’ve stupidly gone and lost the leaflet with the timetable though, but I can confirm the 3pm shuttle was the LAST bus.
    So to summarize. Catch the bus in the morning from the bus station opposite exit C of metro, there will be a sign. Get off at rest area, go down slip road, under highway, follow sign for Jinshangling, arrive at east gate, buy tickets. Ascend up to wall, half hour (ish), walk left and then double back or just turn right. Enjoy beautiful unsullied views, (I seriously only saw about 20 other people.) Walk to west gate cable cars (around one hour and a half.) Buy cable car ticket down (40RMB) walk to tourist information center which is about a 3 minute walk from exit of cable car, straight ahead (only way to walk). Now remember be there by 3pm, so if you get to cable car around 2:15 that will leave plenty of time as there was no queues anywhere. It’s a two hour walk max from east gate to west gate cable cars (including many stops for photos) No clear signs for the cable cars but you can literally just see them from the wall. So from the tourist information center, get the 3pm shuttle bus back to rest area, and then from there catch the bus back to beijing. Tourist infomation centre is new, and modern, also has toilets there, and there are toilets by the rest area.
    So thank you for your awesome guide!! Please read it and other comments carefully and you will have a simple, cheap way to get to the wall. There are barely any other tourists there, and there is restored and unrestored sections over rolling hills with mountainous views. Bus took about 1.5 hours. I can not recommend this method highly enough. Do it, you will not regret it. Thanks again for the guide and all the other comments!

    • noflytri says:

      Thanks Kyle, sorry to hear about the confusion over the bus station, good to know the CVS is still there though! And interesting to hear the shuttle bus exists!
      Finally I agree, the section of wall east of the east entrance towards Simatai is probably the best bit! Although it’s not to be taken lightly as it is not in good shape, so it won’t be for everyone.

    • Sofie says:

      Hi Kyle! Thank you for the detailed description. Just to be clear: when you exit the metro, exit C or D, what direction do I go in to get to the correct entrance of the minimart? And after, which direction to the bus station?

      • noflytri says:

        The bus station is directly opposite entrance/exit C. If you don’t need the mini mart you don’t need to worry about the CVS but if you do want the minimart, then turn left and walk a bit and the CVS is on the other side of the road. Just remember that the bus station you want is the big one you see from exit C, not the smaller stop near the CVS. I think that’s where Kyle got confused.

  12. Kolax says:

    Just came back and that i update my trip report on getting there. ( trip date 29/5/2016 )
    once out if the train station , across the road you will see the CVS mart and a few pushcart selling breakfast. like mentioned , facing the CVS mart , walk to your right hand side. , you will pass a small mini mart shop selling drinks n stuffs , then next to it is an entrance to the busstop BUT this is not the right entrance for the bus to Luanping/Jingshanling. instead walk further down ( u will pass a security gate ) then next entrance you can go into the bus terminal. this is where they have 2 Q , 1 for Luanping and 1 for Jingshanling. the bus to Jinshanling only operate at 8 am , if there is not enough passenger , they will not have it ( this is stated on a board if you go into the first wrong entrance of the bus terminal ) , instead it will be combined with the LuanPing bus.
    So just Q in the bus for JinShanling and wait for the conductor. If you got metro card they will ask you to pay 13 rmb then u have to tap in when board n then tap out when alighting.
    The bus will stop at the JinShanling area where a FREE shuttle bus will be waiting. Not sure if they have min passenger for it but they company will coordinate and have the shuttle bus waiting for us there when we alight. They also are aware of how many ppl taking the shuttle ( they been informed ) Think this ONLY for the 8 am bus , cos met a fellow tourist on our way back and was told when they reach there is no shuttle bus waiting to bring them into the tourist area of the wall and they took a taxi instead. ( they took 1 bus later then 8 am ) so i assume that the shuttle bus is only pre-arranged for the 8 am bus. The shuttle bus will take you to both entrance ( east n west ) so you can decide where you wanna climb from.
    There is a free shuttle bus leaving the wall area at 3 pm ( this is the cfm bus ) any other timing is not cfm , that is what the shuttle bus driver told us. ) if you are leaving , best for you to wait in the tourist service building, i think they will do a headcount so they can arrange the shuttle bus back ( the bus we took there and back were different buses). The bus will also pick up the east entrance passenger on the way out BUT do note that is the bus is full from the west entrance, they might not be able to pick you up. So best if you wanna cover the whole wall will be climb from east then descend from west. We took up cable car up and down from the west entrance.
    ( we did not know have to wait inside the service area , but lucky there was enough seat for us to get on)
    When alight the shuttle bus , there is currently a gal conductor there selling tickets for the bus , she is usually inside the mini mark there. so look for her so she can arrange the seats , as the bus starts from Luanping to beijing. ( we were there on a sunday thus there was many ppl going back beijing , end up we had to wait for more then an hour for them to arrange the seat for the whole lot of us , total 16 pax who left the wall together ) price is the same , 32 rmb or 13 rmb + tap card.

    Hope this clear up regarding the shuttle bus service , it exist but think only for the 8 am bus. and also leave the wall at 3 pm , other timing is not official .

    • noflytri says:

      Thanks for the feedback. Really useful. I expect the reappearance of the shuttle might also be linked to the start of peak tourist season.

  13. Joan & Maria says:

    Hi all!

    Thank you very much for all the advices and information. We wouldn’t have dared to go on our own if we hadn’t found this post. So, we went to Jinshanling on the 24th June 2016, and here are some updates.

    Once we got to the bus station, we saw immediately a kind of sign saying “Tourist bus to Jinshanling”. A man saw us and told us where to go. So it was quite easy to find: there, in the line, we saw the Luanping characters shown above.

    In the line, we were given an information leaflet, which seemed official to us. Here is what it says.


    The special direct line to Jinshanling Scenic Spot (we think it means West entrance) is at 8.00 and returns at 15.00.

    Public transportation to Luanping stopping at Jinshanling rest area goes from 7.00 to 16.30 every 40 minutes. Return time from Luanping: from 6.30 to 16.00 every 40 minutes (at the rest area).

    The rest area is linked to the Scenic Spot through a free shuttle. The schedule of the shuttle bus to the Scenic Spot is 10.00, 11.00, 13.00, 15.30.

    The shuttle bus back to the rest area is at 10.30, 11.30, 13.30, 15.00.

    Website with information: http://www.jslcc.com

    We are not sure whether the direct bus works yet, since we were at the bus station around 8.00 and we were left at the rest area. Regarding the return, there was no bus from West entrance direct to Beijing at 15.00.

    We did the walk from the East entrance to the West entrance, as suggested. At 15.00, we took the free shuttle from the West entrance back to the rest area.

    There, we had to wait a bit for the bus back to Beijing, because the first two were full. We got on the bus around 16.30.

    By the way, the price now with card increased to 13 RMB cash + 9,5 RMB card, or the same 32 RMB cash.

    Thanks again. We really enjoyed Jinshanling and hope many others will!

  14. Dudu says:

    Hi all !

    Thank you for the tips and info, that was REALLY helpful and we really enjoy ourselves in Jinshanling !!

    Like others before, I will update the information with our own experience from August 15th 2016 (4 peoples : 2 students, 24-25yo good physical conditions and 2 adults 47-53yo average physical condition (strong overweight, non-walkers)).

    We decided to skip the card part, and to just pay the 64cny for round trip in bus between the bus station and the rest area. Once reached the bus station by subway (line 13/15), all the signs were in Chinese, but we made it. We cough the bus right before it leaves at 8am, seems that there were no other after.

    Once arrived at the rest area, we had the surprise to see that the bus didn’t stop there and brought us to the east gate (or the west) ! So, we went off the bus, bought our ticket and enjoyed ourselves ! Our 2 adults partners took their time, sweat a lot but DID IT from the east gate to the cable car at the west gate. So, I think people who really wanna go there, can !

    We took the last bus at 3pm, which left from the west gate, directly to Beijing !

    Hope our experience can help the future travellers ! Enjoy 🙂

    • noflytri says:

      Thanks, glad to here it. It definitely sounds like you might have got the tourist bus that I was told operates in peak season. Good to know! Makes visiting it even more easy!

  15. MR. PIYUSH VYAS says:

    return trip suggestion : a webste says it is better to take return bus from SIMATAI.
    So start from Jinshanling and return from SIMATAI.
    can anyone guide me on return trip by public transport from Simatai to Beijing.
    I am planning to visit Beijing during first week september.

    • noflytri says:

      My understanding is that the western half Simatai section of wall is still closed, so it is still not possible to hike from Jinshanling to Simatai like it once was. The section to the east of the East Gate at Jinshanling probably gives you an idea of what it looks like though as this short section is not really restored.

      If anyone has any different news, please share it 🙂

  16. Adam says:

    I used this guide to get to Jinshanling by public bus last week (August 2016) and wanted to say thank you to all the contributors and confirm to other readers this is accurate and you can do this.
    It was the best day of my trip to China, Jinshanling is far better than the other 3 sections of wall I have visited on previous visits. You do not need to pay lots of money to hotel operators and infact I aside from the money it’s the fact if you go to yourself you get the wall to yourself. We literally passed only 10-20 people across a total of 3-4 hours on the wall.
    We got to the bus stop at the subway station a little bit late so missed the “tourist special” that’s advertised there, but no problem as ~1 minute walk (just ASK for directions from anyone working there) there’s a fenced queuing area for a bus that goes every 40 minutes. My tip is don’t get too hung up on pre-planning based on all the comments and specifics above talking about minimarts etc. Just get to the station and ask people (in English) you will end up at the right place within a few minutes. Bring your Beijing Metro card as mentioned above. The bus drops you at the rest area of the highway. From there the free shuttle bus took us to the entrance. It returned later in the afternoon at 3pm but we left a bit earlier and so paid a local guy 15 RMB to drive us down to the bus back to Beijing.
    Highly recommend this guide, good work!

  17. dawam prasetyo says:

    hi, thanks for sharing this trip. i will go there at March 2017, but i’ve read in other website that in March “Tourist Bus” doesn’t operated, so my only one option is using Public Bus. i just want to ask is public bus always operated everyday (not only in high season) ?

    • noflytri says:

      The regular bus seems to run all the time as its just a normal bus to another town that just happens to stop at the rest stop for the Great Wall (unsure if it stops for certain holidays?). You may find outside of the peak season though that there are no shuttle buses to the wall. However on the plus side the wall will be much quieter, and if you cant manage the walk to the wall, there is still probably quite a good chance that someone will offer you a ride for something like 15 rmb.

  18. Blanic says:

    Thanks for all the directions, but I can’t find information what time does the last bus leave – we’re planning to go there in the afternoon, stay for the night at Luaping and start hiking at very morning. Is there a bus at 6 pm? Thank you in advance!

    • noflytri says:

      I’m afraid I can’t help. I suggest trying to get to the bus station the day before to check, unless someone reading this can help?

  19. Stefan says:

    Thanks for this guide/tipps. I went with 2 friends to the Grate Wall as you discribe at 26. September. Everything worked as you told. But I´m not 100% sure we took the right bus to the area. Our bus went to the rest area and afterwards directly to the west gate. It costed 32 RMB. From there we walked over the wall to the east gate. Although the weather wasn´t perfect it was quiet beautiful and we met about 20-30 people. At 15:00 a bus came which took us back to beijing. This bus costed 13 RMB in Cash + 9,5 RMB in Metro Card.
    So thanks for the guide and for erverbody else, I can just recommend this trip.

  20. Timmy says:

    You are a legend brother!!! Thanks for your guide, 100% accurate i went with my family today 03 November 2016.. my advice is the bus back to beijing is limited seats! So try to finish the walk before 3pm ..People were pushing in the line to get on the bus, and seats were full.. the next bus only had 2 seats the next only had 2 available again and the next bus which was the last bus had 1 seat available.. the last bus was at 4.30pm.. we waited around until 5.10pm however we had come to the conclusion that there were no more buses coming.. so we managed to bargain a driver for 80rmb per head back to beijing… however i was told in november the bus rout time finishes earlier compared to the summer

    • noflytri says:

      Awesome glad to hear you enjoyed it. Yes the bus was a squeeze when I caught it back too, so its probably best to leave Beijing early morning so you can see the wall and head back to the city not too late in the afternoon!

  21. Seth says:

    Still accurate as of December 2016!

    • noflytri says:

      all these comments make me very happy. It makes me feel like I’m still travelling swapping stories with other travellers!

  22. Steve says:

    Myself and my girlfriend found this advice very useful when we went just the other day (Jan 2017). The bus wasn’t too hard to find, we went early and got the 0740 bus (get lined up early because there might not be a seat free). We asked a local which was the correct queue and he showed us easily. The bus still costs ¥13 on top of the cost from the IC card.

    Bus was good and the driver told us when to get off. No info desk still, just some cops doing early morning drill and marching and the small store. We decided to walk the 2km to the east entrance (ignoring the multiple offers from the dodgy “taxis”). There had been snow and the temperature was in the negative degrees Celsius (ice on the road) but the walk was fine. On arriving, the ticket booth was vacant and no one around. We walked around back and found a lady living there saying there were no tickets for east gate available (no reason given either). “Miraculously”, a taxi driver appears and says he will drive us to the west gate for ¥30 each (we negotiate to ¥50 all up). The walk would have been too long and in the end this worked out fine as we exited the walk at the east gate and had the easy walk back to the bus stop.

    Getting back to Beijing was definitely sketchier. We asked the store worker

  23. jen says:

    Anyone done Jinshanling from Beijing following all the awesome advice above and then the return via Mutianyu? Any suggestions on transport back to Beijing centre? So walking from Jinshanling to Mutianyu.

    • Alex says:

      Mate, are you sure you’re not confusing Jinshaling to Jiankou? You can hike to Mutianyu from Jiankou, but Jinshaling is far away from it

  24. Alex says:

    I’m adding my personal thanks for this manual as well, as I used it successfully to hike Jinshaling to West Simatai on Sunday, 26/02.

    Finding the right bus stop is relatively easy – look out for the board saying “Tourist bus to Jinshaling” and then avoid hawkers luring you to the unlicensed buses. In February buses leave every hour, but don’t cut it too close as the queue fills up fast. I joined the line at 9.15 behind just a few people, but by 10 it grew so large the driver couldn’t fit everyone, so some people were left to wait for the next one.

    Arriving to the Sinopec station, I was aware that there’ll be no shuttle buses this time of the year. Plenty of “taxis” though – a driver wanted 80 RMB to drive to the main gate, which I knew was too much. Another local guy joined me though so we basically split the cost (40 RMB seemed OK, but could potentially push further I guess…)

    Water/food vendors all the way from the gas station to the wall itself – don’t feel too stressed if you run out of it…

    So basically I had it car driving me to the main gate (where I arrived just after 12) and then I hiked to the eastern gate (also called West Simatai). It’s a 3 km hike, which could be done in 1 hour, but taking in the views and snapping photos can take anywhere between 2 and 3.

    On the way back I used a lifehack – as I didn’t fancy taking the public bus back, I approached one of the organised groups which were also walking the wall and agreed on the ride back to Beijing for some sum of money to the guide’s pocket. I was just being aware that on Sunday afternoon returning buses are likely to be full, plus the ride itself will take longer due to traffic. In the hindsight that was a good shout – I had an enjoyable ride in the AC bus where I reclined my seat and took a nap. In the hindsight I feel that it was totally worth it as I felt rather tired by the time I left the wall, so something to consider as an option – the only thing it takes is some basic communication skills

  25. dawam prasetyo says:

    i was go there at early March and your advise is still accurate.
    Jinshanling Great wall is so Amazing, less crowded, view was just fantastic.
    here is my Vlog during my trip to Jinshanling Great wall :


    thank’s again brother !!

  26. Bradley says:

    Hi there and thanks for the advice, the trip the wall was fantastic. I just wanted to add a few things that aren’t necessarily covered in your blog. Firstly it’s important to get there, tour the wall and be back at the bus stop by 3pm as this is when the last bus departs for Beijing, the bus is quite often full with no seats as well so it would be smart to be there by about 2pm to be safe. Also worth noting is the fact that you’ll have to pay a local to ferry you to the entrance at the wall, I noticed quite a few tourists setting out for the trek and I wouldn’t advise it as it would take at least an hour, anyway as a point of reference I bargained the trip to 35 for the way there and 45 for the way back.

  27. Simon says:

    Still accurate as of april 2017!
    A small note: the Fulltime CVS does not exist anymore. It is now called OurHours.
    Walking to the east gate is easy, exactly 2.2 kilometers. The road is not very safe for walking but it was doable. They recently seem to have installed a road sign that tells you that walking is prohibited. We did not have any problems though.

  28. jen says:

    We followed all these instructions in March – worked perfectly. When you get into the bus station head to the right. That is where the queue for the bus to Jinshanling waits. We actually got pulled out of line by someone looking pretty official telling us the bus doesn’t ooperate after 0830 and showing us a sign that looked to actually say that. Total scam. Just trying to get us in his minibus – so be careful.
    We did a homestay and they picked us up from the service station. dropped us at the entrance to the Wall, all included, picked us up at pre-arranged time too. We walked to the East Gate first day. Watch out for the exit down from the Wall – look for Five Window Tower and the exit is rather hidden on the right.
    Next day we tried to walk to Gubeikou. We were told we could and just needed to get off the Wall by the Military zone and then back up a bit later. Not possible. No way – All the exit doors were bolted and barred. it was very early so maybe that was the reason but didn’t look like it had been opened recently!
    In all our planning i found this site useful for hints: http://www.travelchinaguide.com
    Wonderful – Enjoy!

  29. […] How to get to Jinshanling Great Wall from Beijing by public transport (and save $$$) […]

  30. Eva says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all the information here. It was amazing an so easy to do. Everyone was very helpful there and the informations are still right. I just have to add something: keep your entrance ticket for the shuttle bus, you have to show it there, otherwise they won’t drive you back. And we could not get a shuttle bus early in the morning, so probably it’s starts later. I would recommend this part of the wall to everyone, it was really less crowded.
    Try and enjoy it!

  31. Chloe Cheah says:

    Thank you so much for your detailed info! We managed to get there last week during the public holiday. Crowd free! We managed to take the earliest bus from DZM and took the ‘black taxi’ for RMB10 each. Upon arrival, we got to know the cable car and tourist bus were not in service. We went up and backtracked as we were afraid we might miss the bus due to holiday season.We walked back to where the bus stopped us. Rmb to book the tickets! The bus conductor in deep blue uniform sat right in front of the mart. Lucky enough we managed to get our seats. We overheard some conversations some of them dint manage to get an earlier bus and they probably miss their train! Well, I’ll advise to take note of the time and plan wisely! Thanks peeps!

  32. Janick says:

    Seems like the bus from wanjing west is stopped so far. After finding the entrance to the bus I just saw a closed door and this sign: https://picload.org/view/ripgacoi/img_1685.jpg.html

    There were some Chinese people offering to drive me to the wall.
    I decided to head back to Beijing and overthink my plans

  33. Don says:

    Thanks for information provided!

    I am planning a trip during the second week of August. I plan to hike from Jinshangling to Simatai or the other way round. I am prepared to spend a night for this trek.

    Any advice? Thanks

  34. Florence says:

    July 2017 update :
    We carefully followed the instructions and arrived safely in Jinshanling… To see the Jinshanling great Wall access is indeed closed. It will be closed for 6 months at least I think : they are building a bigger parking for tourist busses as well as hotels so I think the crowd free period is over… A driver took us to Gubeikou instead, but it was not the wall we wanted to see!

    • noflytri says:

      Thanks Florence. Sad to hear. But forewarned is forearmed at least.
      Hopefully when it re-opens it still retains some of its charm.

  35. elsa says:

    Any update on if this section of the wall is still closed? I am hoping to visit this weekend.

  36. Monica says:

    Hello, we did this trip two days ago. We were not able to get the tourist bus but we got in the one that leaves you in the Gas Station. Jinshanling was open and we walked all the way to Gubeikou. If you feel lost just use Maps.me for the hikes.

  37. Muchael says:


    Thanks for your excellent information.

    I’d just like to clarify things re the bus stop at Wangjing.

    I think confusion us arising from people sayi g ‘opposite exit C’. It’d be better to say ‘beside or near exit C’, i.e., on the same side of the street. It IS across the street from what is now the ‘Our Hours’ convenience store (beside which is a bus stop for other routes.)

    The Luangping bus is listed but without a route number.

    It runs at 30 or 60 minute intervals depending in time of day.

    The LAST bus to Luanping leaves at 1600 (4 pm).

  38. Michaela says:

    Hi, thanks so much for all your information!

    I can report that I followed your advice and travelled to Jinshanling on Friday (15 June 2018). I took the bus from Wangjing West around 8.30 but it wasn’t as easy to find it in the first place! There is more than just one bus departing from this station.

    Once you cross the road from exit C and go right, you will pass the bus station exit, keep walking and you will find the entrance next. There were some barriers and three different buses. I didn’t see “Luanping” destination written anywhere (not even on the bus) but at the stop furthest away people were just boarding a bus. I showed them “Luanping” written in Chinese and it turned out to be the one! Surprisingly, as I was paying for my ticket, the lady looked at me and asked “Jinshanling Great Wall?” in English which was reassuring. There were no other tourists on my bus.

    Didn’t see any free shuttle bus, only drivers offering me rides. I just walked to the East Gate.

    Tip for coming back: Back where the bus dropped you off, there is a supermarket. Find a lady in a blue uniform inside, tell her you want to take the bus back to Beijing and she will book a seat for you! I was there before 3pm but only the 4pm bus was available (I’m not sure if this was the last bus of the day or not)

    Anyways, beautiful part of the wall, still not many tourists there! You will find a few ladies on the wall selling souvenirs and refreshments so you CAN buy more water there if needed, though more expensive of course.

  39. Ralf says:

    Thanks for the info! Tried to follow the same route today (July 16). The bus was quite easy to find. As described, cross the road at exit c and turn right. After a couple of meters there is a large red sign that reads “Tourist bus Jinshangling great wall”. From there its another 30 meters or so and you are at the entrance. Ask anyone for directions and you’ll be fine.
    At the drop-off, we had some trouble finding the path to the East entrance and ended up walking on the sidewalk following the road through a tunnel, where according to Maps.me the start of the path should be. Since we couldn’t find it, we hitchhiked to the main entrance near the cable car and hiked to the wall.
    I do can confirm that the shuttle bus is operational (at least back to the place where the bus dropped us off). However every bus that arrived there was full and whoever we asked responded with ‘No bus’. We finally mamaged to get a ride back to Beijing in a tour bus that passed by. Please be aware that getting back can be quite a struggle.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that they are busy building major constructions near the wall, for shops, large roads and footpaths, exhibitions, et cetera. So although we practically had the entire wall to ourselves (it was a rainy day), my bet is that it won’t stay quiet for long.

    All in all: really glad we made the trip because the location is absolutely stunning! It set us back around 200RMB per person (we were with 2) including 100RMB p.p. for the tour bus to get back. Still cheaper than an organized tour and way more satisfying.

  40. Jos says:

    Thank you so much for your detailed info. I had a wonderful, crowd free, day with my family sunday july 22 on the Great wall at Jinshanling.
    We started in the morning following your instructions. Subway to Wangjing West. We took exit C. Crossed the street and took a right. Passed the ‘Our Hours’ convenience store and took the first entrance to the bus station a couple of meters further down the road. This is not the right entrance, so we had to cross and walked passing the parked busses to the other side of the station (lot). There we queued for the 7.30 am bus to Luanping, after asking around showing pictures of the Chinese name (滦平). We arrived by 7.15.
    We got on the 7.30 bus, but not everyone was lucky as the bus was full and quite some people had to wait for the next bus. We used the Beijing subway card and had to pay another RMB 13 cash per person.
    About 90 minutes we got off at the Jinshanling highway service station.
    We went into the small supermarket to find the bus conductor to try to make a reservation for the return trip to Beijing or to make some inquiries. We found the lady, but she made clear that the 15.30 bus was no option. The reason or what alternative, was not made clear to us….We decided to go on.
    There was no shuttle bus and a kind of tourist office beside the shop was closed. A ‘tout’ already approached us when leaving the bus, following us around. He would bring us to the great wall station for RMB 100. With limited options, telling him that we would walk, I managed to get the ride down to RMB 50.
    We planned to start from the east gate. The man tried to leave us at the place where we saw signs for the station and where some shuttles (kind of large golf carts) were parked. That was some 5 km from the service station. From that point there was an exit with a barrier. There was nobody in the booth, so the driver passed the barrier and drove another mile or so. We were dropped of at the main gate and ticket office.
    As we were a bit nervous about the time we would need and the return to Beijing, we decided to take the cable car up (RMB 40 p.p) and walked to the east 5 windows tower. From there we walked to the direction of Simatai to the point were the way was closed (Qiling tower). From there we walked back to east 5 windows tower, where we walked down to the east gate. We arrived about 13.45. There was no shuttle present so we had to haggle with a private driver. He took is back to the service station for RMB 40. He told is there was no bus and het offered to bring us to a better place foor RMB 200. We kindly refused the offer. Arriving at about 14.00, trying to get the conductor to get us on the bus, we had to wait another one and a half hour before the bus arrived. There were quit some people waiting, but we all could get a seat on that bus. In between we tried to get a spot on touring and other busses to Beijing, but that strategy was not successful.
    About 17.00 we got back at Wangjing West subway station.

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