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22 Sep 2013

Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Great Wall

Beijing [北京]  • 22 SEPTEMBER 2013
Travel in China is relatively cheap so the day trips of offer are actually pretty affordable for tourists, but the downturn is that a visit to the Badaling section of the Great Wall is often part of an overall trip to two or three tourism attractions. Because of this you may only get an hour or two to visit the Great Wall, and in my opinion this is not enough. What we wanted to do was make a day trip to the Great Wall and to take our time walking the Badaling section. We did not want to rush it so we decided to make an independent trip to Badaling from Beijing via train.

The Badaling section of the Great Wall is the best preserved and the most popular one amongst all the sections. It is more than 1,000 meters (3281 ft) above sea level, and commands a strategic position for transportation and defense in ancient times. Badaling is located about 80 km (50 miles) northwest of Beijing (a 1 hour 30 minutes journey from the city center). China Highlights use comfortable high-quality air-conditioned private transport for your convenience.Are planning your Great Wall Tour? You may wonder if you can take a train to Badaling Great Wall during your Beijing tour, the answer is yes!

You may take S trains from Beijing North Railway Station directly to Badaling Great Wall Station, about 20-minute walk away from Badaling Great Wall.At the time of my writing, Badaling Great Wall is the only Wall that you can directly reach by train: 12 daily “S trains” from Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Great Wall and 12 daily trains from Badaling Great Wall back to Beijing North Railway Station.It takes about one hour and 20 minutes to get to Badaling Great Wall from downtown Beijing. Tickets are available and easy to get at the temperory ticketing office in the middle of the main building of Beijing North Railway Station. The train ticket costs RMB 6. The entrance to the Badaling Great Wall is a 20- minute walk from Badaling Railway Station.

The train itself was fantastic for the price that we paid for the ticket to Badaling. Plenty of leg space, room for bags and unreserved seating so you can choose where you want. The general entrance fee to the Badaling section was CNY45 (£4.50 or US$7), as we were visiting between the months of April and October. The prices decrease by CNY5 if you visit between November and March. There is also an extra charge if you plan to use the cable car or pulley system. Special price for Senior Citizens.
This lady came around about 25 minutes into the trip selling souvenir books about the railway. They sell tickets to Badaling Great Wall Of China. 
Beijing North Railway Station Practical Information
Tel: (010)51866223
Add: Beidajie, Xizhimen, Haidian District, Beijing (北京市西城区西直门北大街)
S Trains: These are suburban trains running from Beijing downtown to Yanqing (延庆). Badaling Great Wall (八达岭)is the second to last stop of Beijing – Yanqing S train route starting from Beijing.
Ticketing Offices: There are two ticketing offices (售票厅)available both on the first floor and underground floor. But the ticketing office for S Trains are sold not from these two ticketing offices. At the time of my writing, all the S train tickets are sold from a small window above the ground in the middle of the exterior main building of Beijing North Railway Station.  
S Train Tickets: All the S train tickets are free seating. Like public buses, no advance train tickets booking. Just line up and buy the train tickets on the spot. One way ticket only, if you want to buy a return ticket, you have to buy it from other side.


Note: In tourist high season, the trains fill up quite fast and once it is full, you will have to wait for the next train. The S trains are unnumbered, free seating, like a public bus. So get to the Beijing North Train Station earlier to catch the train and take the seat you prefer.
S Train Ticket Price: RMB 6 per ride; If using a Smart transportation card, RMB 5 per ticket
Way of Payment: Cash or Smart IC Card (Yiktong). We strongly advise you to use Smart Card to avoid queuing up for purchasing train tickets.

Note: When a train is figured out to be fully booked, then you have to buy next train’s tickets.
Waiting Room: There are two waiting lounges – underground and on the first floor. The waiting lounge for S trains is on the first floor.
Platforms: 11 platforms with a length of 550 meters and 1.25 meters high each.
Train Coaches: Using the same train and coaches as those of bullet trains.
Train Stops: 5 stops – Beijing (北京) – Qinghuayuan (清华园) – Nankou (南口) – Badaling (八达岭)- Yanqing (延庆)
Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule

Beijing Railway North Station →  Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule
Train S201: 06:12 – 07:31 - We took S201.
Train S203: 07:58 – 09:20
Train S205: 08:34 – 09: 47
Train S207: 09:02 – 10:15
Train S209: 10:57 – 12:13
Train S211: 12:42 – 14:01
Train S213: 13:14 – 14:25
Train S215: 13:35 – 14:50
Train S217: 15:24 – 16:43
Train S219: 17:11 – 18:30
Train S221: 17:41 – 18:51
Train S227: 21:28 – 22:44
Badaling Great Wall →  Beijing North Ralway Station Train Timetable
Train S208: 08:23 – 09:47
Train S210: 10:51 – 12:12
Train S212: 11:19 – 12:40
Train S214: 11:50 – 13:12
Train S216: 13:02 – 14:23
Train S218: 15:19 – 16:43
Train S220: 15:52 – 17:25
Train S222: 16:21 – 17:39
Train S224: 17:33 – 18:54
Train S226: 19:34 – 21:11
Train S228: 20:06 – 21:43
Train S232: 21:33 – 23:03
On the way, you can enjoy the total view of the Guan Valley Scenic Area, pass by Juyongguan Great Wall, and especially immersing yourself in the hundred-year-old Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, first designed by Mr. Zhan Tianyou (1861 – 1919), the famous Chinese designer of the railway.Walking from Badaling Train Station to the Ticketing Office at Badaling. 
After getting off the train at Badaling Station, walk eastward and then northeast about 800m for 15-minute and you will reach the ticketing office at the foot of Badaling Great Wall. There are no shuttle buses linking Badaling Railway Station and the ticketing office at Badaling Great Wall. You are not advisable to take the illegal bus or van offered by the local villagers.
Travel Tips:
1. No advance ticket booking service for this train route. You have to buy tickets on the spot. No need for ID for ticket purchasing.

2. You can use Beijing Transportation smart card for travelling S train from Beijing North Railway station to Badaling great wall.  So If you have a transportation card, you don’t have to wait in line for buying a ticket. Just put your card on a reader and go. The S Train is unnumbered, free seating.
3. Alternatively, you can also take Badaling Bus 877  at Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall, then take train back to Beijing. To get to the Badaling Bus 877, you are advised to take the subway and get off at Jishuitan Stop (积水潭). Then you walk all the way to Deshengmen (德胜门), which is a whole block east of the  Jishuitan Subway Exit A (over 15-minute walk in the east direction). Kindly reminder: there may be allegedly “official tourist information volunteers” with red badges on, who will try to drive tourists to get on their minibuses with all sorts of excuses to lure you on. Just don’t go for it. Otherwise, you will be on a nightmare trip.

4. You can also pay a small amount of money US$20 to join a guided English speaking Beijing bus tour by a local travel agency to visit Badaling Great Wall.
 But there are two shopping stops on the fixed departure bus tour.

Any questions, just drop line.Tour Beijing
In China, train travel is one of the best ways to get around. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride a modern train in China? Come along and see. The train waiting room is large and airy, with nice, new, clean washrooms. Everything looks very modern. 

Take a taxi to the Great Wall
You can also charter a taxi for day trips to the Great Wall. The drive ranges from 1.5 hour to 2.5 hours from the city center according to the different sections of the Great Wall. Below are the approximate taxi fares to the different sections of the Great Wall with waiting for about 2-3 hours while touring the wall:

Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall: 85km – RMB 600
Beijing Badaling Great Wall: 80km – RMB 500
Beijing Simatai Great Wall: 140km – RMB 700
Beijing Juyongguan Great Wall: 60km – RMB 400
Beijing Jinshanling Great Wall: 160km RMB 800
Beijing Gubeikou Great Wall: 150km – RMB 750
Beijing Jiankou Great Wall: 85km – RMB 650
Beijing Huanghuacheng Great Wall 85km – RMB 600

It was fantastic – a trip to the Great Wall is something every visitor to China should experience.
Entrance costs: CNY45 from April 1 to October 31. CNY40 from November 1 to March 31
Opening hours: 6.30am-7pm in summer; 7am-6pm in winter

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