One Love Our Love

8 hour layover in Beijing: visiting the Great Wall

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love


Do you have a layover in Beijing? Do you want to make the best of it instead of spending it at the airport? Why not take a short trip and see one of the wonders of the world? Here’s everything you need to know when you have 8 hour layover in Beijing.

This past November we flew to Bali with Air China. Their flights were the most affordable from Los Angeles. If you choose to fly with them to Asia, you most likely will have a long layover in Beijing. We usually pick the shortest layovers because we don’t like to spend too much time at airports. But we saw this as an opportunity to see a new place and check one more thing off the bucket list. Although we had a short 8 hour layover in Beijing it was enough for us to visit the Great Wall.

 

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love


Take a tour or do it yourself?

The first thing we needed to decide was if we are going to take a tour or do it ourselves. After a good research on the web, we were sure that the best will be to take a tour and not have to stress about a thing. We made the best decision. After reading many positive reviews we booked a private tour with Layover Tour Beijing.

We couldn’t be happier with Layover Tour Beijing. The communication with Willy via email was prompt and very professional. He asked for our flight number, arrival and departure time. Then we received a confirmation with meeting time, location and helpful info going through immigration and customs. Depending on how long your layover is Layover Tour Beijing has many different options for tours. You can choose between the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Beijing city and more. Since we only had 8 hours and we didn’t know how long the immigration would take, we decided to just do the Great Wall tour.

We highly suggest booking a tour in advance. If you want to hire a taxi instead keep in mind that it will drop you outside the gates. Then you will have to walk for 10 minutes and wait for a shuttle bus which adds extra time especially if you have only 6-8 hours. The taxi driver will have to wait for you so that could be even more expensive. Only Licenced Tour Guides are allowed to have VIP pass, to be able to drive all the way up. Regular cars have to stop at the bottom, driving up it’s not allowed. By taking a private tour your guide will do everything for you. They will park inside and he will walk with you to the ticket office. He will get tickets for you and take you to the top. He will make sure you are back in time for your flight. Just save yourself the stress and enjoy the trip as you should.

 

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love


Do you need a visa?

China is the perfect country for long layovers. If you want to go outside the airport you can get a 72-hour transit visa. All you will need is your passport, boarding pass with confirmed seats for your next flight to prove you are on a transit. Also, a completed arrival/departure form and visa application ( which you can fill out at the airport). 

At the airport.

Once you arrive at Beijing Airport the first thing you will need to do is go fast to line up for your transit visa. Keep in mind that there is more than one flight arriving and the line might be huge. Our flight was scheduled to arrive at 6am but it was delayed and we got to the line at 7am, which was kind of late. There were around 60-80 people ahead of us and the line was moving very slowly. The meeting point with Willy from Layover Tour Beijing was at Starbucks after customs and we were supposed to meet between 8.30am – 9am. Anytime after that would have been too late to leave because our flight was at 3pm and we needed to be back at 1pm. It took us 2 hours to wait in the line for the visa, we were done at 9.05 and ran through the airport. 

Helpful Tips:
1. We recommend leaving the airport only if you have a 7+ hour layover. The line at the immigration could be extremely long. We had 8 hours and we were pushed for time.
2. Also, plan some extra time in case your flight is delayed.
3. Remember that you need to be back 2 hours prior to your flight.
8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

 Visiting the Great Wall with Layover Tour Beijing

We left the Airport at exactly 9.35 and we had 3.5 hours to go see the wall and be back. Our driver Willy was amazing, we had some wonderful conversations during the ride. There wasn’t traffic and it took us one hour to get there.  It’s about 40 miles/65 km from the airport. The Great Wall covers about 6000 km and we only saw the Mutianyu part in the Northeast of Beijing. We were pretty lucky to be there in December and not to be crowded. Willy helped us get our tickets and we took the chairlift up instead of the cable car, it was faster. It was really cool to finally be there and see this masterpiece with our own eyes. The views from there are awe-inspiring. After spending 40 minutes at the top we had to head down and that was the most fun part. We took the Toboggan slide. It’s absolutely a must, you won’t regret it and it’s safe. Everything was perfect and Willy made sure we are in the car at 12pm so we could head back to the airport on time.

 

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love


8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love


8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love


8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

8 Hour Layover in Beijing. Visit the Great Wall. One Love Our Love

We have to say we were so happy we did this layover in Beijing and saw the Great Wall with Layover Tour Beijing. We had the best time.

*Disclaimer: This was a complimentary trip, but all the opinions and views presented here are entirely our own.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Reply

    Niekartistiek

    December 24, 2017

    You guys are so lucky to have turned a long layover in to a mini trip! Your pictures are gorgeous & you stated some really helpful tips! I never considered to look at layover tours, but this makes me consider checking them out. A very informative post – thank you!

  2. Reply

    Melanie

    December 24, 2017

    This just looks amazing. I was talking about the great wall of china only a few days ago and I really do want to visit. Great post with lots of ideas 🙂 x

  3. Reply

    lyndsy

    December 25, 2017

    Holy crap. Your outfit is EVERYTHING. 😍 I’ve never seen the great wall that empty! Love everything about this 🙂

  4. Reply

    Ola

    December 27, 2017

    I’m so glad you did a post on this location. I have a friend who has recently returned home which is located in Beijing. I can’t wait to visit her and to see this Great Wall for myself.!

  5. Reply

    Nerd Engage (@nerdengage)

    December 27, 2017

    Hey, This is awesome . Great wall is one of the destination that I want to visit. The pictures looks great and it makes me super jealous . Have fun guys! Your blog looks amazing.

  6. Reply

    Emilia Zoe

    May 8, 2018

    The Beijing is famous for the great wall. All the popular great wall sections of China are situated in Beijing. You have added so nice images of your tour. Recently I had gone to Beijing with my parents. We travel there by help a tour guide namely Beijingtransfertours.com. All great wall sections in Beijing are so attractive.

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