The S2 train from Beijing to Badaling

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I see tours all over Beijing advertising organized tours to the Great Wall, starting at 180RMB (or $30 USD). This is affordable and somewhat convenient. They often even feed you free lunch. What bothers me about this trip are the forced trips to jade or silk markets where they up sell you on cheap, useless touristy things. You are literally forced to wander a place you wouldn’t otherwise hear about or want to be at.

I decided to research going to Badaling, an area many tours are advertised to take you too. It’s a bit of work but totally doable.

If you want to do this, you’ll have to plan ahead and use your time wisely.

A train to Badaling from Beijing costs 6RMB (or $1 USD) and takes 90 minutes. The train only leaves 6 times a day though. Realistically, you could come here and back in one day though if you wanted to. Or you could stay at the Great Wall Courtyard Hostel. It’s a 5-10 minute walk from the train station.

I see tours all over Beijing advertising organized tours to the Great Wall, starting at 180RMB (or $30 USD). This is affordable and somewhat convenient. They often even feed you free lunch. What bothers me about this trip are the forced trips to jade or silk markets where they up sell you on cheap, useless touristy things. You are literally forced to wander a place you wouldn’t otherwise hear about or want to be at.

I decided to research going to Badaling, an area many tours are advertised to take you too. It’s a bit of work but totally doable.

If you want to do this, you’ll have to plan ahead and use your time wisely.

A train to Badaling from Beijing costs 6RMB (or $1 USD) and takes 90 minutes. The train only leaves 6 times a day though. Realistically, you could come here and back in one day though if you wanted to. Or you could stay at the Great Wall Courtyard Hostel. It’s a 5-10 minute walk from the train station.

It’s really nice but there isn’t much to do here other than the Great Wall. The hostel is actually quite beautiful, and feels nothing like guesthouses in big cities. The interior is tranquil and calming. I know very little about architecture but apparently it has a Siheyuan courtyard architectural design. The hostel is a 15 minute walk from the Great Wall, and within walkable distance of the tram as well.

To take the train yourself, first take the subway to Xizhimen (line 2). Find the exit for the North Train station. You will need to go up the stairs to go outside. You’ll take a left at the white police “house” and in there, you can buy tickets for the suburban commuter S2 train to Badaling.

The times for the train from Beijing to Badaling (leaving and arrival): 6:12-7:31, 7:58-9:20, 10:57-12:13, 13:14-14:25, 15:24-16:43, 17:41-18:57

I would arrive at least an hour or 90 minutes before to buy your ticket. Then, immediately go wait in line. Twenty minutes prior to departure, they’ll open the doors to board the train. Everyone will run as there is no assigned seating. I would recommend doing the same if you want a good seat.

Trains from Badaling to Beijing are: 8:20-9:47, 13:33-15:00, 15:43-17:25, 17:30-18:54, 19:55-21:43, 21:31-22:03

Keep in mind that one can only buy the S2 tickets the day of. I don’t think that they sell out, but I could be wrong. Also, those are the train times posted now, but they could change.



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