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What to wear to the Great Wall of China

What to wear to the Great Wall of China

Are you wondering what to wear to the Great Wall of China? In this guide we will tell you exactly what to wear in winter, summer, spring and fall and for different sections of the wall to make sure you are prepared.

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Before we give you some outfit suggestions to for walking the great wall of China, we thought we would tell you things you should consider before packing

Considerations for what to wear to the Great Wall of China

Crowds on the Great Wall of China - What to wear on the great wall of china
What to wear on the great wall of china


Season of travel is probably the most important factor which will affect what you wear to the great wall. Beijing is a city that definitely experiences all four seasons. Be sure to check the expected weather for the month of travel and pack accordingly.

Section of the Wall

When you start researching your trip to walk the Great Wall of China you will find that there are actually multiple places where you can go to walk.

These places will all be of different difficulties and different distances to Beijing.

The main sections of the Great Wall of China that you can walk are:

  • Badaling
  • Mutianyu
  • Juyongguan
  • Jinshaling
  • Simatai

Badaling is the most popular choice especially for those who are only in China on a 72 hours visa. That is because it is closest to Beijing. Juyongguan is also good for those who are limited in time.

We chose to visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu. The reason for this is that it is a bit further away so the crowds are less but also it is one of the more restored areas. We traveled to the Great Wall of CHina with our toddler so we wanted to have more even surfaces and more amenities.

Jinshaling on the other hand is great for those who are more serious walkers and want a more authentic experience. That is because Jinshaling is more unrestored from the other areas.

I would recommend doing research and deciding what is most important to you in your great wall experience and picking the area accordingly.

Great Wall Dress Code

The only thing that you don’t have to worry about is a Great Wall Dress Code. There are no rules about what to wear at the Great Wall so dress accordingly for the exercise you will be doing.

What to wear to the Great Wall of China

So now you know what to consider when packing

What to wear to the Great Wall of China in winter

People on the Great Wall of China - wHat to wear to the Great wall of china
wHat to wear to the Great wall of china

What to wear to the Great Wall of China in winter can be a bit of challenge. YOu can experience snow and a biting wind on the great wall which can make it feel colder than it actually is.

However the walk, depending on which bit you are walking can be quite challenging and you can work up quite a sweat.

However I would recommend putting the following our your Winter Great Wall of China Packing List.

Scarf, Hat, Earmuffs and Gloves

Having walked the Great Wall of China on New Year’s Eve I can tell you that the wall feels very cold in Winter.

Therefore you will want lots of layers with you to counter the cold.

When we were on the wall we wore:

  • a scarf – woolen but fleece another good option
  • hat – I wore a woolen beanie but you may want to consider something with a bit of waterproofing if you are visiting the great Wall of China on a rainy day.
  • Ear muffs- it was so cold when we arrived at the Great wall of china that we were glad to have these with us.
  • Gloves – we recommend getting gloves that have the touch pad for mobile phones. The great wall of China is one of the most spectacular places we have ever visited and we took so man photos. I was glad to have gloves that could work my phone so I didn’t have to take them off every time I wanted to take a pic!

Thick, Waterproof Coat

You absolutely need a thick and good quality good for the Great Wall of China in Winter.

I recommend considering a down coat, or something that has wind proofing and that is waterproof to combat whatever weather you get.

If you don’t have a waterproof coat then you will definitely want a waterproof poncho with you too.

Also we recommend picking a longer length coat for extra warmth rather than a waist length coat.

Thermal Base Layers

It is extremely cold on the wall in Winter so I recommend picking thermal base layers, both tops and leggings for those extra chilly days on the wall.

We used these on our visit and do not regret adding them.

Jumpers / Hoodies

On top of our thermals we wore hoodies and jumpers.

Jeans or ski trousers

As we visited the Great WAll of China on a dry winter day we decided to wear jeans to the wall., However if you are there on a snowy or wet day ski trousers would be another good choice.

What to wear to the Great Wall of China in Summer

Couple on the Great wall - What to wear to the Great Wall of China in Summer
What to wear to the Great Wall of China in Summer

As Beijing in Winter gets extreme temperatures, so does the summer.

The hottest month in Beijing is July and temperatures can reach 104°F (40°C). Therefore you need to dress with exercise, sun protection and heat in mind when walking the great wall of China in Summer.

Shorts or Leggings

Depending on how hot the weather is and what you feel most comfortable in. In the hottest weather we recommend wearing shorts to the Great WAll. I never feel comfortable wearing short short while hiking. Therefore we tend to wear longer length walking shorts. However comfort is king so pick what is right for you.

But for cooler summer days leggings are a great option especially more athletic ones that are designed for running.

T Shirts

T Shirts are great for walking the wall. We prefer something with a sleeve for added sun protection.


We arrived at the Great Wall of China very early as the crowds can get large at the Wall. If you get there early in the day you may want a hoodie or jacket with you for until the wall warms up.


The sun is dazzling on the Great WAll so be sure to have a pair of sunglasses with UV Protection.

Sun Hat

Sun protection is important when walking the wall in Summer. Therefore we recommend you bring a wide brimmed hat with you for additional protectino.

What to wear to the Great Wall of China in Spring and Fall

Spring and Fall in China, have very changeable weather depending on the month you visit. Therefore we advise you checking the weather close to your visit. However we would recommend the below for shoulder seasons on the Great Wall.

Long Sleeve T Shirt

Long Sleeve T Shirts are a great choice for the shoulder seasons.

Leggings / Jeans

In the Spring and Fall on the Great Wall we recommend wearing leggings in warmer weather and jeans in cooler weather.

Hoodie / Jacket

In the shoulder seasons it is always worth having a top layer with you in case you get cooler weather.

Best Shoes for Walking the Great wall of China

The best shoes for walking the Great Wall of China will depend on the section of the wall you are visiting and the time of year.

If you are visiting one of the unrestored sections you will need to have proper walking shoes with you.

We recommend picking one of the two below shoes generally speaking however

Hiking Boots

As we were visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter we decided to wear hiking boots. This was 100% the right decision for us.

When we were on the Great Wall of CHina in Winter it was very slippery and there was ice and snow. You definitely needed the boots for grip.

And I would say you need proper hiking shoes for unrestored sections.

However if you are visiting the Great Wall of CHina in summer on a restored section then


are perfectly adequate too!

What else to pack for the Great Wall of China


Depending on what section of the wall you are traveling to and the company you are transfering with will depend on if they provide lunch etc. We recommend packing at least some snacks with you in case this is not provided.

Water Bottle

You will need this whatever time of year you walk the Wall however it is especially important in Summer.

Have you been to Great Wall of China – we’d love to hear what you wore and the season you traveling in below!