5 Best Spots to Watch Sunrises & Sunsets on the Great Wall

The Most Awe-Inspiring Spots to See Sunrises & Sunsets on the Wall

Young hiker at Great wall ,Beijing,China

If you’ve been thinking about visiting the Great Wall of China, it’s not likely that a picturesque sunset & sunrise is the first thing that pops into your head. But once you witness the beautiful red skies over the Great Wall as sunrise & sunset,  you’ll agree it’s one of the most beautiful sights on earth.

Whether you want some peaceful time alone or a special moment with someone you care about it,  the rising / sinking sun is a perfect occasion for anyone. Check out our list of top spots for catching sunrise & sunset on the Great Wall of China.

1. West Five Window Tower at Jinshanling

If you want a lovely place you can take professional looking photographs at, make sure you visit Jinshanling. Explore the West Five Window Tower to get a fantastic view of the sun rising or setting over the Great Wall. Bring your favorite photography equipment and make yourself comfortable as you snap pictures of this lovely scene.

Because of its remoteness, there won’t be throngs of people to share the sunset with. The light as the sun begins to dip can give you the perfect lighting for some stunning photographs.

Besides West Five Window Tower, there are several good sunrise & sunset spots at Jinshanling –West Six Window Tower, General Tower, Sanchakou, Lesser Jinshan Tower, Gaojian Tower, Flowery Tower, and Guajiao Tower.

5 Best Spots to Watch Stunning Sunrises & Sunsets on the Great Wall

How to get there: Walk the path behind the Jinshaning main gate to the Zhuanduokou Pass. Along the way you’ll see a Zhuanduokou sign. Head up the stairs at Zhuanduokou Pass and keep walking west. After passing two towers, you will see the Western Five-Window Tower. It will take approximately 20 minutes from the Zhuanduokou Pass to the Western Five-Window Tower.

Jinshanling sunrise sunset

2. Zhengbeilou Tower at Jinakou

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, consider visiting Zhengbeilou Tower at Jinakou to get those incredible pictures. Whether you want to enjoy the sunset with friends or watch the sunrise on your own, you’ll be able to experience the wonders that the Great Wall has to offer when you visit Jinakou. T

his portion of the wall features bricks that are light colored and highlighted by a background of trees and mountains. Taking pictures as the sun moves will enable you to get a series of unbeatable snapshots.

best postion for sunrise Great Wall

How to get there:  Hike up along steep bushy mountain path behind Xizhazi village for an hour, you will get to Zhengbeilou Tower. The normal time taken to climb to Zhengbeilou Tower by the trail is an hour with 360 meters ascent. If you are moderately fit, climbing to reach Zhengbeilou is definitely within your reach.

zhengbeilou Great Wall sunrise sunset

3. Tower 8 at Simatai Great Wall

If you’re looking for an untouched part of history, visit Tower 8 at Simatai Great Wall. This portion of the wall features 28 watchtowers in original appearance, while the accessible part of Simatai Great Wall is quite short. Because this portion of the wall has not been renovated, it’s a lovely space to take some classic pictures when the sun is rising or setting. You’ll feel like you’re looking at a postcard as you take photos.

How to get there:  Simatai Great Wall is easy to navigate. It can take around two and a half hours hiking to reach Tower 8. If you don’t like too much climbing up, a cable car is available and takes you to hillside, there is a footpath leading to Tower 8.

Simatai sunrise sunset

4. Tower 1 of Mutianyu Great Wall

Located in Huairou, this portion of the Great Wall can be found north of Beijing. You can reach Mutianyu easily by bus and will be able to explore some of the most richly preserved areas of the Great Wall. When you visit at sunrise or sunset, you can snap an assortment of pictures that feature both the wall and the scenery surrounding it. Note that this portion of the wall has many watchtowers, so if you like to explore, this is the part of the wall for you.

How to get there: take chair lift to tower 6, then walk pass 4 towers, you will reach tower 1.

Mutianyu Great Wall sunset

5. A lookout Point Near Zhuangdaokou of Huanghuacheng

Are you ready to have an adventure? It will take about 45 minutes of climbing to reach the highest point of Huanghuacheng, but the beautiful lookout point and the 360° views of the surrounding countryside will be more than worth it. This is one of the best places to watch the sunset, as it features an assortment of different visuals you can take pictures of. Look down to a local reservoir and back up to hills on the opposite side.

How to get there: at Zhuangdaokou, walk eastward along steep steps for about half hour, you will reach the lockout point.

Huanghuacheng sunset sunrise

Monthly Sunrise Time in Beijing

Month Sunrise Time Day Break Time Sunset Time Day Length
January 07:25-07:36 am 06:30~7:00 am 16:58~17:30 pm 9.5~10.5 hrs
February 06:51~07:24 am 06:20~06:50 am 17:32~18:03 pm 10~11 hrs
March 06:02~06:49 am 06:00~05:30 am 18:04~18:35 pm 11~12.5 hrs
April 05:18~06:00 am 05:30~05:00 am 18:36~19:06 pm 12.5~13.5 hrs
May 04:49~05:16 am 04:50~04:10 am 19:07~19:34 pm 14~15 hrs
June 04:50am 04:20 am 19:35~19:45 pm 14.5-15 hrs
July 04:50~05:12 am 04:10~04:50 am 19:28~19:45 pm 14~15 hrs
August 05:13~05:41 am 04:40~05:20 am 18:47~19:27 pm 13~14 hrs
September 05:42~06:09 am 05:20~05:40 am 5:58~6:45pm 12~13 hrs
October 06:10~06:42 am 05:30~06:00 am 17:13~17:57 pm 10.5~12hrs
November 06:43~07:15 am 06:00~06:20 am 16:49~17:12pm 9.5~10.5 hrs
December 07:16~07:36 am 06:20~06:40 am 16:49~16:57 pm 9.5~10 hrs

Whether you’re a professional photographer or you simply want to get the best picture from your visit to the Great Wall, taking the time to visit at sunset or sunrise will enable you to do so. Remember that exploring the Great Wall is a memory you won’t want to forget. Take the time to choose the perfect spot for morning or evening pictures so you’re able to get the best possible visual souvenirs of your trip.

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4 Responses to “5 Best Spots to Watch Sunrises & Sunsets on the Great Wall”

  1. arne de knegt

    Hi, I’ve been at Jinshanling 2 times. 2007 & 2015. I’m planning to visit Jinshanling again in april 2019. Is it still possible to stay at a hotel inside the gate area (both times we stayed at Duan’s place) and see sunrise on the wall or is it now impossible because the gate has changed and opening hours are after sunrise?

  2. Ricky

    As Jinshanling has been renovated in 2017, all the hotels inside the gate area have been moved out, you can still enjoy sunrise / sunset on the Wall while staying inside the gate area is impossible now, better to stay outside the gate, if that works for you.

  3. Kelly

    Can I still watch a beautiful sunrise in October at Badaling even though the gate doesn’t open until 7:30am even though the sunrise is at 6:30a?

  4. Ricky

    Hi Kelly, yes, you can watch the sunrise at the foot of the hill at Badaling. while you may need to go to the top of Wall for a better spot to enjoy sunrise if that works for you.

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