If you are traveling via Beijing and have a layover in the Chinese capital then it is a good idea to use the time to see the Great Wall of China. This can be done easily with the help of a professional tour guide. However there are always many questions about how to take a layover tour. Here are the top questions asked by people planning a layover tour to the Great Wall of China.
Do you have enough time to see the Great Wall of China?
If your layover is more than 6 hours then you should be able to make it to the Wall and back in time for your flight. Of course with a longer layover you can have a more relaxed and longer visit but even with the minimum amount of time it is worth taking the opportunity to see the Wall. Your tour guide will be able to advise you about how much time you will need for what you want to see and do. Take into account the amount of time you need for check-in. depending what country you are traveling to and with which airline there could be a difference in how early you need to be back at the airport. With a tour guide you will be returned to the correct terminal so you won't have to waste time finding your way. Also by traveling with a professional tour your guide will be responsible for getting you there and back in the allotted time.
Do I need a visa to make a quick layover tour to the Great Wall?
China has introduced 72-hour visa free travel in 11 of its major cities including Beijing. Transit passengers traveling via Beijing to a third country and holding plane tickets and a visa for their final destination can exit the Beijing airport for 72-hours visa free. So for example if you are traveling from Singapore (country of origin), via Beijing to Australia (the third country) and you have your tickets plus proof that you will be allowed into Australia (citizenship or a visa) then you are eligible for the 72-hour pass. This law applies to citizens from 51 nations including Australia, Brazil, Russia, Sweden, the UK, USA, UAE, Japan, New Zealand and most European countries. In Beijing this law applies only to the Beijing Capital Airport and not to those entering the city by any other means. During the 72-hours you are limited to remaining within the Beijing Administration Regions. This means you can easily make your layover tour using one of these 72-hour transit visas.
How do I get a 72-Hour Transit Visa?
Have with you your valid passport, your onward ticket to the third country, visa for your third destination and a completed Arrival/Departure Card (given to you on board your flight to Beijing). When you check-in for your flight to Beijing inform the airline staff. On board they will give you the Arrival/Departure Card to fill in. Once you land in Beijing Airport and reach immigration you will see lanes specifically for travelers needing a 72-hour transit visa. Even if you have forgotten to fill in the Arrival/Departure Card you can still obtain a 72-hour transit visa on-the-spot at the designated desk in the immigration section of the airport. The official will stamp the permit in your passport and you can exit the airport.
How will I get to the Great Wall and back?
Just the thought of arranging transportation, finding the route, cost and arranging all the small details could put you off of making a layover trip to the Great Wall That is why it is best to take an organized layover tour that will arrange all the details for you, be cost effective and make sure you get there and back hassle-free and on time.