Transport advice in Beijing


The city of Beijing offers a full, convenient and economic transport network not only around the city but also to travel outside Beijing. The high-speed train called Airport Express takes you in around 30 minutes to the International terminal 3 or to the Terminal 1 and 2. Around the city you will find more than 900 bus lines available during the entire day from 5am-11pm without forgetting the 15 lines of Beijing’s subway which connect the hold city. Taxis are also a clever alternative in Beijing because they drive fast for a very cheap price, starting from RMB 13 by day and RMB 14 by night.


Plain in the International Beijing Airport

– Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport is the second largest airport in the world.

Located about 26 km northeast of Beijing, travel to the city center will take around 30-45 minutes by car. Both airport buses and taxis are available on the lower level just outside the Arrival area. A recent addition completed in February 2008 is a high-speed train that travels direct to the city center. The 30 minutes ride from Dongzhimen Station to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 3 costs RMB 25. If you want to take a taxi prices range from 80 RMB-110 RMB depending on the area you live or stay.

The airport is a primary hub of operations for Air China which flies to 120 destinations. It is also a hub for Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines. In 2009, more than 65 million people passed through Beijing Capital Airport, making it the second busiest airport in the world. Terminal 3 is the second largest in the world in terms of square footage. With 72 million travelers expected at Beijing Airport in 2010, plans for a second airport are already underway.

– Bus

To take a bus is very fast and economic in Beijing. It costs 0.40 RMB a one ride ticket with the Beijing transport card and if not only 1 RMB a single ride. It is important not to forget, that during rush-hour, the city is crowded beyond the traffic and rides could take much longer. There are about 900 bus lines providing service in Beijing and covering the entire city and run from 5am to 11 – 11:30pm.

The only disadvantage is that you need to know where the bus is going because the name of the stops are in Chinese. It is also truth that in several renovated lines, you will be able to read the name of the stop in western letters. Every bus has a recording system which helps people to know which stop is approaching.


– Subway

The Beijing subway consists of 15 lines that cover almost all the city. It would be very convenient to use if your destination is next to a tube.

The Beijing subway is a fast way to move but you will be confront to a very crowded place during the rush-hour and also if you need to change to another subway line. We advise you to buy the Beijing Transportation Smart Card, in order to avoid queuing for long time to get a ticket. The ticket price is 2 RMB for one ride, wherever you want to move.

beijing subway map

– Taxi


A taxi in Beijing

Beijing taxis are affordable and relatively easy to get one. Generally, taxi drivers seldom speak English so it would be better if you have the address of your destination written on your phone or others support to show them. If you are studying Chinese, it can be a good opportunity to practice a few phrases. We recommend translating the address into Chinese characters to show drivers in order to have more success.

The price for a ride in Beijing starts from 13 RMB during 3kms, then add 2.60 RMB/km.

At night, from 10 or 11pm, the price starts from 14 RMB for 3kms. Good to know is that every 5 minutes of waiting time are considered like 1km ride.

In order to avoid dangerous rides, be careful when looking if the cup has a driver license in the front side in green color but there is no need to worry because Beijing is a safe city and there are no quarrels using taxis. The only issue that can happen to you is that the taxi driver does not want to take you because the location is not convenient for him or he is not sure about the address.


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