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What is the main airport servicing Beijing?

The main airport in Beijing is the Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) located in Shunyi, which is located approximately 16 miles northwest of the central districts. This is the major airport for the city of Beijing offering several options for transportation into the city including taxis, airport express trains, airport shuttle, buses and rental cars.

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

If you have not booked a private transfer through us, you have a few options for transportation from the airport to your hotel including:

The Airport Express train feature 3 lines that run from the airport to Dongzhimen Station and Sanyuannqiao Station in the city, making a one-way loop.

There are three terminals at Beijing airport, T1, T2 and T3, the train starts at T3 then goes to T2 and onward to Sanyuanqiao, with the final stop at Dongzhimen. The stations in T3 are located on the second floor (arrivals floor) at the south end of the building; just follow the signs for the express trains. At the T2 terminal, the station is located on the underground B2 level and there is not a station located at the T1 terminal.

The journey takes around 20 minutes to Dongzhimen Station. Trains at the T2 terminal begin running at 6:35 am until 11:10 pm and trains from the T3 terminal begin at 6:20 am with the last train departing the airport at 10:50 pm. The trains depart every 15 minutes and you can connect/interchange to subway line 10 at Sanyuanqiao and line 2 and 13 at Dongzhimen. A one-way fare for adults is approximately 25CNY Tickets can be purchased from the ticket offices or vending machines in the stations.

Taxis can be found outside the arrivals hall (T1 outside #1 - #5 gates, T2 outside #5 - #9 gates) with a designated taxi dispatcher at the front of the line who will provide you with a taxi number. A taxi ride to the city will cost approximately 100CNY, the rates start at 10CNY for the first 1.86 miles and go up around 3CNY for each 0.62 miles afterward. Taxis are metered and prices are 20% higher from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am. Call Beijing Airport Taxi Dispatch Station 0086-10-64558892 to report any problems.

Airport shuttle buses transport passengers between the airport and areas of downtown Beijing and surrounding areas. Shuttle buses are located at each terminal and offer the same routes; bus schedules and prices are posted at the ticket booths.

T3 Terminal bus stops and ticket booths can be found outside on the first floor. You arrive on the second floor, take the elevator down and find the ticket office and the bus stop outside gates number 7 & 9.

The T2 Terminal bus stop is on the first floor and the arrivals hall is on the first floor. The ticket booth and bus stops can be found outside gate number 11.

The T1 Terminal bus stop is situated on the first floor and the arrivals hall is on the first floor. The ticket booth is located inside by gate number 7.

Buses leave when full (normally every 20 - 30 minutes). For more information call 8610-6459-4375.

City buses are also available at the airport transporting passengers to the Shunyi District and the journey takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, buses run from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm departing every 45 minutes to an hour, fares cost approximately 70CNY per person and the bus stops can be found at gate number 15 in T2 and gate number 3 in T3.

Rental cars are available at the airport outside the arrivals hall of T2 where many international named companies are offered.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

There are three main railway stations located in Beijing: Beijing Railway Station, Beijing West Station, and Beijing South Station.

The Beijing Railway Station is located 16.8 miles away from Beijing International Airport and the station is situated around 2.5 miles away from Tiananmen Square, 5.6 miles away from the South Station, 6.8 miles away from the North Station and 8 miles from the West Station.

The Beijing Station is served by subway line #2, buses and taxis. Bus stops are located to the east, west, and front of station square and taxi stands are located on the northeast and northwest corner of station square and across the street.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

The subway in Beijing is a very quick and efficient way to get around the city, visitors will find clearly marked signs and route information provided in English, with stations identified by a subway symbol on a blue sign with a blue English D that has a circle around it. There are currently around 17 lines for the subway system in the city and prices for a single fare start around CNY3 - CNY8 depending upon the total distance traveled. Trains run from 5:00 am until around 11:15 pm (varies based on stations) with rush hour being a very busy time to travel with extremely crowded trains and stations during these times (7:30 am to 8:30 am and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm). Tickets can be purchased from vending machines at the subway stations. Download the Metroman app on your Smartphone for a map of Beijing`s subway.

The most useful subway lines for visitors in the city are lines 1 (East-West) and 2 (Circle) with line 1 covering a route through the center of the city past Tiananmen Square and the Circle line which runs a circular route around the city covering many of the major attractions.

There is a transportation card available called `Yikatong` for use on the subway, buses, and taxis in the city. The initial cost is CNY20 which is a refundable deposit.

Buses in the city are cheap and convenient but can be difficult for tourists to use. They get crowded during rush hour and very slow compared to the subway system. Bus drivers speak very little if any English and most signage is not provided in English. Buses in the city run from 5:30 am until 11:00 pm daily with a flat fare around CNY2. The most useful buses are 1 and 2 that run a clockwise route around the Forbidden City via Tiananmen Square.

Plenty of sightseeing buses are available in the city with options to hop-on and hop-off at many of the tourist attractions and destinations.

A Taxi is a great way to get around the city, taxis are plentiful and fares are very reasonable. Taxis are metered and the driver should have a taxi number and phone number for the company displayed inside the car. All licensed official taxis should have license plates that begin with a `B`, others may be unlicensed taxis.

Most drivers do not speak English so it is a good idea to have your destination written down in Chinese. Taxis can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi ranks, a red light will be on in the cab if the taxi is available for hire. Fares cost around CNY10 with the rates per kilometer displayed in the back window, an estimated daytime trip inside the city costs around CNY20 - CNY30, rates are 20% higher after 11:00 pm.

How do I call/hail a taxi in Beijing?

If a taxi is available for hire, a red `for hire` sign will be illuminated in the front windshield, you can hail a taxi on the street, at designated taxi ranks around the city, outside of the stations or have your hotel concierge call and order you a taxi over the phone. Always make sure the license plate on the taxi has the letter `B` on it, this identifies the cabs as licensed and be sure to get a receipt for your ride.

Is Beijing a walking city?

Beijing is a great city to walk around, during rush hour it is one of the fastest ways to get from place to place, many tourist attractions are situated close together which make it very easy to take a short walk from one place to the other. Walking is required to get to and from the train, subway and bus stations, the city is set up in a grid pattern with the streets running from east-west (identified by a white sign with red letters) and north-south (green signs with white letters) making it relatively easy to navigate the streets and neighborhoods.

Some great outdoor areas to explore by foot are the `Hutongs` which are ancient alleyways with beautiful traditional architecture and courtyards. Popular areas include the hutongs near Yonghegong Lama Temple, Qianmen, and Houhai.

The Great Wall of China walk is a must see while visiting Beijing, about an hour outside of the city there are several sections of the wall, The Badaling section is the most famous (and most crowded) to visit, other sections include the Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Huanghuacheng, and Simatai. Take a walk along this historical monument for some spectacular views of the countryside and surrounding areas.

Can I ride a bicycle around Beijing?

China was once known as the `sea of bicycles` and Beijing was known as `Bicycle Kingdom`. Exploring the city on two wheels is still a very popular activity; the streets of the city are flat and bike lanes are everywhere making it a safe and fun way to explore. Taking a bicycle ride around the `Hutongs` of Beijing is a magical experience.

Bike rentals are available all over the city with rates starting around CNY10 - CNY 50 for the day. Bike sharing companies such as Mobike and OFO provide an easy way to rent a bike practically anywhere in the city. Scooters and electric bikes are also popular option to get around.

Should I rent a car in Beijing?

Renting a car in Beijing is not recommended with the wide array of public transportation options to get around the city, having a car can be difficult and expensive. The city streets are very congested with traffic and a nightmare during rush hour, parking is expensive and hard to find and you need a Chinese driver`s license to drive in the country making it nearly impossible for tourists to drive here.

What are some popular areas for shopping?

Beijing offers some great areas for shopping including the world famous commercial area of Wangfujing, located in the city center this popular shopping street is filled with a wide array of options including several malls and department stores, snack shops and food along with the Dong`an Market which was founded in 1903, the street is less than a mile long but is considered the sister street of the `Champs Elysees` in France.

Qianmen Street is a historic street known for its ancient buildings, housing many shops and the historic tram that runs along the streets. Situated just south of Tiananmen Square, shoppers will find traditional Chinese products, traditional Chinese food and quaint shops along with the famous Quanjude Peking Roast Duck Restaurant. Visit at night time to enjoy the wonderful ambiance of the street which is decorated with lights.

Silk Street is housed in a seven story building featuring a huge blend of silk items such as scarves, shirts, pajamas, and robes along with traditional Chinese handicrafts and textiles.

The Panjiayuan Market is a must see market for tourists, the largest market in China with over 3,000 stalls that cover 12 acres of land. Shoppers can buy everything from souvenirs to books, to antiques, arts, and crafts. The market is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 am until 6:30 pm and from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm on the weekends.

The best known traditional handiwork items to purchase in the city are Jade, Ivory, Cloissone, and Lacquer. The area is also popular for silk, Curios, snuff bottles, artificial flowers and candied fruits.

Beijing offers overseas visitors a tax refund up to 9% after spending CNY500 at any one designated tax-free store. There are currently 200 stores in the city most of them located in major shopping malls and tourist shopping centers with many located on Wangfujing Street and Xidan Commercial Street. Look for the `Tax-Free` sign, ask for the receipt and tax refund form, visit the customs office upon departure and present the completed form, receipts and your passport along with the products purchased to receive your refund.

What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The units of currency in China are the Renminbi ( ¥, RMB or CNY). US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for ¥ upon arrival. Currency exchanged desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city

For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in China by clicking here China

What is the food like?

Peking Duck is one of the city`s most famous specialty dishes. It can be found at many eateries located throughout the city and is one of the must try meals while you are here in the capital city. The duck is normally carved at your tableside and served with thin pancakes, plum sauce, cucumbers, and scallions. One of the most famous restaurants for Peking Duck is Da Dong Duck Restaurant in the Dongcheng District and Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant on Qianmen Street. Mutton is also another popular dish served in the city, known as `hotspot` the dish is normally served in a steaming pot with savory broth and dipping sauce.

Mongolian and Korean restaurants are common eateries in Beijing, as well as the traditional Chinese restaurants and food shops. Wangfujing Street is one of the best places in the city to visit for traditional food; the street is filled with restaurants, street foods, and night markets. Visit Xianyukou Snack Street and Wangfujing Snack Street for a unique dining experience both feature different flavors and distinct characteristics in a fun atmosphere. Some of Beijing`s famous snacks include fried doughnuts, savory pancakes, steamed buns, fried pork liver, lamb kebabs, candied fruits, bean juice and flavored tea. Guijie Steet is another popular area for street food vendors.

What is the nightlife like?

The capital city offers a vibrant and diverse nightlife with a mixture of people from all over the world who come here to party and have a good time. Beijing offers visitors and party goers hundreds of bars on some of the most famous streets in Sanlitun and Houhai, both are great places for a great night out on the town. Other nightlife options in the city include theaters, opera, dance halls, cinemas, clubs, pubs, bars and the countries all time favorite pastime Karaoke. The ancient hutongs of Houhai are a popular gathering place for locals and tourists with pubs built into the old buildings. Sanlitun features western favorites such as Hooters and Pizza Hut and plenty of bars. Wangfujing Street comes alive at night when it is completely closed off to traffic, the `walking street` as it is commonly referred to offers a laid back atmosphere with entertainment, shops, and bars.

Is Beijing a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?

Like any other capital city, Beijing has its fair share of crime but overall has a very low crime rate when compared to American cities of similar size. Travelers should use common sense and practice street smarts when out and about in the city, especially at night. Keep your belongings secure and close to you at all times, pickpockets are not uncommon, especially in and around busy tourist sites, shopping areas and on public transportation.

I don`t speak Chinese will there be many people who speak English?

The official language spoken in China is Mandarin. The English language is taught in schools in China and many Chinese people can speak some English, especially the younger generation and those working in the service industry. We suggest you get a good English-Chinese guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1 - 10.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

In the case of an emergency dial 110 for policy, 120 for Medical care and 119 for Fire.


Beijing United Family Hospital tel. 86 10 5927 7000

Beijing Shunyi Hospital tel. 010-6942-3220.

Beijing United Family Hospital tel. 010-6433-3960

Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine tel. 010-6404-0791

Haidian Changqing Hospital of Beijing tel. 010-8845-1842