Beijing, the capital city of China, has a highly developed public transport system for people traveling to and getting around the city. The fastest way to get to Beijing is by air or high-speed train- depending on which city you come from, and the most reliable way to travel within the city is by subway.
Now, let’s get into the details of transportation in Beijing.
Traveling to Beijing by Air
There are two passenger airports in Beijing and both of them provide domestic and international flights. You can easily find direct flights to Beijing traveling from major cities in China and other countries, such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, Boston, Tokyo, Bangkok, and more.
Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world and plays the main role in the air transportation of Beijing. It is located in Shunyi District, about 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of central Beijing.
Airport shuttle buses run from Beijing Capital International Airport to Beijing Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station, Xidan commercial district, Wangfujing shopping street, etc. The prices vary, depending on the place you get off, ranging from 20 to 30 RMB per person.
Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) is a new airport officially put into use since September 25, 2019. It falls on the boundary of Beijing City and Hebei Province, 46 kilometers (29 miles) south of Tiananmen Square.
It is the first airport which has a terminal building with high-speed train and subway stations underground. Travelers can travel from Daxing Airport to central Beijing by subway, intercity railway, airport bus or taxi.
Traveling to Beijing by Train
Beijing is the center of China’s railway network and connects to most cities in the country. There are 4 major railway stations in Beijing: Beijing, Beijing West, Beijing South, and Beijing North.
Here’s a location map of railway stations in Beijing:
Beijing Railway Station provides international trains to or from Pyongyang, Ulan Bator, Moscow.
Beijing West Railway Station is the only railway station in Beijing that is eligible for overseas travelers to apply for the 144-hour visa-free transit.
Bullet/high-speed trains usually arrive at and depart from Beijing West and Beijing South, by which travelers can reach Beijing from Tianjin in 30 minutes, from Shanghai or Xi’an in 4.5 hours.
Beijing Train Ticket Booking
Traveling from Beijing to Tianjin, Shanghai, Xi’an or HK
Here’s a schedule for direct flights and bullet trains from Beijing to Tianjin, Shanghai, Xi’an and Hong Kong for reference.
||There is no flight between Beijing and Tianjin.
|By bullet train
||Usually over 50 flights per day
||Average 120 USD
|By bullet train
||Over 20 flights per day
||Average 141 USD
|By bullet train
||About 10 flights per day
|By bullet train
1. Prices for flights booms during peak travel season, usually in Labor Day (May 1-5th), summer holiday (July and August), National Day Holiday (October 1-8th), and Spring Festival (generally late January to Early February).
2. It is advised to arrive at the railway station at least 40 minutes early to get enough time for security checks and ticket checks.
Getting Around Beijing
Beijing's public transport system is well-developed. You can take a subway, bus, taxi, or even a rickshaw to travel around the city. The quickest and cheapest way to travel around Beijing is by Beijing subway.
23 subway lines have been put into use in Beijing. Operation times vary for the different metro lines but most of the lines run from 5:00 to 23:26 every day. Subway lines 1 and 2 are the most useful for tourists because they can take you to many must-see attractions in Beijing, such as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Lama Temple.
Basically, traveling by metro is the most flexible and convenient way in Beijing. It is crowded but punctual- you don’t need to worry about the traffic jam during rush hour.
There are more than 1,000 public bus routes in Beijing to take you everywhere in the city. Generally, public buses run from 5:30 to 23:00 every day, but times may vary for different routes.
The ticket is usually 1 RMB for a bus without air conditioning and 2 RMB for an air-conditioned bus. During rush hour, when people come and go to work, buses can get crammed.
The price of taking a taxi in Beijing goes from 13 RMB, followed by another 2.3 CNY for each kilometer after the first 3 km. Besides, the cost goes up 20% at night. The charge from Capital Airport to Tiananmen Square by taxi is about 110 CNY.
Rickshaws are another option to explore this ancient city. They are popular around the Hutongs, making it a special cultural experience. The fare is higher than that of a taxi and it is suggested to tip the rider if the service has been good.
Traveling Beijing with Us
Even though the transportation system in Beijing is well-developed, the most efficient and hassle-free way to explore this big city is to take a private tour with a private driver, who knows how to avoid waiting lines and get you to the destination in the least time.
By doing so, you can maximize your sightseeing time and control your own travel pace, without needing to navigate. Contact us to arrange one!