Beijing Capital International Airport

Written by Ruru Zhou Updated May. 26, 2022

Located in northeast Beijing, Beijing Capital International Airport is 30 kilometers (18 miles) away from Tian’anmen Square. It is the second busiest airport in the world after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Beijing Capital International Airport is the main airport in Beijing, this article is a guide to this airport with facts, layout, visa-free policy, and transportation.

Beijing Attractions Map

Quick Facts About Beijing Capital International Airport

The layout of Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 serves only domestic flights, while Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 manages domestic flights and international flights. Shuttle buses connect all three terminals.

Terminal 1

 Capital Airport

Inaugurated in 1980, Terminal 1 is the smallest terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport as it serves only domestic flights to major Chinese cities. It is possible to reach Terminal 2 from Terminal 1 by a walkway within 15 minutes.

Terminal 1 became the operational base for all domestic flights operated by the HNA Group since 2008. However, it was temporarily closed on 3rd May 2020 when the HNA Group transfers all domestic flights to Terminal 2.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 opened in 1999. It was used to replace Terminal 1 while Terminal 1 was undergoing renovation. Prior to the opening of Terminal 3, all international flights (and the majority of domestic flights) operated from this terminal.

Terminal 3

 Capital Airport

Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport is the second largest passenger terminal building in the world after Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are close to each other, while Terminal 3 is located about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the other terminals.

Terminal 3 has two underground and five above-ground levels. It is divided into the main passenger terminal (T3-C) and two satellite concourses (T3-D and T3-E). Regarding the names of these three concourses, the letters "A and B" are omitted to avoid confusion with the existing Terminals 1 and Terminal 2.

T3-D is in the middle of these three buildings, T3-C and T3-D operate domestic flights, T3-E serves only international flights.

Book your flight tickets from/to Beijing Capital International Airport.

Layover at Beijing Capital International Airport

 Capital Airport

Passport holders from most countries are eligible for the 24-hour visa-free transit at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Since December 28, 2017, Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province allow travelers from 53 countries to stay in certain areas for up to 144 hours without applying for a Chinese travel visa. Beijing Capital International Airport is indeed involved in this 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

You can apply for the visa-free transit once you get off the plane, just fill the arrival/departure card form at the border inspection counter in T2 or T3. After all, documents are approved, you can go out of the airport and tour Beijing for a certain duration.

You can find more detailed information about Beijing’s visa-free policy on our website.

Transportation to Downtown, the Great Wall, and Tianjin Cruise Terminal

Beijing Capital International Airport is located in northeast Beijing, at Chaoyang-Shunyi District. The airport is not far away from the city center, transportation is convenient.

Getting to Beijing Downtown

 Tian’anmen Square

Tian'anmen Square

Getting to the Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall

There are many sections of the Great Wall in Beijing, such as Mutianyu, Badaling, Jiankou, and Jinshanling. Each section has its own beauty. If you plan to visit one of them from PEK directly, the Mutianyu section is the most recommended.

Firstly, Mutianyu is only 60 kilometers (37 miles) away from the Capital Airport, it is the nearest section to PEK. In addition, Mutianyu has picturesque scenery and beautifully restored architecture. It is the most child-friendly section, with various ways of visiting.

There is no direct public transportation to the Great Wall from Capital Airport, so booking a private transfer is the best choice. We can tailor-make a Great Wall tour according to your arrival time and other requirements.

Getting to Tianjin Cruise Terminal

 Tianjin Port

Tianjin Cruise Terminal is 190 kilometers (118 miles) away from Beijing Capital International Airport. The journey duration is about 2.5 hours. There is no direct public transportation from PEK to the terminal.

You can first take an inter-city bullet train from Beijing South Railway Station to Tanggu Railway Station in Tianjin, then take a taxi to the terminal.

The best way is to book a private transfer service. We can provide a hassle-free transfer package based on your requests.

Tour Beijing with Us

 Exploring Beijing

Exploring Beijing

We can provide you with a worry-free Beijing travel experience. No matter how late or early you arrive in Beijing, your personal guide will be waiting for you, holding a welcome sign with your name on it. Your driver can help you handle heavy luggage, the only thing you need to do is have a relax.

Check out our popular trip for exploring modern and ancient Beijing:

Besides, China Travel has developed some special activities in Beijing, for you to experience traditional Chinese art forms, like paper-cutting. Feel free to contact us if you want to add these activities to your itinerary.

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