As the capital of China, undoubtedly Beijing is quite easy to reach, from within China or abroad. Most travelers choose to get to Beijing by plane and train. Meanwhile, Beijing is a city with a well-established transportation system; basically, you can reach every corner of the city by public bus and subway. Of course, you can turn to a taxi for convenience and comfort. By the way, you can even take a pedicab around hutongs near Qianmen Street and Shichahai Lake. Tourists taking Beijing tours will find it is very easy to get to and get around the city.
Getting to Beijing
You can easily find a flight to Beijing from most major cities in the world. It has two airports: Capital International Airport and Nanyuan Airport.
The Capital International Airport
This airport accommodates almost all the passenger flights that arrive/depart the city and has launched the most air routes in China. Departure and arrival are just convenient. It is 30km from the city area and is convenient to commute by taxi, airport shuttle bus, and airport express.
Tips: the airport has three terminals. Check the airline and exact arrival terminal of your flight before boarding.
Nanyuan Airport is a military airport and China United Airlines is the only commercial airline using this airport. It is 13km from the city center; the airport shuttle bus and taxi are all available.
Getting around in Beijing
Beijing is a very important hub of nationwide railways. There are four railway stations: Beijing West Railway Station, Beijing Railway Station, Beijing South Railway Station, and Beijing North Railway Station which connect the capital to the rest of the country closely.
Beijing West Railway Station
The station is among the largest train stations in the country. The station is mainly used for trains from/to south, southwest, and northwest China, including Xian, Chengdu, Kunming, Guilin, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and so on. The station is in East Lianhuachi Road, Fengtai District.
Beijing Railway Station
Beijing Railway Station is now mainly operating trains to/from northeast China, Shanghai, and Shangdong province. Besides, this station also accommodates international trains to Moscow, Ulan Bator, and Pyongyang. It’s located in the Maojiawan Hotong, just near the downtown area.
South Railway Station
South Railway Station is the most modern railway station in Beijing and is used primarily for high-speed trains including those from/to Shanghai, Tianjin, Hebei province, and east China. The station is situated in Yongdingmen Outer Street.
North Railway Station
The satiation is used for trains to nearby tourist spots like Badaling Great Wall and Kangxi Grassland.
If you are very familiar with Beijing, it’s a good choice to get around by bus. Otherwise, you will easily be confused by countless bus numbers and stations. You can catch the last bus usually at 22:00 and scarcely find one at 23:00. Like many other metropolises, the city buses are packed especially at rush hour.
There are currently 75,000 taxis running around Beijing, take a taxi and getting around the city is convenient and comfortable. Taxi fare at daytime is flag-down fare CNY10 for the first 3 km and CNY2 per extra km; after 15 km, CNY3 is charged for each additional km. For driving at a speed of lower than 12km/hr (including the taxi waiting for traffic lights or jam), you need to pay as much money as if it drove 1 km every 5 minutes.
Between 23:00 and 05:00: the above charges apply, but the flag-down fare is CNY11. Besides you need to pay an additional fee of 20% of the total fare. For distances over 3 km, you need to pay a fuel surcharge of CNY3 at the end of the journey.
Note: avoid taking the “fake taxi” which normally overcharges passengers, remember to check whether the vehicle with the word "Taxi" on it or not! The real taxi normally has this word on it.
Subway is undeniably the most economical way to get around Beijing. The subway covers most commercial districts and scenic spots in downtown Beijing and nearby counties. Beijing offers the cheapest subway ticket. What bothers us, it is always jammed with passengers.