Beijing Transportation

Beijing Transportation is convenient. Beijing is the mainland's most important air, rail and road hub because it has China's largest airport and is one of the centers of the country's rail network, and many national highways and expressways radiate out here. The urban transportation system is perfect. However, as a metropolis in a densely populated country, the traffic in the downtown area is a little heavy, especially during the rush hours at 8:00 and 18:00. During this time, traffic jams are common and can cause serious delays. When traveling in Beijing, try to avoid taking buses or taxis at this time of day, as it can eat up your limited vacation time. To ease the traffic pressure, the local government has taken many measures, including encouraging people to travel on public transport, implementing a license plate lottery system, and restricting traffic by odd-even license plates.

How to Get to Beijing

Beijing has extremely convenient traffic, and various modes of transportation is serving tourists at home and abroad. The main modes of transportation to Beijing include plane, train and coach.

By Air

Beijing Capital International Airport, one of the largest airports in the world, is the main center of Air China. It is located in Chaoyang district, 25 kilometers away from the urban area of Beijing. With the most air routes in China, it is very convenient to arrive or depart. Almost all domestic and international flights in Beijing stop and take off at Beijing capital international airport. On March 2, 1958, the airport was officially put into use. By the end of 2016, Beijing capital international airport had 6 base airlines, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Capital Airlines and SF Airlines. Xiamen airlines has set up a branch in Chaoyang district of Beijing. By December 2018, there are 132 domestic air routes including Xi'an, Shanghai, Sanya and Guiyang, as well as 120 international and regional air routes including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, America, Moscow, Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei, covering major cities in China's provinces, as well as major countries and regions around the world. Read More: Airlines in China

Beijing has also other six airports, including Beijing Nanyuan Airport, Beijing Liangxiang Airport, Beijing Xijiao Airport, Beijing Shahe Airport and Beijing Badaling airport, and Beijing Daxing International Airport(opened to traffic on September 30, 2019). In addition to Nanyuan airport (the base airport of China united airlines) and Beijing Daxing international airport are civil and military airports, other airports are military airports. 

Beijing Domestic Flights

Beijing International Flights

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Airport Transportation

By Road

The airport is connected to Beijing downtown by the Beijing airport expressway, which only takes about 40 minutes to reach if the road condition is good.

By Subway

The city has also a Beijing subway airport line completed and opened in 2008, which takes about 15 minutes to reach terminal 2 at Beijing capital international airport from Dongzhimen in the downtown. The airport metro has four stations: Dongzhimen station (you can transfer to Beijing subway line 2, Beijing subway line 13 here), Sanyuanqiao station (you can transfer to Beijing subway line 10 here), capital international airport terminal 2 station and capital international airport terminal 3 station.

By Airport Bus

Airport buses in Beijing include urban airport bus, inter-provincial bus and airport express lines. The airport bus to urban area has 19 day shift lines and 2 night shift lines(Xidan night line and Gongzhufen night line), which costs 20-30 yuan, and takes half to one hour. Passengers can take inter-provincial buses at Gate 1 of ground floor, terminal 3 and Gate 15 of ground floor, terminal 2. And inter-provincial buses can take you to Tianjin, QinhuangdaoLangfang, Baoding, Tangshan

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Note: Beijing capital international airport has three terminals, and terminal 1 is now mostly domestic flights. Before you fly, be sure to find out which airline you are flying with and what terminal you are in.

By Train

Beijing is one of the centers of China's rail network, with trains to most of the country's cities. The main railways are Beijing-Kowloon railway, Beijing-Shanghai railway, Beijing-Guangzhou railway, Jingha railway and Jingbao railway. In addition, Tianjin intercity railway and Shanghai-Guangzhou high-speed railway have been built successively. It takes about half an hour for passengers to travel from the capital city to Tianjin, 4.5 hours to Shanghai and 8 hours to Guangzhou. In terms of international railway transportation, trains to Russian cities, Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, and Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, and Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, all start from Beijing.

Main Railway Stations in Beijing

  • Beijing Railway Station
    Beijing railway station is the intersection node of Beijing-Shanghai railway, Beijing-Harbin railway, Beijing-Chengde railway, Beijing-Yuanping railway, Fengtai-Shacheng railway, Beijing-Guangzhou railway, Beijing-Kowloon railway and other passenger dedicated lines and intercity high-speed railways. Most trains bound for northeast and east China start at this station.
    Address: No.13(A), Maojiawan Hutong, Dongcheng Dsitrict, Beijing City北京市东城区毛家湾胡同甲13号
    Tel: 010-51831812/010-51834122
  • Beijing West Railway Station
    Beijing west railway station is mainly responsible for most of the normal train service to Beijing, and the departure service of Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway. After arriving at Beijing west railway station, you can travel to all parts of Beijing downtown by Beijing metro lines 9 and 7, as well as by bus, taxi and online ride-hailing.
    Address: No.118, Lianhuachi East Road, Fengtai District, Beijing City北京市丰台区莲花池东路118号
    Tel: 010-51824233
  • Beijing South Railway Station
    Beijing south railway station, the most modern railway station in Beijing, is the departure and arrival station of Beijing-Tianjin intercity railway and Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway. After arriving at Beijing south railway station, you can travel to all parts of Beijing by Beijing metro lines 4 and 14, as well as by bus, taxi and online ride-hailing.
    Address: No.12, Chezhan Road, Yongwan Avenue, Fengtai District, Beijing City北京市丰台区永外大街车站路12号
    Tel: 010-51836272
  • Beijing North Railway Station
    Beijing north railway station is an important part of Beijing railway hub, the starting and ending station of Jingbao railway and Beijing suburban railway line S2, as well as the departure and arrival station of Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway which is under construction. The Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway is expected to open on December 31, 2019.
    Address: No.1, North Binhe Road, Xicheng District, Beijing City北京市西城区北滨河路1号
    Tel: 010-51866223
  • Beijing East Railway Station
    Beijing east railway station is a first-class passenger and cargo transport station under the jurisdiction of China railway Beijing bureau group co., LTD. It is an important part of Beijing railway hub. Beijing east railway station is 5 kilometers from Beijing railway station, 288 kilometers from Qinhuangdao railway station (Beijing-Qinhuangdao railway) and 251 kilometers from Chengde railway station (Beijing-Chengde railway).
    Address: No.7, Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing City北京市朝阳区百子湾路7号
    Tel: 010-51835662

Beijing Trains/High-speed Trains

By Long-distance Bus

Long-distance bus travel is a common alternative in addition to trains and planes. Although travelling by coach is a little more expensive than travelling by train, it is more flexible than plane and less crowded than train, especially during Chinese holidays. As one of the busiest long-distance bus transportation hubs, Beijing has 20 long-distance bus stations, including long-distance buses to neighboring cities such as Tianjin, Zhangjiakou and Chengde, as well as long-distance buses to inter-provincial destinations such as Xi'an, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Harbin.The main bus stations are Liuliqiao passenger transport hub, Bawangfen long-distance bus station, Lianhuachi bus station, Dongzhimen long-distance bus station, Xianglong Zhaogongkou bus station, Sihui long-distance bus station, Yongdingmen long-distance bus station, capital airport long-distance station, Xinfadi long-distance bus station. Generally speaking, Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Liaoning and other places have direct coach to Beijing, safe and comfortable.

Long-distance Bus Stations in Beijing

  • Liuliqiao Passenger Transport Hub(六里桥客运主枢纽)
    Address: No.19(A), Liuliqiao Nanli, Fengtai District, Beijing City北京市丰台区六里桥南里甲19号
    Tel: 010-83831716/010-83831720
  • Bawangfen Long-distance Bus Station(八王坟长途客运站)
    Address: No.17, West Dawang Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing City北京市朝阳区西大望路17号
    Tel: 010-67740320/010-87718844
  • Xianglong Zhaogongkou Bus Station(祥龙赵公口长途客运汽车站)
    Address: No.34, South Third Ring Road, Fengtai District, Beijing City北京市丰台区南三环中路34号
    Tel: 010-67229491/010-67237328
  • Dongzhimen Long-distance Bus Station(东直门长途客运站)
    Address: No.45, Dongzhimen Outer Xiejie, Dongcheng District, Beijing City北京市东城区东直门外斜街45号
    Tel: 010-64673094
  • Lianhuachi Long-distance Bus Station(莲花池长途汽车站)
    Address: No.35, Guangan Road, Fengtai District, Beijing City北京市丰台区广安路35号
    Tel: 010-63322354/010-63443258/010-63464027

Beijing Expressways

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How to Get Around Beijing

Beijing has a convenient transportation network, which can reach all major scenic spots including the suburbs. However, the traffic jam in rush hour is also a annoyance for travelers. When visiting the urban area, you should choose to travel by subway during the morning and evening rush hours, which can ensure that time is not wasted.

Car-hailing apps and public bikes are widely available in Beijing, which are also good choices for travel. It should be noted that near some scenic spots and transportation hubs, unlicensed taxi and informal tour buses may pose as formal travel companies, which need to be identified and vigilant.

Roadways of Beijing

The urban roads in Beijing's old city (within the second ring road) are in a chessboard pattern, with straight horizontal and vertical. East-west roads include Changan Street(Fuxingmen to Jianguomen), Ping'an avenue(Dongshisi Huokou to Chegongzhuang), Guang'an avenue(Guang'anmen to Guangqumen). The north-south roads have central axis, east line from the Yuting bridge to Yonghe lamasery and west line from Kaiyang bridge to Jishuitan bridge. The eastern route passes through Fangzhuang, Hongqiao, Chongwenmen, Dongdan, Dongsi, Beixinqiao and Yonghe Lamasery. The western route passes through Caishikou, Xuanwumen, Xidan, Xisi, Xinjiekou. Because of Tiananmen square and the Forbidden City, Beijing's central axis is divided into north axis and south axis. North axis starts from Di'anmen to the north, through the drum tower, Beichen road, Olympic sports center; South axis from Qianmen to the south via Tianqiao, Yongdingmen, Sanyingmen. The south axis coincides with national highway 104.

By Subway

Beijing subway was built on July 1, 1965, and the first subway line was opened to traffic on October 1, 1969, making Beijing the first city in China to have a subway. Beijing currently has 22 subway lines and 1 subway airport line, covering major streets and sites in urban and suburban areas, making it the best public transportation means to ensure travel time in the congested Beijing.

Ticket Price and Purchase

Beijing subway adopts sub-paragraph price. The lowest fare is 3 yuan per person, and the fare is calculated according to the mileage. There is no need to get out of the station or buy another ticket between transfers. Tickets can be purchased directly in the subway station, through the self-service ticket machine and manual ticket window, generally speaking, the self-service ticket machine can avoid queuing. But either way, tickets must be paid in cash. The fare of airport express is 25 yuan/person, which is charged separately and can use the bus card.

Service Time

The running time is generally 5:00-23:00, and varies from line to line. You can consult the staff in the station to ensure that you can catch up with the last subway. In the event of a big performance, some routes may extend their operation time (for example, in the case of a big concert at the bird's nest, the operation time of line 10 May be extended), and in some cases, the operation may be terminated early. Please pay attention to the broadcast at the subway station to avoid bringing trouble to your travel.

Rush Hours

Subway is the main means of transportation for Beijing commuters, so it can be very crowded during rush hours every day. The peak hours are usually 7-9 am and 5-7 pm, but the actual peak hours may be longer than that. Try to avoid taking the subway at this time of day.

City Bus

The public traffic system in Beijing is very developed, with bus lines covering the main urban areas and suburbs. The operating hours are mostly 5:00-22:00 and a few are 23:00. In addition, several night buses continue to operate. Bus is divided into regular bus, night bus, electric trolley. The double-decker bus is a type of ordinary city bus, not special sightseeing bus. City bus in Beijing is priced in sections, starting at 2 yuan, based on the length of the journey.

About Transportation Smart Card in Beijing

A transportation smart card can be used on all subway lines, city buses, taxis, airport express train, S2 train to the Badaling Great Wall and public bikes without registration. Some dedicated supermarkets, restaurants, parks and department stores also accept the payment with the card. You can purchase and recharge at the customer service center of all subway stations.

  • If you use cash, there is no discount. If you use a transportation smart card, it will be more economical and convenient. Applying for a bus card requires a deposit of 20 yuan, the deposit can be returned when returning the card. You can apply for a card and top it up at the subway station, but not in every subway station, you can return the card.
  • If you use a transportation smart card, you will get a 50% discount. However, if you forget to brush your card when you get off the bus, the fee will be automatically deducted if you take the bus again(whether it is the same bus or not). The fee is calculated according to the maximum fare of the bus that you forgot to brush the card. 

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By Taxi

Travelling by taxi in Beijing is easily available because there are plenty of cabs in operation. At present, there are 67,000 taxis in operation in Beijing. The starting fare for a Beijing taxi is 13 yuan, including 3 kilometers and then 2.3 yuan per kilometer for over 3 kilometers. You can hail a taxi by hand signal. However, with the popularity of taxi-hailing software, it is not easy to take a taxi standing on the roadside, especially during rush hours such as 7:00-9:00 and 17:00-22:00.


  • Drivers are charged by meter for city travel and flat rate for long distance travel. Rent a car with the driver for 8 hours costs 500-800 yuan. A round-trip from the capital airport to the Badaling Great Wall costs 500-600 yuan.
  • When taking a taxi, in addition to the fare, all additional fees such as tolls, pontage should be borne by the passengers.
  • Hailing a taxi in popular business areas such as Sanlitun, Xidan, the cost is higher.
  • Car hailing phone number: 010-96103; Supervision and complaint calls: 010-6835 1150/6835 1570.

By Bike

There are at least 86,000 public bicycles at docking stations and 2.35 million sharing bikes in Beijing, which are a good complement to Beijing's urban buses and subways. People aged 18 to 65 and over 130 meters in height can rent public bikes with a transportation smart card. Sharing bikes are available through mobile applications, facilitating transfers to various corners of the city. Cycling in Beijing is flexible and efficient, especially during rush hours when the subway is overloaded and the roads are congested. There are plenty of bike-sharing services in Beijing, such as Mobike, Didi, OFO and Hellobike, but remember to leave them where they don't interfere with traffic.

By Rickshaw

Rickshaws are a traditional means of transportation. Nowadays, a modern rickshaw tour is a great way to experience the culture and Hutongs of old Beijing. After paying a negotiated fare, the rickshaw puller will take you through the narrow lanes. They explain the history and culture of Hutong to you in detail. Some even speak fluent English.