Beijing Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane

Beijing Capital International Airport (北京首都国际机场 Běijīng Shǒudū Guójì Jīchǎng, ) is Beijing's main airport and is located to the northeast of the central districts, 26 km from the city centre. It serves a large variety of domestic and international destinations and is where most international airlines choose to fly.

Nanyuan Airport (南苑机场 Nányuàn Jīchǎng, IATA: NAY) is a former military airfield 17 km to the south of Beijing, currently used only by army-linked low-cost operator China United (中国联合 Zhōngguó Liánhé). China United currently flies daily to Harbin, Dalian, Sanya, Chongqing, Chengdu, and Wuxi. Shuttle buses to the Nanyuan Airport leave Xidan Aviation Building (西单民航大厦 Xīdān Mínháng Dàshà) at 06:10, 07:00, 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00. The first bus (06:10) might not be available every day. Be sure not to take a shuttle bus to Beijing Capital Airport. Check the shuttle bus direction written on it in Chinese. The bus ticket price is ¥16.

By train

Beijing has many railway stations. Most trains arrive at the Central, West, South or North stations.

Beijing Railway Station (北京站 Běijīng Zhàn) is in the heart of the city, served by Subway Line 2. Destinations include: Changchun, Chengde, Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Jilin, Nanjing, Qiqihar, Shanghai, Shenyang, Suzhou, Tianjin, and Yangzhou. High speed trains to the Northeast leave from this station. The trains for Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar), Russia, and North Korea also leave from here.
Beijing West Railway Station (北京西站 Běijīng Xīzhàn). Presently the largest. Train destinations from Beijing West include: Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Datong, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Hefei, Hohhot, Hong Kong, Kunming, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Ningbo, Qinhuangdao, Sanya, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, Urumqi, Wuhan, Xi'an, and Xiamen. Both "conventional" and high-speed trains (wherever available) to these destinations use Beijing West. See below for transport options leaving the station.
* Public Buses. There is an immense amount of packed public buses that reach most destinations around downtown Beijing - however this can be difficult to navigate. These leave from several locations including directly in front of the train station, east of the train station (there is a largish bus station here) and on the opposite side of Lianhuachi Donglu. If you are desperate to get on the public bus, there is a large sign indicating the routes close to the bus stops on the Beijing West Station side of Lianhuachu Donglu.
* Taxi. There is an underground taxi rank, which usually has at least a ten minute queue. Taxis may however be the most expensive way to leave the station, especially if you have that tourist stench about you. Inevitably a tout will offer to take you out of the queue for an agreed price, but be aware that this will result in a significantly higher fare.
* Subway. Subway Line 9 has recently been extended to connect with the rest of Beijing's subway system, and the line serves Beijing West Railway Station. Line 7, which is expected to open in 2014, will serve the station as well. Alternatively, The Military Museum (formally Junshibowuguan) subway station (Line 1) is around 15 minutes walk north from Beijing West Station. To reach it, cross to the north side of Lianhuachi Donglu (there is a large overpass just near the entrance of the station) after emerging from the main entrance to the station. Then walk west for about 5 minutes to Yangfandian Lu (the street is well signposted). Walk north along here for 15 minutes (flat, easy walk) and turn right at Fuxing Lu (well signposted). The Military Museum subway station is about 200m from the intersection, and it will cost ¥2 to get into central Beijing.
Beijing South Railway Station (北京南站 Běijīng Nánzhàn). This station is used only by high-speed trains. It presently offers 70 high-speed services every day to Tianjin, Tanggu, Jinan, Qingdao, Shanghai (under 5 hours), Hangzhou, and Fuzhou. Served by subway Line 4.
Beijing North Railway Station (北京北站 Běijīng Běizhàn). Small compared to the previous three, but you might end up here if you are coming in from Inner Mongolia. Destinations include Chifeng (赤峰 Chìfēng), Fuxin, Hailar (海拉尔 Hǎilāěr), Manzhouli, Hohhot, Longhua (隆化 Lōnghuà), Luanping (滦平 Luánpíng), Nankou (南口 Nánkǒu), Shacheng, Huailai (沙城 Shāchéng, via Badaling), Tongliao (通辽 Tōngliáo), and Zhangjiakou (张家口 Zhāngjiākǒu). It also offers tour train services to Yanqing and the Badaling Great Wall. Served by Lines 2, 4 and 13 via the adjacent Xizhimen station.
Beijing East Railway Station (北京东站 Běijīng Dōngzhàn). One daily service to Chengde only.
Huangcun Railway Station has just reopened. It is in southern Beijing on Beijing Subway Line 4. If having trouble getting tickets to one of the major Beijing stations, try getting a ticket to Huang Cun Railway Station instead. If taking a night train, you're a bit far from the centre, but the subway opens at 05:30.
By car

Foreigners are allowed to rent vehicles while in China, although they will require a driving license issued by the People's Republic of China.

Beijing is the hub of several expressways heading in all directions, and the following is a list of the expressways and their destinations:

Jichang (Airport) Expressway (Beijing (Sanyuanqiao - Siyuan - Beigao - Xiaotianzu - Beijing Capital International Airport)).
Jingcheng (Beijing (Taiyanggong - Wanghe Bridge - Gaoliying - Huairou - Miyun - Gubeikou) - Luanping (滦平 Luánpíng, in Hebei) - Chengde).
Jingtong/Jingha (Beijing (Dawang Bridge - Sihui - Gaobeidian - Shuangqiao - Huicun - Tongzhou District)).
Jingshen (Beijing (Sifang Bridge - Shiyuan Bridge - Huoxian County, Tongzhou - Xiji) - Xianghe (Hebei) - Jixian County (Tianjin) - Jinwei - Tangshan (Hebei) - Beidaihe - Qinhuangdao - Shanhaiguan - Jinzhou (Liaoning) - Shenyang).
Jingjintang (Beijing (Fenzhongsi - Shibalidian - Dayangfang - Majuqiao - Caiyu) - Langfang (Hebei) - Tianjin (Yangcun - Central Tianjin - Tianjin Airport - Tanggu District/TEDA)).
Jingkai (Beijing (Yuquanying - Daxing - Huangcun - Panggezhuang - Yufa) - China National Highway 106)).
Jingshi (Beijing (Liuliqiao - Wanping - Liulihe) - Shijiazhuang (Hebei)) {Also known as the 'Jingzhu Expressway' (Beijing - Zhuhai)}.
Badaling (Jingzhang) Expressway (Beijing - Badaling Expressway - Donghuayuan - Huailai - Xiahuayuan - Zhangjiakou).

11 China National Highways (国道 Guódào) also link into Beijing:

G101 - Jingshen Road (Beijing - Shenyang, Liaoning).
G102 - Jingha Road (Beiling - Harbin, Heilongjiang).
G103 - JingJinTang (Beijing - Tanggu, Tianjin).
G104 - Nanyuan Road (Beijing - Fuzhou, Fujian).
G105 - (Beijing - Zhuhai, Guangdong).
G106 - (Beijing - Guangzhou, Guangdong).
G107 - (Beijing - Shenzhen, Guangdong).
G108 - Jingyuan Road (Beijing - Chengdu - Kunming, Yunnan).
G109 - Fushi Road (Beijing - Datong - Yinchuan - Xining - Golmud - Lhasa, Tibet).
G110 - (Beijing - Zhangjiakou - Hohhot - Baotou - Yinchuan, Ningxia).
G111 - (Beijing - Jiagedaqi, Inner Mongolia).
By bus

Long-distance buses from areas as far as Shanghai and the Mongolian border connect to Beijing. You can reach areas as far as Harbin or Xi'an on a single bus ride. Beijing has over 20 long distance bus stations, but what you need to do is go to the bus station located on the edge of the city in the direction you want to travel.

Xizhimen Long Distance Bus stationPhone: +86 10 62183454Handles buses heading north and west. Destinations include Anshan, Baochang ( Bochng), Baotou, Binzhou ( Bnzhu), Boshan ( Bshn), Changchun, Chengde (4.5h), Chifeng ( Chfng, 12h), Daban ( Dbn), Dazhangzi ( Dzhngz), Fengshan ( Fngshn), Harbin, Hohhot, Huimin ( Humn), Jinan, Jining (Shandong) ( Jnng, Shandong Province, 7 hrs), Jinzhou, Kuancheng ( Kunchng), Lindong ( Lndng), Linhe ( Lnh), Luanping ( Lunpng), Ningcheng ( Nngchng), Pingzhuang ( Pngzhung), Qinhuangdao (7.5h), Tieling ( Tilng), Leling ( Llng), Pingquan ( Pngqun), Xilin ( Xln), Shenyang, Shacheng ( Shchng, 5h), Shanhaiguan, Shenmu, Shizuishan, Tangshan ( Tngshn, 5h), Weixian ( Wixin, 8h), Wudan ( Wdn), Xuanying (Xunyng, 7 hrs), Xinglong ( Xnglng), Yinchuan, Yingxian ( Yngxin), Yulin, and Zhangjiakou ( Zhngjiku).
Deshengmen Long Distance Bus StationPhone: +86 10 82847096Also handles buses for the north and northwest. Destinations include: Baochang ( Bochng), Chicheng ( Chchng), Dongmao ( Dngmo), Guyuan, Sandaochuan ( Sndochun), Yuxian ( Yxin), and Zhangjiakou ( Zhngjiku).
Dongzhimen Long Distance Bus StationPhone: +86 10 64674995/64671346Handles buses heading northeast. Destinations include Changyuan ( Chngyun), Chengde (4.5h), Chifeng ( Chfng, 12h), Fengning ( Fngnng, 5h), Fengshan ( Fngshn), Guanshang ( Gunshng), Huairou district, Jiaozhuanghu ( Jiozhungh), Mafang ( Mfng), Miyun County, Nanzhuangtou ( Nnzhungtu), Pinggu district (2.5h), Sishang ( Sshng), Shunyi district, Wuxiongsi ( Wxings), and Xinglong ( Xnglng).
Sihui Long Distance Bus StationPhone: +86 10 65574804Handles buses mainly heading east. Destinations include: Changchun, Chengde, Dalian, Dandong, Liaoyang ( Lioyng), Tangshan ( Tngshn), and Tianjin.
Zhaogongkou Long Distance Bus StationPhone: +86 10 67237328Handles buses heading south and southeast. Destinations include Cangzhou ( Cngzhu, 3.5h, 70), Jinan (5.5h, 114), Tanggu ( Tngg, 2.5h, 45), Tianjin (1.5h, 35).
Lianhuachi Long Distance Bus StationPhone: +86 10 63322354Handles buses heading south. Destinations include: Kaifeng, Luoyang, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Wuhan, and Zhengzhou.

Most of the buses from the Long Distance Bus Stations will be regular or express buses, which take the expressways; cost from ¥200-600 per trip, have comfy seats, and most rides do not take more than 6–12 hours, but sleeper buses are also available.

Sleeper buses, with bunk beds in rows, average about ¥100 per trip, but many go really slowly up hills, avoid expressways, stop at every city or town, provide "meals" which you have to pay extra for, take the potholed National roads to save money, and a bus ride can take up to 24 hours. The average speed is only 40 km/hr on the moderately fast sleeper buses, and the range could be from 25 to 60 km/hr. It may be a good authentic taste of how less wealthy Chinese people travel.

Bicycle

Long distance cyclist-tourists will find national road 109 is a pleasant way to enter or leave Beijing, though lots of work. It immediately enters steep hills on the edge of the city, but sees little traffic, is well maintained and passes though lovely landscape of farmland and forests. It's remarkable how close to Beijing you are, and how far it feels.

source: Wikivoyage

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