transportation in beijing
Beijing is the most important transportation hub in mainland China in air, rail and road transportation: China’s largest airport is located here; it is the biggest rail hub of the country; many national roads and expressways radiate out here. Its urban area also has well appointed transport system. However, as a metropolis in a densely populated country, transportation in the city’s urban area is a bit crowded, especially during rush hours (around 08:00 and 18:00). During these time periods, traffic jams are common and may cause significant delays. If possible, avoid taking buses/taxis at this time of a day as it may drain your limited vacation time. The local government has carried out many measures to relieve traffic pressure, including encouraging traveling by public transport tools, allocating car registration by a license-plate lottery system, and controlling traffic by odd-even license plates, etc.
You can use the following search bar to find schedules on flights, trains and city buses:
There are two passenger airports in Beijing: Capital International Airport in northeast of the city, about 25.35 kilometers (about 16 miles) from Tiananmen Square and Nanyuan Airport in south city, about 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) from Tiananmen Square. The third airport, Beijing New Airport, will be built in Daxing District in the near future. Most of the domestic and international flights arrive at and depart from the capital international airport, the reputed “First Door of China”.
Beijing Capital Airport
Capital AirportIt is the largest, busiest, most important modern airport in China as well as the first and only airport in Asia-Pacific area equipped with two control towers, three terminals and three runways. Currently, over 90 airlines operate about 1,400 flights to / from 223 destinations at home and abroad here. The airport can be easily reached by airport shuttle bus, express subway train and taxi.
Airport Express Train
Airport Shuttle Bus
Terminal 1 Terminal 2
Terminal 3 – Transfer in T3,
Services of T3, Facilities of T3 Beijing Flights:
Flights to Shanghai
Flights to Xian
Flights to Guangzhou
Flights to Hong Kong
Beijing is the center of China’s railway net, which has trains to most of cities of the country. The main railway lines here include Jingjiu Railway from Beijing to Kowloon in Hong Kong, Jinghu Railway to Shanghai, Jingguang Railway to Guangzhou and Jingha Railway to Harbin, etc. In recent years, the inter-city railway to Tianjin, the high-speed rails to Shanghai and Guangzhou have also been built, by which passengers can get to Tianjin from the capital city in about half an hour, to Shanghai in about 5.5 hours and to Guangzhou in 9.5 hours. Passengers to / from the city are now served by 761 trains at four railway stations:
Beijing Railway StationSouth Railway StationWest Railway StationNorth Railway StationTrain Schedule
The peripheral roads of Beijing are in a circle radiating form by 11 national roads and 9 expressways, making the road transportation between the capital city and other cities convenient. There are 10 long-distance bus stations in the urban area of the city, operating thousands of buses to nearby and major cities in the country, including Qingdao, Tianjin, Datong and Shijiazhuang, etc.
On October 1st, 1969, the first subway line of Beijing was put into use, making it the first China city having subway. By the year of 2010, the city’s subway passenger has surpassed 10,000,000. By the end of 2012, 17 subway lines (including one airport express line) have been in operation with a total mileage of 442 kilometers (about 275 miles) in the city. To attract more passengers and relieve traffic pressure, a subway ride only costs CNY 2 regardless of distance and transfers, which is the cheapest among all the country’s urban rail transit systems. Due to the frequent traffic jams, especially during rush hours, subway is probably the most time-saving transport means in the city. Even some super stars in the city travel by subway if in a hurry.
Line 1, Line 2, Line 4, Line 5, Line 6, Line 7, Line 8, Line 9, Line 10, Line 13, Line 14, Line 15, Batong Line, Yizhuang Line, Changping Line, Daxing Line, Fangshan Line Subway Map
The city bus transit system in Beijing is world’s busiest and carries the most passengers. By the end of 2011, there are over 20,000 city buses servicing more than 700 routes. Compared with subways, buses cover more areas of the city, even some far suburban areas like Badaling and Mutianyu Great Wall. To make the bus traveling easier and more comfortable, local government has built bus lanes and opened express bus lines.
Bus / Subway Search
Among all the public transit tools, taxi is probably the most flexible. Currently, there are about 66,000 taxis running in Beijing, taking passengers to any places in the city.
Bicycle & Rickshaw
Public bicycle rental service was started in Beijing in June, 2012. By 2015, over 50,000 bicycles will be set at about 1000 sites for rental. It will be a good way for a short trip and develop into another modern and energy-saving transport means. Rickshaw is a traditional transport tool. Nowadays, it is more like an interesting sightseeing program. One can take it to tour the Hutongs and experience local culture in a leisurely way.
Transportation Smart Card
It is a good way to save time and money, which can be used by everyone on all subway lines, most city buses, some taxis, and even some supermarkets, restaurants, parks, and department stores, etc in the city. When used for paying the city bus, passengers can enjoy a 60% discount. When leaving the city, one can return it at some designated sites like subway stations, bus companies and branches of China Citic Bank at no lost if the card is well-preserved.