Beijing Transportation

Beijing follows a concentric layout. At the heart of Beijing is the Forbidden City, which lies literally in the city's core. Then there are the Ring Roads, which encircle the city and are the major commuting arteries. The Second and Third Ring Roads are the main freeway for getting around in the city and downtown. The Fourth and Fifth Ring Roads lies further out, and are useful for commuting to the airport and outlying suburbs. When in Beijing, there are different options on how to get around.

Beijing Airport

Learn Mandarin Chinese in ChinaSeveral dozen foreign air companies have set up offices in Beijing. You can fly to Beijing from major cities within China, and from 54 cities in 39 countries worldwide.

Name of Beijing Airport: Beijing Capital Airport
Distance from City Core: 30km
Information desk: (8610) 6456-3604
Booking a domestic flight: (8610) 6601-3336
Booking an international flight: (8610) 6601-6667

Major Airlines

Air China (CA) (8610) 6601-3336
Air France (AF) (8610) 6588-1388
Air Russia (SU) (8610) 6500-2412
Austrian Airlines (OS) (8610) 6462-2161
British Airway (BA)  (8610) 6512-4080
Canadian Airlines (CP) (8610) 6468-2001
Southwest Airline (MU) (8610) 6601-7579
Dutch Airlines (KLM) (8610) 6505-3505
Finnair (AY) (8610) 6512-7180
Japan Airlines (JL) (8610) 6513-0888
Korean Air (AZ/KE) (8610) 6505-0088
Lufthansa (LH) (8610) 6465-4488
Macao Air (NX) (8610) 6515-8988
Northwest Airlines (NW) (8610) 6505-3505
Singapore Airlines (SQ) (8610) 6505-2233
South China Airline (CZ) (8610) 6601-7755-2142
Swissair (SR) (8610) 6512-3555
Thai International (TG) (8610) 6460-8899


Study Mandarin Chinese in ChinaThe train system is well developed. It links Beijing with China's major cities and autonomous regions (including Shenzhen and Hong Kong), and even international cities.

Tickets can be booked during peak season or buy fromm travel agents or directly from train stations.

From within Mainland China, tickets can be purchased at one of the local train stations. From Hong Kong, tickets can be purchased through one of the China Travel Service outlets.


Learn to Speak Mandarin ChineseBeijing enjoys 24-hour taxi service. Taxi is the preferred transportation choice for most foreigners, because it isn't expensive and it is easy to hail one. A taxi ride costs RMB 10 for the first 4 or 5 km and RMB 2.5 for each additional km. Fares vary depending on the type of taxicabs chosen (from regular to luxurious sedans), but the fares are always clearly marked on the taxi window. When in a taxi, make sure the meter is on. Each taxi is fitted with a computerized fare meter to calculate distance and costs. For a journey that takes longer than 10 kilo or running after 11:00 pm, the fares charged will be slightly higher. Passengers pay for the bridge and road tolls. Most taxi drivers do not understand much English, although those in tourist cities are encouraged to learn and speak some simple English. Non-Chinese speaking visitors are advised to have their destinations written down in Chinese and show it to the cab driver.


Study Abroad in ChinaPublic city buses run from 5:30 am till 11:00 pm daily. Taking buses in Beijing is really inexpensive (ranging from RMB 1 to RMB 2), but they are less comfortable and run slower than taxis or subways. The flat rate for an electric car and ordinary public car is RMB 1. Buses equipped with air-conditioning or of special line are charged according to the distance.

Few foreigners like getting around by bus, because it is always crowded, especially during rush hours (6:30am -9:00 am and 5:00 pm -7:00pm). More bus driver's assistants are beginning to offer stop's name in English but they don't know much more English beyond that.

Writing down some commonly used Chinese sentences is therefore quite helpful. Minibuses, operating from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, charge the flat rate of RMB 2 to guarantee a seat. They are faster and more comfortable. In crowded settings, be careful of your belongings.

Subway & Sky Train

Subway & Sky TrainBeijing's subway is very clean, fast and quite comfortable. During rush hours and weekends, however, the subway is generally crowded. The subway runs every 4 or 5 minutes daily from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm or 11:30 pm, depending on different lines. There are two subway lines in Beijing, which cross each other at Fuxingmen or Jianguomen Terminals where passengers can transit from one line to the other without going out of the station or paying a transfer fee. Operation hours: 5:00 am - 10:30 pm and fare per person is RMB 3.

There is also a Sky Train available now taking you to the Northwestern part of Beijing. You can transfer onto the Sky Train from the subway stations at Dongzhimen or Xizhimen. Riding the Sky Train only is RMB 3 per person; or RMB 5 for riding both the Sky Train and Subway.

To view subway map, please click here.


PedicabThe smooth and extensive roads of Beijing have given rise to a unique and fascinating tourist service. Pedicab (rickshaw like bicycle) is a good choice for sightseeing, especially for visiting hutongs. The cost per ride varies depending on your bargaining abilities. You must first bargain with the driver, ask him how much it will cost ("duo shao qian" in Chinese), make everything clear (i.e. one way or round trip; US dollars or RMB) before getting on. , The legally registered pedicabs can be identified as they have a certificate stuck on it, and the driver has an ID card hung around his neck.


China used to be called the sea of bicycles and in Beijing today, they are still a convenient form of transportation for most people in the city. Tourists may also choose to ride a bicycle into the city's numerous back alleys and hutongs to discover or experience local customs and habits. You can rent bicycles for RMB 20-30 per day, or buy a pretty reliable one from RMB 150-500. Parking your bike is easy as there are many places to park bikes all over the city and the charge for this service is less than RMB 1.


Today you can travel around certain places by water in Beijing. Two courses are available: Changhe course and Kunyuhe course. Additionally, tourist boats available in Shichahai.

Changhe Course

This course is 9 kilometers long, running from the lake Kunmen Hu to the lake Beizhanhou Hu. By boat you will pass Yiheyuan dock, Changhewan dock, Wanshou Temple, Ziyuwan dock, Zizhuyuan Park, Beijing Library, Beijing Zoo, Beijing Aquarium, Beijing Exhibition Hall, Maizhong bridge, Guangyuanzha, Five Pagoda Temple (Wuta Si), Gaoliang Qiao, and so on. This course used to be the channel by which the Imperial Family went westwards to take their summers. Daily boat rides start from Beizhanhou Hu at 9:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:30 pm; and from Yiheyuan at 10:45 am and 2:15 pm.

Kunyu Course

This course runs 10 kilometers from Kunmen Hu to Yuyuan Tan, passing Yiheyuan dock, Changhewan dock, Linglong Park, Enji Park, Benjiaoyuan dock, CCTV tower dock, Yuyuan Tan (Bayi Hu dock), Aquatic Fairyland, Song Qingling Children's Park, and more. Later the course extends to include Gaobeidian Hu, where visitors will be able to enjoy more scenic spots, like White Cloud Taoist Temple (Baiyun Guan), Tianning Temple, Grand View Garden, Temple of Heaven, Longtan Hu Park, and so on. Boats depart Bayi Hu at 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 4:30 pm; and from Yiheyuan at 9:05 am, 10:05 am, 11:05 am, 2:05 pm and 4:05 pm.


In Shichahai, apart from the Hutong Tour, you can also travel by a southern style boat with a long scull and fully enjoy the old traditional form of travel.

Course 1 goes from the back gate of Beihai, to Drum Tower, Yinding Bridge, Hutong Tour and then back to Beihai.

Course 2 goes from the back gate of Baihai, to Shichahai Front Water, Yinding Bridge, Shichahai Back Water, Hutong Tour and ending at Gongwangfu Garden.

NOTE: Although this information is correct at the time of our web publication, it is still advised that you call the phone number and confirm the address before going to the venue because some venues may have changed their telephone numbers or address locations.