Beijing Capital International Airport / 北京首都国际机场
The Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK/ZBAA) is located around 27 kilometres north of Beijing´s city centre. At present, the airport consists of three terminals.
The cheapest way to into town is to take CAAC's airport shuttle bus. There are 18 shuttle routes. The ride takes between 40-90 minutes, depending on traffic and origin/destination. Tickets are available at the "Intracity & Inter - Provincial Shuttle Bus Ticket Vending Desk" for each terminal. The shuttles leave the airport from the 1st floor of each terminal. Buses depart every 15-30 minutes.
There is also an airport express train called ABC or Airport to Beijing City. The airport express covers the 27.3 km distance between the airport and the city in 18 minutes, connecting Terminals 2 and 3, to Sanyuanxiao subway station in Line 10 and Dongzhimen subway station in Line 2.
Taxi stops are located:
T1: Outside Gate 1 on F1
T2: Outside Gate 5 to 9 on F1
T3: Please refer to the signs inside the terminal building
Address: Shunyi, Beijing
Phone: Airport Hotline: +86 10 96158 / Airport Shuttle Bus: +86 10 6457 3891
Best Time To Visit
Most of the attractions sites in Beijing consist of timeless architectures and intangible cultural heritage, so the change of seasons has little impact. However given the weather, it is recommended to visit in spring or autumn, for winter might get too cold and summer too hot for comfort.
Try to avoid Chinese public holidays such as between October 1st and 7th, during which the city could be flooded by local tourists.
For citizens of the following countries, the visa is not requested for short term stays:
- 90 days: Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino
- 60 days: Mauritius
- 30 days: Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga, United Arab Emirates.
- 15 days: Brunei, Japan, Singapore.
Holders of passports issued by the following 49 countries do not require a visa for a 144-hour stay if they are transiting through Beijing International Airport. However, passengers need to provide ticket showing their first destination, which should be outside China, nor could it be in the same country as the inbound flight.
- All European Union citizens, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Japan, Macedonia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States.
- Passengers who enter China via Beijing International Airport under transition condition cannot leave the area of Beijing.
Due to the Internet policy of China, certain websites and applications are not accessible from the mainland, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google and more. Travellers are recommended to buy a VPN service in order to connect to these sites and apps.
Giving that Google is banned in China, Google Maps might not be the most accurate and reliable source of information. Some local apps such as Baidu Maps and AutoNavi tend to work better than Google Maps.
The subway is the best way to move around the city and avoid traffic jams in Beijing. Currently, there are 22 lines in operation, including the newly-opened ABC, or Airport to Beijing City airport line. Line 1 and Line 2 run through the centre of Beijing and cover most of the attractions. The subway runs from 05:00 to midnight daily. Subway stations are marked by navy blue signs with a "D" (for Ditie or subway) in a circle. Route signs are bilingual.
Bus service is another option to travel around the city. With more than 900 routes, the buses take you through both the downtown and suburbs. Buses generally run from 05:00 to 23:00. You can pay with cash, coins and notes by putting the exact amount into the fare box on the bus, or pay with a transportation card or applications. For the card, you need to tap both on and off on the bus.
The transportation card in Beijing is called "Yikatong", it offers travel discounts. At the service centre in the subway stations, you can purchase and top up a Yikatong card. At major stations, you can refund the card. Keep the purchase receipt if you wish to refund later after your stay. You can also top up the card using the machines at stations.
Taxis are the default mode of transportation for most foreigners in Beijing. Have your destination written down in Chinese and hail a taxi down. Make sure there is a taximeter and it starts at its initial point.
Beijing taxi drivers may speak only a little English, but they are generally honest and friendly. Expect to get your change; tipping is discouraged. Taxi from the airport to the city centre takes approximately around 50 minutes, depending on the traffic. Ask for your receipt by saying "Fa-piao / 发票"
The Beijing Bureau of Communications takes complaints concerning taxis, minibus or other vehicles. No operator, but an English recording that gives instructions for faxing your complaint—which of course will mitigate your anger right away.
Phone: +86 10 6835 1150.
China Post boxes are green and can be found throughout.
Jianguomen Post Office / 建国门邮政支局
Address: 50 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing
Phone: +86 10 6506 4288
More Information: Next to the Postal Saving Bank of China
Pharmacies are easy to locate but do mind that staff often will not speak English, so it is recommended that you bring along someone who can interpret for you, or have the name of the needed medicine written down in Chinese characters.
One pharmacy staffed with English speakers is Vista Clinic, located at Kerry Centre Shopping Mall:
24hr Medical Hotline：+86（010）8529 6618
Address: 1 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Phone: +86 10 8529 6618
More Information: 3F Kerry Centre Shopping Mall
220 Volt, flat 3-pin "V" plugs
Country code: +86
Area code: (0)10