There are several options for getting between Beijing's nearby airports and the city center. You can use the subway system, the bus system, private transportation or cabs that are available for passengers.
I tell you a little more about each of the options you have to get to the city center and start enjoying the best things to see and do in Beijing.
The private transfer, for more comfort and exclusivity
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to move from any airport to the city of Beijing are private transfers. This type of transfer can be booked online and is one of the best ways to overcome the language barrier.
With this type of transfer, your private driver will be waiting for you at the air terminal where you are going to arrive to take you to your next destination in the city.
You can hire this type of transfer at any of the two airports located in the vicinity of Beijing: Beijing International Airport or Beijing Daxing Airport, which is the new airport located in the vicinity of the city.
- Travel time: from 45 minutes to one hour and 20 minutes, depending on the airport from which your transfer departs. From Beijing Daxing Airport it may take a little longer.
- Price: between 30 and 60 euros, depending on the number of people you are traveling with.
- Advantages of using this method: you can hire it online, you will not have to wait at the airport and you will not have problems with the amount of luggage.
- How to book this method of transportation: online at the website where the service is offered and make the reservation. Once you are in Beijing, you will only have to look for the person who will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to the city.
- Recommended if... You feel that language is a barrier and you want to travel comfortably.
The train, the fastest option
If what you are looking for is an easy and above all very fast way to get from the airport to the city center, your option will be the train. But, in this case, the train works differently depending from which airport you want to get to the city center.
Beijing International Airport
In the case of Beijing International Airport, you have the option of the Airport Express, whose terminals and lines connect directly with the city and with the subway lines that operate within it.
This train route has four stops: Terminal 3, Terminal 2, Sanyuanqiao and Dongzhimen. The train departs daily from the first station and, after a few minutes, passes through Terminal 2. Both terminals are located in the vicinity of the airport, so it is some of these two where you would have to board your transportation.
Once you exit this pair of terminals, you will continue to the next two stations, which are the ones that go into the city of Beijing and link to the subway lines that operate within the city.
Andressa's Traveller Tip
If you are carrying a lot of luggage, I recommend you not to board the train during rush hour because it will be very difficult to carry your bags in the midst of so many people.
Beijing Daxing Airport
One of the advantages of the new Beijing Daxing Airport is that you can go from the airport to the city center using the bullet train.
To board the bullet train you will have to go to the second floor of the airport, but not before going to the second floor to buy your train tickets. Once you have your ticket, you can board the train in the category of your choice, whether it is economy class, first class or business class.
The Intercity Beijing-Xiong'an bullet train connects the airport with the Beijing West Railway Station. To go to the center from this train terminal you have two options: by cab or by train, which will take a little longer to reach Tiananmen Square, from where you can visit the Lost City.
Details of interest
- Duration: if your arrival area is Beijing International Airport, approximately 25 minutes. If your arrival airport is Beijing-Daxing, it will take about 40 minutes to reach the city center if you continue on the subway lines or longer if you go by car.
- Price: trains departing from Beijing International Airport can cost about 3.30 euros per ticket. In the case of the train lines operating in the Beijing-Daxing, you will have to pay between 2.20 and 3.80 euros per person.
- Advantages of using this method: it is a really fast means of transportation.
- How to book this method of transportation: you will have to buy tickets at the train station or at the airport itself if the train terminal operates there.
- Recommended if... You are traveling with little time to the city of Beijing and you want to arrive early to the center.
A shuttle bus, the city's shuttle bus
Another really affordable option to get from the airport to the city of Beijing is to get on a city bus, also known as a Shuttle Bus.
One of the things you need to know about this type of transportation is that neither the drivers nor the passengers on this type of bus usually speak English, so maybe the language is a barrier for you in this case. In any case, it will be useful for you to know the lines that can work for you to get to the city center.
- From Beijing International Airport you will be able to find at least 16 bus lines that will take you to the city center. In fact, some of them work during the night.
- If you travel from Beijing Daxing Airport you have the opportunity to reach the city center thanks to the six urban transport lines that you can find at the airport. And the advantage they have is that there is even an exclusive night line, which works until the last flight arriving each night at the airport.
- Duration: from 50 to 90 minutes, depending on the line you use and also from the airport from which you depart.
- Price: between 2 and 4 euros to use the bus service, the price varies depending on the line and the airport from which you depart.
- Advantages of using this method: it allows you to better appreciate the scenery between the airport and the city center, you can say that it is a kind of tour before starting to know the city in form.
- How to book this method of transportation: you will have to buy your tickets at the airport ticket office.
- Recommended if... You want to enjoy all the scenery the city has to offer.
A cab or an Uber, a quick option
You should carry the address of your hotel or place you want to get to in the center in Chinese because, otherwise, the drivers will not understand you. You also have to know that to get into a cab or uber, you should bring yuan with you if you want to pay in cash, because they will not accept any foreign currency.
In addition, you should take into consideration that there is usually a lot of demand for these services at the airport, so you may have to wait a bit to get into a car and continue to your destination.
Similarly, it is important that you know how to identify when it is an official car and when it is not. To know this you can look at the stickers that the car should have. This way you will avoid bad experiences.
Details of interest
- Duration: about 50 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the traffic conditions at the time of your trip.
- Price: about 15 to 20 euros, depending also on the amount of luggage you bring with you.
- Advantages of using this method: more privacy.
- Disadvantages: there are no fixed rates for this service and you will have to pay more for the nights .
- How to book this method of transportation: if you use an uber you can enter any app of this type of service that is functional in China. Although the most traditional option is to arrive at the airport and look for the cab area.
- Recommended if... You want to travel in comfort, you know exactly where you are going and you don't care how long it takes to get to the center.
Transfer by Metro from Beijing Daxing Airport
The subway from the new Beijing Daxing Airport is one of the most used by locals and visitors to go downtown.
To use it you will have to board an Airport Express train from Beijing Daxing Airport to Caoqiao train station and from there you will have to change to line 4 to go to Jiaomen West, where you will board the train to Xidan.
Finally, at Xidan you will board the train to the last stop which is Tiananmen West in the city center.
Details of interest
- Duration: just over an hour to complete the whole tour.
- Price: about 4.30 euros to do the whole tour.
- Advantages of using this method: you will get to know most of the subway lines and you will become much more familiar with this means of transport that you may use many more times during your stay in the city.
- Disadvantage: you will have to transfer several times.
- How to book this method of transportation: you will have to buy tickets on the first level of the airport and then go to the second level to board the train.
- Recommended if... You want to live a very Beijing experience from the moment you arrive in the city.
- Private transfer
- Recommended if you have a problem with languages
- Price: between 30 and 60 euros
- Duration: between 45 and 80 minutes
- Booked online prior to the trip
- Recommended if you want to get to the city center quickly
- Price: between 2,20 and 3,80 Euros
- Duration: between 25 and 40 minutes
- Tickets can be purchased at the station or airport.
- Shuttle bus
- Recommended if you want to appreciate the scenery
- Price: between 2 and 4 euros
- Duration: between 50 and 90 minutes
- Tickets can be purchased at the airport ticket office.
- Cab or Uber
- Like the private transfer but no need to book in advance
- Price: between 15 and 20 euros
- Duration: between 50 and 90 minutes
- Book through the app or by going to the airport cab area.
- Only available at Beijing Daxing Airport.
- Price: about 4.30 euros.
- Duration: about 1 hour
- Buy tickets at the first level of the airport.