Beijing Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Sightseeing buses in Beijing are a popular choice for visitors who wish to explore the city. With these routes you will be able to see many of Beijing's highlights.

Andressa García

Andressa García

8 min read

Beijing Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Pekin | ©Goodfreephotos

Some of these tour buses can operate as a package tour that includes transportation, tickets and tour guides, touring iconic sites such as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Chinese Wall, Tiananmen Square, and other tourist attractions. There is no doubt that getting to know the city aboard a tourist bus is one of the best things you can see and do in Beijing.

The best tourist buses in the city

Sightseeing bus| ©zoesfolks
Sightseeing bus| ©zoesfolks

In Beijing there are two ways to get around the city by making use of the tourist buses:

  • One of the tour bus routes is Beijing Bus Tours, which offers you a choice of two routes that will take you all over the city.
  • The second way to tour the capital of China, is by means of those buses that offer urban and suburban tour packages, to visit some of the most popular places of interest in the city.

One of the most outstanding features of these tour buses is that you will not only be able to see the monuments and places of interest, but you will also be able to enjoy different audio and video guides throughout the tour, to learn about the historical and cultural details of each of these sites to visit during the tour.

Beijing Bus Tours

The Beijing Bus Tour is the tourist bus of the city, which takes you to visit some of the most interesting places in the city, and is distributed in three tourist lines or routes, known as the Beijing Sightseeing Bus Line 1, 2 and 3.

This bus consists of 12 stops that go from Huizhong Li to Qian Men, which is equal to an approximate length of 24.4 kilometers, so you will have the opportunity to tour the entire city in a very practical way because you can get on and off as many times as you want.

Something that is interesting, because not in every city in the world happens, is that the bus driver acts as a tour guide and will introduce you and talk about the picturesque places through which you will pass. The disadvantage in this case is that you will be able to listen to the information in both English and Chinese, but not in Spanish.

Beijing Tour Bus Center or Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch

If what you are looking for is a more personalized and dedicated tour of the city of Beijing, then I recommend you to take the Beijing Tour Bus Center as it not only offers different stops to get on and off as many times as you want, but you can also choose to do different tours, from general sightseeing tours to more specialized excursions on the culture and history of the city.

With this tour bus you will also have the company of professional guides who will give you the information you want to know about the city and its history.

These tour buses offer tours by routes, such as the world cultural tourist sites, the urban route and the suburban route, and some even allow you to book a bus transfer to the Great Wall


Book the bus transfer to the Great Wall

Different Beijing sightseeing bus routes

Forbidden City| ©cattan2011
Forbidden City| ©cattan2011

The tourist buses that offer a Hop On Hop Off service have three lines that are distributed in at least 12 stops where you can get on and off as many times as you want. These tourist buses in the city have the advantage of offering day and night routes, that is why I will explain in detail how each one works.

Beijing Bus Tours Daytime Lines

There are three daytime tour bus routes that will take you on one of the best tours in Beijing. Generally these buses start working from 8:00 to 17:30, every day.

These routes offer an approximate frequency of 5 to 10 minutes in each case, although it may vary according to the day and the season of the year.

As for the places you will be able to visit aboard these daytime routes, you have to know that some of them are:

Beijing Bus Tours Night Lines

On the other hand, you will have the chance to see the city from another perspective if you ride the Beijing Bus Tours night lines, one of the best things to see and do in Beijing at night. Their operating hours are between 18:00 and 21:30 every night. All three lines have their arrival point at Qianmen.

The best thing about these bus lines is that as soon as you get on them you will have the opportunity to see the whole city under the typical night lights, LED lighting and moonlight. It is quite a sight to see Beijing at night.

The places to visit on lines 1, 2 and 3 are the following:

  • China World Trade Center CBD
  • CITIC Tower
  • Zhongnanhai
  • China People's Revolution Military Museum
  • Tiananmen
  • Great Hall of the People
  • Beijing Railway Station
  • Tianqiao
  • China World Trade Center CBD
  • Guijie Night Market
  • Sanlitun Commercial Area
  • Shichahai

Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch's World Cultural Sites Tour Route

On this route you will have the opportunity to see the most interesting cultural and tourist sites in and around Beijing. Among the places you can visit on this route are the Badaling Great Wall, which is one of the sites you should visit on your trip, the Ming Tombs and the Summer Palace.

The time interval in which each of these routes departs is about 15 to 25 minutes, while the departure time of each route may vary according to weather conditions and the season of the year.

Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch Suburban Tour Routes

Suburban sightseeing routes are available at certain times of the year only, which is generally during April 15 and July 15. The best thing about these routes is that they take you to sites outside the city, including:

  • The ShiDu
  • Gushan Village
  • The Great Huanghuacheng Wall
  • The Eastern Royal Tombs of the Qing Dynasty
  • The Great Wall of Mutianyu
  • Longqing Gorge.

Each of these places are visited on a different route. Because they are direct routes from the city of Beijing to the final destination outside the city. Generally these buses usually depart from the starting point in Xuanwumen or the headquarters of Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch, directly to the place you are going to visit.

Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch City Sightseeing Routes

Urban sightseeing tours are another of the most sought-after tours in the city, and you'll love hopping on one of them because they will take you to see some of the most iconic sights and monuments within Beijing's city limits. In this case, there are a total of five routes that work for urban destinations.

These routes take you to see sites such as:

  • Peking University
  • Singhua University
  • The Water Cube
  • The Bird's Nest
  • The Fuguo Underwater World
  • Temple of Heaven
  • Prince Gong's Mansion
  • The Ancient Summer Palace
  • Tiananmen
  • The Imperial Palace
  • The Summer Palace
  • Bird's Nest
  • The Water Cube
  • Prince Gong Mansion
  • Hutong
  • Beihai Park
  • The National Grand Theater
  • Lama Yonghe Temple
  • Fuguo Underwater World

Book a Beijing tour

How long is the full tour of the sightseeing bus?

Clock| ©Cats Coming
Clock| ©Cats Coming

The duration time of the full Beijing sightseeing bus tour may vary depending on the route and traffic conditions. However, in general, it is estimated that each full route will take about two and a half to three hours to complete.

It is also important to note that the amount of time each route takes may vary according to the number of stops and sights included in each particular route. In the case of the Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch routes, the duration of each route depends on the distance of each place of interest from the city of Beijing.

What I will see from the tourist bus

Temple of Heaven| ©m w
Temple of Heaven| ©m w

Everything you see on the sightseeing bus route depends on the route you choose to take, whether you get on the multi-stop bus or the specific sightseeing route bus. But you will almost always go to see popular sites in the city including the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall of China, and some historic neighborhoods such as the Hutong Quarter.

Remember that some of these places you can learn more about by hiring a tour of Beijing with the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

Some tourist buses offer specific tours to see impressive structures that stand in the center of the city and that stand out for their architectural beauty. On the other hand, by boarding the routes that offer trips outside the city, you will have the opportunity to see other sites that are less visited by tourists, but are still really interesting and worth seeing and visiting.

Book a Beijing tour

How much does the tourist bus ticket cost?

Money in Euros| ©Ibrahim Boran
Money in Euros| ©Ibrahim Boran

The ticket price for the different sightseeing buses may vary according to each of the routes. In the case of the Beijing Bus Tours routes, the approximate price of the tickets is about 2 to 4 euros to get on to enjoy all the stops of the bus system, the price difference is going to depend on the route you choose, whether it is route 1, 2 or 3.

Of course the night lines also have a different price than the rest of the routes. So the price can range between 4 and 6 euros depending on the route and the schedule you work. In the case of tourist bus routes with a fixed destination, prices may vary a little more according to the distance between the city and the places of interest.

Tourist bus schedules

Streets of Beijing| ©Pierre Metivier
Streets of Beijing| ©Pierre Metivier

The routes may have different schedules to operate. In the case of Beijing Bus Tours daytime routes:

  • Between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm during peak season, which is between April 15 and October 15, approximately.
  • Between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm and between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm during low season, which is between October 15 and April 14.

In the case of the specific travel routes, the schedules usually work in a very varied way, taking into account that these are routes that take you to specific places outside and inside the city. In that sense, the departure times of these routes are located between 6:00 and 10:30 on some routes, while on other routes they may operate between 8:30 and 11:00.

The buses of the urban transport usually leave generally at 8:30, while those of the suburban transport usually leave around 9:30 in most cases, and regardless of the season of the year.

How the tourist bus works

Jinshanling Great Wall| ©Laurel F
Jinshanling Great Wall| ©Laurel F

The operation of the tourist bus is very simple, although it may vary on each of the bus routes. Normally in this type of bus you can get on and off the vehicle as many times as you want, which gives you the opportunity to explore the places you are most interested in and want to see.

The experience usually includes an audio guide that gives you all the historical and cultural information about the places visited. Although in the case of the tourist buses that take you to the most famous places in the world, they usually also offer the service of a specialized guide.