Beijing - Essential Information

Beijing Capital International Airport

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 comfortable 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
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Public Transport

The subway is the best way to move around the city and avoid traffic jams in Beijing. Currently, there are 17 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. 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.
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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 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." 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. Tel No. +86 10 6835 1150.
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