Such a huge city like Beijing simply could not do without. An extensive public transport network. In the capital of China. Tourists can travel by metro, buses or taxis. The most convenient form of transport is a taxi. The most economical is a bus, and the fastest is the metro.
Where to buy tickets for public transport in Beijing?
Tickets for public transport (metro or city buses) can be bought at ticket offices located at each metro station and at ticket machines. Tickets are sold here not in paper, but in the form of plastic cards. When buying a ticket for 1 metro ride, you will need to return the ticket to a special device at the end of the trip: otherwise, you simply cannot get off the metro!
How much are public transport tickets in Beijing?
- The cost of one metro ride is 2 yuan ($ 0.3). An exception is the metro ride to the airport, which costs 25 RMB ($3.8).
- The cost of 1 bus ride is 1 yuan ($0.15).
As you can see, public transport in Beijing costs mere pennies. You can still save money by buying a Transportation Smart Card. Buying a travel card will suit you if you come to Beijing for a long time. And not for 2 – 3 days. The pass is valid on the metro. The Airport Express metro line. City buses and some taxis.
Important points to know about the Transportation Smart Card:
- The pass can be obtained by anyone without presenting a passport or any kind of identification. The pass is unnamed, and if you lose it, you will not be reimbursed for the balance on it.
- The travel card issued free of charge. But you must make a deposit of 20 yuan ($3). + the amount that will deduct from your travel pass. (at least 20 yuan ($3)). At the end of each trip by subway or bus in Beijing. Your pass will debit from the money you previously put in. The minimum amount that must credited on a bus pass is 1 yuan ($0.15), for a metro ticket – 3 yuan ($0.45).
- The pass can return if you no longer need it. And you will refund the amount of the deposit and the balance on the pass.
- The pass can buy at subway stations (from 05:00 to 23:00). At some bus stops (for example Beijing West Railway Station. West Railway Station, Capital Airport, and others). In supermarkets, Good Neighbor Supermarket, Post Office (09:00 to 17:00).
- The travel card must be applied to special readers. At the entrance and exit of the bus or metro.
- When using the pass. You will receive a 20% discount if you put on the card from 100 to 150 RMB ($15.2 – 22.8). Or a 50% discount if you put on the card from 150 to 400 Yuan ($22.8 – 60.8).
- The pass can only be used by one person at a time.
- The balance of the pass can checked. At the ticket offices at metro stations or in a special reader.
- The pass not accepted back at all points of sale. It is better to ask the seller about this.
The subway in Beijing is the fastest way. To get around the city without traffic jams. There are 17 metro lines in Beijing. But the local metro is expanding. The metro connects the city center. (Tiananmen Square, Qianmen, four Beijing stations). With the remote districts of Beijing. The metro operates from 05:00 to 23:00, although some stations close at 22:00.
I advise you to avoid traveling by subway during peak hours. From 7 to 9 am and from 5 to 8 pm. In addition to crowds of people, pickpockets are active at this time. The Beijing subway does not follow the rules of etiquette. Everyone enters and exits at random. So as you get closer to the stop where you need to get off. Stay closer to the exit. Otherwise, the crowd may not let you out of the car. The local metro lacks the concept of personal space. I attach the Beijing subway map with inscriptions in English below.
Important points to consider when traveling on the Beijing subway:
- Metro stations in Beijing indicated by a blue sign. With a D in the middle.
- Some stations are numbered. Others identify by the name of their final station.
- A child shorter than 130 cm cannot ride the subway on their own. When an adult travels in the metro with one child below 130 cm in height. The child travels for free.
- Each station has toilets (usually next to the ticket booths).
- The names of stations on the metro map are duplicated in English. In the metro they are announced first in Chinese, then in English.
- There can be many exits from one metro station. So if in doubt, it is better to contact the station staff so as not to go out on the wrong street and waste time.
Beijing attractions located near metro stations
- Guloudajie Metro Station, Line 2 – Bell and Drum Towers, Old Beijing District
- Yonghegong Subway Station, lines 2 and 5 – Yonghegong Tibetan Buddhist Temple, Guozijian Museum, Confucius Temple, Earth Temple
- Jianguomen Subway Station, Line 1 & 2 – Ancient Observatory, Xiushui Market
- Qianmen Subway Station Line 2 – Tiananmen Square, Dashanlan Shopping Street, Wangfujing Shopping Street
- Olympic park metro station, line 8 – Olympic Park with facilities built for the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008
- Tian’anmen East Metro Station, Line 1 – Forbidden City
- Beigongmen subway station, line 4 – summer palace
It is difficult to navigate the routes. All information on the buses. Including stops, announced only in Chinese. The bus is attractive for its extremely cheap fare – only 1 yuan ($0.15) per trip.
Bus hours: 05:30 to 23:30 (city center), 05:30 to 18:00 (suburban areas). Night bus routes operate from 23:00 to 04:30.
At the moment in Beijing there are more than 800 bus routes numbered from 1 to 998. Of these, buses numbered 201 to 215 are night routes. Buses 300 to 810 are routes from the city center to the outskirts. Buses №№ 900 – 998 – buses for long distances. (for example, from the center of Beijing to the Great Wall of China).
Dang-dang tourist bus
The legendary Dang-dang Chinese Tourist Buses. Depart daily from the city center. From 08:00 to 17:00 and take in the main attractions of Beijing. Buses leave every 5-10 minutes. The bus ticket costs 15 RMB ($2.3) if paid in cash and 10 RMB ($1.5) if you pay with the Transport Smart Card. This is a great chance to see Beijing for little money. On the bus, you will accompany by a guide during the trip. Who will announce attractions in Chinese and English.
Buses run on two excursion routes:
- Route 1 departs from Yongdingmen Tower. And passes through Qianmen, Tiananmen Square. Forbidden City, National Museum, Beihai Park and Jingshan Park.
- Route 2 starts from Qianmen. And passes through Qianmen, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City. Beihai Park, Jingshan Park and Wangfujing Shopping Street.
Taxi in Beijing
Taxi is without a doubt one of the most convenient modes. Of transportat in Beijing. It is highly discouraged to take a taxi during peak hours. As you are guaranteed to get stuck in traffic. Taxis in Beijing are modern and convenient.
Points to consider when traveling in a taxi in Beijing:
- Typically, you can catch a taxi anywhere in the city. Many taxi drivers do not understand English. So it is better to write down your destination in advance in Chinese.
- Make sure to get into an official taxi. With a roof sign and a driver registration card.
- Always take a check from the driver at the end of the trip. As the check contains all the ID data of the car. And you can return things if you suddenly forget them in the taxi.
- You can pay for the taxi ride with your Transport Smart Card.
- Downtime in traffic jams charged separately.
- At night – from 23:00 to 05:00 there is an increased tariff (+20%).
- The passenger pays separate for travel on high-speed roads and bridges.
For those who like to travel with comfort and without over payments. I would recommend ordering a taxi online. When ordering this taxi, you will not overpay for waiting time. Idle traffic jams or travel on bridges or high-speed roads. The fare will be fixed.