In this article we list 4 options, along with their associated costs, for getting to Beijing city center, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City from Beijing Capital International Airport.
Where is Beijing City Center in Relation to the Airport?
Beijing International Capital Airport (IATA: PEK), the one most foreign tourists arrive at, is 32 km (20 miles) northeast of the city center. The airport is connected to Beijing city by airport express train, shuttle bus and taxi services.Beijing has a hub-and-spoke layout focused on its center, including the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen Square area. Downtown is inside the 2nd ring road and the urban area is between the 2nd and 5th ring roads.
By Airport Express Train (cost 29 yuan/about $4.3)
There is an Airport Express Train connecting Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing city center.
It starts from T3 (Terminal 3) and passes through T2. Within 6 minutes it reaches its terminus Dongzhimen, from where you can change to line 2, which is a circuit line going around the city center. Get off at Qianmen (cost 4 yuan/about $0.6). Then you are at Beijing’s city center, and Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City will be within walking distance.
Beijing Airport Express Train Essentials
- Ticket Fare: 25 yuan ($3.7), while the rest of the subway lines in Beijing range from 3 yuan to a maximum of 9 yuan
- Operating Times: 06:22-22:52 PEK T3 to Dongzhimen; 06:00-22:30 Dongzhimen to PEK T3
- Frequency: every 12 minutes
- 4-Day Beijing Private Tour to Visit the Great Wall at Night
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By Airport Shuttle Bus (cost 29 yuan/about $4.3)
The shuttle buses at Beijing Capital International Airport operate 13 routes heading to different areas in the city. Tourists who wish to go to Beijing downtown should take route No. 3 heading to Beijing Railway Station. You can get off at either Dongzhimen (cost 25 yuan) or Beijing Railway Station (cost 30 yuan). Then take subway line 2 at either of the two stops and get off at Qianmen to reach Beijing’s city center.
Beijing Airport Shuttle Bus Essentials
- Frequency: No. 3 Airport Shuttle Bus runs every 30 minutes from 05:30 to 21:00.
- Time: The bus trip to the city center will normally take around an hour.
- Ticket Counter: Shuttle bus ticket counters are on the ground floor of the airport, near Gates 7 and 9 in T3, Gate 11 in T2 and Gate 7 in T1.
- Night Shuttle：There are also night shuttle buses to the city center between 21:00 and 04:00. They depart any time there are more than 6 passengers on the bus, though the fare is higher, around 50 yuan (about $7.5).
By Taxi (cost 100-150yuan/$15-22)
The starting price of Beijing taxis is 13 yuan ($2). To get a taxi from Beijing Capital International Airport to Beijing city center, e.g. Tiananmen Square, normally takes about an hour (if there are no traffic controls or jams). It costs around 100 yuan ($15) by day, inclusive of toll fee, and around 150 yuan ($22) by night, because of the night service surcharge after 11 pm.
By Private Transfer Service
The most convenient way of getting from Beijing International Airport to Beijing city is by private transfer service. In this case you don’t have to queue for a taxi at the airport, which during weekends and holidays can take a while.
We provide you with a private English-speaking guide who will wait for you at the airport arrivals hall and be prepared to offer assistance with luggage and any unforeseen visa or customs problems. An experienced driver with a private, spacious car will also be at your service.
Private transfer service can be FREE. Just contact us and book a Beijing tour in advance. Transfer is included in our professional tour services and the tours are quite affordable.
Our popular Beijing Tours:
- 1 Day Beijing Great Wall Layover Tour(10 hours Layover): Make the most of your time to visit the Great Wall.
- 1 Day Beijing Forbidden City + Great Wall Highlights Tour(15 hours Layover): Specially designed to be flexible, you will explore the Great Wall, Tian’anmen Square, and the Forbidden City.
- 4 Day Private Emperor's Tour of Beijing: classic Beijing Tour