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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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