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Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Travel Guide

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Travel Guide

Written by Sunny XieUpdated Jan. 18, 2022

Beijing, the capital of China, which is both a modern city and full of Chinese history and culture, is cooperating with its neighboring city, Zhangjiakou, a skiing paradise known mainly to Chinese skiers, to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

This grand event starts on February 4, which happens to be the traditional Chinese New Year period (from February 1, 2022) — China's biggest sporting event and biggest festival of the year at the same time! To attend the Games could be not just a sporting excitement treat but also a true experience of traditional celebrations.

Scroll down to find out interesting facts about the Winter Games, travel tips, and tour recommendations.

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Forbidden CityForbidden City

Top Facts on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

  • Chinese: 北京冬奥会 Běijīng Dōng'àohuì /bay-jing dong-ao-hway/ ‘Beijing Winter Olympics'
  • Locations: Central Beijing Cluster, Yanqing Cluster, Zhangjiakou Cluster
  • Venues: 12 competition venues, 3 training venues, 3 Olympic villages, 3 medals plazas, 3 media centers, and 1 ceremony venue
  • Dates: February 4–20, 2022
  • Events: 109 events in 15 disciplines (including 7 new events)
  • Suited to: anyone, especially sports lovers

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Top Reasons to Attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

  • Beijing is the world's first dual Olympic city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
  • To support the Winter Games, more iconic competition venues have been built and some expanded. These venues are worth a visit for their unique architectural design, complex constructions, low-carbon mandate, and environmental friendliness.
  • When the grand Winter Games meet the traditional Chinese New Year holiday, you will get a mixture of sporting excitement and cultural immersion.
A Beijing Opera Artist on the Great WallA Beijing Opera Artist on the Great Wall

Beijing Winter Weather and What to Bring

Both Beijing and Zhangjiakou are located in north China where the weather is dry, sunny, and very cold in February. The average temperatures in February in the city areas are around -5–3°C (23–37°F), while in the ski resorts, temperatures are around -10°C (14°F) and frequently drop below -20°C (-4°F). 

Beijing weather in February

What to Bring for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics?

Packing for a tour mainly depends on the places and activities involved, but normally a thick sweater, winter coats, warm trousers and boots, hats, gloves, and a scarf are needed.

Bring a swimming suit if your schedule includes a hot spring experience.

Recommended Beijing 2022 Tours:
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Beijing 2022 Schedule (Version 12) — Choose Your Days to Attend

The 2022 Winter Olympics, with a total of 109 events in 15 disciplines, will be held in three competition clusters: Beijing Cluster, Yanqing Cluster, and Zhangjiakou Cluster.

Six competition venues in Beijing Cluster, four Beijing 2008 legacy venues, and two newly-built venues, will host all the ice events and two snow sports — snowboarding and freestyle skiing.

Two newly-built competition venues in the Yanqing Cluster will host the alpine skiing, bobsleigh, and luge competitions.

Other snow events will be undertaken in four competition venues in the Zhangjiakou Cluster.

Here's the schedule (Version 12 is still subject to change till the final version is released) for the 109 events taking place during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Choose the days of action you are interested in.

Click the picture to enlarge it.

Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Schedule (Version 12)
Recommended Winter Games Tours:

6 Top Things to Do during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

1) Explore the Highlights of Beijing City

Winter may not be the best time to visit Beijing, but you might encounter occasional snow scenes and fewer tourists could provide a more enjoyable experience.  

Consider staying overnight in Gubei Water Town during winter to appreciate night views of the Great Wall and soak yourself in the hot springs of the retreat.

Wander in the Forbidden City at a more leisurely pace, and explore the hidden treasures in this best-preserved imperial palace in China.

Take a rickshaw through the narrow lanes and discover old Beijing and its local life in the hutongs.

Enjoy some evening entertainment — either a Beijing Opera or Kungfu Show to add culture to your Beijing tour.

The Forbidden CityThe Forbidden City

2) Appreciate the Iconic Olympic Venues

Some of this Olympics' competition venues have been built or expanded to support the hosting of Beijing 2022. Among them, the following venues are worth a visit for their unique style.

The National Stadium in central Beijing, known as the Bird's Nest, will host the opening and closing ceremonies for Beijing 2022.

The National Aquatics Centre in central Beijing, once nicknamed the “Water Cube” but now the “Ice Cube”, will stage the curling events during the Games.

Shougang Big Air, resembling a ribbon floating in the Beijing sky, will hold the freestyle skiing and snowboarding big air events.

The National Sliding Centre, like a huge golden dragon winding over Xiaohaituo Mountain in Yanqing District, will host the bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge events.

The National Ski Jumping Centre, nicknamed "Snow Ruyi" for its design resembling a ruyi sceptre (a spoon-like Chinese talisman with a bulbous raised head), will take on the ski jumping and Nordic combined events.

Ice Cube or National Aquatics CentreNational Aquatics Centre

3) Watch a Competition Event and Cheer on Your Beloved Team/Athletes

To watch a competition event is the priority for most of the upcoming Winter Olympics travel. See the above table for an early indication of when your favorite events will occur.

Tickets for Beijing 2022 are not yet officially released [September 2021] but are set to cost from 50 to 4,882 CNY (approximately 8–787 USD) per ticket.

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4) Go Skiing Like an Olympic Athlete in Zhangjiakou

Just watching the Games may not satisfy you, so why not do some winter sports yourself and experience the fun and speed?

Zhangjiakou boasts some excellent ski resorts and has become one of the paradises for skiers in China for its abundant snow, first-class facilities, high-end hotels, and good quality service.

Guilin Hotel upgrade

Due to their being in one of the three competition clusters for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the popular ski resorts in Zhangjiakou will only open to visitors for two months in 2021, from early November to late December.

For those who want to experience the Olympic venues in advance of the Games, take your opportunity while you can and contact us to make a reservation.

Skiing Resort near BeijingSkiing Resort near Beijing

5) Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important and most celebrated festival in China.

The next Chinese New Year Festival falls on February 1st of 2022, only 3 days prior to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. Celebrations last for half a month till the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month on February 15th, 2022).

To celebrate, houses and streets are decorated with red lanterns and doors with red couplets. Family members get together to have a Chinese New Year's Eve meal and watch the Spring Festival Gala on TV during the countdown to the new year when they set off fireworks. Kids and seniors receive red envelopes to express good wishes. From Chinese New Year's Day, people attend different temple fairs with a variety of traditional entertainments, like lion dances and puppet shows.

Temple Fair at Gubei Water TownTemple Fair at Gubei Water Town

6) Extend Your Trip to Other Popular Cities

February is not just about coldness in China. Being such a vast country, you may also find spring-like scenery in Yunnan Province, summery beaches in Hainan Province, tropical rainforests in Xishuangbanna, etc.

Many festivals, including Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and the Lusheng Festival of the Miao Minority, are celebrated in February. It is a prime time to learn about Chinese traditions and cultures.

If this will be your first time visiting China, you should visit the most popular cities like Xi'an (a window on China's ancient civilization), Guilin (picturesque scenery and minority culture), Chengdu (the hometown of giant pandas), Shanghai (China's largest and showiest city) for a truly enviable tour of China.

Or, whatever you are interested in, just contact our travel experts to tailor-make a China tour that meets your needs.

Terracotta Army in XianTerracotta Army in Xian
Recommended China Tours:

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Transportation

Getting to Beijing and Zhangjiakou

Beijing, with a highly developed transportation system, is the biggest transportation hub in China.

Two huge international airports, Beijing Capital International Airport and Daxing International Airport provide the biggest convenience for people to enter China and get to Beijing. Bullet trains provide great convenience too.

Zhangjiakou Ningyuan Airport was rebuilt and expanded for the Winter Games, connecting Zhangjiakou with major tourist cities like Xi'an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, KunmingShenzhen, etc.

A Flight with Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics MascotA Flight with Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Mascot

Traveling between Competition Clusters

With the operation of the newly built Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway, the travel time between the competition clusters has shortened to an hour. The bullet trains are intelligently equipped with 5G Wi-Fi, wireless charging, photochromic windows, storage areas for ski equipment, etc., and are highly user-friendly.

In addition, a new expressway, Yanchong Expressway (Beijing–Yanqing–Zhangjiakou) is now in full operation, shortening the transit time from 3½ hours to only 2½ hours between the Beijing Cluster and Zhangjiakou Cluster. It is especially convenient to drive from Yanqing Cluster to Zhangjiakou Cluster in only an hour. The expressway is designed to serve the Olympics and is decorated with Olympic rings and colors along the way.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics MapBeijing 2022 Winter Olympics Map

Transportation between Venues

The over 30 subway lines in Beijing including special Olympic lanes, together with Olympic bus lines and stations, will be set up to serve the Winter Games. Some hotels may also offer fixed-time shuttle buses.

China Highlights provides convenient and efficient private transfers with an English-speaking guide service, which would be the most hassle-free way to get between venues. 

Recommended China Tours:

Hotels for the 2022 Winter Olympics  

Most people choose to stay in the Qianmen Area or Wangfujing Area in Beijing for tour purposes. For convenience attending the Games, however, you may consider the North Star Yayuncun Hotel Beijing and the North Star Continental Grand Hotel in the Olympic Green Area. Rooms are expected to be in high demand, and room rates would therefore be comparatively higher than those in other areas.

Olympic GreenOlympic Green

You do not have many choices of hotels in the Yanqing Cluster, but staying in Beijing would be fine, since the driving distance is within 1½ hours and it's only 20 minutes away by bullet train. But, if you choose to stay there, consider the Crowne Plaza Beijing Badaling and Holiday Inn Express Beijing Badaling, which are close to the National Sliding Centre.

For attending the Games in the Zhangjiakou Cluster, you may choose to stay in the Holiday Inn Express Zhangjiakou Park View, an official Olympic hotel located in downtown Zhangjiakou, about an hour's drive from the competition venues in Zhangjiakou. Or you may consider staying in one of the ski resorts near the venues with plenty of choices of hotels, but for sure, the room rates will be very high.  

China Highlights is cooperating with hotels in Beijing and Zhangjiakou that cater to international customers with high-quality service. We encouraged you to contact our hotel expert for a suitable hotel.

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Travel with China Highlights for a Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Tour

As one of China's biggest travel and tour companies, China Highlights has specialized in private China tours for over 20 years. We can assist you in customizing a once-in-a-lifetime Winter Olympics tour. Our experienced English-speaking guides will provide you not only insights into the exciting moments of the Winter Games but also bring you in touch with Chinese traditions and culture.

Here is a selection of our popular winter tours for inspiration:

All our tour suggestions can be customized as we believe you deserve a tailor-made Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics tour!

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