How to get from Beijing Airport into central Beijing

Beijing cityscape at night

Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) is located 32km northeast of Beijing’s centre, connected by a network of trains and buses as well as taxis. Whether you are beginning your visit to Beijing or just have a long layover between flights, Rome2rio has all the info you need to get from Beijing airport into China’s huge capital as quickly and easily as possible.

Beijing Airport code: PEK

What’s the best way to get to central Beijing from Beijing airport?

The quickest and cheapest way from Beijing airport is to take the Airport Express train and transfer to the subway for your final destination. 

What’s the easiest way to get to central Beijing from Beijing airport?

An official taxi is easy, especially if you have lots of luggage. And given Beijing’s cheap taxi rates, it’s relatively affordable. For the ultimate convenience, arrange a pickup with a car sent by your hotel. See taxi route map and prices here.

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Beijing Airport to Beijing by train

The Beijing Airport Express is a simple way to get to the city from the airport, and it links to the Beijing subway at both its two stops.

  • Trains depart from Terminal 2 from 6:35am to 11:10pm.
  • Trains depart from Terminal 3 from 6:20am to 10:50pm.
  • The first stop from the airport is Sanyuanqiao, which is on subway line 10 (note: maps always have the Roman characters in small type).
  • The second and last stop from the airport is Dongzhimen on subway lines 2 and 13. This is the most convenient stop for transferring to the subway to reach the central Beijing hotel areas. Trains take 30 minutes from T3 and 21 minutes from T2.
  • Trains run every 8 to 10 minutes.
  • The train fare is ¥25 (US$3.75); buy tickets from machines at the airport stations. They take cards or cash.
  • Fares on the Beijing subway are distance-based and run ¥3-5 (under US$1).
Beijing subway map
Beijing subway map – click to enlarge (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Plan your train journey from Beijing Airport via the Airport Express and subway

What’s Beijing Airport like?

Beijing Airport is the world’s second-busiest airport, handling almost 100 million passengers a year. It has three terminals (in descending order of importance):

  • Terminal 3: The world’s second-largest terminal building opened for the 2008 Olympics and handles most international and some domestic flights.
  • Terminal 2: Across from Terminal 3, this large facility handles most domestic and some international flights.
  • Terminal 1: Close to Terminal 2, this is the smallest and oldest terminal at BCIA and handles a limited number of domestic flights.

Whether you’re arriving or departing from BCIA, it’s important to know which terminal you’ll be using. All are connected by free 24-hour shuttles buses.

Getting from Beijing Airport to Beijing by taxi

  • There are taxi ranks at all three terminals.
  • Never go with a driver who offers a ride outside the official queue.
  • Make certain the taxi driver uses the meter.
  • Have the name of your hotel or destination written out in Chinese script, as few drivers speak English. The airport information desks can help with this.
  • Fares to central Beijing average ¥120-150 (US$18-23).
  • From 11pm to 5am there is a 20% surcharge.

Plan your taxi route from Beijing Airport to central Beijing here

TAXI TIP: Many Beijing hotels offer airport pickup for a fee starting at ¥300 (US$45). Drivers meet you in the arrivals areas with your name written on a sign and already know your destination. Arrange these rides in advance with your hotel.

Getting from Beijing Airport to Beijing by bus

There are 18 bus routes from Beijing Airport to greater Beijing; fares are payable in cash to the driver. Most serve areas of little interest to visitors – the bus network can be confusing and are best used by people already familiar with Beijing – but these two lines will likely be of most relevance: 

Line 3:

  • Serves Beijing Railway Station
  • Runs from all three terminals from 7am to midnight
  • Buses leave every 30 minutes
  • Travel time averages 1 hour depending on traffic
  • Fare: ¥30 (US$4.50)

Night Bus Express:

  • Serves the central commercial area of Xidan
  • Runs from Terminals 2 and 3 from 9pm to 4am
  • Buses leave when there are six passengers
  • Fare: ¥50 (US$7.50)

Plan your bus journey from Beijing Airport to Beijing here

What if I land at Nanyuan Airport?

The very small Beijing Nanyuan Airport (NAY) is 13km south of Tiananmen Square and is used by just a few domestic flights.

A shuttle bus runs to the subway stations at Xidan and Qianmen from 9am until the last flight. It costs ¥18 (under US$3) and takes up to 90 minutes.

A taxi to central Beijing costs ¥70-100 (US$10-15).

Plan your route from Nanyuan Airport to central Beijing

Enter your journey details into Rome2rio to find out which mode of transport is best for you.

Beijing National Stadium China at night
Beijing National Stadium (Credit: Wojtek Gurak/Foter)
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