Beijing travel card

Before your travel by public transportation at Beijing, you can buy a Beijing Transportation Smart Card to use on all of the subway trains, Airport Express Train, city busses and some taxis, just like the MetroCard in New York City and the Oyster Card in London. Whereas it doesn’t save you money taking the trains (though a lot of time queueing up for a ticket), on many busses it will give you a more favorable fare swiping your card (e.g. RMB 0,40 instead of the standard fare of RMB 1). Every one could apply for using the Transportation Smart Card at the ticket offices of all city subway stations, some bus main stations, supermarkets and post offices.  The user should put down a deposit of CNY20/card for the first time and add some value of no less than CNY20. The full deposit and the balance in the card could be refund at some stations.

       1. Beijing subway

The Beijing subway is one of the best transportations covering the central area and Beijing Capital International Airport. For your travel, please check online: Beijing Subway  and travel guide to typical attractions .  You can buy a one-trip ticket or the Beijing transportation card  at any station. The detail maps can be download from here. 

Beijing Subway Map (Both in Chinese and English)

Beijing Subway Map (English only)

    2. Taxi

There are more than 67,000 taxis in Beijing. Taxis are a convenient way to get around Beijing.
Basic rates:
10 yuan (within 3 kilometers) +2 yuan/km +2 yuan (5 am to 11 pm);
11 yuan (within 3 kilometers) +2 yuan/km +2 yuan + 20 percent (11 pm to 5 am)
It would be very difficult to find a foreigner in Beijing who doesn’t use the taxi system, so please:
(1) Try to know where you’re going; a map or a card with your destination is extremely helpful to the driver.
(2) Carry small change; your driver may not be able to give change for a 100-yuan note.
(3) Demand to use the taxi’s meter. Sit in the front seat to make hand gestures more visible, being aware of the seat belt.
(4) Say “tingche” to stop. Ask for your receipt by saying “fapiao”.
(5) Taxi Dispatch Center inquiry: +86 10 6837 3399.


3. Bus

Currently, there are over 1,000 bus routes in operation in Beijing. Public buses are identified either by numbers or Chinese characters. Generally speaking, the buses in downtown area are in operation from 05:30 until to 23:00. Some suburban lines may stop as early as around 18:00. The night lines of 201~215 serve from 23:00 to the next 04:30 or 05:00. All buses are charged by distance. The minimum charge is CNY 2 for the first 6mi (10km), and then an extra CNY 1 is added per additional 3mi (5km). Passengers paying by Beijing Transportation Smart Card enjoy 50% discount when taking buses in city downtown. They can enjoy 30% discount for taking some suburban buses. Children below 4ft (1.3m) can take all bus routes for free.
(1). If there are three gates on a bus, please embark using the middle gate and disembark from the other two gates.
(2). Those pay by a smart cards have to touch the card to the reader machine when one embarks on the bus and disembarks from the bus. At least CNY 1 should be kept on their smart cards for taking bus. If you forget to swipe your card when get off, it will be charged as the entire journey of the bus.
(3). Over payment by cash into the coin machine will not be refunded.

4. Trolley Sightseeing Bus

Three trolley sightseeing bus routes are in operation to serve tourists in the city nowadays. Line 1 & Line 2 both running in a loop, passed some famous attractions like Qianmen, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Beihai Park, Jingshan Park, the National Museum and Wangfujing Pedestrian Street.  Line 3 has double-decked buses, linking Summer Palace and Forbidden City by passing Ruins of Yuanmingyuan, Tsinghua & Peking University, National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), Deshengmen, Drum Tower. Besides, tourists can easily transfer to Line 1 and Line 2 at Shenwumen of the Forbidden City. A friendly bilingual (Chinese and English) audio tour guide on each bus introduces the passing attractions and their history. Maps of Beijing and travel guide handbooks are available onboard for tourists’ convenience.