8 distretti sono vicini il centro cittadino:
Altri 8 distretti sono notevolmente più lontani dal centro:
Eccezion fatta per Mentougou, questi distretti erano prima del 1988 contee al di fuori dei limiti amministrativi della città di Pechino.
Il modo più economico per raggiungere il centro è l'airport shuttle (tel. +86 10 64594375/64594376). Esistono diverse linee che collegano l'aeroporto con le varie zone di Pechino. Gli autobus partono ogni 10-30 minuti e il biglietto di andata costa ¥16. Sul sito è disponibile la mappa dei collegamenti. Seguite le indicazioni degli autobus (机场巴士 Jīchǎng Bāshì) per prendere la giusta direzione:
L'autobus pubblico #359 parte dall'aeroporto per Dongzhimen, dove c'è la stazione della metro 2 e 13, ma non è un collegamento veloce e conveniente.
Numerosi ostelli e alberghi lussuosi dispongono di servizio shuttle. Informatevi prima se anche il vostro albergo offre questo tipo di servizio.
Pechino ha diverse stazioni dei treni. La maggior parte dei treni arriva alla Stazione Centrale o alla Stazione Ovest.
La metro è un mezzo eccellente per muoversi in modo veloce. Al momento a Pechino esistono 4 linee:
Le entrate della metro sono identificate da una grande lettera B di colore blu e una piccola lettera D.
I biglietti si acquistano presso gli sportelli. Ricordatevi che se desiderate due biglietti non indicate usando il pollice e l'indice (significherebbe 8 e non 2) perché in Cina i numeri mostrati con le dita hanno significato diverso.
I biglietti per la Linea 1 e 2 costano ¥3 e lo scambio tra queste due linne è incluso nel prezzo. Per la Linea 13 il costo del bilgietto è di ¥3 e per la Linea Batong è di ¥2. Se dovete effettuare uno scambio dalla Linea 13 o Linea Batong prendete il biglietto per questa combinazione (Linea 2 e 13 costa: ¥5, Linea 1 e Batong costa: ¥4).
Tutte le linee usano biglietti cartacei, eccetto la Linea 13 che ha i biglietti magnetici. Se trasbordate dalla Linea 13 alla 2, dovete cambiare il biglietto magnetico con quello cartaceo nelle cabine prima delle barriere automatiche.
Esiste anche un nuovo sistema di biglietti prepagati (一卡通 Yīkātōng). La carta costa ¥20 e tutte le corse poi costano ¥3. Può essere usata anche per le riduzioni dei biglietti degli autobus.
Once known as a nation of bicycles, China today has a growing number of private car owners. Still, you are guaranteed to see more bikes than anywhere else in your life. Exploring Beijing on a bike is excellent since the city is flat as a pancake, and all major streets have bike lanes. Bicycling is often faster than car, taxi or bus because of the traffic congestion in the motorized traffic lanes.
Four-wheeled motorized traffic in Beijing usually observes traffic signals with the exception of making turns on red lights which is often done without slowing or deferring to pedestrians or bicyclists. Pedestrians, bicycles and all other vehicles (for example, motorized bicycles, mopeds and tricycles) generally do not observe traffic signals. Also, cars, trucks and buses do not defer to bicyclists on the road so it is common for a vehicle to make a right turn from an inside lane across a bike lane with no concern for bicyclists traveling in the bike lane. Sometimes a right-turning vehicle crossing a bike lane will sound its horn as a warning, but not always. Bicyclists also need to be on the lookout for wrong-way traffic in the bike lanes, usually bicycles and tricycles but sometimes motor vehicles, too. Wrong-way traffic usually stays close to the curb so you move to the left to get by them, but not always. Helmets are not worn by bicycling Beijingers. Nor are lights used at night with few bikes even having rear reflectors. The moderate pace and sheer numbers of bicyclists in Beijing appears to make bike travel safer than it would be otherwise.
While you will see bicyclists use many creative paths across wide, busy intersections in Beijing, the safest way for bicyclists is to observe the traffic signals (there are often special signals for bicyclists) and to make left turns in two steps as a pedestrian would. But if you spend any significant amount of time bicycling in Beijing, you will probably start adopting more creative approaches. These can be learned by finding a local bicyclist going your way and following him or her across the intersection.
Several professional bike rental companies, as well as major hotels and some hostels, rent bikes on an hourly basis. For those who need the security of a guide, a bike touring company like Bicycle Kingdom Rentals & Tours  would be a great way to go.
If you are staying more than a few days a reasonable bike can be bought for ¥300. Ensure that you have a good lock included in the price no matter how cheap the bike as I have seen even a $10 bike disappear from local bars. The cheapest bikes are not worth the additional savings as you will get what you pay for. The cheapest bikes will start to deteriorate as soon as you begin to ride, so spend a little more and get a bike in the 300-400 range. I am sure that you can get a bike for less, but I got a "Giant" brand bike with a heavy duty lock and basket for ¥350. Bike rentals may have good bikes, but you pay a high price and run the risk of the bike being stolen.
Beijing's bus system is cheap, convenient and covers the entire city—perfect for locals but, alas, difficult to use if you don't understand Chinese. The bus staff speak little English, and only a few bus lines in the city center broadcast stop names in English. Bus stop signs are also entirely in Chinese. But should you speak Chinese or have a healthy sense of adventure, a bus can get you almost anywhere, and often somewhere that you never intended to go: it's a great way to see parts of the city that tourists normally don't visit.
A flurry of shiny new buses have arrived on the streets in preparation for the Olympics. Many buses now feature air-conditioning (heating in winter), TVs, a scrolling screen that displays stops in Chinese, and a broadcast system that announces stops. If you are having problems navigating the bus system, call the English-speaking operators at the Beijing Public Transportation Customer Helpline (96166).
Warning: Beijing buses can get very crowded so be prepared and keep an eye on your valuables. Many pickpockets frequent buses and subways, so carry backpacks in the front, and try to put your valuables somewhere hard to access. Be aware of a scam offering bus rides to the Great Wall masquerading as the real bus service. Instead of directly driving to the Great Wall, you will instead be led to a series of tours to dilapidated theme parks, tourist shops, museums, etc before finally reaching the Great Wall near the end of the day.
Bus lines are numbered from 1-999. Buses under 300 serve the city center. Buses 300 and up run between the city center and more distant areas (such as beyond the Third Ring Road). Buses in the 900s connect Beijing with its "rural" districts (i.e., Changping, Yanqing, Shunyi, etc) that are not considered part of Beijing proper.
Full maps of the system are available only in Chinese. The Beijing Public Transport Co.  website has limited information in English, but the Chinese version has a very helpful routing service with an interactive map. You can input your starting point and your ending point and see all the bus routes that will get you from A to B, look up a bus route by number, or input a place name and see all the routes that go stop there.
Fares and operating hours
Most buses with a line number under 200 run daily from 5:00 to 23:00. Buses with a line number greater than 300 run from 6:00 till 20:00-22:00. All buses with a line number in the 200s are night buses. Many routes get very crowded during rush hours (6:30-9:00 and 17:00-19:00). On all major holidays, there will be more frequent service on most city routes.
For passengers paying by cash: Lines 1-199 operate on a flat rate of ¥1 per journey. Lines 300-899 charge ¥1 for the first 12km of each journey and ¥0.5 for each additional 5km. Buses with air-condition (800-899) start at ¥2. The night buses (200-299) charge ¥2 per journey.
For passengers paying by the new pre-paid Smart Card (yikatong): Lines 1-499 operate on a flat rate of ¥0.40 per journey. Lines 500-899 get 60% off the cash price. There are also 3-day, 7-day and 15-day passes available for travelers. There is no return ticket or day ticket.
Minibuses are very common in the countryside outside the urban areas. Privately operated, most trips cost less than ¥10 per short journey and only a little more for longer journeys.
Taxis are the preferred choice for getting around, as they are convenient and are fairly inexpensive for travelers from Western countries. The only downside is that Beijing's congested traffic often results in long jams. Vehicles used as taxis include the Hyundai Sonata and Elantra, Volkswagen Santana and Jetta (the old model, designed in the 1980s), and China-made Citroens. These taxis are dark red, or yellow top with dark blue bottom, or painted with new colors (see picture). Luxurious black executive cars (usually Audis) can also be found, usually waiting outside hotels.
Fares and meters
Beginning from June 2006, all taxis charge a starting fee of ¥10, and an additional ¥2 per kilometer after the first 3km. Taxi meters keep running when the speed is slower than 12km per hr. or when waiting for green lights; five minutes of waiting time equals 1 km running. Outside of rush hour, an average trip through the city costs around ¥20-25, and a cross-town journey about ¥50 (for example, from the city center to the northern side of the Fourth Ring Road).
If the taxi driver "forgets" to switch the taxi meter on, remind him or her by politely saying "qǐng dǎ biǎo" (请打表) (pronunciation: qǐng slightly like "ching", da like "Dalai Lama", biao= b(b in "blue") -i(y in "yen") -ao(au in "Austria"). This means "Run the meter, please". Get a receipt (in case you want to make a complaint later or for business reimbursement purposes) by saying "fā piào" (发票) or gesturing at the meter and making a writing motion.
If you want a tour around Beijing and its vicinities, you can ask your hotel to hire a cab for one day or several days. It usually costs ¥400-600 per day, depending on where you go. If you have Chinese-speaking assistance, then bargain down the cost. No matter the cost, the taxi is yours for the day and will wait for you at various destinations.
Communicating with the drivers can be a problem, as most do not speak English. You can ask that your hotel write your destination on a card to give to the driver. Make sure also to take the hotel's card (and a map) that lists the hotel's address in Chinese. This can be a 'get out of jail free' card if you get lost and need to get back via taxi. A regular city map with streets and sights in Chinese will help also.
Avoiding scams and fakes
All official taxis have license plates beginning with the letter "B", as in "京B". "Black cabs" may look like taxis but their license plates will start with letters other than B. It's nearly impossible to hail a black cab on the streets; they generally hang out around tourist sights like the Great Wall and the Summer Palace or around subway stops. Black cabs will charge you a higher fee for the journey, unless you are a good bargainer, know where you are going, and know what the right fare should be. Sometimes they drop foreign tourists in wrong places. In some extreme cases, the driver may even take them to the countryside and rob them. If you find you hired a fake taxi and are overcharged, don't argue if you are alone, pay the driver and remember the car's license plate number, then call police later.
To avoid being taken advantage of, it is a good idea to know the rough direction, cost, and distance of your destination. You can easily find this out from asking locals before calling a cab. Verify these values with the taxicab driver to show them that you are in the know, and are probably too much trouble to cheat. Keep track of the direction of travel with a compass and/or the sun. If the cab goes in the wrong direction for a long distance, verify the location with the taxi driver. For scamming drivers, that is usually enough for them to go back on the right track (without ever acknowledging that they were trying to cheat you). Honest drivers will explain why they are going that way.
Keep in mind that central Beijing can be off limits at certain times, forcing cabs to reroute. And some roads forbid left turns (with big road signs) either at certain hours or all the time, so the driver might make a detour.
Renting a car normally is not recommended for the ordinary visitor. Besides being extremely expensive, driving in Beijing can be quite complicated, language difficulties included. Many hotels, however, rent cars that come with drivers, for those who can afford it, up to ¥1000 per day.
See also Driving in China.
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