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Beijing/Beijing Capital International Airport

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Beijing/Beijing Capital International Airport

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Beijing Capital International Airport[2] (北京首都国际机场 Běijīng Shǒudū Guójì Jīchǎng, IATA: PEK) is the primary airport of the Chinese capital city of Beijing, for both domestic and foreign journeys. It is the world's second-busiest (as of 2013 data).


Beijing Capital International Airport is located in the suburban district of Shunyi (approximately 26 km (16 mi) to the northeast of the central districts).


The airport has three terminals which are broadly divided as follows:

  • Terminal 1: Capital Airlines, Grand China Airlines, Hainan Airlines (domestic only), Lucky Air, Tianjin Airlines
  • Terminal 2: Air Algiere, Air Asia, Air Astana, Air France, Air Koryo, Azerbaijan Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Airlines, Garuda Indonesia Airlines, Hainan Airlines (int'l only), Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Express Airways, Iran National Airlines, JSC Airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Airlines, Mega Global Air Services, Philippine Airlines, PIA, Russian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Sri Lanka Airlines, TAAG, Turkmenistan Airlines, Uzbekistan Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Vladivostok Air, Xiamen Airlines, Yakutia Airlines
  • Terminal 3: Air Canada, Air China, Air Macau, Air Mauritius, American Airlines, ANA Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Dalian Airlines, Dragonair, Egypt Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Finnair, Globus Airlines, Israel Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, Mongolia Airlines, Polish Airlines, Qatar Airlines, S7 Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Shanghai Juneyao Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss Airlines, Thai Airways, Transaero Airlines, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Ural Airlines

The impressively huge, gleaming roof arching over Terminal 3 illustrates the expansion efforts made for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This terminal is considered to be one of the best-designed airport terminal buildings in the world from an architectural point of view, and the sixth-largest building in the world by area size.

Terminal transfers[edit]

Travel between Terminals 1 and 2 is via a long corridor with travelators. A fit person can walk the route in about 10 minutes. A free shuttle bus runs between Terminal 2 and 3. It departs every ten minutes or so (every 30 minutes from 23:00-06:00), and the journey time is about 10 minutes.

Terminal 3 is huge: it alone is bigger than all five of Heathrow (London)'s terminals. It includes an internal shuttle train. Additional time should be allocated when flying from here.

Do not take the train just to get between T3 and T2/T1, as it goes one way and costs 25RMB.

Check-in times[edit]

Minimum check-in times vary but generally close 30 minutes before departure for domestic flights, and 1 hour for an international flight.

Get in[edit]

Scams at the airport
Arrival: Using taxis[3] other than those in the official taxi queue on the ground level is not advised. The queue manager will help by pointing out the taxi you are to go to. Do not bother with impostors who pretend to work for the taxi company pose at the official-looking stands outside offering rides to the city (especially in the non-regular hours where there are not many people about). You will be led into a "taxi" with a fake meter (which could be out of sight) which runs very quickly (3-5 times the normal rate). A fake taxi will not have a B on its license plate.

Departure: For some time, the airport construction/exit surcharge has been incorporated into the price of the airline ticket so simply ignore anyone attempting to con you into this. Your airline will be sure to inform you of any extra fees upon arriving at the counter!

Beijing Capital Airport is well served by transport links via train, the Airport Expressway and other main roads.


If using a taxi to or from the airport, a regular taxi should be used. Try to get the Chinese name in the characters of your hotel so that you can let your taxi driver read where you want to go. A taxi from the airport should cost ¥70-120. You will have to pay the fee shown on the meter (make sure the driver uses it) plus ¥10 toll for the airport expressway. Traffic jams may be experienced depending on the time of day so take note when flying out, but jams are typically short-lived. If you are arriving late at night (or departing early morning), taxis are your sole option as the earliest arrival time at the airport is 06:30 by public transport (taking first subway 05:30 depending on the station and first Airport Express 06:00/¥25/~20-30min to T3 or T2)


Airport Express train[4] runs in a one-way loop from T3 to T2 (there is no stop at T1, instead passengers with flights at that terminal can use the airport terminal transport free of charge to get to T2), then into the city and Sanyuanqiao Station (connected to Line 10) and Dongzhimen Station (Lines 2, 13). One-way fare is ¥25 and the trip takes about 20 minutes from T2 to Dongzhimen Station, about 30 minutes from T3. One-time Airport Express tickets, which differ from subway cards, can be purchased from the Airport Express ticketing station on B2 of Beijing Capital Airport. Subway cards can also be purchased if you plan to use the subway to get to your final destination. If you have purchased a Yikatong card and it has enough fare for the Airport Express, skip the queue and use it at the turnstile.

Although the last Airport Express train leaves the airport to the city at around 23:10, the subway lines normally stop operating before 23:00 on weeknights. You probably can not connect any subway line if you take a late Airport Express train and finding a legitimate taxi around the subway station during the night can be challenging. Therefore, if your flight arrives at Beijing airport after 22:30, other transportation options may prove better depending on the final destination.

Do not take the train just to get from T3 to T2/T1, as this will cost you the full ¥25; use the free shuttle bus instead. Trains are short and somewhat frequent. If getting on from T3 you will have a better chance at getting a seat. There are security checks before you get to the train turnstiles so if you have heavy luggage, bear this in mind.

Shuttle Bus[edit]

A slightly cheaper way to get to the city centre is to take the airport shuttle (机场巴士 Jīchǎng Bāshì), +86 10 6459-4375 / 6459-4376, [1]. Buses for each route leave every 10-30 minutes. There are several lines running to different locations throughout Beijing. The shuttle bus website also has a map available. ¥16 one-way.  edit

  • Line 1 (to Fangzhuang): 1. Liangma Bridge (亮马桥 Liàngmǎqiáo); 2. Baijiazhuang (白家庄 Báijiāzhuāng); 3. World Trade Centre (国贸 Guómào) & Dabeiyao (大北窑 Dàběiyáo); 4. Panjiayuan (潘家园 Pānjiāyuán); 5. KingWing Hot Spring International Hotel (京瑞大厦 Jīngruì Dàshà) & Shilihe (十里河 Shílǐhé); 6. Guiyou Shopping Mall (贵友大厦 Guìyǒu Dàshà) & Fangzhuang (方庄 Fāngzhuāng). Runs 07:30-22:30. Return stops are 6, 3, and the airport. Convenient for getting to the southeast of the city.
  • Line 2 (to Beijing South Railway Station ( 机场 - 南站 )): Stops: Xidan (RMB 30) – Xuanwumen (RMB 30) — Zixin T-junction North (RMB 30) — Beijing South Railway Station (RMB 30) Time: 7:00~24:00 Every 30 minutes, Buses depart when filled up.
  • Line 3 (to Beijing Railway Station): 1. Yuyang Hotel (渔阳饭店 Yúyáng fàndiàn); 2. Dongdaqiao (东大桥 Dōngdàqiáo, bypassed after 22:30); 3. Chaoyangmen (朝阳门 Cháoyángmén); 4. Yabaolu (雅宝路 Yǎbǎolù); 5. Beijing Railway Stn (北京站 Běijīng zhàn). Runs 07:30-last flight. The Beijing Railway Stn stop is actually at the west gate of the International Hotel (国际饭店 Guójì Fàndiàn), across Chang'an Ave. Return stops are 5, Dongzhimen, the Jingxin Bldg W Gate (京信大厦西门 Jīngxìn Dàshà Xīmén), and the airport. Convenient for the city center, the southeast of the city, and Chaoyang, Chongwen, and Dongcheng districts.
  • Line 4 (to Gongzhufen): 1. China International Exhibition Centre (国际展览中心 Guójì Zhǎnlǎn Zhōngxīn); 2. Xibahe (西坝河 Xībàhé); 3. Anzhen Bridge (安贞桥 Ānzhēn Qiáo); 4. Madian Bridge (马甸桥 Mǎdiàn Qiáo); 5. Beitaipingzhuang (北太平庄 Běitàipíngzhuāng); 6. Jimen Bridge (蓟门桥 Jìmén Qiáo); 7. Friendship Hotel (友谊宾馆 Yǒuyì Bīnguǎn); 8. Beijing TV Station (北京电视台 Běijīng Diànshìtái); 9. Zizhu Bridge (紫竹桥 ǐzhú Qiáo); 10. Hangtian Bridge (航天桥 Hángtiān Qiáo); 11. Gongzhufen (公主坟 Gōngzhǔfén) & Xinxing Hotel (新兴宾馆 Xīnxīng Bīnguǎn). Return stops are 11, 7, 5, 3, and the airport. Runs 07:00-23:00. Convenient for the north-northwest of the city and Haidian district.
  • Line 5 (to Zhongguancun): 1. Wangjing (望京 Wàngjīng) & Huajiadi (花家地 Huājiādì); 2. Xiaoying (小营 Xiǎoyíng); 3. Asian Games Village (亚运村 Yàyùncūn) & Anhui Bridge (安慧桥 Ānhuì Qiáo); 4.Xueyuan Bridge (学院桥 Xuéyuàn qiáo); 5. Just west of Bǎofúsì Qiáo (保福寺桥). Return stops are 5, Beijing Aeronautics University North Gate (北航北门 Běiháng Běimén), Huixin W St (惠新西街 Huìxīn XīJiē)/Anhui Building (安徽大厦 Ānhuī Dàshà), Huixin Dongjie (惠新东街 Huìxīn Dōngjiē) & SINOPEC (中国石化集团 Zhōngguó Shíhuà Jítuán), and the airport. From 08:30-21:30. Convenient for the north of the city, particularly the university district within Haidian.
  • Line 6 (to the Olympic Village): 1. N Guangshun Ave (广顺北大街); 2. Middle Huguang St (湖光中街); 3. Yuhuili (育慧里); 4.Beiyuan Rd & Datun (北苑路大屯); 5. Olympic Village (奥运村); 6. Best Western Olympic Statium Hotel (亚奥国际酒店) 08:00-21:00. Return stops are 6, Best Western OL Stadium Hotel, IGSNRR of CAS, besides Nangounihe bus stop (中科院地理所), Datun, Gate A of Zone IV of Wangjing Xiyuan (望京西园四区A门), West Zone of Wangjing Garden (望京花园西区) and the airport. From 06:00-19:10. Convenient for the north of the city, particularly the Olympic venues within Chaoyang District.

Public bus[edit]

The cheapest way would be to take public bus #10 (¥2) and then change to #359 (¥2). Just show the driver that you have to get to the #359 line and he will tell you where to change. This bus #359 runs to Dongzhimen, where you can catch subway Line 2 or 13, but this is not very fast or convenient (1h + 10 min walk from the airport).

Private bus[edit]

A number of hostels and hotels run their own shuttle buses services. If you are staying in a hotel near the airport, then this is certainly the case. Talk to your hotel about these arrangements beforehand.


Facilities on arrival include ATMs and money changers. There is also a shared computer and wifi zone with power outlets to access the Internet (need either to scan your ID/passport or get an SMS code by phone). Be aware that upon departure, porters may want ¥10 to wheel your bags 50 m to check-in and that most eating options are rather outrageously priced. Before you cross through security, if you want a bite to eat in Terminal 1 or 2, there are several restaurants. The restaurants in the basement have relatively low prices compared to what's above. A meal at any of these places should be around ¥50.

Signs throughout Terminal 3 are in both Chinese and English. Signs are also often shown in Korean as well. There are numerous restaurants, shops, and business services.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are several hotels located in the immediate vicinity of the airport. Use their shuttle bus service to arrive at the hotel.

Accommodation options partway between the Airport and Beijing's center are in the Chaoyang District and Shunyi District. Note that the taxi drivers may not be very familiar with these areas so print out the name of the hotel in Chinese and a map if possible.


Great Wall[edit]

The airport is part of the way to the Great Wall of China from Beijing. It is possible to visit the wall via taxi or hire car by traveling about 50km North.

Alternative airports in Beijing[edit]

A far less commonly used airport in Beijing is Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is a new airport located south of Beijing and has a few foreign carriers serving it although most flights are domestic. If you should find yourself having trouble getting into Beijing directly due to fully booked flights or scheduling issues, travelers may also consider Tianjin Binhai International Airport, which is in the first-tier city of Tianjin and connected to the capital by 35-minute express train.