enjoys a moderate continental climate. The average yearly rainfall is
about 600 to 700 millimeters. Much of it falls in the late June, July and
August. Beijing is at its best in late spring and autumn, as many other
parts of China. Autumn is a particularly pleasant time to visit in Beijing
as the days are warm and the leaves of the many trees in the city turn
glorious shades of red and gold. Locals describe this short season as “qiu
gao qi shuang” - literally 'in autumn the sky is high and the air is
fresh' - with clear skies and breezy days. Spring is less pleasant - not
many tourists but lots of wind and dust. Summer (June to August) is
considered peak season, when hotels and serviced apartments typically
raise their rates and the Great Wall nearly collapses under the weight of
marching tourists. Winter is the extreme opposite but makes for pretty
surrounds if you can stand the freezing temperatures; you'll have Beijing
to yourself and many hotels, serviced apartments (including Beijing
Centre) offer substantial discounts. Everything is chock-a-block during
the Lunar Chinese New Year (usually in January or February).
your around Beijing takes time.
One of the best ways to get oriented to Beijing is to take taxi.
Unless there is a rainstorm or heavy rush hour, you should have no
problem hailing a taxi.
Taxi drivers generally do not speak English.
Unless you can speak Mandarin, try to have your destination written
down in Chinese characters.
Beijing Centre can help on this matter.
Most Beijing taxi drivers are fair and efficient. In the unlikely
event that they don’t want to use the meter, insist that they do or get
The fare rate is RMB2.00 per km.
can offer limo car / bus rental and assistance.
It costs US$70.00 (RMB540.00) to lease a bus with a driver and
gasoline for 8 hours service and under the limitation of 160km drive; and chauffeur
driven limo car and gasoline costs US$100.00 (RMB770.00) for 8 hours service under the
limitation of 160km drive.
For extra hour and km, Beijing Centre will charge US$5.00
(RMB40.00) per half hour and US$0.40 (RMB3.00) per extra km.
bus network covers the entire urban area comprehensively and is very
But buses can be very crowded and often move slowly due to traffic
Frequencies on main routes average once every 10 minutes.
A few routes have all-night services.
There is a complex fare system based on the number of stops you
pass, so just ask the attendant what your fare is.
Take some small changes with you, and watch out for pickpockets.
There are also minibuses which follow the standard bus routes and
will pick up and let down passengers anywhere.
The Beijing Subway is another transportation
alternative and currently Beijing has 4 lines.
Traveling via the subway is quick and cheap. It costs RMB3.00 for however far you are going.
There are two main lines, “1” is the horizontal line and “2”
is the loop line that follows the 2nd ring road.
You may need to transfer between line 1 and 2 but this is quick and
easy. There is another line
is under construction which connects line “2” and Beijing Capital
International Airport and has the station around Beijing Centre Area.
The Beijing Subway
Get a ticket for 2 yuan at the Ticket Office. You can also get an
electronic ticket which you swipe as you walk in. Save you queuing up in
long lines if you use the subway lots. It costs RMB100 (80 RMB credit, 20
RMB deposit). You have to go to a different ticket window for that than
the paper tickets. You can also buy multiple paper tickets to use on other
days to save getting in line lots.
Signs on either side of the tracks tell you the
upcoming stations, so have a look to see which side you need to join the
train on. You might want to count your stops so you know when to get off.
Announcements are in Chinese and English, but not always easy to hear.
Beijing Centre guests can take taxi, which costs around
RMB15.00-20.00, from your apartment to Da Wang Lu or Si Hui Station to
catch Metro Line 1 to go to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City,
Wangfujing pedestrian zed street; Beijing West Station (Metro Military
Museum Station); And take taxi to Dong Zhi Men Station to catch Metro Line
2 to go to Lama Temple (Yonghe Palace) and Beijing Railway Station.
You can exchange between Metro Line 1 and Metro Line 2 at Fuxingmen
Station or Jianguomen Station.
has one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world, and trains
link almost every town and city. The best Chinese trains are safe,
modern and comfortable. There are three train stations in Beijing,
Beijing Railway station (北京站),
Xizhimen Station (西直门站)
and Beijing West Station (北京西站).
most trains to major cities use the Beijing West Station, Xizhimen Station
is the north station of Beijing, including some short-travel trains to
Inner Mongolia and Hebei Province, etc., and also some excursion trains
start their routes here. Trains for Moscow, Pyongyang and Ulan Bator
arrive and depart from Beijing train station, while trains for Hong Kong
and Vietnam use Beijing West train station.
Beijing, you can buy tickets at Beijing Railway station (metro Beijing
Railway Station), or Beijing West station (metro Military Museum). At
Beijing Main station, the ticketing office for foreigners is on the north
west corner of the 1st floor, accessed via the soft seat waiting room.
It is open 05:30am-07:30am, 08:00am-18:30pm, 19:00pm-23:00pm. At
Beijing West station, the foreigners ticketing office is on the 2nd floor,
open 24 hours. Domestic
train tickets (hard seat, soft seat or sleeper) can be bought up to four
days in advance from the station or, for a small charge, from a travel
agency. Try not to traveling
during holidays, particularly Chinese New Year because tickets are rare
and trains are congested.
you want to book a Chinese train in advance from outside China, you can do
this with several agencies, including www.chinatripadvisor.com
Tickets cannot be posted abroad, but can be delivered to Beijing Centre to
be picked up when you get to our apartment. This will cost more than
you'd pay at the ticket office, but if you really need to be on a
particular train on a particular date, it can be worth booking ahead,
especially at peak times, such as around the time of the Spring Festival,
May Holiday or National Holiday.