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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Ways to Get Around in Beijing – Making Your Way in the Chinese Capital

The vibrant city of Beijing is always an interesting metropolis to visit. When travelling around this vast city you will have a number of different ways to get around, including the options below.

1

Walking

In order to travel short distances in Beijing, walking is one of the options that you can consider. When you cross roads in China, you should not assume that other users of the road will automatically let you pass. It is advisable to use zebra crossings, yet even here you will find that many drivers will not stop. You should always make the effort to look in all directions as there could be a car or motorcycle at your rear or coming in your direction. If you find yourself in a position where many cars and cycles are heading in your direction from different sides, just stand where you are without moving.

2

By Subway

The popular Beijing subway will be an excellent way for you to speedily make your way to different parts of the city. For travellers on a budget or those wishing to explore the city, this means of transport may be more appealing than using taxis. Charging modest rates the Beijing subway may well be the world's cheapest and most pleasant subway. However, it is important to keep in mind that during peak times the trains may be packed and you may have to queue outdoors to enter the train. As you explore the city a choice of accommodation that you could consider would be Beijing serviced apartments within easy reach of the subway with options including Ascott Raffles City Beijing, a short walk from the Dongzhimen Subway Station.

3

By Taxi

You will find that taxis will be a good choice if you are travelling with your family or perhaps carrying a lot of luggage. Although fares will generally be reasonable, the possible downsides include the difficulty of stopping a taxi at the time of rush hour and the unpleasantness of traffic jams. You must keep in mind that most taxi drivers cannot understand English, or read names of places written out in English. There are also drivers who prefer not to carry foreigners due to previous negative experiences.

4

By Bus

Travelling by bus in Beijing will be inexpensive and will take you to all parts of the city; however using the bus network will be difficult if you cannot speak Mandarin Chinese. On the other hand, if you are able to converse in Mandarin, possess an adventurous spirit and are blessed with patience bus travel will take you to many parts of the city that you may otherwise not have visited.

5

By Bicycle

Although today many Beijing residents possess cars, in times past most city residents used bicycles to make their way around the city. Due to this fact even today Beijing is very suitable for travelling by bicycle, as the metropolis is perfectly flat and the principal streets all feature bicycle lanes. Because of these reasons cycling can often be quicker than travelling by four-wheeled vehicle, also due to the congestion in motor traffic.

6

By Minibus or Car

Travelling by minibus will be a good option in the less urban areas outside of the main city centres. These minibuses charge modest fees and are operated privately. Travelling by car in Beijing may be a hassle due to language complications and the common traffic problems. However, you will be able to hire a car with a driver for a certain fee. You should also be aware that foreigners with driving licenses from other countries are not allowed to drive in China. To do so you must obtain a provisional driving license.