13 Helpful Beijing Travel Tips & FAQs 2020/2021

To help you know more about Beijing travel, we China Discovery have collected 13 most fresquently asked questions and useful travel tips here, including the transit visa free policy, transportation, weather, food, hotels, Great Wall, shopping, Wifi & SIM card, etc.

1. Do I need a visa to travel to Beijing? What is Beijing 144/72/24-hour transit visa exemption policy?

Normally, a Chinese Visa is required when you visit Beijing or other cities in mainland China. But if you meet the requirements of Beijing 144/72/24-hour transit visa free policy, you can visit Beijing without a visa.

24-Hour Transit Visa Free: This policy at Beijing Capital International Airport is available for all foreigners who hold connecting flight tickets to a third country/region. It allows passengers stay within the airport for less than 24 hours, without going through any immigration or customs.

72-hour transit visa free: Citizens of 45 countries with valid visa & connecting flight tickets to a third country/region can apply for this policy. It permits qualified transit passengers enter & exit via Beijing Capital International Airport.

144-hour transit visa free: Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region has implemented the latest 144-Hour Visa-free Transit to visitors from 53 countries with valid travel document & connecting (flight, ship, trains) tickets to a third country/region. So you can spend 6 days in this region without a visa.

>>Beijing Visa Free: 144/72/24-Hour Transit Visa Exemption Guide

2. How can I get to Beijing?

As a busy transportation hub, Beijing Capital International Airport offers international flights to major cities in all continents (except sub-Saharan Africa and sub-USA American), and domestic flights to every provincial capital and major cities in China. What’s more, Beijing Daxing International Airport is about to open after September 30, 2019. At that time, it will be the largest airport in the world. So it will be very convenient for travellers to get to Beijing from other places in the world.

>>How to get to & around Beijing

Travel to Beijing from major cities in China:

Travel from Hong Kong to Beijing | Travel from Guilin to Beijing | Travel from Guangzhou to Beijing | Travel from Chengdu to Beijing | Travel from Tianjin to Beijing | Travel from Zhangjiajie to Beijing | Travel from Chongqing to Beijing | Travel from Hangzhou to Beijing | Travel from Shenzhen to Beijing

Beijing Travel Tips Beijing Capital International Airport

3. How is the weather in Beijing and when is the best time to go there?

Beijing has distinct four seasons influenced by the temperate and continental monsoon climate. Its hottest day falls on July or August (these two months also have gathered most of the rainfalls in Beijing) with a temperature of 37℃ (98.6 ℉) and the coldest day is in January when the temperature can drop to -10℃ (14℉). The best time to visit Beijing is autumn, especially from mid-September to November (try to avoid the national holiday of China from 1-7, October) for its pleasant weather, beautiful autumn scene, and fewer crowds.

>>Beijing Weather & Seasons | Best Time to Visit Beijing

Beijing Travel Tips Mutianyu Great Wall in Late October

4. What are the top places to visit in Beijing?

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, and Hutongs are with no doubt the must-sees in Beijing. If you have already visited these places, then the National Museums of China, Lama Temple, Jingshan Park, Beijing Olympic Park, 798 Art District, etc. are all worth a go.

Beijing Attractions by Catagory:

Top 6 Places to Visit in Beijing for First-Timers
8 Best Sections of Great Wall near Beijing
10 Awesome Landmark Sites to Take Photos
5 Best Places to Explore Beijing's Folk Culture
6 Recommended Free Attractions to Visit in Beijing
Popular Beijing Hutongs

Beijing Travel Tips Forbidden City Seen from Jingshan Park

5. What about the hotels? Where should we stay in Beijing?

Beijing has thousands of hotels in different classes and regions. Generally, most great hotels are located in Wangfujing Area, Hutong Area and Qianmen Area which are also three areas close to some top attractions, like Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Jingshan Park, Beihai Park, etc. If you plan to stay a night near the Great Wall, there will be more choices at Mutianyu and Badaling than other sections.

>>Beijing Accommodation: Recommended Hotels & Hostels | Beijing Hotels Maps

6. Where can I go during a Beijing layover?

If you have 8 or more hours’ layover at Beijing airport, you can consider taking a layover trip to Tian'anmen Square, Foribidden City, and Temple of Heaven at the downtown area, or going to Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (about 1.5 hours’ drive from Beijing Capital International Airport). Remember to take the time for airport check-out and check-in into account. If you want make full use of every minute to enjoy your layover in Beijing, we China Discovery can provide you with private and tailor-made layover tours. Just tell us how long you will stay in Beijing and what attractions you want to go, we will make a tour plan for you, pick you up at the airport, and then escort you all the way.

>>Private and Tailor-Made Beijing Layover Tours

7. How can I get to Beijing downtown from Beijing Capital International Airport?

If you want to save all the transfer troubles, you can choose a private Beijing tour package with China Discovery. No matter when your flight arrives, and which terminal your flight lands, our friendly tour guide and driver will welcome you at the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel and any destinations you want to go.>>Contact us

If you are independent travellers, you can take the Airport Express Train at Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, or take Airport Shuttle Bus (available in three terminals) to downtown area. Remember to pay attention to their routes and timetables to get to your destination timely. There are also many taxis outside the gate waiting in lines. The price depends on the distance to your destination, usually around ¥80 - ¥150.

>>Transfer from Beijing Capital International Airport to Beijing Downtown

8. How can I get to the Great Wall from Beijing downtown?

There are several sections of the Great Wall in Beijing and it usually takes 2-3 hours to drive there from Beijing center around Tiananmen Square. If you prefer public transportation, then the transfer methods vary from the section you choose and the transfer time is about 3 hours or more. There are tourist buses to Mutianyu, Badaling, Simatai, Huanghuacheng, Jinshanling, and Juyongguan, which will save you more time than normal buses.

>>How to Get from Beijing City to Great Wall of China

Recommended Great Wall Tours:

>>4 Days Beijing Highlights Tour with Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Hiking
>>4 Days Beijing Essence Tour with Simatai Great Wall Night Sightseeing

Beijing Travel Tips Great Wall Transportation Map (Click to Enlarge)

9. What are the recommended Beijing food and snacks and where to find them?

Beijing has a wide range of food choices from the mouth-watering Peking Roast Duck, exquisite Chinese Imperial Cuisine, homely Jiaozi (dumplings), Zhajiangmian (Noodles with Soybean Paste), Fermented Mung Bean Juice & Fried Chinese Doughnut, to various street food and snacks such as Dalianhuoshao (Fried Wheaten Pancake with Fillings), Chaoganer (Fried Liver), Baodu (Boiled Lamb Tripe), Tanghulu (Sugar Coated Hawthorns on a Stick), etc. Most of them can be found in Dongcheng and Xicheng Districts. For specific restaurants and more about Beijing food, please check Popular Beijing Chinese Food, Snacks & Cuisines

Beijing Travel Tips Peking Roast Duck

10. Where can I go shopping in Beijing?

There are many shopping centers in Beijing. Hongqiao Market is most famous for its pearls, but it also provides a great number of souvenirs goods like figurines, silk, handbags, toys, some electronics, etc. Panjiayuan Antique Market, as the name shows, is the best place to find both authentic and fake Chinese antiques. Wangfujing Street is Beijing’s busiest and most prosperous commercial street with numerous upscale shops and boutiques. Xidan Commercial Street is a shopping paradise for the young dotted with megamalls, outdoor markets, small shops, restaurants, and entertainment centers. For more detailed information, please check Beijing Shopping – What and Where to Buy in Beijing

Beijing Travel Tips Panjiayuan Antique Market

11. How is the Wi-Fi accessibility throughout Beijing? Do I need a local SIM card?

In Beijing, Wifi is provided in most public places such as the shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, cafes, etc. You can log in them for free. Sometimes you can connect to them directly, but some of them may need a password (you can ask the staffs) or a Chinese cellphone number to register with (you need a Chinese SIM card). Apart from WIFI, you can get access to the Internet with data. There are usually 2 options. The first option, you can use your own SIM card and open the data roaming service from its provider at your home country. The second one, you can buy a local SIM card when you arrive in Beijing at the airport or at the stores of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom with your passport. Tell the staff your needs such as providing mobile data or being able to make international calls and they will show you the suitable one. Generally speaking, buying a local one is more convenient and cheaper.

>>Internet & WiFi | Cellphone & SIM Card

12. What about the money and currency? Can I use the credit card in Beijing?

You can make currency exchange both in your country and Beijing. Some banks, four-star hotels, and five-star hotels in Beijing will provide currency exchange service. You can also make cash withdrawals (RMB only) in China through an ATM machine with your Visa card or Master Card. Credit cards are usually acceptable in some upscale hotels and big foreign chains like Starbucks. For daily expenses, cash is more convenient.

>>Chinese Currency & Money Exchange

13. How to plan a Beijing trip?

Generally speak, 2 - 4 days are sufficient to explore the best highlights of Beijing. You can visit Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world, Forbidden City, one of the world’s five most important palaces, and Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China on the same day. Then spend another day hiking the famous Mutianyu Great Wall and having a walk at the Olympic Park on your way back to central Beijing. On the third day, you can have some leisure time at the Temple of Heaven and hop on a rickshaw to experience the typical Beijing Hutongs. If you have more days, you can go for an in-depth Great Wall hiking or photography tour, and explore more hidden attractions in the city.

If you have other ideas or questions about Beijing Tour, please feel free to contact us. We are also specialized in tailor-made tours that fit you best according to your own interests, requirement, traveling time, etc.

Beijing Travel Tips Temple of Heaven

Recommended Beijing Tours

Top 3 Beijing city tours chosen by most customers to explore Beijing in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary,or tailor your own trip now with us.

Forbidden City in Beijing
2 Days Beijing Best Highlights Tour (Hotel Pickup)

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Mutianyu great wall
3 Days Beijing Essential Short Stay Tour (Visa Free)

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Fobidden City in Beijing
4 Days Classic Beijing Tour Package (Leisure Paced)

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Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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