Beijing: How to get around
Transportation in Beijing
Ideal for … rally places not served by the subway.
The bus (公共汽车, gonggong Qiche) are numerous and go everywhere. The ticket costs 1 Y. If you do not speak Chinese, this mode can be complicated. Introduce the driver the name of your destination in Chinese characters, it will tell you where to get off. Buses are slow because of congestion, and perpetually crowded.
Ideal for … move quickly and safely.
The metro is incredibly modern, easy to use, efficient, secure and continually expanding. It currently has 17 numbered lines, a number that changes faster than ever in the world. The trains run from 6 am to 23h, the ticket costs 2 Y for a single trip. Stations (地铁 站, Ditie zhan) are marked with a blue “D” in a circle.
In the subway, transportation prepaid card (交通 一卡通, jiaotong yikatong) saves queuing to buy tickets. Must pay a refundable deposit of 20 Y. This card also entitles you to a 60% discount on bus travel in Beijing.
Ideal for … to travel long distances and move at night.
Taxis (出租车, chuzuche) abound but finding one can be difficult at peak times during a storm and between 20h and 22h, when people return home after dinner. Count 10 Y for support and the first three kilometers, then 2 Y / Y and 3 km for gasoline. Rates increase slightly at night. Few drivers speak English or French. Carry the name and address of your destination written in Chinese characters, and remember to bring the card to your hotel. If the driver refuses to use the meter (打 表, dabiao), scroll down and find another taxi. You can hire a taxi to sites outside of Beijing, such as the Great Wall, but negotiate the price in advance (and pay after the race).
Ideal for … explore the hutongs and the center of Beijing.
Cycling (租 自行车, zuzixingche) is a great way to get around a city as bottled the Chinese capital, especially in the aisles of the hutongs. Attention cars always have priority in Beijing. Most hostels rent bikes about 30 Y / day. Bike Beijing is a good place to rent a bike and a quality headset. Many rental companies around the Houhai lakes are 10 Y / h (caution: 200 Y). Miss Vélib ‘Beijing was commissioned in 2012: 20,000 bikes in 500 stations are available (deposit: 200 Y, first 30 minutes free, then Y 1 / h)