Rail and Bus Services at Beijing Capital International Airport ( BCIA )
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Rail and Bus Services at Beijing Capital International Airport ( BCIA )

Rail services at Beijing airport, bus services at Beijing Airport, transport information at Beijing Airport, hotels at Beijing airport, Yikatong smart card,

Beijing Capital International Airport ( BCIA ) is situated 32 km away from down town Beijing in rural, Chaoyang District.

The airport is classified as the world's second busiest for passenger movement - after Heathrow in London -  and is the main hub for Air China, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines as well as a major destination for 75 other international airlines.

When the airport first opened in 1958 it consisted of one runway and one small terminal building, today the airport consists of three runways and three terminal buildings with it's new Terminal 3 building classified as the second largest airport terminal building in the world - after Dubai Int Airport -  which consists of  7 flooors divided into three concourses - T3C, T3D + T3E -  which houses 243 elevators, an indoor garden, 72 restaurants, 12,000 square metres of shopping space and 10,000 square metres of duty free shopping.

Terminal 3 also has 120 air gates, including gates and a runway set aside for the provision of the giant Airbus A380 aircraft, the world's largest passenger plane.

All signage within the airport complex is in Chinese and English, and many of the airport personnel will have some level of English.

The airport's three terminals - which are situated 2km away from each other -  as well as Terminal 3's three concourses can all be accessed by way of an inter  terminal train - a boarding pass is required for this facility -  or a free shuttle bus service.

For passengers overnighting in Beijing there is one onsite airport hotel, the 4 Star Hilton Beijing Capital Airport Hotel, situated in the terminal 3 complex.

Situated less than 2km away from the airport are the 3 Star Crowne Plaza and 3 Star Citic Beijing Airport Hotel which are both accessed by way of a free shuttle service.

For passengers making their way into Beijing City there are 10 bus routes and an airport express train service.

Fares for the above services are best paid for by Yikatong Smart Card, which can be bought at any bus or train station. As well as for use on the subway and buses these cards can also be used in taxis and in certain cinemas, restaurants and supermarkets.

The Yikatong smart card comes in units of RMB 20, 50 and 100 and credit can be added to them at automatic fare collection machines, situated on buses and at most subway stations. 


                                                               The Yikatong Smart Card.


Each terminal has it's own shuttle bus service, for inter - terminal use or for travel into down town Beijing.

The inter - terminal shuttle bus operates from 06.00 - 22.00 hrs daily and leaves every 10 minutes.The shuttle buses into Beijing operate during the same times and generally leave when they are full.

Terminal 1 bus station issituated opposite gates 3 - 7 in the arrivals hall.

Terminal 2 bus station is situated opposite gates 7 - 11 in the arrivals hall.

Terminal 3 bus station is situated outside of the first floor entrance. The arrivals hall at terminal 3 is situated on the 2nd floor, so this will mean taking an elevator to the 1st floor.

There are 10 bus routes into Beijing, which have their routes signposted for your information.

The fare into downtown Beijing is a standard RMB 16 / £1.50 / US$ 2.40 / 2.60 Euros. ( As of April 2011 )

The bus routes are shown on the buses both in Chinese and English, they are -

Beijing Main Railway station.

Beijing West Railway Station.



Nanyuan Airport -  For domestic flights.






There are also coach services to the towns of -

Qinghangdao - 4 hour trip - RMB 80.

Tanggu - 3 hour trip - RMB 126

Tianjin - 2 1/2 hour trip - RMB 80 

There is no English spoken on the buses or coaches, nor are there bus route maps in English.



The Airport Express is a rapid transit, light rail train that links with the Beijing Subway / Metro.

The 28km long route from the airport into Beijing takes 20 minutes travelling at speeds of upto 100kmh.

Known locally as the ABC - Airport Beijing City - the express runs from 06.00 - 22.00 hrs every day.

The express line has just 4 stations, at Terminals 2 and 3 and then at Sanyuanqiao - where you can access subway line 10 -  and Dongzhimen - where you can access subway lines 2 + 13 -  in Beijing.

The Beijing Subway / Metro is a 336 km long system with 14 lines and 198 stations, with both signage and route maps in Chinese and English.

A one way ticket from the airport to Beijing costs RMB 25 / £2.50 / US$ 3.70 / 2.60 Euros.

The fare can be paid by way of an automatic fare collection machine or with a Yikatong Smart Card. 



The airport has taxi stands situated outside the baggage claim areas of all the terminal buildings. The taxi drivers will most probably not speak English, so it's a good idea to have the name of your hotel written down in Mandarin, so you can show it to the driver. Taxi rates from the airport to Beijing are from 80 - 100 Yuan and the journey takes around 40 minutes, traffic permitting. 

There is no public transport overnight from Beijing Capital International Airport.  

The currency of China is the Renmimbi, which is made up of units of the Yuan. The currency sign is RMB but it can also be seen written as CNY.

For the Beijing Capital International Airport website, please visit - en.bcia.com.cn/.

                                                    Other Chinese airport transport articles -  



                                               Images courtesy of Snowyowls, wikimedia commons.

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Comments (1)

Another helpful guide for me and for anyone planning to visit china.