Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is the main international airport of Beijing, China. It is situated at 20 mi (64 li) Northeast of Beijing’s city centre, in the region between Chaoyang District and suburban Shunyi District. The airport is the second busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic. The airport has totally three terminals with Terminal 3 being built in 2008 in preparation for the Olympic Games 2008. This terminal is currently the second largest in the world after Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, and is the sixth largest building in the world.
How to go to and from the airport
The airport consists of three terminals; passengers can travel between terminals using the automated people mover or free inter-terminal shuttle bus. There is a frequent railway service serving the airport, which is the Airport Express Line of the Beijing Subway. The subway runs from Terminal 2 and 3 to the city with stops at Sanyuanqiao and Dongzhimen.
Visitors can also travel to various destinations within the city by bus. There are eleven airport bus routes available, running from all three terminals to Xidan, Beijing Railway Station, Beijing South Station, Beijing West Station, Zhongguancun, Fangzhuang and Shangdi, costing CNY16 or HKD19.40 per ride. Passengers are advised to purchase paper tickets inside the terminal or at certain bus stops in the city. To travel to other neighbouring cities, there are also bus services available to Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Baoding, Langfang and Tangshan.
Taxi service is also available at all terminals. You are advised to take taxi on meter and reasonable price to go from the airport to downtown Beijing should be CNY150 or HKD182.
Airport facilities and services
Besides plenty of options for passengers to dine and shop, the airport also offers a wide variety of services including public telephone, free charging powers, dressing rooms, nursing rooms, smoking room, children activity zone and banking facilities. You can find many automatic telling machines (ATMs) of different banks here, ranging from local to international banks: Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of China. There is also a Pay-In-Lounge, which are comfortable single and double rooms to rest during long layover waits. The lounge is fully equipped with facilities like TV, Internet, drinks and snacks. Beyond these, there are many more services that you can find at this huge modern airport including Left Luggage counters, free skycap service, business centre, porter service, automatic vending, currency exchange, mobile rental, etc.
What to do around the airport
If you have plenty of time at Beijing Capital International Airport, paying a visit to Beijing City is a good idea using the various tours offered at the airport. There are a wide variety of tours that you can choose, depending on your area of interests. There are food tours, heritage and cultural tours, wine and bars tours, spa tours, night tours, etc.
One of the destinations that you might not want to miss when visiting Beijing is the magnificent Great Wall of China—one of the seven wonders of the world. You only need 4 hours for a Beijing airport layover tours to explore the Great Wall. Another ideal destination is Tiananmen Square—a large square situated at the heart of Beijing City with a rich history of political rallies. Not too far away, the Forbidden City is the largest palace complex in the world, built in 1420 and is currently one of Beijing’s most popular tourist attractions. Imperial Gardens are luxurious and splendid gardens and parks that you should drop by while being here. If you have more than one day in Beijing, you can even consider going outside of the city to visit Xi’an in a day tour trip to the UNESCO-listed terracotta warriors at the Old City of Xi’an.
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*All information and prices are valid as at August 2015.
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