Are you thinking of planning a Beijing subway tour, and visiting Beijing by using the rapid transit rail network? The subway is the fastest, cheapest way around Beijing in comparison with Beijing taxis and easier to manage than the daunting Beijing public buses.
Below are some practical tips on how to take the subway in Beijing:
1. Subway fare in Beijing
within 6 km: 3 yuan
6 -12 km: 4 yuan
12 -22 km: 5 yuan
22 – 32 km: 6 yuan
32 km up : extra 1 yuan for extra 20km
Beijing airport express trains: RMB25.
Children below 1.3 metres in height enjoy free rides accompanied by a paying adult.
Note: If you stay in Beijing for quite a few days, or want to have more transport convenience when you traveling Beijing, you are highly recommended to buy a Beijing bus IC card, a kind of transportation smart card. Basically you are eligible for 10% discounts using “Yikatong” to pay for subway and buses.
A bus IC Card can be also used to pay for Beijing taxi, Beijing subway and S trains to Badaling Great Wall. The official name of the IC card is called “Yikatong”, which means “one card pass” in Chinese, similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Singapore’s EZ-Link, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London in United Kingdom.
More information on “Yikatong” card:
1. Par value RMB100.00 ( including RMB20.00 deposit )
2. When you leave Beijing or don’t want to use the card anymore, you can return it to places which are appointed by Beijing Municipal Administration and Communications Card Co. Ltd. Then they will refund you RMB20.00 if your card is not damaged.
3. You could refill the bus IC card from over 700 places including the ticket counters at Beijing subway stations, railway stations, most post offices, big supermarkets and so on.
4. Yikatong Service phone number: 88087733 www.bjsuperpass.com （mainly in Chinese).
2. Find a latest Beijing Subway map
Try to find a latest Beijing subway map, physical or online. Beijing subway is on a constant change. Very often either online subway maps or ordinary maps are hard to catch up with the latest version of Beijing subway.
3. Basic information on the subway lines in Beijing
Try to locate your hotel, attractions and your business places in Beijing with the help of Beijing subway lines.
Subway Lines serving Beijing urban area
Subway Line 1:
a straight east-west line under Chang’an Avenue passing Tiananmen Square, dividing the city into two parts – north and south. Line 1 links major commercial centres – Beijing CBD, Dongdan, Wangfujing, Xidan and Financial Street.
Subway Line 5:
one of straight north-south lines, but mainly running just east of the city centre. It has some important stops such as the Temple of Earth, Lama Temple, Dongdan and the Temple of Heaven.
Subway Line 6:
Running between Haidian Wuluju (Haidian) and Caofang (Chaoyang)Line 8: Phase I (Olympic Branch Line) branches off Baitucheng Stop of Line 10 with three stops in the Olympic Green.
Subway Line 9:
Running between National Library (Haidian) and Guogongzhuang (Fengtai)
Subway Line 10:
an inverted L-shaped line running east-west. Starting from the west, it runs along the Yuan dynasty city wall in the north, passing by the south of the Olympic Green and runs south at Sanyuanqiao, following the eastern 3rd Ring Road passing through the embassy district and Beijing CBD.
Subway Lines serving Beijing suburbs
Subway Line 13:
an arcs line running the suburbs north of the city and takes commuters to Xizhimen and Dongzhimen where interchange for Line 2.
Subway Line 14:
Running between Zhangguozhuang (Fengtai) and Xiju (Fengtai)
Subway Line 15:
extended from the Line 13 at Wangjing West, then running northeast to suburban Shunyi District.
extended from Line 1, running eastward from Sihui to suburban Tongzhou District.
extended from Line 13 at Xi’erqi, running north to suburban Changping District.
branches off Line 4 south to suburban Daxing District.
is at the moment unconnected with the main lines in Beijing, standing alone line in southwest Beijing that linking Dabaotai in Fengtai District with suburban Fangshan District.
extended from Line 5’s southern terminus to the Yizhuang Economic & Technological Development Zone in the southeastern suburbs.
linking the Beijing Capital International Airport ( 25 km northeast of the city), with Line 10 at Sanyuanqiao and Lines 2 and 13 at Dongzhimen.
Beijing Subway Map
4. Beijing Subway Operation Hours
The first trains depart terminals at around 5:00 am and the last leave at around 11:00 pm. The Airport Express train starts at around 6:00am and ends at 10:30 pm.
5. Get to the Subway Station
Make sure you are heading to the closest station. The subway signs are easily to be recognized.
Subway Station Exterior
6. Buy a subway ticket
You may buy a single-ride ticket or use a Beijing Transportation (Yikatong) Card, similar to the oyster cards in UK.
If you stay in Beijing for a longer period, it is advisable to buy Yikatong card.1) You may buy a single ride ticket through automated machines which take coins and small bills. or you may buy it at the ticketing windows.
(2)If you stay in Beijing for quite a few days, or want to save money when you traveling Beijing by subway or bus, you are highly recommended to buy a Beijing bus IC card, a kind of transportation smart card. A bus IC Card can be also used to pay for taxi or subway.
The correct name of the IC card is called “Yikatong”, which means “one card pass” in Chinese, similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Singapore’s EZ-Link, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London in United Kingdom.
7. Get to the platform and choose the right track
Swipe the card across the sensor, or insert the ticket in the turnstile to enter through the fare gate.
Basically, there are two tracks for trains running for opposite directions, so you should follow the sign and choose the correct side of the tracks.
8. Inside the Trains and transfer
Once taking the subway, the display screen inside the each car of the train will show arrival times, destination information, and show short television programs.
If you want to transfer, just look for a sign that says “Transfer” and follow the directional arrow on the sign.
9. Leave the subway station
After you leave the train, you are required to insert the single-ride electronic ticket in the turnstile, or swipe the transportation card over the sensor.Next, look for the signs which show how to exit the station.
Usually, there are four exits for each station; each exit leads to a different direction. Find the direction of your destination and choose the right exit to get out of the station.
10. Try to avoid taking subway in rush hours
You’d better avoid taking subway during rush hours. Beijing Rush Hours: 07:00am – 09:00am), and 6:00pm – 08:00pm.
Beijing is a very overcrowded city. Beijing subway is getting extremely crowded at rush hours.
11. Important Places accessed by subway
1) Beijing South Railway station: Subway Line 4
2) Beijing West Railway Station: Subway Line 9
3) Beijing North railway Station: Subway line 2, 4 and 10
4) Beijing Railway Station: Subway line 2
5) Beijing Capital Airport: Express Train + Subway Line 2
6) Summer Palace: Subway line 4 and 10
7) Badaling Great Wall: S Trains ( from Huangtudian Railway Station ) Line 8 or 13
8) Temple of Heaven: Subway Line 5
9) Tiananmen ( Forbidden City): Subway Line 1
10) Lama Temple: Subway Line 5
11) Olympic Park: subway 8
Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites
Any questions, just drop a line.