With the recent opening of a new airport, the Chinese capital is now served by two large international airports: Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). Capital Airport is around 25 kilometres northeast of the city centre, while Daxing Airport is about 46 kilometres south of the city.
Here we’ve put together some major transport options for travel between both airports and the city centre.
Capital Airport to city centre
Capital Airport Express
This is the only rail option for travel between the airport and the city centre. The 28km rail connects Terminals 2 and 3 of Capital Airport and Dongzhimen Station, where passengers can transfer to Beijing Subway Lines 2 and 13, or to public buses.
The train departing from Dongzhimen Station first stops at Sanyuanqiao Station, an interchange station for Line 10, before arriving at Terminal 3 and then Terminal 2. However, trains departing from Terminal 2 don’t stop at Terminal 3, instead heading straight to the two downtown stations. It takes around 22 minutes from Dongzhimen Station to Terminal 3, and another ten minutes to Terminal 2.
A single journey ticket costs RMB25 (US$3.5). The first and last trains to the airport depart at 0600 and 2230 from Dongzhimen Station, while the first and last city-bound trains leave at 0620 and 2250 from Terminal 3, at an interval of around ten minutes.
There are 18 airport bus routes connecting the airport and downtown Beijing, and another two routes offering one-way night bus services from the airport to Gongzhufen (near Beijing West Railway Station) and Xidan from midnight. In addition, there are seven interprovincial buses to nearby cities, including Baoding, Tangshan, Langfang, Cangzhou and Qinhuangdao in Hebei province; Chifeng in Inner Mongolia; and Tianjin.
Daxing Airport to city centre
Daxing Airport Express
The new subway service linking Daxing Airport with the capital’s urban areas has now entered into service. The 42km subway line currently has three stations: Caoqiao, Daxing Xincheng (Daxing New Town) and Daxing Airport.
At Caoqiao Station, arriving passengers can transfer to Line 10 on Beijing’s subway network, while departing travellers can complete in-town check-in and baggage drop at Daxing International Airport City Terminal, where there are two counters for domestic flights and another two for international flights, from six to 2.5 hours prior to flight departure.
This subway line runs from 0600 to 2230 daily. A single journey ticket for travel between Caoqiao and Daxing Airport, which only takes around 19 minutes, costs RMB35 (US$5) for standard class and RMB50 (US$7) for business class.
Beijing-Xiong’an Intercity Railway
This high-speed railway will connect Beijing and the Xiong’an New Area, an in-development high-tech hub in neighbouring Hebei province. The section between Beijing city and the airport is now in service, while that between the airport and Xiong’an is set to open in 2020. Currently, there are three stations: Beijing West Railway Station, Beijing Daxing and Daxing Airport.
It takes around half an hour to travel non-stop between Beijing West and Daxing Airport. For non-stop trains, the fare is RMB90 (US$12.6), RMB48 (US$6.7) and RMB30 (US$4.2) for business class, first class and second class, respectively. For trains with a stop at Beijing Daxing, the fare is lower: RMB75 (US$10.5), RMB40 (US$5.6) and RMB25 (US$3.5) for the different classes.
The first and last trains to the airport depart at 0656 and 2146 from Beijing West Railway Station, while the first and last city-bound trains leave at 0820 and 2250 from the airport.
There are five daytime airport bus routes (operating from 0500 to 2300) between the airport and select destinations in Beijing city, including Beijing Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station, Beijing South Railway Station, Tongzhou and Fangshan. What’s more, a one-way night bus service from the airport to the Xuanwumen area is also available from 2330 till the last flight of the day. In addition, there are interprovincial buses bound for Tianjin, as well as select cities in neighbouring Hebei province.
Of course, the simplest though usually most expensive way is to take a taxi. Taxi fares start from RMB13 (US$1.8) for the first three kilometres. The unit fare for every subsequent kilometre or part thereof is RMB2.3 (US$0.3). From 2300 to 0500 the next day, a 20 per cent surcharge per kilometre travelled is applied. For taxi rides over 15 kilometres, the section of the journey beyond 15 kilometres is charged an additional 50 per cent of the unit fare per kilometre. Passengers must also pay a fuel surcharge of RMB1 (US$0.15) per journey. Tolls and waiting fares may also apply.
Traffic permitting during daytime, the taxi fare for travel from Capital Airport to Guomao, the central business district in Beijing, is around RMB100 (US$14.2), while that for journey between Daxing Airport and Guomao is higher at approximately RMB210 (US$29.8).