Beijing Capital International Airport - PEK

Beijing, China (CN)

Getting around the airport

Three separate terminal buildings

Beijing Capital International Airport lies 32km north-east of the city centre, and is the world's second busiest airport. It has three terminals, in separate buildings (though a walkway links Terminals 1 and 2):

  • Terminal 1: is the smallest terminal and operates domestic flights by Fuzhou Airlines, Grand China Airlines Domestic, Capital Airlines, Hainan Airlines Domestic, Tianjin Airlines, Spring Airlines Co., Ltd., Lucky Air Company Limited
  • Terminal 2: international and domestic flights of these 35 airlines:
    Capital Airlines International Flights, Nordwind Airlines, VIM AIRLINES, UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES, Jeju Air, Hebei Airelines, Dynamic Airways, Air Algerie, AZERBAIJAN AIRLINES, JSC Airline Taimyr, Yukutia Airlines, Air Leisure, China Southern Airlines, Asia Airlines, JSC Aurora Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Shanghai Airlines, Tajik Air, Sky Angkor Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Russian International Airlines, Garuda Indonesia Airlines, Mega Global Air Services (Maldives) Pvt. Ltd., Chongqing Airlines, Hainan Airlines International, China Eastern Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Korean Airlines, Hongkong Airlines, Air France, Uzbekistan Airlines, Klm Royal Dutch Airlines, Air Astana, Air Koryo, Iran National Airlines, Sri Lanka Airlines, Turkmenistan Airlines, Vietnam Airlines

  • Terminal 3: is the main terminal, serving International and domestic flights. It has three concourses:
    Terminal 3C/color blue: domestic flights
    Terminal 3D/color green: domestic flights of Air China
    Terminal 3E/color yellow: international flights. North side: gates from E20 to E36, South side: gates from E1 to E19
    It's a huge terminal - the second largest in the world - meaning you'll need some help getting around!
    To travel between Terminal 3C and 3E, you can take the automated people mover train. The 2km journey takes two minutes and trains run every six minutes.

Travelling between terminals
Distances between Beijing’s Terminals are large. It is strongly recommended to have enough time to go from one terminal to another.
You can take a free shuttle bus between all three terminals. Shuttles leave roughly every 10 minutes from 06:00-23:00, and every 30 minutes from 01:00-05:00. Stops are located  at Terminal 1, level 1, outside Gate 7. Terminal 2, level 1, outside Gate 7. Terminal 3, level 1, Gate 5

Terminals 1 and 2 lie close together, and there's a walkway between them, requiring a walk of around 10-15 minutes.

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Getting into Beijing

Take a train or taxi

The airport is far from the city centre, and traffic in Beijing can be a nightmare, so if you're travelling light, we recommend taking the train. On the other hand, taxis are relatively cheap and if you have plenty time, can be an easier option if you want to avoid negotiating public transport, and arrive directly at your accommodation.

The Airport Express Line of the Beijing Subway offers a reliable service - taking you from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2, and then to the city with stops at Sanyuanqiao (for Line10) and Dongzhimen (for Lines 2 and 13) in only 16-20 minutes. From here, you'll have to take a taxi or public transport to your final destination, which can be difficult if you’re carrying a lot of luggage. Trains leave every 10 minutes. Running times are 06:35-23:10 for Terminal 2 and 06:20-22:50 for Terminal 3.

Cost: CNY 25 one-way 
Location: Airport Express stations in Terminals 2 and 3

A taxi should take around an hour in regular traffic - but that time (and fare) can double during rush hour. Tip: Instead of waiting in long queues, you can call a cab while waiting for your luggage using the Didi Taxi app (滴滴打车), which is in Chinese as well as English. Or ask a nearby local who has the app. 

Cost: CNY 100-200 to central Beijing (including any tolls, which must be paid by the passenger)

For the heavily laden, yet budget-conscious traveller, it can be easier to take one of the airport buses. There are nine different shuttle bus routes available to and from various points in Beijing. The routes that terminate at Beijing Railway Station or the International Hotel are the most useful for going to the city centre. Other bus routes include Xidan, Fangzhuang, Zhongguancun as well as Nanyuan Airport.

Cost: CNY 16
Buying tickets: The airport buses accept only paper tickets that are sold at each terminal and certain bus stops in the city 

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Visa-free travel

For 72-hour stopover

If you’re from one of these countries, you don't need to get a visa in advance for trips less than 72 hours. Print out the details of your connecting flight and fill in an Arrival Form to enjoy visa-free travel for 72 hours in China. Other cities offer visas on arrival, for a fee, but this service is offered free to facilitate the travel of international visitors. Be aware that you must fly out of the same airport you flew into.

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International flight connections

Allow at least two hours

When transferring between international flights, you will have to collect your new boarding pass and go downstairs to Departures. There is a queue designated to airside transit (don't use the immigration queue), which is to the right of the main passport control. There are generally only two people on the desk so getting through can take upwards of an hour.

Your passport will be stamped for China entry, at which point you will head downstairs and your passport will be stamped for China exit – typically by the same person. Allow two hours for the whole procedure.

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Get through immigration quicker

Designated immigration lane for visa-free stopovers

Beijing immigration has a lane set aside for 72-hour, visa-free stopovers. When you arrive at the immigration control, be sure to have the boarding pass from your first flight and an onward plane ticket for a third destination (not a return flight) available to show to immigration officers. 

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Currency exchanges

Save money

If you need to exchange money, you’re better off waiting until you’re at your hotel. The airport exchange offices charge hefty fees, up to RMB 60 per exchange. Hotels, on the other hand, have cash points that allow you to exchange major currency (EUR, GBP, USD) for just RMB 20 in amounts up to USD 400.

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Business needs

Business Centre

The airport’s business centre offers access to a fax machine, photocopier, mobile phone chargers, printers and personal workstations. It’s a great place to get some work done and meet other professionals travelling between Beijing and other business hubs.

Terminal 2, after security, departures hall, opposite Gate 14
Hours: 6:30-21:30 daily

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Many lounges operated by local airlines

There are many lounges in Beijing airport, though most of them are operated by local Chinese or Asian airlines.

Terminal 3E

  • BCAT Lounge, after security, across from Gate E10. Opening hours: 24 hours
  • BGS Premier Lounge, after security, opposite Gate E19, proceed up to the Mezzanine Level.
  • Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Lounge
  • The Emirates Lounge
  • Air China International Business Class Lounge
    Opening hours: 6:00-22:00 daily
  • Air China International First Class Lounge
    Opening hours: 6:00-22:00 daily
  • BGS Premier Lounge (Level 3, near Gate E19)
  • Business Traveler's Lounge
    Airside, across from Gate E10
    Opening hours: 24 hours daily

Terminal 3D

  • Air China First and Business Class Lounge
    Domestic, airside, Gate D10
    Opening hours: 6:00-20:00 daily

Terminal 3C

  • Air China Transit Lounge
  • Golden Century Lounge
  • Sichuan Airlines First Class Lounge
  • Air China Domestic First & Business Class Lounge

Terminal 2

  • BGS Premier Lounge, after security, next to Gate 5. Opening hours: 05:00-02:00 daily.
  • China Southern Sky Pearl Lounge
  • China Eastern Domestic First Class Lounge
  • China Southern First Class Lounge
  • China Eastern Domestic Apron Lounge
  • China Southern First & Business Class VIP Lounge
  • Air China Business Class Lounge (Opening hours: 6:00-22:00 daily)
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Sleep off the jetlag

Beijing’s sleep pods

Terminal 3 has sleep pods that can be rented by the hour. Rooms start at RMB 120/hour for a single bed with a shower room and toilet. A full day costs RMB 720.
Be aware that the pods are outside the security and immigration checkpoint, so you will need a visa or an onward flight within 72 hours to leave the secure area.

Terminal 3, before security

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Connecting flights

Change your money in the international hall

There are no International Duty Free shops or a money exchange office at the domestic departure gates. So if you have a connecting flight in the domestic departure hall of the terminal and planned on exchanging cash, it’s best to do it upon arrival. The fee for exchanging currencies is RMB 60 at the airport.

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At different lounges

You can book a private room with a bed and shower access for hourly rates at the Hourly Lounges:

  • Terminal 3, landside, arrival lounge, level 2, west of the public space 
  • Terminal 3E, airside, east of the International Departures 

Alternatively you can use the public lounge in terminal 3, which also has a shower:

  • BGS Premier Lounge
    Terminal 2, airside, near Gate 11
    Entrance fee: GBP 23 for 3 hours and GBP 25 for 5 hours.
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Children Play Area

Great places to pass the time

In the Children’s Play Area can play with toys and watch cartoons throughout the day. 

Terminal 2, after security, domsteic departures, floor 2, near gates 10, 25 and 35

Terminal 3C, after security, near gate 10 and gate 30
Terminal 3E, after security, near the imperial garden

For nursing mums, the airport provides a private space for diaper changing, nursing, and napping. The nursing rooms are located beside the toilets, where you can use the baby care platforms, water pool, chairs and other facilities to help you take care of your baby’s needs.

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Use the facilities

The Hilton Beijing Capital Hotel

The Hilton can be reached on foot from Terminal 3 and you will have access to a spa, indoor pool, gym, and Chinese and Western restaurants. While staying here is an option, the restaurants are open to the public and if you book a spa appointment, you will have access to the pool and gym without booking a room.

A shuttle departs from Terminal 3 near Gate 5 every 15 minutes. Rooms start at RMB 1,618 per night, including Wi-Fi and breakfast.

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Car rental

Lowest Price Guaranteed

Rental cars for international guests are not common in China. Driving requires a Chinese license which can be hard to get and traffic in China is often considered dangerous. Therefore there is no specific rental car center.

However there is a AVIS rental station in a hotel next to the airport:

Jinjiang Inn Hotel, Room 8012, Shunyi, Beijing, 101304, CN
Hours: 09:00-21:00 daily

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Carry-on tech

Scanning at every checkpoint

If you have any electronics in your carry-on, each piece, including cables and cords, will need to be removed and scanned at the security check. To save yourself some hassle, keep all of your electronics and cables in one easy-to-access place in your carry-on.

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Smokers beware

Lighters will be confiscated at security

If you are a smoker, be sure to put your favourite lighter in your checked luggage. Lighters will be confiscated at security.

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Layover options

At least 8 hours

Take advantage of the airport's proximity to cultural sites by taking a tour from Beijing airport. You can hire a personal guide to take you to Tiananmen Square or the Great Wall of China. There are plenty of layover tours in Beijing that you can book, provided you have a minimum of 8 hours’ layover.

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Further information about Beijing Capital International Airport

Popular airlines at Beijing Capital International Airport

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