With four railway stations, travelling by train is a great way to get around China. Most cities in the country can be reached by rail, and the recently built inter-city railway will allow you to reach Shanghai in just five and a half hours. Train travel here is comfortable and cheap, but be aware that little – if any – English is spoken on the trains.
Another cheap transport option for Beijing is to take the bus, although don’t expect a seat – buses here tend to be extremely crowded, particularly at rush hour. Minibuses cost slightly more, but they are more comfortable, faster, and – best of all – you’re guaranteed a seat!
Once known as the ‘kingdom of bicycles’, cycling is still one of the most popular transport options in China, and Beijing is no different. Hire one from a hotel or bicycle shop for around 20-30 yuan a day and escape the traffic as you explore the city on two wheels.
Traditional rickshaws are a great way of experiencing Beijing’s culture and handy for exploring the winding Hutongs and alleyways. For a higher price, you can take a rickshaw ride with a professional guide, and learn more about Beijing’s history and culture as you ride. Prices can vary, so ensure you agree on a set price before getting onboard.
Beijing is also easily explored on foot, with tourist attractions such as Tiananmen Square, Beihai Park and the Forbidden City easily reached within a quick walk from many of the established city centre hotel resides.
Walking tours with a professional guide are also a great way to learn more about Beijing while avoiding the traffic.