Beijing Capital International Airport
Based on the number of passengers, the airport of the Chinese capital is the second-largest in the world. The number of passengers has increased tremendously in the last few years: from a little over 50 million in 2007 to almost 80 million in 2011. To allow for that growth Terminal 3 was built, which is bigger than all terminals at London Heathrow together!
As the number of passengers is expected to continue to grow, a second international airport is being constructed, 40 kilometers south of Beijing.
N.B.: RMB = renminbi, the Chinese currency, better known under the name of the monetary unit, yuan.
IATA airport code: PEK
ICAO airport code: ZBAA
The Airport Express Line is a subway line which brings you quickly to Beijing's center. The subway runs from Terminal 3, via Terminal 2 to Sanyuanqiao and Dongzhimen stations in the Chinese capital. A ride only takes 20 minutes.
Car and bus
The international airport is situated 32 kilometers northeast of Beijing's city center. The airport is easily accessible: you can reach the airport by rental car via no less than four roads. The Airport Expressway runs from the third ring road to terminals 1 and 2, the second Airport Expressway runs from the fifth ring road to Terminal 3. And there are also the Northern and Southern Airport Line. For all these roads you need to pay a toll.
There are excellent bus connections between Beijing International Airport and various places in the city, including Xidan, Fangzhuang, the train station, Zhongguancun, and Nanyuan Airport (for domestic flights with China United Airlines). For information about bus services you call +86(0)10 6459 4375/6.
Car rental Beijing Capital International Airport
In the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 2 there are counters of Chinese and international car rental companies: Avis, Top One, China Auto Rental and Shouqi. In Terminal 3 only one rental company is present: Hertz.
Attention: an international driver's license isn't valid in China. You can only drive a car with a Chinese driver's license. For foreigners there are temporary driver's licenses available. The car rental company can assist you.
There are plenty of taxis (Tel. +86(0)10 6455 8892) available at Beijing International Airport. There's a minimum fee of RMB 10 for the first three kilometers; after that you pay RMB 2 per kilometer. If the ride is more than 15 kilometers (which is always the case if you want to go to Beijing) there's a surcharge of 50% on the total fare, for the driver to return.
Most international travelers will arrive at or depart from Terminal 3. Near this terminal you'll find parking garage P3 (Tel. +86(0)10 6453 2046) which can accommodate 3400 cars. The first 30 minutes are free. The next half hour costs RMB 6 and then RMB 5 per half hour. The day rate is RMB 80.
You can book hotel rooms at the counters near the baggage claim area and in the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 3. There are no hotels at the airport, but you can find them nearby, like the Capital Airport Hotel (Tel. +86(0)10 6457 7788) and the Airport Garden Hotel (Tel. +86(0)10 6456 3388). Other hotels nearby Beijing International Airport are Crowne Plaza (Tel. +86(0)10 5810 8888), CITIC Hotel Beijing Airport (Tel. +86(0)10 6456 5588) and Hilton Beijing Capital Airport (Tel. +86(0)10 6458 8888). For more hotels and to book online you can go to Booking.com. They offer a large range of hotels at competitive internet rates.
Shops and restaurants
Beijing Capital International Airport offers a large number of shops, duty-free shops, restaurants, cafés and (snack) bars. There are of course many restaurants and shops offering Chinese specialties, but also international fashion and designer brands and restaurants offering Western food. Even Chinese fast-food restaurants are represented, like the Ajisen noodles restaurant.
You can hire porters in the Departure Halls and near the baggage claim area. You can also deposit your baggage at counters in the Arrival Halls (Tel. +86(0)10-64558579/80). For lost and found objects you can turn to one of the information desks. If you have lost something you can inquire by telephone if the article has been found (for terminals 1 and 2 Tel. +86(0)10 6459 8333, for terminal 3 Tel. +86(0)10 6453 0030).
In various places you'll find information desks (Tel. +86(0)10 6454 1100) to inquire about the airport and flight schedules. Stewards are also walking around.
There are two business centers in Terminal 3, on the second and third floor. You can fax, copy and print or use computers with internet connection. There are also some VIP Lounges available. Hotels nearby the airport, like the CITIC Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Hilton Beijing Capital Airport (see Hotels) offer extensive business facilities, including meeting and conference rooms.
The terminals have excellent accessibility for the disabled. There are adapted elevators and toilets and you can rent wheelchairs via the information desks. Stewards are present everywhere to offer assistance. In the parking garages places are also reserved for disabled travelers.
There are computers with internet connection and wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is also available. There are three First Aid stations (Tel. +86(0)10 6453 0120) in Terminal 3, which also serve as pharmacy. For smokers, there are 25 smoking rooms in Terminal 3, nine in Terminal 2. In addition there are showers, silence rooms and massage parlors. There's also a well-equipped fitness center, including swimming pool.