beijing 14 hour layover

Nov 27th, 2011, 03:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8
beijing 14 hour layover

hey everyone!
my friend and i have a 14 hour layover in beijing (5:30 am to 7:45 pm) in about 2 weeks. we want to see both the great wall (we have heard mutianyu is the best spot) and the forbidden city. a private driver has offered to pick us up from the airport and drive us to both locations, tour us around the forbidden city, and bring us back to the airport all for 1300 RMB (about 200 US dollars). i have been reading a little about public transport and am trying to figure out if this makes sense. our options are
1. 1300 for the private car as above
2. hire a cab for to pick us up from the airport and drive us to the great wall, keep the meter running while we hike, then drive us to the forbidden city. then we can just get another cab when we are ready to head back to the airport.
3. use public transport (subways and buses) for everything.
anybody know how much these other 2 options would cost? would the second 2 options be a much bigger head ache? any advice would be VERY much appreciated!!
Emily_B is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 427
First you should know that you will need a visa to enter China.
1300 is way too much. You should expect to pay less than half this. Check here:
You could get a cab at the airport although if you do you need to negotiate a flat rate rather than keep the meter running. This should cost a little less than a private driver but you need to speak some mandarin to negotiate that and it is not easy to do in the stress of the taxi lineup. Better to organize ahead of time.
You cannot take public transportation to Mutianyu (actually you can but it is complicated and would take the whole day). Easy to take public transportation back to the airport however using the subway (2RMB per person) then the airport Express (25RMB per person). See the subway map here:
JPDeM is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 06:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8
wow that website is so helpful, thank you!
Emily_B is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 12:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 104
Considering the time required to spend at wall and in the forbidden city, your option 1 is more practical. You will not have to worry about trouble and time required to find the next mode of transport. If you opt for Badaling instead of Mutianyu, and keep more time inside forbidden city, your tour will be relaxed. And then the price would be around 600-700 rmb.
angel1 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
To get a taxi from the airport to the Forbidden City area will be about RMB 100 - 130. There are also shuttle buses from the airport to various areas in the city ( they don't run 24 hours however).Using the airport express subway is RMB 25. The rest of the subway system is very cheap RMB 2 per trip.
The 14 lay over is no problem but it depends on what your flight arrives & departs for the 14 hour layover as to what you can see.
lifebro is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
But in order to do that you need a double entry visa. Without a visa you are officially not allowed to leave the airport.

To hire a taxi for 1/2 a day to get to the Great Wall Mutianyu section from the airport and back into Beijing will be about RMB 500.If you plan on using public transport to get to the wall go to the Badaling section - train or bus. The non stop buses take 1 hour & cost RMB 12. The fast S train take 20 minutes and soft seat costs RMB 19.
lifebro is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 279
I know this is a somewhat old thread, but I just wanted to point out that you do NOT need a visa to leave the Beijing airport if your layover is under 24 hours. You can go to the diplomat line at passport control and they will stamp your passport with a 24 hour entry permit. I just did this in PEK 3 days ago.
tansmets is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 427
tansmets, either you were lucky or your next flight is in a different terminal. If you connect to a different terminal you need to pass immigration and while you are not suppose to leave the airport, nobody checks you.
The rules are quite clear that you are not allowed to leave to airport. What you can get away with sometimes is a different matter and is not an indication that the original poster will be so lucky.
JPDeM is offline  
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