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Beijing International travel tips

Beijing – experience of a lifetime

Beijing is the Forbidden City, the Imperial Palace, the Great Wall, Tian'anmen Square and so much more that it is impossible to list it all. For more than 2,500 years, the city has been a place of diverse coexistence.

The best time to visit Beijing is from April to October. Throughout the year, temple fairs, theater festivals, art exhibitions and numerous festivals and sporting events take place. Of particular note are the International Beer Festival, the Daxing Watermelon Festival, the 798 Art Festival, the Grand View Garden Fair, the International Music Festival and the Longqing Gorge Ice and Snow Festival.

Between 21 January and 21 February, the New Year Festival is celebrated on the first night of the full moon. In February/March, the following full moon is welcomed with a lantern festival. The "Golden Week" commemorates the founding of the People's Republic of China from 1 to 7 October.

A visa is required to enter China. It must be applied for at the embassy before travelling and is valid for a maximum of 30 days. When applying for the visa, passports must still be valid for at least six months and have at least two free pages for visa stamps. Vaccinations are not compulsory, but vaccination against hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and diphtheria is recommended. Tap water is not of drinking quality and it is advisable to drink water only from bottles available for purchase or to boil, filter or disinfect it before consumption.

Travel to China: budget and transport

The cost of living in restaurants and supermarkets are much cheaper than than in the US. You can get a Chinese lunch for about 30 CNY. A beer costs about CNY 7 and soft drinks about CNY 4. Restaurants offering international cuisine are often more expensive.

From the airport, an airport shuttle bus will transfer arriving passengers into the city. Depending on the district, fares for an adult range from between CNY 15 to 30 per trip. Using the airport buses, the fare is between CNY 4 and CNY 6. Other alternatives are the Express Railway, which costs around CNY 25 per journey/adult, or a taxi, which costs around CNY 100 to 200, depending on the distance.

Cheap accommodation can be found in guesthouses or backpacker hostels for about CNY 60 per night. In a 3* hotel, prices amount to around CNY 240 per night/person.

Local transport in Beijing is quite cheap. The metro fare for adults is about 3 CNY, the cheapest bus fare is about 1 CNY. For trips by taxi, a basic fee of about 20 CNY is charged, which includes the first 3 km. Each additional km costs approx. 2.50 CNY.