Getting Around

Cars and Taxi Cabs

Traveling Beijing roads can be an eye-opening, pulse-quickening experience. With congestion, disorder and many new drivers on the roads, driving a rental car in Beijing could be more of an adventure than you intended. One option is to rent a car with a licensed driver to allow you to see the sights in and outside of the city in style at your own pace. Your chauffeur can meet you at the airport, or at your hotel.

Taxi Cabs

Taxis are prolific in Beijing and taxi travel downtown is convenient and economical, especially if you are in a small group. Taxis are metered, with a minimum charge of 10Y for up to 3 km. After that you are charged per kilometer. There are three grades of taxis in Beijing, which differ in how much they can charge per kilometer: 2 Y (larger black cars usually found outside luxury hotels), 1.6 Y (Citroens or Volkswagens, usually with air conditioning (axis and cars on busy Beijing street) Taxis and cars on busy Beijing street. and suspension) and 1.2 Y (small Xiali brand cars). The taxi grade is displayed on an oval colored sticker in the rear left or right side window. Many taxi drivers do not speak much English so it is helpful to have your destination written in Chinese, for example on a business card, brochure or on a map. Hail a taxi at a stand or in a side street as taxis are not allowed to stop on solid white lines on busy roads, in Tiananmen Square or at the gates of the Forbidden City. To ensure you are getting a licensed taxi, check that your taxi has a B at the beginning of its plate number. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.


Pedicabs, motorized moped and classic bicycle styles, are a popular way for tourists to see the Beijing sights. In popular tourist areas you will find large ranks of rickshaws and their drivers waiting for business. Unlike with taxis there are no meters or set rates so you will need to establish the price beforehand. Drivers will often ask for 30 to 50 Y for a hutong tour.