Beijing Public Buses

Most of the routes use Bus Rapid Transit system, so you needn’t worry about that the ticket sellers can’s speak English cause there are no ticket sellers. However, some of them are still using ticket sellers system, so you need to write down the destination on paper in Chinese so he or she will know where you actually want to go.

As for fares, the minimum charge is 2 RMB which includes 10 km, after which it’s an extra 1 RMB for every 5 km up to a maximum of 10 RMB.

All you need to do is to prepare enough coins for the bus fare and have the bus station name in Chinese. Most of the tickets cost you 2 yuan so you have better prepare a little bag with about 20 yuan worth of coins which will be enough for one person to hang around in Beijing for a whole day or more.

Alternatively, if you are in Beijing for a few days, get a Yikatong Card.

Yikatong Card (Transport Card)

It’s a preloaded swipe card that you can use to pay for public buses, subway, trains, taxis, and even public bicycles.

It makes life simple as you do not need to fumble finding correct change, just swipe and go in (or get on) and swipe and go out (or get off).

You can buy the card at any service center located within the subway stations. There is a 20 RMB refundable deposit. A total deposit of 50 RMB should cover you for 2-3 days’ stay and double that if you are staying the week. In the end, simply return the card and reclaim your deposit and any remaining funds.


Sightseeing Buses

line 1 and 2 use these hybrid tram buses.

There are three daytime sightseeing lines and two nighttime lines. Here is an overview

Daytime SIghtseeing buses

(Dang-dang) Sightseeing Bus Line 1
Fare: 15 RMB cash or 10 RMB with Yikatong (Beijing Transportation Smart Card)
Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
Frequency: 8-10 min
Departs from: Yongdingmen Gate Tower (永定门)

Yongdingmen Gate Tower – Xiannongtan – Tianqiao – Zhushikou South – Dashilar – Tiananmen Square – Tiananmen West – Zhongshan Park – Forbidden City – Beihai Park – Forbidden City – Shatan Lukou – Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital – Nanheyan – Tiananmen East – Tiananmen Square West – Qianmen – Dashilar – Zhushikou South – Tianqiao – Yongdingmen Gate Tower

(Dang-dang) Sightseeing Bus Line 2
Fare: 15 RMB cash or 10 RMB with Yikatong (Beijing Transportation Smart Card)
Hours: Apr. 1st to Oct. 31st: 08:00 – 17:00; Nov. 1st to the next Mar. 31st: 08:30 – 17:00
Frequency: 5-10 min
Departs from: Qianmen (前门) at Zhengyang Gate (正阳门)

Qianmen – Tiananmen Square East – Tiananmen West – West Gate of Zhongshan Park – West Gate of Forbidden City – Beihai – Forbidden City – Beichizi Beikou – East Gate of Forbidden City – Dong’anmen Street West Exit – New Dong’an Market – Wangfujing Lukou North – Tiananmen East – Tiananmen Square West – Qianmen

City Sightseeing Bus Line 3
Fare: 20 RMB cash; 15 RMB with Yikatong (Beijing Transportation Smart Card)
Hours: 09:15 – 17:00
Departs from: Forbidden City’s Shenwumen (Gate of Divine Prowess)

Forbidden City – East Gate of Jingshan Park – North Gate of Beihai Park – Deshengmen Inner – Deshengmen – East Beichen Road – West Beichen Road Bridge North – Chengfu Road Intersection South – Chengfu Road Intersection West – Zhonguanyuan North – South Gate of Ruins of Yuanmingyuan – Beigongmen Subway Station (Summer Palace)

Beijing Night Tour Bus

East Night Line
Fare: 30 RMB
Time: 20:00, 20:30
Departs from: Qianmen (前门) at Zhengyang Gate (正阳门)

Qianmen – Chang’an Avenue – CBD – Sanlitun Bar Street – Guijie Night Market – Nanluogu Xiang (South Gong and Drum Lane) – Shichahai

West Night Line
Time: 19:30
Duration: 3.5h
Fare: 100 RMB * Reservation only via official WeChat account.

Qianmen – Qianmen West Street – Xuanwumen East Street – Xuanwumen West Street – East Lianhuachi Road – Gongzhufen – CCTV Tower – Fuxing Road – Fuxingmen Outer Street – Fuxingmen Inner Street – Xidan – Xisi South Street – Xisi North Street – Ping’anli – Di’anmen West Street – North Gate of Beihai Park – Di’anmen East Street – Beiheyan Street – Nanheyan Street – Changpu River – East Chang’an Street – Qianmen Yueliangwan – Qianmen

Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch

The Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch (北京旅游集散中心), a government-run company, also offers bus routes to popular attractions. Official site:

Buses depart from, as indicated below, either

Xuanwumen Dispatch Center (宣武门发车中心) at the northeast corner of Xuanwumen Crossroads

Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch “Qian Men” (which has two departure points)

Tiananmen Dispatch Center (天安门广场发车中心) at the southwest corner of the Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Dispatch Branch Center (天安门广场发车分中心) at the southeast corner of the Tiananmen Square

Cultural Sites (departing daily)

Line Destination Departure Time Departure Interval Departure Place Price
A Badaling Great Wall  and the Ming Tombs 06:00-10:00 (peak) and 07:00-10:00 (off-peak) 15 min (peak) and 35 min (off-peak) Qian Men (前门) 160 RMB
B The Summer Palace and Badaling Great Wall 9:30 Qian Men (前门) 190 RMB
C Badaling Great Wall 08:30-11:00 (peak) and 09:00-11:00 (off-peak) 25 min (peak) and 50 min (off-peak) Qian Men (前门) 100 RMB

Suburban Sightseeing Packages (departing every Saturday)

Destinations Departure Time Departure Place Price Includes
Shi Du (十渡)and Gushan Village (孤山寨) 08:30 Xuanwumen 100 RMB Admission and bus
Huanghuacheng Great Wall 08:30 Xuanwumen 84 RMB Admission and bus
Eastern Royal Tombs of the Qing Dynasty 08:30 Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch 180 RMB Admission and bus
Mutianyu Great Wall 08:30 Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch 95 RMB Admission and bus
Longqing Gorge 08:30 Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch 60 RMB Bus fare

Urban Sightseeing  (departing daily from Qian Men)

Destinations Departure Time Approximate Ticket Price
Peking University, Tsinghua University, the Water Cube, Bird’s Nest and Fuguo Underwater World 09:30 155 RMB
Temple of Heaven, Prince Gong’s Mansion and the Old Summer Palace 09:30 230 RMB
Tiananmen, Forbidden City and the Summer Palace 09:30 220 RMB
Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, Prince Gong’s Mansion, Hutong and Beihai Park 09:30 190 RMB
National Grand Theatre, Yonghe Lama Temple and Fuguo Underwater World 09:30 195 RMB