Here are the options for buying train tickets in Beijing including online, at the station, or via ticket offices.
As a foreigner, the best way for you to book tickets is through the railway station’s ticket window or ticket booking agencies because booking through official channels Railway Customer Service via the phone, or online (12306.cn), or via vending machine requires the Chinese Citizen ID.
Train Ticket windows in Beijing
The Chinese name for train ticket office is 火车票代售点 (Huǒchē piào dài shòu diǎn). There are ticket offices located across Beijing where you can take your passport, or a photocopy, and purchase tickets. Sometimes they are not more than a hole in the wall, so don’t expect a big office. There is a fee of 5RMB on top of the ticket price and it’s cash only. Tickets can be purchased 28 days in advance. See the useful English/Chinese translations further below.
Here is a Map of Train Ticket offices in Beijing
Buying tickets at the station
You can buy tickets at the station and most stations have an English speaking ticket window and regardless most staff can speak enough English to process a ticket sale. Tickets can be purchased 28 days in advance.
You should show from where to where, date, train type, and seat type. You will also need to show the passport for each passenger.
Useful Train Ticket Translations EN=CN(Pinyin)
Fast train HSR G train = 高铁 (gaotie)
Fast train HSR D train =动车 (dongche)
Business Class = 商务座 (shāng wù zuò)
First Class = 一等座 (yī děng zuò)
Second Class = 二等座 (èr děng zuò)
Deluxe Soft Sleeper = 高级软卧 (gāo jí ruǎn wò)
Soft Sleeper = 软卧 (ruǎn wò)
Hard Sleeper = 硬卧 (yìng wò)
Upper Bed = 上铺 (shàng pù)
Middle Bed = 中铺 (zhōng pù)
Lower Bed = 下铺 (xià pù)
Chinese date format: year年 – month月 – day日
- Beijing Railway Station (北京火车站) Beijing Zhan Jie, Dongcheng District. See here for nearby hotels and station info
- Beijing South Railway Station (北京南站) Yongdingmenwai Dajie, Chongwen District. See here for station info and nearby hotels
- Beijing West Railway Station (北京西站) Lianhuachi Donglu, Fengtai District. See here for more info and nearby hotel picks
Buying tickets online
There are several third-party services that offer ticket booking in advance online and in English. You can purchase your ticket online up to 60 days in advance in many cases and then pick the tickets up at your departing station by showing your original passport/s.
Most online ticket sellers add a small fee, a popular choice is trip.com/trains/.
Some Rules and Regulations
You can’t bring inflammable and explosive dangerous goods, animal and pet on the train.
Luggage weight requirement: Child’s luggage weight should be under 10kg, adults luggage weight should be under 30kg
Luggage size requirement: Length+Width+Height of the luggage should be under 200cm.
Requirements for Child Tickets
Children who are under 120cm don’t need to pay.
Children who are between 120cm – 150cm can buy half-price train tickets.
Children who are above 150cm should buy full-price train tickets.