The subway is a great way to get around in Beijing, though it
can be very crowded at peak hours. The subway shuts down at
midnight and starts again at 5am. Travellers can buy a prepaid card
(Smart Card) for travel on subways and buses. The fare is the same
for the subway, but reduced for buses. Most buses operate from 5am
to 11pm, but buses can be slow.
Driving in Beijing is a complicated and sometimes frightening
process, with few English signs and non-stop traffic jams. Taxis
are plentiful, but be sure to have your destination written in
Mandarin as few taxi drivers speak English.
Cycling is a good alternative with numerous bicycle rentals
around the city, and well-defined bike lanes, bike parks and the
company of millions of other cyclists, especially at rush hour. It
may look intimidating, but can be the best way to get around for
the more adventurous traveller. Over 40,000 bicycles are available
to be rented at outlets close to subway stations, commercial
districts, hotels, and office buildings.
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