David Feng wrote an excellent guide for Olympic travelers to Beijing. If you are planning on attending the Games, it would be worthwhile to print this off and take it with you.
Getting a taxi or other forms of public transportation other than the Subway during that time will be very time consuming, so the quicker you get accustomed to using the Subway, the faster it will be to get where you need to go. His article below details what attractions are near which Subway stops and how to navigate the beast that is Beijing.
For a larger map, click here.
From David Feng:
Welcome to our capital — Beijing: a confusingly huge capital. 5 ring roads. 16 freeways (with just a few more under planning). 4 major train hubs. This is not your average Chinese village. This is it. Shanghai, be very afraid of your northern rival.
And add to this — 8 Subway lines by the time the Games are here. The latest bit of news comes as three new lines — Lines 8, Line 10 and the Airport Express — are slated to open in mid-July 2008, just weeks before the Olympics.
And, taxis are expensive. So where does that leave us today? A trajectory underground into the Beijing Subway. As the station announcements so proclaim: The next station is Beijing Subway. Please get ready for your arrival.
Line 1: The West-East Express (Color: Red)
Beijing’s very first Subway line, indeed, Line 1 is a straight, almost-no-curves link from western suburban Beijing right into the city center. It zips right along Chang’an Avenue from the western suburbs in Pingguoyuan through Gucheng, all in relatively industrialized Shijingshan District, and then rushes east, bypassing the Military Museum, all the way to Xidan, before zipping through Tian’anmen Square. Post-Square, the line heads further east to Wangfujing before diving nose first into the CBD and the eastern suburbs.
Stations of interest to the incoming visitor: Bajiao Amusement Park (velodrome), Wukesong (basketball venue), Military Museum (museum and link-up to Beijing West Railway Station), and all stations between Fuxingmen and Dawanglu (central Beijing).
Batong Line: Extending East into the Suburbs (Color: Red)
The Batong Line, despite it being colored red (like its bro, Line 1), is probably of less importance to the incoming visitor than Line 1. Unless you’re after a bit of the new suburban Beijing, you might find yourself away from this line to the extent that it remains a subterranean (OK, actually above-ground) mystery.
Stations of interest to the incoming visitor: Sihui and SIhui East (to head back city-wards after a long day out east), Baliqiao (the Baliqiao old bridge), and Tongzhou Beiyuan (for a look at the eastern suburbs — a bit of real modernized Beijing).
Line 2: Running Circles Around the City (Color: Blue)
Line 2 is probably one of those lines you’ll have a hard time keeping away from. The Subway Gods hear you. Fully aware that you, O Picky Incoming Visitor (as seen in the eyes of many a local — the way we hear it in the capital), don’t like traveling with clackety old trains with service gaps the length of the Great Wall, end-to-end, Beijing Subway now has all-new rolling stock on the rails (indeed, about 90% of the whole line now has new trains), and has shortened Them Gaps down to 2 minutes 30 secs during rush hour. Getting you from A to B faster — and in more comfy style.
Stations of interest to the incoming visitor: nearly all, but especially the interchanges to the other lines — Xizhimen (Line 13), Yonghegong Lama Temple (Line 5), Dongzhimen (Line 13 and Airport Express), Jianguomen (Line 1), Chongwenmen (Line 5), and Fuxingmen (Line 1).A little note as we speak: Beijing Railway Station (as in the subway station) is out of service until further notice. Get to the station either via Jianguomen or Chongwenmen stations plus a bus or taxi ride (or walk if you fancy doing so).
Line 5: North To South, Mozart Included (Color: Purple)
An October 2007 addition, the Mozart Line as we know it (so called because for the first few months, Mozart — and only Mozart — was played in the whole system) does the whole thing north-south, creating a real Subway network (lines hitherto were either all-circles or all west-east).
Stations of interest to the incoming visitor: Datunlu East (this is where your Olympic shuttle bus might take you), and Tiantandongmen (for the Temple of Heaven).
Line 8: The Olympic Express (Color: Green)
Coming mid-July 2008…
Line 8, also known as the Olympic Branch Line, connects the rest of the capital with the Olympic Green. Phase 1 is 4 stations — rather short — but by around 2011 or 2012, the whole line will be built, extending further north and south into the city. Most of the venues in the Green are served by this Subway line.
Stations of interest to the incoming visitor: Beitucheng (transfer to Line 10 and the rest of the system), and all stops in the Olympic Green (Olympic Sports Center, Olympic Green, and South Gate of Forest Park).
Line 10: The Zhongguancun-CBD Express (Color: Aqua)
Coming mid-July 2008…
Relief to the guys up north in Zhongguancun or east in the CBD, Line 10 finally links the two together in a semicircle. The arc line is mainly a massive connector with just about every line of Beijing’s 8-line Subway system except for Line 2 and the Batong Line. You’ll be on this one quite a bit, too.
Stations of interest to the incoming visitor: in particular the transfer stations — Zhichunlu and Shaoyaoju (Line 13), Beitucheng (Line 8), Huixinxijie Nankou (Line 5), Sanyuanqiao (Airport Express), and Guomao (Line 1). Also, Suzhoujie and Haidian Huangzhuang are for Zhongguancun people, while CBD-ers may like to note down Hujialou and Jintaixizhao, too. Especially if you’re after Them Big Pants (aka the new CCTV Tower).
Line 13: For Those Up North (Color: Yellow)
This line, which opened up in two phases — one in late 2002 and the other in early 2003 — is, like its Batong counterpart, of less use to incoming guests. However, Line 13 runs dangerously close to Wudaokou and Wangjing, where there are probably more Koreans than Chinese (as the whole thing might so appear). If you hail from Seoul and places beyond, this line is for you.
Stations of interest to the incoming visitor: Xizhimen and Dongzhimen (transfer stations with Line 2), Zhichunlu and Shaoyaoju (transfers with Line 10), and Wudaokou and Wangjing West (Koreatowns — the latter is bigger).
Airport Express: City To Airport In A Quarter Hour (Color: Light Purple)
Coming mid-July 2008…
The Airport Express is probably only of interest if you’re headed to, or have arrived from, of course, Beijing’s airport. This is also the only line which is not in Beijing’s CNY 2-anywhere Subway fare network; a ride on this baby saps away CNY 25, over twelve times the standard fare. (Just you try fare evasion on this thingamajig: fines go up to CNY 250. Owch.)
Probably the only stations of interest to you are Terminal 2 and 3 stations, as well as Sanyuanqiao station (linkup with Line 10) and Dongzhimen station (linkup with Lines 2 and 13) — which is how you will enter The Jing.In Part Two Coming Later This Week: How to get your Subway tickets — and get mobile in the whole system.
Quick Guide to Super-Famous Spots Near Major Subway StationsLine 1:
* Tian’anmen and Forbidden City: Tian’anmen East Station
* Wangfujing: Wangfujing Station
* National Center for the Performing Arts: Tian’anmen West Station
* Xidan shopping area: Xidan Station
* Headquarters of Apple Beijing: Yonganli Station
* China World Trade Center: Guomao Station
* CBD stops: Yong’anli, Guomao and Dawanglu Stations
* Beijing West Railway Station: Military Museum Station
* Wukesong Indoor Stadium: Wukesong Station
* Laoshan Velodrome: Bajiao Amusement Park Station
* Beijing Zoo: Xizhimen Station
* Deshengmen Arrow Tower (remains of Ming and Qing City Walls): Jishuitan Station
* Bell and Drum Towers: Guloudajie Station
* Yonghe Lamasery, Guozijian Street, and Beijing Confucius Temple: Yonghegong Lama Temple Station
* Workers’ Stadium and Gymnasium: Dongsi Shitiao Station
* Chaowai area: Chaoyangmen Station
* Beijing Ancient Observatory: Jianguomen Station
* Beijing City Wall relics (Ming and Qing Walls): Chongwenmen Station
* Tian’anmen Square, Qianmen Avenue and Zhengyangmen Gate: Qianmen Station
* Finance Street: Fuchengmen Station
* Olympic Green: Datunlu East Station
* Temple of Heaven: Tiantandongmen Station
* Bird’s Nest and Water Cube: Olympic Sports Center Station
* National Stadium: Olympic Green Station
* Forest Park: South Gate of Forest Park Station
* Zhongguancun and Zhongguancun West: Suzhoujie and Haidian Huangzhuang stations
* Yuan Dynasty City Wall Relics Park: Xitucheng Station
* Women’s Street (Nurenjie): Liangmaqiao Station
* CBD stops: Hujialou, Jintaixizhao and Guomao stations
* CCTV Tower (The Pants): Jintaixizhao Station
* Great Bell Temple: Dazhongsi Station
* Wangjing community (Koreatown in Beijing): Wangjing West Station
* Baliqiao Bridge (old bridge): Baliqiao Station
* Tongzhou (new suburban center): Tongzhou Beiyuan Station
• Beijing Airport (PEK): T2 or T3 stations
For more David Feng go to CN Reviews.