If You’re Visiting Beijing, You Should Stay Downtown
If you’re visiting Beijing–for fun, travel or business–be sure to book downtown accommodations. Whether you stay at one of the top hotels in downtown Beijing or the cheapest places to stay (That Are Still Safe) or at an Airbnb, there are numerous advantages to a downtown location. Below are the top five reasons that downtown Beijing is a first-time visitor’s paradise:
Reason #1. It’s Easy (and Cheap) to Get To and From the Beijing Airport
Following a long flight, the last thing you want to worry about is navigating Beijing’s transit system or worse, dealing with the city’s persistent traffic. Save yourself the hassle by booking a hotel in a central location with easy access to a subway station.
If you’re flying into Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), it’s incredibly easy (and cheap) to get from the airport to Downtown Beijing: multiple express trains take you directly from the airport to downtown–tickets are 25RMB per person, saving you both time and money over a taxi or limo service.
You can also take advantage of the Beijing Airport Shuttle bus for 20RMB to 30RMB per person, which stops at many key downtown locations.
Reason #2. Sightseeing Is Easy And Typically, Car-Free
Why deal with the stress of traffic when you can enjoy Beijing’s magnificent sights by foot or on train? Experts rank Beijing’s traffic as the second worst in China — just behind the notoriously traffic-heavy coastal city of Jinan.
Depending on where you stay, you could just as easily experience the beauty and culture of Beijing on foot (or bike). Explore the Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Beihai Park, or the Temple of Heaven. With so many awe-inspiring sites within walking distance, you can focus less on navigation and more on cultural appreciation.
You can also use public transit to easily reach Badaling Great Wall outside the downtown core.
Reason #3. Downtown Beijing Provides the Best Nightlife
You haven’t experienced nightlife until you’ve partied in Beijing. With central locations, you can hit up the city’s best bars. Begin your night out at one of the city’s famed hutong bars. Typically hidden in narrow alleys, these laid-back venues serve a variety of craft brews.
Move on to the vibrant nightclub scene in Sanlutun, where you’ll find underground hip hop and electronica artists, not to mention strong drinks. Don’t worry about finding a taxi or a designated driver; your central location allows you to stumble home after a night out on the town.
Reason #4. Downtown Restaurants Are Among the Best in Beijing
No matter where you stay in Beijing, you’re guaranteed to eat well. That being said, downtown restaurants are a class of their own, and they’re likely in walking distance.
From fast food to fine dining, culinary adventures await around every corner. Head down the block for mouthwatering Peking duck or Shaanxi noodles. Once you’ve eaten your fill, you can proceed to your next cultural attraction — or head to your room for a much-needed nap.
Reason #5. Never-Ending Shopping Opportunities
Whether you favor bustling markets or high-end boutiques, you’ll never tire of Downtown Beijing’s shopping destinations. Set aside at least one day for exploring the area’s finest stores. An absolute must-visit: Wanfujing Street. As Beijing’s busiest commercial street, this prosperous shopping district boasts a full mile of stores and attractions. You’ll encounter a dazzling blend of modern fashion and traditional commodities.
Nearby, the Hongqiao Market boasts China’s largest pearl distribution, along with an excellent selection of silk clothing and digital products. Your central location allows you to beat the crowds and hit up the best stores bright and early.
Your location can make or break your trip to Beijing. When in doubt, choose downtown accommodations with easy access to transit, dining, and shopping — you won’t regret it!