Smart Ways to Make the Most of Your Beijing Layover
If you’ve traveled by airplane at least a few times, you’ve probably experienced a long layover or a delayed flight, resulting in an extended stay at the airport. While long visit to the airport might seem excruciating, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few things you can do when you’re bored at Beijing Capital Airport.
1. Explore Mutianyu Great Wall
If you have a layover of more than nine hours, and if you’re feeling adventurous, exploring Mutianyu Great Wall straightly from the airport is a memorable journey for you.
Keep in mind there’s no direct bus service from airport to the Great Wall, the best way to visit Mutianyu is to book a private car tour. It is a quicker, convenient and cheap, making it easy to visit Mutianyu Great Wall from the airport.
2. Visit Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City
After the Great Wall, the Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s top attractions. As the most glorious palace, the Forbidden City is a must-see for all visitors to China.
Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are next to each other, you can see both of them by public transport or taxi. The Airport Express train runs between downtown’s Dongzhimen and all terminals in under 35 minutes for ¥25. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi outside each terminal–a ride to the city center usually takes 1-1.5 hours, depending on traffic.
To make sure you get to the Forbidden City before it closes, early morning arrival in Beijing is highly recommended as security checkpoints to re-enter the airport can be very busy. You might want to remember that Forbidden City closes on Mondays.
3. Walk Around
You can stretch you legs and get some exercise by exploring the different terminals. Exercise will help you to feel more energized and alert during the long wait for your flight.
4. Visit a Newsstand or Gift Shop
Pick up some new reading material, or buy souvenirs for friends and family back home. Beijing Capital Airport has duty-free stores which sell designer clothing, perfume, handbags, and more. You can also find stores or kiosks selling small electronic items that you might have forgotten to pack, such as a charger for your phone.
5. Get a Massage or a Spa Treatment
Increasing numbers of airports are offering chair massage and spa treatments to travelers. You can even shower and relax before or after your spa treatment. You’ll get on the plane feeling refreshed and energized.
6. Catch Up on Your Work
If you’re a student, use a long layover to complete your homework. If you’re traveling for business, take advantage of the relatively roomy departure lounge to spread out and complete your work instead of waiting to do it in the close quarters of the airplane.
7. Catch Up With Your Friends and Family
Has it been a while since you’ve chatted with certain friends or loved ones? Daily life is often too busy for long phone conversations. However, you can make your downtime between flights more meaningful by catching up with a friend or family member with a phone call.
8. Try Some New Food
While people don’t go to airports for the food, many airports have improved their culinary offerings in recent years. At Beijing Capital airport, you can sample regional cuisine and beverages. While you’re at it, pack a few snacks to take on the plane.
A long layover at the airport can be tedious, but it can also be a good opportunity to do some sightseeing, get some exercise, eat, shop, catch up with work, get a spa treatment, connect with friends and family, or even do some sightseeing. These activities will make the time pass more quickly.