Beijing Airport Layover Tour FAQs

michael & family on June 13

Planning a Beijing layover tour to the Great Wall of China or Beijing attractions may seem daunting and you may have a lot of questions about how to go about taking one of these tours. Here is some information which will help you decide how to take a Beijing layover tour. Your tour guide will meet you as you exit the Arrivals Hall and will be holding a sign with your name on it. The guide will appear at exit and will be driving a well maintained, air-conditioned and comfortable car. You can plan your layover in Beijing before arriving by contacting the company through the website. Talk to one of the company representatives online and discuss what you would like to see and do in Beijing on your layover. If you have enough time in Beijing you can tailor make your trip to include sites that interest you most and even a meal, a show or shopping. Our guides will make sure you have a well planned layover tour so that you have time to get back to the airport to catch your outgoing flight.

Will I have enough time for a Beijing layover tour?
For a layover tour from Beijing Airport you will need about7- 8 hours in the capital but this can depend on what you plan to do while in Beijing. Here are some tips to give you an idea of how long things take and the distances from Beijing Airport. Allow about 45 minutes to get through Beijing customs and Immigration before exiting the Arrivals Hall. On return you will need to check-in about two hours before your outgoing flight. If you plan on visiting the Great Wall there are a number of access points, some closer and some further away from the airport. To the Mutianyu, Juyongguan and Badaling points along the Great Wall it is approximately a 1.5 hour drive each direction. To the Jiankou and Huanghuacheng points of the Great Wall it takes about 2 hours each way. To the Jinshanling, Gubeikou and Simatai Great Wall it is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from the Beijing Airport. We recommend visiting the Mutianyu site on a layover tour as it is the closest point of access to the Great Wall and one of the best. At Mutianyu there is a cable car which can get you to the top of the Wall saving time and energy.

If you plan on visiting tourist attractions in Beijing city center then you should allow for the 25km journey. Depending on traffic the journey from the airport to the city center can take about an hour. Once in Beijing you will need to allow time for sightseeing. If your intention is just to shop in Beijing then calculate your travel time to and from the city center plus the time you would like to shop. Don’t forget to allow time for lunch or dinner in the capital.

So your time calculations should include:

  • 30min-1hr – From disembarking to exiting the arrivals Hall

  • Travel time to – Great Wall (1.5-2hours) or Beijing city center (45min-1.5hours)

  • Time at the attractions – Great Wall (1.5-2hours) or Beijing attractions (2-6hours)

  • Return travel time – as above

  • Checking-in time – 2 hours

This brings you to a total of approximately 6 to 13 hours depending on your chosen Beijing layover tour. You can discuss the timing with our tour representative who has experience with the various routes and traffic times. Remember to allow time for unexpected traffic congestion, bathroom stops, souvenir shopping and food stops. Rather allow too much time than too little.

What do I do with my luggage on a layover tour?
You have three options of what to do with your luggage while you are on your layover tour in Beijing:
If you have checked your luggage into your ongoing flight then you have nothing to worry about. Your luggage will travel from your airport of origin all the way to your final destination and arrive at the same time as you.
If you have chosen to collect your luggage in Beijing then you will need to take it from the luggage carousel with the other passengers. Then exit the Arrivals Hall and go into the airport. Beijing Capital airport has an excellent left luggage storage service. The service is reasonably priced and efficient. Just follow the signs to the Left Luggage counter. You can leave your luggage here for a few hours, a day or even several days. There are left Luggage counters in all three of the Beijing Capital Airport terminals.
Your final option is to bring your luggage along with you. Your tour guide will meet you when you exit the Arrivals Hall and will take you and your luggage to the car. Here you can store your luggage in the tour guide’s car or mini-bus for the duration of your tour until you are return

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