We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What to do? 12 hour layover in Beijing, no visa required

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
37 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
What to do? 12 hour layover in Beijing, no visa required

Hi TA!

I'm traveling to India and Ethiopia soon and have the option to change my flight and have a 12 hour layover in Beijing (arriving at 12 noon and leaving at 12am). I've been to Beijing before but wouldn't mind seeing some sites again. Apparently, I won't need a visa as a US citizen since the trip is less than 72 hours. Which sites can I fit in? There are any special procedures at customs that I need to be aware of before leaving the airport? How easy is it to get into the city from the airport and visit the Forbidden City?

Thank you!

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
40,445 posts
825 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What to do? 12 hour layover in Beijing, no visa required

It is easy to go anywhere but just heading to the taxi line. As you have no luggage you can also take the Airport Express that will connect you to the subway. http://www.explorebj.com/subway/

Don't know when you are going but now it is getting dark earlier. You may want to finish your day (late afternoon) around Houhai or around Qianmen and have dinner there.

No special procedure, look for the transit without visa line at immigration.

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
5,000 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What to do? 12 hour layover in Beijing, no visa required

Being a US citizen is irrelevant as anyone can transit China visa-free within 24 hours. See Top Questions, above right. I would say you have a pretty free choice about what to see centrally with the exception of the Forbidden City and National Museum (unless it's a fly-through) and the Summer Palaces. Check through Things to Do.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
36 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: What to do? 12 hour layover in Beijing, no visa required

I'd recommend taking the taxi to Summer Palace.... It's a great place, a lot more relaxing than Central Beijing.

You can deposit your bags at the Airport Terminal and take the Airport Express out to the city.

If you are planning to go to the Forbidden City + Houhai, or Summer Palace, I recommend taking a taxi, as subway requires 2 transfers, it's tiring.

Do keep a subway map handy, as Beijing taxis are sometimes very difficult to get.

Here is one:

hippomap.com/341non-mobile/…Airport

Allow 2 hours for the trip on taxi, and 1.5 for subway.

In any case, those destinations would make very tiring day. If you just want to relax, grab a taxi and go to 798 Art Area (Qijiuba Jishu Qu).... It's much closer to the airport, there are some restaurants and bars in the area too....

4. Re: What to do? 12 hour layover in Beijing, no visa required

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post at the original author's request.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 3:00 pm, July 03, 2016
5. Re: What to do? 12 hour layover in Beijing, no visa required

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:18 am, November 08, 2014