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.

6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Boston
Level Contributor
357 posts
Save Topic
6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

I was thinking about either going to the forbidden city or Great Wall during my layover of 6 and a half hours. The issue is I land at 6:30 am so I am a bit concerned about rush hour traffic if I do one of those airport layover tours.

How long do you think it would take to get to either one of those? I'm leaning towards forbidden city only because at least on the way back to the airport it should take less time I would think. Thank you

11 replies to this topic
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
23,616 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Let's say it takes an hour to go through immigration (could be longer, could be shorter), and you need to be back to the airport an hour before your flight. That leaves 4 hrs. Let's say it takes an hour to get into town, that leaves you at best 2 hrs. If you must, Forbidden City is your only option. You simply don't have enough time to go to the Great Wall.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
Level Contributor
13,990 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

You don’t have enough time to go anywhere. Takes an hour to get into city, one hour out, you’ll need minimum 2+ hours back at airport to go through security in that huge airport , etc. there are other issues, such as prebook FC ticket online, you can’t just get there, buy ticket and waltz in.

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
265 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Yeah, you definitely need to be back at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. You won't have time. There's nothing really too close to the airport to see in that short amount of time.

You should stay in the airport. It's a fairly big one, you can walk around for a bit, read a book. There's free internet, you need your passport to scan it at the machine to get the code.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
Level Contributor
13,990 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

That security line is a very slow messed up long and winding line, takes forever, it takes time just to get to any points, major walking, you’ll need to take a train to terminals, then you may need to get in line to get on tarmac bus to take you to the airplane.

Don’t assume you are home free when you get to the gate, my last tarmac jam packed bus ride to plane was solid 30 minutes. My March 2017 Intl to domestic transfer took 3.5 hours of nonstop moving.

There is something very wrong with this modern airport design or operations.

Boston
Level Contributor
357 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Ok thanks for all the replies! Sounds like I'm stuck at the airport then. I heard there are actual rooms with beds at this airport to rent for layovers?

In reply to macjourney I would be doing one of the tours from the airport where the ticket is included and gets me in. So that wouldn't be a time constraint.

Edited: 18 October 2017, 04:08
1 post
Save Reply
6. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Hey there!

we have a layover this friday from 6.30 am on til about 6 pm (3people) and we've just booked a private driver for a tour to the great wall and ming tombs, so maybe this is an option for you if you happen to be there on friday

Boston
Level Contributor
357 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Oh let me know how it goes!

I will be there on a Friday actually, not this coming Friday though.

Edited: 19 October 2017, 05:20
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Beijing, Lijiang
Level Contributor
9,816 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

You will be pushed for time to see the Forbidden City and getting a ticket Depends how quickly it takes you to to get thru immigration. On the 1st October the rules changed for buying tickets and the ticket offices at the site are closing and prebuying is necessary. The official ticket site is not set up for foreigners at the moment: http://gugong.228.com.cn/ Agencies for tickets are filling the void. Its not a good situation but you might have to go thru a middle man. Example: https:/…

But I would not like to be the situation where you are stressing to get back to the airport and not miss your flight.

You have enough time to leave the airport so look at other alternatives using the excellent subway system, English friendly, easy to use and you wont get caught in traffic jams. The subway runs from the airport ( airport express) and will get you to most of the major tourist sites within Beijing.

Example: The Airport Express from the airport to the Lama Temple ( Yonghegong stop on line 2) will take under 40 minutes and its easy walking distance from the subway. The Lama Temple opens at 9am so while waiting in this area take a wander around Wudaoying Hutong or the other interesting nearby hutong streets.

Wudaoying Hutong: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Re…

Lama Temple: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Re…

Beijing Subway: https://explorebj.com/subway/

No need to stay at the airport as you have enough time to venture out if you choose something not too far and doable with the subway system. You will coming into peak hour after your arrival and it will be crowded but getting back its no problem.

Annie

East Scotland
Level Contributor
164 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Don't leave the airport.

I seen an 'hourly hotel' there but not sure what it's like or what the rates are.

The airport is huge and so are the queues. We left out hotel 4 hours before our flight and were pushing it with traffic and the airport queues. Security is crazy!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
129 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?

Hi all,

Similar question but we have an 8 hr layover. If I figure 1 hr for customs, 2 hrs pre-flight out, 1 hr each way to see something, I'm left with 3 hrs of sightseeing. Seeing the Great Wall would be amazing but is that enough time? Someone above mentioned "layover tours" which sound interesting. Would love your advice on venturing out for 3 hours and if so, what we could see. I know it depends on what we are interested in but we would really be open to anything just to experience China.

Thanks in advance

Reply to: 6 and a half layover in Beijing suggestions?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted