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How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing

Having a 12-hour layover at Beijing Capital International Airport? Beijing is a fascinating city with many things to do on a 12-hour layover. 12 hours are enough for you to do a short city sightseeing trip. Here, the article will show you how to spend a 12-hour stopover in Beijing.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


1. Apply for China 144-hour Transit Visa Exemption (1 h)

Beijing has implemented the 144-hour visa-free transit policy from December 28, 2017. The policy applies to citizens from 53 countries who hold valid international travel documents, and a passenger ticket for connecting travel to a third country (region) with confirmed seats and a departure time within 144 hours. If you are qualified for this policy, you can apply for the 144-hour visa-free stay permit upon arrival. Travellers must stay in the administrative areas of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


2. Store Your Luggage at the Airport (1 h)

Beijing Capital International Airport provide free left luggage service for 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit passengers. With their temporary entry permit, passengers can enjoy the free service (one piece of luggage) in the luggage counter of the airport. Passengers who need the service can apply for it in the luggage counters within the terminals. If you have more luggage, the excess is 20-60 yuan per piece per day, depending on the size.

Location: The counter between the Gate 8 and Gate 10 in Terminal 2 and the counter on the east of Exit A of the arrival hall of the second floor of Terminal 3; Call: 010-64558580

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


3. Exchange Currency at Beijing Airport (1 h)

You'd better exchange some Chinese currency at the airport, if you are planning to a short sightseeing trip to Beijing, because only RMB payment is accepted. The foreign exchange counters of Hang Seng Bank and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China can be found at public area on the first floor, International Arrival Luggage Hall and Restricted Area on the second floor.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


4. Hike the Great Wall (3 h)

As a symbolic landmark of China, the Great Wall has been through more than two thousand years, representing the most impressive architectural feats in history. Mutianyu sections, the longest and famous sections, will be the good choice for your short Beijing layover tour. It usually takes one hours from the airport to the great wall section, and the Great Wall hiking always takes 2 hours. You can either walk up or take the cable car.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


5. Visit the Forbidden City (2 h)

Along with the Great Wall, the Forbidden City is one of the must-see sites in Beijing. The Forbidden City, renowned as the largest and the best-preserved imperial palace in China, is also one of the largest architecture complexes of wooden structure in the world. Forbidden City is a great palace for tourists to learn more about Chinese history. You are recommended to visit at least 2 hours.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


6. Admire Tiananmen Square (1 h)

Tiananmen Square, in front of the Forbidden City, means heavenly peace in Chinese. Being the largest square in the world, this square is never short of tourists all the year round. With a capacity of 1 million people, it is the venue for important ceremonies. There are also military patrol and the national flag rising/lowing ceremony at sunrise/sunset every day. 

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


7. Taste the Beijing Roast Duck (1 h) 

Beijing Roast Duck is absolutely the first thing enter your mind when mention dishes in Beijing. It’s one of the most famous food in Beijing and also a symbolic dish of China, the crispy and juicy flavor is so palatable for a try. If the Great Wall ranks the top 1 on your must-visit list, then Beijing Roast Duck is definitely the top 1 food you should try in Beijing. More about Food in Beijing.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing


8. Get Back to Beijing Airport (2 h)

For smooth boarding, it is recommended that passengers arrive at their terminal 1.5 hours before flight takeoff. Check-in service is closed minutes before flight takeoff. Taking a taxi is the most convenient way to return to Beijing Airport.

How to Spend a 12 Hour Layover in Beijing

Create your Unique Beijing Layover Tour

How to spend a 12-hour layover in Beijing? Here, Top China Travel choose three popular Beijing itineraries for your reference:

One Day Mutianyu Great Wall & Forbidden City Tour: Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City
►One Day Beijing City Must-see Essence Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven

►One Day Discover Beijing Walking Tour: Temple of Heaven, A local vegetable and fruit market, Hutong Area, Qianmen Street

Seek for the best price for a layover trip in Beijing? Feel free to contact us for your Beijing layover plan, we’re pleased to help you. You can also tailor-made your own Beijing tour at Free Online Tailor-made Tour to create your unique Layover Beijing tour.


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