From Beijing airport, you'll come out of the arrivals area and head down to the first floor of the terminal. If you’re in Terminal 2, you’ll need to look for Gate 15, and if you’ve flown into Terminal 3, look for Gate 3. The signs here are in English, so don’t worry about not being able to read Chinese. Once you find the ticket desk, ask for a ticket (yī zhāng qù tiānjīn, or "One ticket to Tianjin, please."), which should cost you just over CNY80, one-way. Buses leave roughly every hour, and take just over 2 hours to get from the Beijing airport to Tianjin.
There's plenty of room under the bus to store your luggage, but not too much room for bags inside the bus. Seats recline and are fairly comfortable, and there’s air conditioning kept at a comfortable temperature. The journey is mostly on highways and the bus won’t make any stops along the way, so it’s a pretty smooth ride all ‘round.
Once in Tianjin: Jump off the bus at Tianhuan Passenger Transport Terminal in Nankai District. Getting a taxi is easy outside the terminal. Beware of taxi scams here though - if someone quotes you a price to get somewhere, keep walking. The taxi driver should always use a meter, and those negotiating prices are trying to rip you off! When in doubt, you can ask the driver, "dǎ biǎo ma?" which means, "Will you run the meter?"
When travelling back to Beijing airport, it’s the same, but in reverse. Simply buy a ticket from the Tianhuan Passenger Transport Terminal in Nankai District, Tianjin (南开区红旗路与鞍山西道交口处) which is at the corner of Hongqi Road and Anshan West Road, to Beijing Capital Airport. If you’re unsure where to line up to board the bus, you can show your ticket to someone and they’ll point you in the right direction. Otherwise, just look for the area where people are conglomerating with large suitcases and you’ve found it. Once at Beijing airport, keep an eye out for which terminal you need to get off at, as the bus makes 3 stops (Terminals 1, 2 and 3). Check your flight itinerary to make sure of the terminal you're flying out of.
Some things to note
- There’s another shuttle which will drop you off/pick you up in Downtown Tianjin, near the Westin Hotel/Air China Office, however this one does not have as reliable a schedule as the above bus. If this location in Tianjin is more convenient for you, once you’re in Tianjin, check with a local who’s ‘in the know’.
- It’s unlikely you’ll encounter too many English speakers when buying your bus tickets, so if your Chinese language skills aren’t great, simply say your destination and hand over your money. This will get you where you need to go, but be sure to check the departure time printed on the ticket. Or, ask a trusted Chinese friend to write down the instructions for you.
- Crime rates are very low in China, so there’s no need to worry about personal safety if you’re travelling alone or late at night/early in the morning. As is best practice anywhere in the world, keep an eye on your personal belongings, and be weary of pickpockets.
*Please be aware that this information was correct at the time of publishing. Things can, and usually do change, so it’s best to double check everything before you travel.
Have you ever taken the shuttle bus between Beijing airport and Tianjin? Do you have any other information? Let us know below!