The subway is a great way to get around in Beijing, though it can be very crowded at peak hours. The subway shuts down at midnight and starts again at 5am. Travellers can buy a prepaid card (Smart Card) for travel on subways and buses. The fare is the same for the subway, but reduced for buses. Most buses operate from 5am to 11pm, but buses can be slow.
Driving in Beijing is a complicated and sometimes frightening process, with few English signs and non-stop traffic jams. Taxis are plentiful, but be sure to have your destination written in Mandarin as few taxi drivers speak English.
Cycling is a good alternative with numerous bicycle rentals around the city, and well-defined bike lanes, bike parks and the company of millions of other cyclists, especially at rush hour. It may look intimidating, but can be the best way to get around for the more adventurous traveller. Over 40,000 bicycles are available to be rented at outlets close to subway stations, commercial districts, hotels, and office buildings.
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