2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Beijing subway project.
Beijing has expanded from the old central city to surrounding areas in all directions. Today, Beijing is home to over 20 million people and 5 million cars.
If you want to get around the city quickly, it makes more sense to take the subway.
400 kilometers of routes connect the main attractions of the city.
The three most popular attractions are Tiananmen Square, Universal Studios and the Olympic stadiums. Beijing is the only city to have held both the winter and summer Games.
Here are the main subway lines you should know.
The original Line 1 was actually designed for military use rather than for commuters.
This is the most important route as it links the east and west sides of the city directly underneath Chang’an Avenue.
If you want to visit Tiananmen Square, you’ll find stops on both sides.
Lines 2 and 10
Both Lines 2 and 10 create two rings in the center of the city connecting a majority of the lines.
Line 2 has 18 different stops and runs through Changchunjie, Qian'men and Jianguomen. The most popular stop on this route for tourists is Universal Studios Beijing.
Line 10, being the larger round track, is most commonly used for the transfers between multiple lines.
Line 10 also connects the Olympic Sports Center, the Asian Games Village, the central business district and Zhongguancun.
One of the greatest feats of modern architecture was the completion of Lines 5, 8 and 10.
These were key in reducing traffic for both the 2008 Olympics and 2022 Winter Olympics. Part of Line 8 is even named the Olympic Line.
You can also see a few attractions like Shichahai Houhai (什剎海), Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷) and the National Stadium by riding Line 8.
The End of the Project
By the end of 2022, construction of the subway project will be completed.
So far there are 25 lines and over 450 stations that transport 10.5 million people everyday.
When the original project is finished, over 1,000 kilometers of routes will have been completed in a decade.
The railways of Beijing's subway are unlike any other major cities on Earth. With ticket stations offering both English and Mandarin, it is easier than ever for people to travel through Beijing.